negotiating fearlessness

I had a moment earlier where I just felt really proud of myself and very good about the changes I’ve been making to my life.  2013 started out rather annoying, in kind of a bland/beside the point way.  And then, I just kind of got fed up and decided that I wasn’t going to tolerate certain things anymore.  And then I got busy.  I’m feeling excited and optimistic.  I feel my energy and enthusiasm returning.  It’s nice.

I know that a lot of the reason I’m feeling stronger is because I’m changing.  So, in that vein, I’m going to try–every day–to work a little on myself.  I’ve been a big fan of Rhonda Britten for a while now, and I’ve decided to tackle some of the exercises from her book (Fearless Living) every day.  I’ve done this a little in the past, on my other blog, and found it pretty helpful.  Feel free to do these yourself and–if you’re feeling brave–leave them in the comment section.  🙂  My answers are italicized.

__________________________________

Exercise 1: Core fear trigger.  Study the following list:

1. selfish
2 stupid
3 weak
4 incompetent
5 ordinary
6 a loser
7 a fake
8 lazy
9 invisible
10 rejected

Pick one word that gives you the most intense reaction when you put it in the following sentence:

If someone I love, respect, or admire thought I were ____, I would be devastated.
pick 5, then 3, then 1

My five:
stupid, lazy, selfish, a loser, a fake

My three:
stupid, lazy, selfish

My one:
stupid

Core Negative Feelings.  Study this list:

a failure
unlovable
a disappointment
worthless
helpless
foolish
inadequate
insignificant
an outcast
damaged goods

If the people I care about really thought I was previous trigger____, I would feel as though I were _____.

If the people I care about really thought I was stupid, I would feel as though I were insignificant.

Go down the following list and put a check mark next to everything you do to avoid your trigger. Go down again and place an X next to anything you do to stop the emotional pain when your core feeling kicks in.

being a people pleaser x
isolating
blaming x
compromising
shopaholism
negative attitude x
sleeping too much
procrastination x
apologizing for everything x
moving to get away from problems
taking everything personally x
being manipulative x
staying online until 3 am
surfing channels on the tv until all hours
giving up
doing drugs
bulimia or anorexia
kicking the cat/dog
making jokes about yourself x
workaholism x
shutting down x
emotional drama junkie
self-pity
drinking too much
whining x
exercise addict
being promiscuous
arguing with anyone about anything
escapism
name calling
gambling
lying and pretending
cheating
shoplifting
smoking
putting other people down
insomnia
suicidal thoughts or attempts
crying uncontrollably
physical abuse to yourself
negative self-talk
comparing self to others x
constipation/diarrhea
headaches/migraines
stomachaches
high blood pressure
verbal abuse to yourself or others
making a preemptive strike on others
being irresponsible
overeating
perfectionism x
making excuses or complaining x
endless daydreaming
hating yourself
intentional sleep deprivation
heartburn

Now, fill in the following:

1. When I want to avoid the thought that I am ____ (trigger), I do the following (check marked items only):

being a people pleaser
blaming
negative attitude
procrastination
apologizing for everything
taking everything personally
being manipulative
making jokes about yourself
workaholism
shutting down
whining
comparing self to others
making excuses or complaining

2. When I want to get rid of my core negative feeling that I am ____, I do the following: items with X only

being a people pleaser
apologizing for eerything
taking everything personally
giving up
workaholism
shutting down
self-pity
perfectionism

Your Wheel of Fear:

When I want to avoid having people think I’m ___ (trigger), I react by ____ (checked responses). When that doesn’t work and I end up feeling ____ (core neg feeling), then I ____ (X responses).

When I want to avoid having people think I’m stupid, I react by being a people pleaser, blaming, having a negative attitude, procrastinating, apologizing for everything, taking everything personally, being manipulative, making jokes about myself, being a workaholic, shutting down, whining, comparing myself to others, and making excuses/complaining.  When that doesn’t work and I end up feeling insignificant, I am a people pleaser, apologize for everything, take everything personally, give up, become a workaholic, shut down, self-pity, and become a perfectionist.

FEARBUSTER EXERCISE:
-Define the words you chose for your trigger thought and your core feeling.

stupid: dull, wrong, inherently less than, dumb, untalented, average, apathetic, unworthy, different
insignificant: invisible, unworthy, uninteresting, inconsequential, worthless, alone, doesn’t matter, doesn’t fit in, ignored, burdensome, a waste of time/space

-Keep track of the symptoms you experience on a daily basis.
-Write down your wheel of fear and put it somewhere you see every day.

-If I mastered my Wheel of Fear, the following would be possible for me regarding

MY CAREER–closer relationships with my peers, more self-confidence, more openness to learning, ability to learn more from tough lessons, more honest feedback, ability to be a person who needs balance and gets her needs met
MY INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS–greater vulnerability, less conflict, less neediness
MY FINANCES–less shame, less stress
MY HEALTH/WELL-BEING–increased health, less shame, less guilt, a better sense of balance
MY SOCIAL LIFE/FRIENDS–more vulnerability, more support, less sniping, people would know me
MY FAMILY–an opportunity to heal
MY SPIRITUALITY–more ability to engage in experimentation and curiosity
MY INTELLECT/KNOWLEDGE–less pressure, more comfort
MY EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT–maturity, less rebelliousness
MY HOME/LIVING SPACE–more things that bring me joy, more authenticity and peace
MY CREATIVITY–more experimentation, more vulnerability

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