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Fear Part II: Each of us is Worthy

Wiley Coyote

No matter how many times I do The Work, I’m still in loving awe of the wounds that continue to surface and be released. In the words of Lloyd Dobins, “Continual improvement is an unending journey.” I will not stop seeking spiritual growth because the freedom it brings is so delicious.

Most recently, I’ve been working on my fear of public speaking, which was born from an incident on a stage where my mind was wiped clean of all thought and my tongue disabled. Since that Spring of 1997, any time I was called on to speak in front of more than a couple strangers, I felt fear.

My heart rate drummed like pounding rain, my palms would sweat, my tongue would feel like sand, and the words I searched for would swirl around evasively in my mind. Most often, I would write down what I wanted to say before I ever spoke…practicing it over and over again in my mind, and then repeating verbatim when the time came.

The more this happened, the more reinforced my fear became until it was a belief that my brain and body would betray me.

At first, I uncovered and dissolved this limiting belief by turning it on it’s axis and realizing that it sabotaged me from going down a path that wasn’t my calling. It actually saved me. Had my time on stage worked out, I might be an actress or a news anchor. That’s not my intended path.

Yet, the public speaking fear continued to grip my heart like vice clamps.

The real culprit was worthiness. Resistance was using my fear of not proving worthy enough. Who wants to listen to me? What do I have to say that is of importance? My words are not worth people’s time.

Aha! There you are, you sneaky little painful thoughts!

Thanks to a very dear friend and fellow coach, we looked at this silly – yet paralyzing – belief group and found plenty of proof to the opposite.

I am worthy of people’s time and attention. What I have to share has value. My story and my experience is mine and mine alone. No one before me and no one after me has lived my life. While there may be some commonalities, for sure, it is uniquely mine. AND SO ARE YOU AND YOURS!

On a call with Martha Beck, she shared, “There are only about five stories ever told across all time, and still we all want more. We want to hear it over and over again.”

Think about it. The best-selling books, blockbuster movies and Tony-Award winning musicals are all the same stories about the same struggles with the same archetypes told in different ways, with different backdrops, characters and voices. Yet we still can’t get enough of them. And we continue to create more in unique and innovative ways.

What I have to say may not be for everyone, and I actually prefer to reach only those who need to hear it. And it may not be life changing. Yet planting seeds is still a necessary step before ever picking fruit.

Each one of us is worthy.

What story do you have to share?

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Memory is Unlimited, but Storage is Costly

Jennifer Bauer taking photos in Yosemite

With the introduction of digital cameras, photo storage changed from space-consuming boxes of film to a computer’s hard drive. All of a sudden, we were not limited by the amount of film cartons we could carry because memory cards were small, lightweight, cheap and could be used repeatedly after downloading.

Rather than conserving shots, we can take as many as our fingers are capable of and now have the ability to experiment more abundantly with camera settings.

I love how this has lent me ample space to learn and grow my photographic skills. Yet, because I take so many photos now, storage is costly.

On my first trip to Africa, between my husband and I, we had 20,000 photos. It took us more than six months to go through them all, select ones we liked, post-process and then de-select so that we didn’t overwhelm our poor family members who had to endure the picture show and tell of our honeymoon.

That’s just one trip. And we travel – a lot.

You know what we don’t spend time doing? Deleting the terrible pictures. Like somehow, someday we’ll need them or regret not having them.

This got me thinking how this relates to our own mental state…our own personal memories that we hold onto.

Making memories is easy and unlimited. Storage is costly when it’s mostly made up of junk.

As a life coach, it’s my business to help clients release stored up junk. We do this by recognizing that they have a choice in whether to keep their painful stories or not.

The first step is questioning its truth. Then, I ask them probing questions to uncover the large cost of the thought on their mental and emotional health, behavior, relationships, and even the relationship they have with themselves.

Once they feel and understand the true cost, we explore what might be different without it. If they were to delete the junk photos of their past and future fears that are emblazoned on their mind, how would their behavior, emotions and interactions be different?

Oh the freedom found here!

Then we look for alternate truths…alternate photos that they hadn’t looked at before.

And like a reverse Polaroid, the belief dissolves. The memory has been released from storage.

It’s a beautiful process, if you’re open to exploring it. If not, there’s always storage in the cloud. How much are you willing to pay to keep the junk photos?

If you’re curious about how Byron Katie’s The Work™ can help you dissolve your limiting beliefs, let’s talk!