I had chosen my theme for this October newsletter back in August. It was so obvious, October is the month of Halloween; with ghost and goblins, I would write about Fear. Piece of cake (or should I say candy), right?
Funny thing about fear; it shows up in lots of ways big and small and all of a sudden I was afraid that what I had to say about fear really was not good enough to share. After all I am not an expert in fear. So I thought I better see if I can come up with another topic.
In my search for my new idea a ghost found me and shared this;
"You must do the thing you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt
There it was; fear. My barrier to writing on this topic was the common fear within every one of us: the inner critic.
Come on then, don't be afraid, let's explore this particular fear a bit further. My work with the Institue for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) taught me that fear is the emotion that feeds an energy block to taking action. If you're not achieving what you want it could be time to introduce yourself to your "gremlin". You know that little voice in your head? The voice you hear that tells you not to try, never to take a risk, always to take the safe road, and to compromise your life by playing small. That's your gremlin, and the message from your gremlin's warnings is that you're just not good enough to reach the summit of success.
Your gremlin is highly personal and your gremlin thrives on fear. When you hear its whispers, your motivation to try withers. You dread failing, feeling pain, and being embarrassed. You can even be scared of succeeding if the gremlin convinces you that you'll fail eventually.
Do you ever hear any of these statements from your own inner critic?
- I'm not effective.
- Who am I kidding, here?
- I'm not smart enough to really do this job right.
- I don't have enough experience.
- They are going to find out I am a phony.
It all comes back to a simple and quite vicious block of: "I'm just not good enough. "
As I worked on this message and brought thoughts together my gremlin sat beside me checking my work. So, at the end of the day I saved my draft and said goodnight to my gremlin.
That is when ghost # 2 found me and reminded me that;
"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." Marie Curie
Exactly! Through my work in Energy Leadership™ I have come to know that being aware of your gremlin is the first step towards lessening its power. Once you realize that your gremlin exists, give it an identity. In doing this, you discover that the gremlin is only a part of who you are, not your whole identity. By seeing it in objective terms you begin to gain understanding and you sap some of its strength. We don't need to let go of our gremlin, we just need to change our relationship to it.
As I have continued my journey of awareness and understanding I have found some additional insight in the work by author Alan Seale. In addressing fear Seale shares this; "Talk to your fear with your inner eyes and ears open, with your heart open, with courage flowing freely, and begin to see through it." and "Our desire is to not destroy the fear, but to understand its nature, honor it and begin to fill it with Love."
When our gremlin; our inner critic, brings forth the emotion of fear; timidity, want of confidence, apprehensiveness, dread or anxiety, how to we move to action?
The english word for courage comes from the french word for heart. I beleive in our moments of fear this is the time that we must return to our most authentic self, to our brave heart. Your courage is there, just below the surface.
A friend recently shared with me that "Action beats Anxiety", saying when she acts; just taking the first step, her fear begins to diminish. Yes! You already have the courage...it is something you get in touch with. Do not worry about feeling courageous at first, just do the next right thing and in that act the courage for it will be there. Show your gremlin your heart and desire. Let your gremlin feel the love of your action. Bring that new feeling to the next feared activity that is just in front of you.
Remember that first Ghost? Well, listen again -
"We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot." Eleanor Roosevelt
Fear or Freedom?
I believe in the power of Play and its ability to bring forward challenge in a fun and creative way. So try this; have fun this Halloween and invite your fear, your inner critic, your "gremlin" to join you.
- Dress up as your Gremlin
- Carve a pumpkin with the scary face of your fear
Once you have introduced yourself to your fear you may want to explore further. Gremlin work can be quite involved and is most effective when you are guided by a certified coach. The Energy Leadership process will allow you to examine this and other energy blocks in your life that are holding you back from reaching your unlimited potential. If you'd like more of an explanation of Energy Leadership coaching set up a complimentary consultation and let's Jump In together.