As I looked back though my personal journal this week, I found an entry from a time I was trying hard to overcome some fears in my life. As I read the words, they spoke to my heart and reminded me how to keep fear and control in proper perspective so they don’t completely consume, overtake and leave me feeling trapped.
In life, I notice things going off course or not going my way whenever we judge our circumstances, outcomes or people harshly. When those things don’t go the way we think they should, we then enter into a state of fear and in turn we attempt to force control over the given situation. I see fear and control as the trappings of our mind that create to feel of quicksand. The more we struggle and fight with the quicksand the faster and deeper into the trap we go. Notice the cycle. The more we judge the situation, person or outcome harshly the more we feel we must control. The more it doesn’t bow down to our control or turn out the way we want, the greater the fear. When fear enters the picture, we feel trapped and try even harder to control the situation. We think forceful control will somehow get us out of the state we find ourselves. But more often than not, we only discover that fear turning into panic and then becomes all-consuming. HMMMM, something seems really off about the logic here.
If I continue doing the very thing sinking me farther into the trap, what can I expect?
Here is where a personal coaching strategy comes in. If you can catch yourself in the judgement phase great. This is one of the earliest places we can step out of the quicksand with little damage done. For some of us, yes, I am included; we still need to go into the fear trap a little deeper before we catch ourselves. Wherever you catch yourself in the cycle is perfectly fine. Noticing you are in a cycle to begin with is a giant leap and gets you more than half way out. This is the point where you finally stop fighting and struggling and become still enough to see what is truly happening.
Standing still in the midst of our judgement or panic and fear may seem counter intuitive, but it is the best step to getting out of the fear cycle. Just like when you find yourself in quicksand. The minute you get still and stop struggling to get out of it, is the same minute you stop yourself from sinking farther in. When we slow down, we wisely and strategically make moves necessary to free ourselves from our perceived troubles and fears. The act of slowing down allows you to see the truth of what is happening around and inside of you. Once you identify the truth of the situation or expose the trappings in your mind, you can begin save yourself from the trap.
Once you have slowed down, exposed the lies and identified the truth, the rest is easy. All the other stuff was just a distraction, like a blindfold over your eyes keeping you from seeing where to go next. With fresh eyes and a clear perspective you are able to see and accept where you are right now. You have slowed down enough to do a true assessment of the situation and begin to make the most important moves that will give you the greatest progress.
Here is a bullet point version for your personal coaching moments:
- Notice you are in a cycle of judgement, control and/or fear
- Slow down – Stop fighting and struggling
- Stand still for a moment – Know that you are alright, see that fear cannot overtake you
- Expose the lies in the trap (perceived troubles and fears)
- Accept where you are
- See the truth
- Make the next most important move
My wish for you is to take this out for a test drive this week and let me know how it plays out in your life, work and even in your relationships.
Have a wonderful week.