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:

Core Negative Feelings.  Study this list:

a failure
a disappointment
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
blaming x
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
drinking too much
whining x
exercise addict
being promiscuous
arguing with anyone about anything
name calling
lying and pretending
putting other people down
suicidal thoughts or attempts
crying uncontrollably
physical abuse to yourself
negative self-talk
comparing self to others x
high blood pressure
verbal abuse to yourself or others
making a preemptive strike on others
being irresponsible
perfectionism x
making excuses or complaining x
endless daydreaming
hating yourself
intentional sleep deprivation

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
negative attitude
apologizing for everything
taking everything personally
being manipulative
making jokes about yourself
shutting down
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
shutting down

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.

-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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