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It’s Halloween season! A time of year where we purposefully try to create fear in our costumes, front yards, or special holiday parties.
But, fear is with us daily as a routine emotion we get to feel when we are in real danger or just hesitant about upleveling in our work.
Fear is a negative emotion, and most of us try to avoid negative emotion. But, it can be useful to pay attention to when we are feeling fear and figure out if we are ok being afraid or if we want to push through it to get the results we want.
The good news is that you get to decide how to deal with fear in your life and work.
In the meantime, have a happy and safe Halloween in a year where masks are now a welcome part of any costume.
Listen and subscribe to this, and all of your favorite episodes, at https://pod.co/move-your-desk.
Episode 79 Show Notes
Episode 79 Transcript
This is Rebecca Clark. Episode 79. Embracing the Fear This’ll podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your desk? Yeah, it’s Halloween week. My friends and I will admit to wanting to do an extra podcast just because I had Halloween music that I purchased for my podcast last year on It was super cool, and I wanted to use it again. But in the process of wanting to do it for that reason, I also found another reason. And that reason has to do with fear, because this time of year we’re trying to invoke fear right through our costumes or through haunted houses or through whatever other gory, made up fun stuff that people think up for Halloween. So amongst all the costume picking and the Jack O lantern carving, it’s been interesting this year to hear that principals and teachers are for the first time in recorded history, requesting that everyone show up to school with a mask. Interesting times right and the virus is invoking fear in many people, and I can guarantee there will be continual circumstances in the future that will continue to ignite fear in us. This week, a friend posted a quote on Facebook, and it’s not attributed to anyone, but I really liked it. Fear does not stop death. It stops life, and worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace. I thought that was interesting to reflect on, and most of us here all kinds of quotes, about fear, to inspire us, to step into the darkness, knowing the way ahead will be lit and not toe worry, and to know that it will work out and that we need to be uncomfortable and push through pain and push through those fears to get to what we want. I even found an acronym, F E a R. It could mean forget everything and run or face everything and rise. And I’m sure that you could point out many other quotes about fear that are meant to inspire. But I’ve been having some additional thoughts about fear lately because fear is usually thought of as a negative emotion, and most of us don’t want to feel negative emotion. We try to hide from it. We try to avoid it and resist it. And we do that in many different ways. It often comes out as anger or in overindulging in things. So we will drink more, eat more, work more, learn more, shop more to avoid feeling a feeling. And so fear is one of those negative emotions that we can try to avoid. But I love this quote I found from Michael Marshall. You can’t stop being afraid just by pretending. Everything that scares you isn’t there. I personally needed that quote as I work through fears that I had for gotten, and I’m now in certain daily experiences that remind me of those fears and bring them to the surface. And so as a way of introduction to sharing these thoughts, I want to go back 20 years. Two Ah, Valentine’s Day, where I’m sitting in a living room with 20 people. My roommate, Shirley Houston, had set up a special party for those of us who did not have a relationship or a date, and she called the party Cupid Passover, and it was meant for a time for us to commiserates but also to have some fun together. with a close group of friends and as part of the party, she had us all sit in a circle and share crazy relationship or date experiences that we had had in the past. And I think a couple people shared. And then all of a sudden, one of my friends, Pamela Shepherd, said, Wait, wait, wait. I have an amazing blind date story that I want to share. And so Pam went on to share that. She was friends with this guy that had gone on this blind date with another couple, and they had gone up into the mountains. They’re supposed to go hiking, and they had gotten to the top of the mountain, and this guy she knew had said, Hey, I’ll go down with my date down the front of the mountain and the other couple could go down the back and what kind of race back to see who wins. And she said, the other couples like No, no, no, don’t do it, Don’t do it. But her friend, the guy and his date went down the front of the mountain and couldn’t get down the mountain. There were some steep cliffs they came across that they couldn’t see when they’re the top of the mountain. And so they had to stay there that night. And then the next morning they had to go back up the mountain. They were rescued and it was super crazy because most people had died in that spot. And can you imagine going through that experience with someone you didn’t even know that you were on a blind date with? So as my friend Pam is telling the story, I’m sitting there getting a stronger and stronger feeling that this experience was way too familiar and it was just eerily familiar, right? And so I asked her a question. I said, What was the name of this guy that was your friend? And she said, Dan and I said, What year was this? Where was this? And she said the year and she said, And it was Rock Canyon and Squaw Peak in Utah. And in that moment in front of this group of 20 people, I shared that I was the woman that was on the blind date with this guy named Dan. So Pam was right. This was a crazy blind date story. But to add to the crazy was to be sitting in Washington D. C a few years later and have this experience in this living room. Now I share this story because that experience taught me a lot about fear. When we had to go back up the mountain, there were places that we had had to jump down before that. We then had to climb up. And I still remember that last 20 or 30 ft of trying to get to the top of the mountain because I suddenly heard voices on megaphones and I could see in the distance a couple of people. But I remember trying to focus really hard because I was holding onto weeds and grass, trying to get up those last few feet of a very high mountain. When I got to the top with my date Dan, we suddenly had four wheelers coming toward us and a few people with their megaphones and saying, Hey, we found them. We see them, they look okay. And they rushed toward us to give us candy to get the blood sugar. Okay, I guess, and to give us water because we hadn’t eaten at that point for like, 10 hours or more, and they kept saying over and over how lucky we were, how lucky we were to be alive, that they were able to get to us, that we were able to climb back up because we were the 11th and 12th people they had rescued that year to date and eight had been dead. So we were in the group of four people out of 12 that had survived in that area. Now it’s really strange to me is I’ve always thought I’ve been afraid of heights. But when I was standing there at the top of that mountain that day, I thought, looking down that I could see a way all the way down the mountain. Which part of my brain was like, How is this possible? Because when you look at the front of the mountain, it’s obviously a very rugged place. But if any of you know mountains, sometimes you on. Lee can see a certain amount of the mountain, and then when you go further all of a sudden, this whole other vista opens up to you or this whole other layer of mountain you weren’t aware of. And so I’m assuming that when we looked down, we could see very clear routes to get to a certain point, not realizing that after that point there were cliffs and a larger distance than we ever thought below. That had to be traversed. As I look back, I realize that we had divine protection in this, and not just from the standpoint of actually having it, but also protection for the thoughts in our minds. Because in that moment, which lasted probably 10 hours, I was completely calm and so was my date. Were very calm with our thoughts. We’re very focused on what’s the next step, and we executed the next step because our emotions were in check. And it’s absolutely amazing to me to realize this now as I coach and I learned more about emotions to realize how lucky we were to have our emotions and check on our emotions were in check because our thoughts we’re very focused on how are we going to get through this? What’s just the next step? We can do this. Let’s help each other. Let’s keep pressing forward. When we got to the top of the mountain and learned new information, it was amazing how quickly the thoughts and emotions shifted. The realization that we were alive in a spot that we shouldn’t be alive in caused immediate thoughts, and I don’t know what all those thoughts were at this time, but the fear set in, and from that fearful emotion, I know that my body just let go. I started shaking uncontrollably and sweating and crying and all the things as I realized how lucky I waas and probably had been holding that all in the whole time because the other thoughts, luckily were more powerful than the thoughts of fear. And so I’m super grateful to my higher power for that moment. I’m also grateful because through that experience I learned about myself. I learned that I was afraid of heights, but I could get through it. But realizing that it may not be the height, it might be the situation that I was in that I was making mean something because I usually fly in airplanes just flying just because I’ve got some plastic around me, I think I feel safer. Uh huh. Thing when I’m standing near a cliff and none of that may be true, but it’s a feeling I have that I’m feeling safer. But I also felt like I was given a second chance to live. And because I felt like I was given a second chance to live, I made it mean that I shouldn’t be taking risks in my life. At least when it came to mountain climbing, right, I could divert those risks to other areas of life like jobs, money, places to live relationships, that kind of thing. And not by being a daredevil. I felt like I had been given my chance, learned my lesson, and I don’t want to deal with it anymore. So here I am today in Utah, visiting family. And as I was being driven to my location, we went past this mountain that I had been rescued from years ago, and I had an immediate surge of emotion as I had gratitude for still being alive and yet also brought up more fear of. Wait a second. Now I’m out here in the rugged west where there are more opportunities to experience fear at a higher level, and now I’m here with a child who I already have worries about falling and getting into danger. And how am I going to handle that? And so I’m studying about emotions a lot this week, and fear keeps coming up as an emotion to think about and work through. I’ve realized I’m okay that I’m afraid of mountains. I absolutely love looking at mountains. I don’t mind driving a little bit in them, but there’s a certain point where we’re going through crazy mountain curves or up higher and higher, where that fear starts to sit in again. And I desire to be out of the car and in a safe spot or on lower ground. And it almost prevents me from enjoying the full experience of being up in the top of the mountains and seeing the beautiful vistas and everything around me. And I recognize that’s just a feeling, and I can choose toe work on feeling something different if I want, or I can choose to keep that feeling. So isn’t that interesting? I can choose to stay afraid, and I remember I told my sister this week I am okay that I am fearful of mountains and hiking. I’m completely okay with that right now, and I decided that that is not a fear that I need to work through because in this case, fear is my friend. It means I’m conscious and aware and thinking of the dangers and the pitfalls risks on liabilities involved in having an experience in the mountains. And I want to be aware of those. So I don’t get too casual and those experiences that I realized I’m a human being and nature is powerful. It is far more powerful than we are, and I like to respect those boundaries. But I’m also aware that fear can at times propel me forward in doing something that may be uncomfortable or difficult. So recognizing the difference of when I feel fear is important to my personal progress, right to understand that sometimes if you’re tryingto up level, if you’re trying to change your situation in any way in life, that there’s gonna be fear involved and you’re willingly signing up for that fear because you want the good stuff on the other end of that fear, and to recognize the difference between that fear and the fear that comes to you when you really feel like No, this is a danger. I don’t want to put myself in, and so I realized that the most important part of this is awareness and noticing and being conscious in making the decisions and being conscious of what choices we make when we feel fear. So this is a constant check and balance on our mindset, right to say that I can feel the fear and take steps anyway in some parts of life and then in other parts of life, you go okay when I feel fear. That means I’ve crossed a personal boundary that I wanted to keep for myself on. I want Thio step away from the danger and recognizing that it’s part of life to feel fearful with some things. But the beauty of it is you get to decide what that fear means for you and then press forward whether it’s helping you or hurting you. So my nudge today is for you to just notice it. Just notice when you’re afraid and decide. Is this a real danger that I would like to keep myself safe from? Or is this just the fear that comes from me trying to improve myself and trying to offer up my best self and work? You get to decide, and I hope you decide it. And I know what that means is that there are some of you that are going to go out today and go repelling or rock climbing. I want to tell you that I hope you enjoy it and enjoy those beautiful vistas and whatever personal challenge you overcome in the process. I will not be there with you. But I can guarantee that I’d be willing to watch from a distance and give you a big congratulations for working through whatever personal challenge you are trying to work on through that effort. Come back in time to enjoy some treats with your family and friends and happy Halloween to you all. Yeah, thanks for listening to the show today. If you enjoyed it, I’d love if you’d write a review and share the show with your friends, sign up for a weekly nudge at Move your best dot com. See you next Monday. Mhm