Worry


“You gain strength and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Since Halloween is on our minds this month, I thought it would be fun to address the pros and cons of fear. Yes, fear can be FUN!

While not everyone’s cup of tea, creating ways to scare ourselves seems to be a widespread phenomenon among human beings worldwide. Why else would millions of us devour Stephen King novels, flock to horror movies and pay big bucks to be scared silly at terrifying amusement park attractions?

I was blessed to be friends with the iconic science fiction author Ray Bradbury (Farenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way Comes, etc.) for over forty years. Halloween was his favorite holiday and I always cherished receiving a hand-drawn Halloween greeting card from him every year. Most of his books contain some deliciously frightening elements. Ray said being frightened is something we can only enjoy because we know it isn’t REAL. We are thrilled by the adrenaline jolt we get because part of our brain knows we are actually safely sitting in our seat eating popcorn, not being chased by a crazy masked guy with a chain saw.

When feeling afraid is NOT fun is when we believe the thing we dread could happen to us for real. Unfortunately, that is a widespread phenomenon, too. As a coach, I spend about 25% of my time helping my clients strategize about how to reach their Big Goals and 75% of my time helping them overcome their fears about what terrible things might happen to them if they do (or don’t).

Fear of Success is real for many of my clients. That’s because the human Ego tries to protect us by warning us via our imaginations about all the negative outcomes it can conjure up that might happen from pursuing our plans. This causes our Inner Protector’s negative “What Ifs?” to become unconsciously entwined with our Big Goals.

Many success-oriented people feel torn inside because, while they passionately want to pursue their dreams, they fear that means they must miss out on precious time with their families. They worry that their spouses will become estranged from them and their children will grow up resenting them. Yes, that does sometimes happen for real, of course. But it does not mean that it is INEVITABLE.

What is the antidote to Fear of Success? Developing specific strategies in advance can help you handle the potential problems your Inner Protector’s fertile imagination conjures up to stop you from pursuing your goals. Instead of fighting it, you can acknowledge your Inner Protector for sending you an early warning signal and then go about setting up your strategies to help you handle success when it comes.

One easy and surprisingly effective strategy is to take a few minutes each weekend to plan and schedule ALL your upcoming weekly activities into your appointment planner. Collaborate with your loved ones to include a balance of work and personal time in the week. That way, they know that you are drawing firm boundaries between your work and personal time and that they will have your focused attention when you are not in “work time”. Planning your balanced weekly schedule demonstrates to your loved ones that they are important to you and allows them to participate in creating the family’s future prosperity and happiness together. Contrary to some people’s fears, you CAN enjoy quality time with loved ones AND passionately pursue your Big Goals.

On the flip side, a number of my clients have a Fear of Failure. Their Inner Protector’s worries are all about what might happen if they give it their all and then FAIL to reach their goals. Often fear of failure is something they have carried inside them since childhood, rooted in some painful experience with judgmental parents, teachers or other authority figures. Their Inner Protector warns them that they will disappoint those they love and be judged harshly or even punished by those they respect. Worst of all, if they try and fail, they will finally have to admit that they simply aren’t “good enough.”

Their Inner Protector tries to stop them from going after their Big Goal by pointing out the many ways they don’t stack up against others who are succeeding — in their abilities, experience, knowledge, even their courage! There’s a great Catch 22! They are made to fear that they won’t be able to break through their fears in order to take the required actions for success! No wonder they feel paralyzed and stuck — It seems so much safer not to try in the first place.

What is the antidote to Fear of Failure? Trying to run away from it only makes you feel like a greater failure and a coward to boot. In order to overcome a fear of trying and failing, you must “really stop to look fear in the face,” as Eleanor said. When you do, you will very likely recognize that your fear isn’t based on FACT, but rather on an Old Limiting Belief that was created by your Inner Protector to explain some unpleasant experience you had in the past.

Next time: We will discuss exactly how you can look a Limiting Belief “in the face,” dismantle it, and stop that crazy masked guy with the chain saw from chasing you away from your Big Goals!

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What do you want for your life? My “job description” as a coach is simply this: I help you get what YOU want. I invite you to schedule a complimentary phone consultation where together we’ll explore your big dreams and determine if coaching can assist you in reaching them. I have programs and coaching specialties for every need. Learn more at: http://practicalprosperitycoach.com or contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or toll free at 888-503-8145. Contact me TODAY to schedule a complimentary phone consultation!

 

2/9/09 – Blog 47

The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible. – Richard M. DeVos

When I called on my readers to send in questions for the free Practical Prosperity Q & A/Laser Coaching call coming up this Tuesday, I received a great one from a longtime coaching client. Since it has to do with the next step in the process for manifesting whatever you want using the Law of Attraction, I decided to make it the topic of this week’s blog.

You will recall that Step One of the manifestation process was to “Ask for what you Want.”

Step Three, which we’ll cover in depth soon, is to “Be willing to receive it when it comes”often wrapped in an unexpected package!

But Step Two is the most challenging step for many people: Believe and let go of the How. Regarding this step, my client asked, “What if I believe in my Intention, but I have moments of doubt and fear? What do I do then to get out of the fear?” Excellent question!

You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t have doubts and fears about your goals. It’s a sign that you have a healthy Ego for it to be ever-vigilant, constantly warning you of possible dangers to your safety and well-being, whether mental, emotional and physical. It’s your Ego’s job to point out to you all the things that could possibly go wrong with your plan for reaching any goal you have. Thinking ahead about the potential pitfalls and traps of your strategy is a wise approach that can save you wasted time, effort some sometimes emotional grief in many situations.

However, it is exactly the wrong thing to do when you are trying to engage the Law of Attraction to help you create something you don’t already have a strategy for manifesting. That’s because the Universe has a much, much bigger and clearer picture of the true situation than you do. You can only imagine how your Intention might be fulfilled from your very limited human perspective – based solely on your past experience or what someone else has told you.

The Universe, on the other hand, has a “30,000 foot view” of your desire and is aware of other people you haven’t yet met who could hold the answer you are seeking or alternative creative solutions that are much more efficient than you could ever think up. In short, the Universe holds ALL the resources necessary for manifesting anything you could possibly desire, and it will connect you to them – but only if you are willing to set aside your own plans and listen for the subtle whisper of Divine inspiration.

One of my Practical Prosperity Tele-seminar graduates originally set the intention to earn an additional $1500 from her direct sales business in 30 days or less. That’s a great intention, but there was one small flaw in it, which even I didn’t catch. What she really wanted was simply to RECEIVE $1500 in 30 days or less. She had envisioned it could possibly come from her direct-sales business, although she didn’t know how she was going to manage to create that much sales volume in such a short time.

Fortunately, the Universe had a better plan for fulfilling her TRUE Intention. A friend unexpectedly requested her expert help with an interior design project (another one of her side businesses) and paid her exactly $1500 within 30 days of when she began doing her personal Daily Success Script© for manifestation, which she created in the Practical Prosperity Tele-seminar. It wasn’t the delivery method my client had imagined – which would have taken more time effort than the design project required – but it fulfilled her Intention nonetheless.

Even when you understand and believe in the Law of Attraction, it is sometimes hard not to let fear, doubt and anxiety creep in when you really, really want something and you don’t see it manifesting how and when you thought it would. The reason for your fear and anxiety is your attachment to the outcome. Being attached to a particular outcome make it difficult to fulfill Step Two’s requirement that you simply BELIEVE it is possible and surrender the “HOW” to the Universe’s superior delivery methods.

There is a big difference between being committed to having your dream manifest and being attached to it. When you are committed, you are standing firm in your Intention, with total faith that it is the right thing for you and that the Universe always fulfills your right requests. Remember, the Law of Attraction is a LAW, which means it works 100% of the time, so long as you are using it correctly. When you are committed to your Intention, you simply ASK for what you want, clearly and specifically, and then RELEASE it to the Universe to determine how it will best be fulfilled, as you wait in quiet expectancy for the answer to come to you at the perfect time, in the perfect way.

Attachment, of course, is the opposite of “release.” When you are attached, you not only ASK for what you want, but you dictate HOW and WHEN and WHERE and BY WHOM it will be delivered, assuming the Universe will simply do your bidding.

Unfortunately, in addition to limiting the infinitely more wonderful possibilities the Universe might have for manifesting your dream, your attachment to the specific outcome you envision also can make you feel anxious, worried, disappointed, fearful, resentful, or a number of other negative emotions, none of which is going to attract to you the thing you want. According to the Law of Attraction, “energy attracts like energy” and thus you must inevitably attract to you things that match the anxious and worried energy caused by your attachment.

Back to my client’s excellent question, “What do you do to get out of the fear?” First and foremost, you must continue to remind yourself that it is POSSIBLE for your intention to be fulfilled by a means chosen by the Universe that is easier, quicker and more perfect than any your human brain can now envision. If you don’t believe this fundamental precept, then you really can’t tap into the unlimited power of the Law of Attraction.

Visualization is a particularly powerful tool for manifestation. Anything you can so vividly imagine in your mind’s eye that it causes you to FEEL the actual emotions you will have when you get it, you can manifest into your daily reality. That feeling IS the positive energy that will engage the Law of Attraction to bring you what you want. It’s pretty hard to stay stuck in fear and anxiety when you can visualize yourself HAVING the thing you want and truly FEELING grateful for it, as though it’s real in your life right now.

But let’s take it a step farther, and help you visualize something that will REMOVE the fear and anxiety you may be feeling because you want the thing you are trying to manifest so much that you are actually afraid of not getting it! (Maybe it’s the rent money or something else you see as essential to your well-being, and thus, harder to detach from.)

The following visualization tool came originally from Stretton Smith, the author of the 4T (Tithing of Time, Treasure and Talent) Prosperity Program. Diane Harmony quoted it again in her wonderful Prosperity course, 5 Gifts for an Abundant Life, which I am studying at the moment. She quotes Smith’s great lesson gleaned from the 1970’s space adventure show, Star Trek:

“Captain Kirk and Spock were traveling through a tunnel when they saw some of their crew at the other end being tortured by the enemy.

They rushed through the tunnel to rescue their friends, when, suddenly, Kirk was stopped by an invisible screen.

He couldn’t see what was blocking him, and he couldn’t get through. He looked like a mime washing a window.

But Spock had walked right through!

Kirk cried out to Spock, asking how Spock got through, but he, Kirk, could not?

Spock said it was an anxiety screen and that Kirk’s emotions, his anxiety, prevented him from getting through.

If Kirk would lower the anxiety screen, he would be able to walk through.

So Kirk stood back and imagined that invisible anxiety screen in front of him being lowered – until it was – and Kirk, free of all anxieties, stepped over the screen, and joined Spock. They went on to rescue their friends.”

The next time you are feeling attached and anxious about something you have asked the Universe to manifest for you, try visualizing your own “Anxiety Screen” — the invisible self-made barrier that stands between you and your goal. In your mind, watch it slowly lower until you can step over it and continue on to reach your goal.

And once you can step over those negative emotions and allow yourself to feel only JOY and GRATITUDE to the Universe for delivering your heartfelt desire — which has not quite yet manifested into your real world — it won’t be long before it WILL!

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: You and your friends are invited to my FREE one-hour Prosperity Q & A and Laser Coaching Call this Tuesday, February 10 at 6:00 PM Pacific. Bring your questions about the Law of Attraction or a challenge you are having with manifesting something you want. I will provide answers and laser coaching to help you create abundant prosperity in every area of your life. (If you can’t be there, the call REPLAY will be sent ONLY to those who pre-registered, so don’t delay.) To register, just send your name and email address to caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com and you’ll receive call-in instructions. Even if you can’t be there, email me a question and I will answer it on this call!

To learn how to become a Master Manifester of the abundant life you want and deserve, go to www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and visit the “Create Unlimited Prosperity Now” section. The next Practical Prosperity Coaching 8-Week Teleseminar begins Wednesday, March 11.

Share your thoughts, suggest a topic, or request a complimentary phone consultation at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

Blog 38

“Today is the ‘Tomorrow’ you worried about yesterday!” – Unknown

This was one of my late mother’s favorite sayings. She was a world-class worrier herself (as I suspect most mothers are). I must have inherited the worry gene from her, since my father was one of the sunniest, most optimistic people I ever knew. (He apparently lived by Scarlett O’Hara’s motto: “I’ll worry about that tomorrow!”)

Admittedly, I am a recovering Worry Wart myself. I distinctly remember worrying about getting into a good college when I was in sixth grade! I always had dozens of sticky notes plastered all over my bedroom to remind me about the endless project deadlines I must meet for school or face certain doom. No wonder I missed a lot of fun in junior high and high school because I was doggedly studying 4-5 hours a night in a effort to get straight A’s, convinced I would end up a dismal failure if I got a few B’s along the way.

I also spent much of every April worrying about how I was ever going to figure out how to prepare my own income tax return when I was a grown up, living on my own, since my mother seemed to be so stressed out about preparing hers each year, and she was a bookkeeper! (By the way, I have never had to actually prepare my own income tax return in my life. When I grew up, I learned God invented CPA’s just to help me with that!)

But occasionally, even my Worrier Mom would realize that all her fretting about some dire “what if” scenario she had imagined about her family’s odds of survival had been for naught. Then she would repeat that familiar declaration with a little chuckle, just to remind herself that nothing that she had dreaded in her mind had ever really materialized. Instead, as the quote affirms, here we are, doing just fine in the present moment — with nothing to show for yesterday’s worries except a lot of wasted time and needless anxiety.

I began to get a grip on worry myself about 15 years ago, when I first discovered personal development books like Think and Grow Rich and such Masters of Motivation as Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Steven Covey, Zig Ziglar, Deepak Chopra, and Wayne Dyer. They all seemed to have my father’s optimistic view that Life is just a wide-open opportunity for each of us to make of it what we will — that we can actually create our reality, instead of being a victim of it. The genesis of my understanding of the Law of Attraction came when I first heard the words, “What you think about, you bring about.”

Did my worrying immediately cease? Not by a long shot. But it did loosen its power over me because I no longer felt that the forces affecting my life were beyond my control. I realized that the place to start was within my own thoughts and beliefs.

With this understanding, it seems just as absurd to me today as it did to my mother decades ago, that our society – followed by the rest of the world — has created so much self-inflicted pain by falling into the grip of fear and worry. Sadly, worrying about what might happen tomorrow has become the driving force behind the financial catastrophe that is affecting millions of lives today, just as it has in the past.

Out of the initial problem of steep losses in the mortgage market — which might have been painful, but containable, had it been recognized and handled responsibly early on — a tsunami of fear and worry instead swept much of the world into a global financial crisis of stunning proportions. Because U.S. investors became so worried about what might happen tomorrow if their own complicated investment portfolios turned out to contain some of those bad mortgage loans, they dumped stocks in both failing and viable companies in a panic, thus actually creating the huge losses they feared. Unfortunately, their fear has damaged the financial futures of millions and millions of innocent bystanders throughout the world.

Now, widespread worry that we might be on the brink of Great Depression II: The Sequel has caused the American Consumer – the driving force behind the world’s economy – to stop spending, fearing that he or she might be out of a job tomorrow. Predictably, the drying up of consumer spending has caused many large and small companies to fail, thus putting millions out of work. Citizens out of work can’t spend or pay taxes, which will inevitably lead to even more companies and government agencies going bust, and so millions more will lose their jobs. And round and round it goes in one of the most self-destructive self-fulfilling prophecies we have witnessed in our lifetime.

So what can you do to create a better outcome in your own life? I truly believe that everything that happens in life is ultimately for our Highest Good – even if we must learn some painful lessons along the way. I have certainly spent many moments during the past year worrying about my family’s future, just like everyone else.

However, in reading The Essential Laws of Fearless Living by Guy Finley a few months ago, I learned that my own imagination, which can be a useful ally in creating what I WANT to manifest via the Law of Attraction, can also be a unconscious source of useless worry, as it spins out vividly frightening “What if?” scenarios that, fortunately, rarely materialize. I also came to realize that the dire reports and predictions of foreclosures and financial ruin that were being sensationalized by the media about didn’t necessarily have to befall me personally. I didn’t have to jump on society’s Worry Wagon unless I chose to.

Nevertheless, when I realized a few weeks ago that our property tax due date was fast approaching, I initially fell into my old habit of worrying, since I had no idea how we were going to come up with such a substantial lump sum in what is traditionally the slowest month of the year for both my husband’s and my businesses. Fortunately, I quickly caught myself, and instead of focusing on the problem – which only causes the problem to grow stronger — I expressed gratitude for the unexpected abundance that has been steadily flowing to us all year. Then I gave it over to the Universe to deliver the “How” for paying the property taxes, and focused all my energy on being receptive to the answer I knew would come.

Before long, I found a notice inside one of my credit card bills, warning that the interest rate was about to DOUBLE in the next month. Amazingly, the card company was apparently required to give me a choice about whether to accept this increase! If I sent the creditor a written notice, declining to pay the new interest rate, I could continue to pay off the balance at the old, low rate — however long it takes. The only stipulation is that I must not charge anything on the card after the deadline given, or the new rate would automatically take effect for the entire balance.

Immediately, I felt a wave of gratitude at being allowed to avoid paying such a large amount of extra interest on an account I was no longer even using. That’s when inspiration struck: I had been in pay-down mode on the card for so long, it had never occurred to me that I could use it to pay our property tax. I checked my balance and realized that I had just enough available credit for the tax payment. The credit card company verified that I still had just enough time to make the tax payment before the deadline to freeze the card and lock in the old interest rate – which happened to be two days before the tax payment was due. Needless to say, we paid our tax bill early this year!

As my dear mother would remind you if she could, all your worrying about the future is likely to produce only wasted hours and needless anxiety, while your gratitude leaves you open and receptive to Divine Inspiration. And that is likely to produce some very tangible benefits for your life – perhaps even a lower interest rate!

Your questions and comments are most welcome! Share your thoughts or request a complimentary Practical Prosperity Coaching phone consultation at (888) 503-8145 or caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

Blog 23

The only thing we have to fear is: Fear itself. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

I’m Caroll and I’m a recovering Worrywart.

How about you? How much of your life do you spend (or more accurately, waste) worrying about what might happen in the future? If you are like I am, the answer is: A great deal.

And how many of the big, scary things you have worried about over the course of your life have actually come to pass? Again, if you are like me, the answer is: Not many.

So why do we continue to DO it to ourselves? Why do we spend so much of our precious Now worrying, fearful of what might happen in a future scenario that may never come to pass? (I think of Fear and Worry and Evil Twins. They feed off of each other. We worry that what we fear is actually going to come to pass.)

In his wonderful, eye-opening book Fearless Living: Find the Power to Never Feel Powerless Again, Guy Finley answers that question and tells us what to do to break ourselves of the Fear/Worry habit. He asserts that “hidden within each of us …is a power unmatched in its brilliance…[a] potential diamond of the mind…an immense interior gift: the power to give our attention to what we will – to what enriches and serves us.”

This is another example of what this blog has been discussing from many angles: the Law of Attraction. What we FOCUS on expands. Focusing our thoughts on an idea makes it stronger until we eventually come to believe it. When we truly believe it, we take action based on our belief, which makes our initial thought become REAL in the world. Thoughts held in mind long enough eventually become tangible things. Unfortunately, not all our thoughts are focused things we WISH to manifest; we spend much of our precious time focusing our “immense interior gift” on things we FEAR will manifest. As Finley puts it, “Any time our attention is given to some thought or feeling, it animates that condition: our attention invests what it falls on with a certain kind of life energy.”

Furthermore, as I and my fellow Worrywarts can attest, “Continuing states of stress and sorrow are the result of having mistakenly placed our attention upon what punishes us, stealing from us our happiness as a result…We suffer because we consort with painful thoughts and feelings, thinking somehow not wanting them makes them go away…Not wanting our negative states actually nourishes them!

The two-edged sword of the limitless power of your mind is that it is so inherently creative, it can concoct the most detailed negative scenarios upon which to laser-focus its attention. The irony is that your mind unintentionally gives even MORE power to what it fears the most by making the painful scenario all the more plausibly detailed and vivid — until you almost can’t help but believe what you fear is a very REAL possibility.

One of my clients is a very courageous woman who is working daily to overcome her years-long habit of creating her own panic attacks. She knows consciously that the vivid fears which make her suffer were concocted by her own mind. She doesn’t intentionally try to worry. Yet, once she allows her mind to begin focusing on a negative thought, her fear inevitably runs away with her. The vivid worst-case scenarios of “What if…?”that started with a single thought in her head quickly engage her emotions, causing painful, very real physical sensations – ranging from debilitating headaches to uncontrolled nausea – that then carry her helplessly into a state of extreme anxiety. Once the fear her own mind conjured up has her in its grip, she has no choice but to take that white-knuckle ride for hours or days until the panic attack subsides.

The key here is that she ALLOWS her mind to FOCUS on a negative thought. The mind begins the process of thinking those thoughts all on its own. None of us can stop a random negative thought from suddenly popping into our mind. Finley states, “In moments such as these, our lives and our choices are not our own; they are literally the property of a mind that is asleep to its own operations. Its unique ‘blindness’ is that it’s busy showing itself the very images that it doesn’t want to look at… the more we think, the more we sink!”

Your mind can’t help itself. But YOU can. Whether you choose to ALLOW your mind to CONTINUE the process of focusing in on that negative thought — making it even stronger, constantly adding ever-more vivid fear-inducing details — is up to YOU.

The great news presented in Finley’s book is: You are not your mind. Our saving grace as humans is that we have the ability to stand back from ourselves and observe our thoughts. Therefore, with practice, you can actually train yourself to recognize when you are about to get sucked into that vortex of fear and worry — endlessly pondering the details of painful memories or the vivid horrors of imagined possibilities. And then you can choose to STOP the train and get off!

How do you do that? As many times a day as you can remember to, you first become “awake” to whatever thought is running through your mind. Then you simply take a step back and observe your thoughts instead of living INSIDE them.

For me, that might look something like this: “Hmmmm. I notice that I’m here again, startled awake at 4:00 A.M. by some random unconscious thought or dream. I see that, once again, I am instantly fully awake with a rush of adrenaline and I am hit once again with the recurring thought, What am I going to do about (FILL IN THE WORRY OF THE MOMENT)??? How am I going to solve such a huge problem? What does it mean for my future? What is going to become of me?’”

But because I actually took a step back and NOTICED that I’m having those thoughts, instead of unconsciously ENGAGING with them and getting sucked down into the vortex of Fear/Worry, I can calm myself down by consciously CHOOSING another more empowering thought, such as, “Well, at least I’m OK right here at this moment. I’m safe and warm next to my husband in my comfortable bed. I have nothing to fear right now. And there is nothing I can do at 4:00 A.M. about this issue anyway. I might as well allow myself to relax and fall back asleep, so I’ll be rested and fresh for the day ahead. If I’m rested, I’ll be more likely to think of something creative that will help me solve the problem. So, I guess the best thing I can do right now is just relax and rest. Goodnight!”

I have actually used this technique and it works. In consciously CHOOSING my next thought, I can climb out of the “worry pit” on a ladder of ever-more-positive thoughts strung together, instead of digging myself a deeper hole of Fear with a pick-axe of Worry.

And don’t forget the power of the Law of Attraction in all this! Because emotions are the source of the vibrational energy we emit that attracts to us matching energy from things, people and circumstances in the world “out there,” it is critical to use our consciously-chosen thoughts to shift our emotions and physical response to a more positive vibration.

When I shift my FOCUS to more empowering thoughts, the rush of fear-induced adrenaline subsides and my pounding heart and knotted stomach calm down. I feel in control of my reality once again – knowing that whatever I focus my thoughts and emotions on will inevitably expand. By focusing on what I WANT instead of what I DON’T want to have happen, I am making myself open and receptive to the creative ideas the Universe is trying to send me to answer every challenge in life.

And then, at last, I’m back to claiming and expecting THE BEST – and believing that I am truly going to receive it!

Your questions and comments are most welcome! Share your thoughts or request a complimentary Prosperity phone consultation at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.