I was reading Fiona’s blog at FM Walsh & Associates where she has most recently posted about good old FEAR. For some reason, reading her take on it, and furthermore, how to counter act it with an action step in spite of it, reminded me of a few things. I think it’s best summarized in the title of Susan Jeffers‘ book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”. The reality is that Fear is an emotion that is brought on by a certain thinking process, whether conscious or subconscious is really not important. What is important, as Fiona notes, is that in a moment of clarity you realize that it is there.
I find often with emotional reactions, for myself, that it is often in retrospect that I realize what’s been going on. As Fiona points out, she had been rationalizing why she hadn’t moved ahead with a certain project, coming up with all kinds of intellectual reasons why, but, not recognizing the lurking, lingering emotional background that was the true cause for not moving forward.
What I think is most interesting about all of this is how we, as humans, often try to out think our emotions and we don’t realize that it’s our emotions that drive our behaviour. Yes, emotions are provoked by thought, but, once you’re experiencing the emotion, you can’t out think it. So, what do you do?
You HAVE to break the cycle. Thoughts drive emotions, emotions drive behaviour, behaviour drives paradigm, paradigm drives thoughts – uh oh! Do you start to see what’s happening? Without even realizing we are in stuck in a cycle or a pattern that is often outside of our own conscious awareness. We don’t ‘think’ about what we’re thinking about, we don’t notice our emotions and how they sabotage us, we behave in the same habitual way day in and day out and we wonder why we don’t get different results in our life?
So, back to the solution and back to “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”. The title of the book is a great example of how you can jolt yourself out of this pattern. Even though you feel the emotion of fear, if you act in spite of it, as Fiona did, in that moment the emotion has lost control over your behaviour. And therefore, you have changed the dance. Your new behaviour will yield you a different result. (paradigm) The different result will allow you to think differently. Your new thinking will yield a different emotion (since you will no longer be afraid) and your behaviour will no longer be controlled by that emotion.