by | Nov 13, 2008 | Op/Ed


The handmaiden of worry.

They're both wasted time, and "worry" particularly can get a grip around your soul that cripples.

Nonetheless fear and worry are rampant right now.

I understand.  But I don't have to give in.

Please take the time to read the perceptive essay below written by Betty Mahalik,Life and Leadership Coach.

You'll find the appropriate links to her website and an e-mail address below as well.

Nice stuff, Betty!  Thanks!


November 10, 2008

I've Had It With Fear

I've had it with fear. I'm drawing a line in the sand. I will no longer
be its victim. Perhaps you feel like me.

Over the past two or three months, we have been inundated with all
manner of fear-generating headline stories. The stock market, down 900
points! The world's economy…in the tanker! If this one or that one
gets elected, it's the end of the world!! Add to that list anything
happening in your personal or professional world that rocks your faith:
children, spouse, job security, you name it, it seems we have a
terminal case of anxiety about it. What will we do, what will we do?

Fear's insidious reach seems to extend into every corner of our lives.
The topic in one form or another seems to be on everyone's mind and the
focus of almost every conversation. It's like a virus or a 12-armed
octopus that wraps itself around our good sense, reaching in and
paralyzing us with its tentacles. It's like being in one of those
B-rated foreign films where the 20-foot monster lumbers forward wiping
out everything in its path, while paralyzed humans stand staring and
screaming rather than getting the heck out of Dodge! You get the

Folks, it has been said by those far more eloquent than I: "We have
nothing to fear but fear itself." So what is a rational, creative,
intelligent human being to do in the face of fear
and anxiety run amok? There are several steps that have helped to
sustain me during times of trial, trauma and uncertainty. And I hope
they are useful to you today and in the days and weeks ahead. Here they

1) Decide what is worthy of fear, and what is
fictitious nonsense masquerading as the boogie man. Real fear is caused
when a particular threat (picture train hurtling down the tracks with
your car stalled on them) presents itself. Fictitious fear is: "What if
this or that happens. What if I lose my job or all my customers desert
me?" The list of negative projections can go on ad nauseum. But whether
real or fictitious, we have a choice in the face of fear: To be
immobilized or determine a course of action and get moving. The next
several suggestions come from the latter perspective.

2) Take stock. Make a list of all of your assets and strengths. Consult
with your personal team of experts. Get a true picture of what is going
on in your life and business. This could involve a thorough financial
check-up. If you're in business, take a look at your business plan,
your marketing plan, your results. If it's a health matter, find out
what is really going on with a complete round of tests. If it's
fixable, fix it. If you're obsessing over something you have no control
of, consider it a distraction and go to step three.

3) Create a plan based on the vision of where you see yourself in
two-five years. Make it detailed. Write it down. This single step can
help you shift from overwhelm to clarity and focus almost magically.
There are ample studies to validate this truth: Those who have written
goals and plans consistently succeed. For those who have none, or who
carry them around in their heads (remember they're swimming around in
there with a million doubts, fears and insecurities), the likelihood of
making them happen is much slimmer. And schedule time to review your
vision and plan regularly.

4) Plan activities that take you toward the vision everyday. Don't
confuse a small action with no action. Even if it's a nano-step, it's
still a step. A mentor of mine long ago reminded me that "action
cancels fear." So take one courageous step a day, regardless of its
size toward your dreams and goals. Take responsibility for nurturing
your goals, for providing the proper environment for them to grow in
and above all for acting upon them. The old adage, "inch by inch it's a
cinch; yard by yard it's hard," applies here.

5) Surround yourself with positive, optimistic people. I don't know
about you but right now I want to be around people who are reminding me
that great things are still happening in our world. I want to have
conversations with people who are hopeful about the present and the
future. I want to be around people who bring with them an attitude of
gratitude. As the famous motivational speaker Jim Rohn reminds us,
"Where you will be in five years will largely be determined by the
people you surround yourself with and the information you take in
through reading or other channels." If you don't know any positive,
optimistic people, find a mastermind group to join, or start one
yourself. And at the very least limit your exposure to negaholics,
toxic people and energy vampires.

6) Immerse yourself in books that both inform and inspire, that remind
you of your personal power and capability to face and overcome
challenges. There are several books I turn to again and again to keep
me focused in the midst of chaos. That list includes: The Bible, The Power of Now, One Small Step Can Change Your Life, Happy Yoga, works by Dr. Stephen Covey, and audio programs by a number of inspiring speakers including Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Denis Waitley
and others. These voices of wisdom have stood the test of time, have
weathered the storms of economic and social chaos and downturns. You
have 100% choice over the information you allow into your personal
mental domain. Be choosy friends, very, very choosy.

Develop the habit of inner stillness. Use whatever means reflects your
personal orientation–from contemplative prayer to meditation to walks
in nature to yoga.
You don't have to prescribe to a particular spiritual tradition to find
your path to inner stillness. More than 30 years ago, Dr. Herbert
Benson of Harvard University School of Medicine wrote the best-selling
book, "The Relaxation Response" in which he described both the benefits
and the methods of cultivating the habit of inner stillness. This
single habit alone could transform your mental and emotional state from
chaos to clarity, from fearful to peaceful in a relatively short span
of time. A student in one of my recent public speaking skills classes said it beautifully in this way: "Meditation
is the medication to cure your agitation." Even five minutes a day is
sufficient to begin altering your inner landscape. What do you have to
lose except a lot of fear and phantom anxiety?

8) Remember the famous words of your mother, "This too shall pass."
And the less you resist what is happening in life, the more you embrace
even the rocky places on your path and acknowledge that they may be
bringing you some hidden blessing, the more quickly the difficult
circumstances seem to move on. Interview someone who has been on the
planet for 80+ years; they'll help you put things in perspective.

My readers often write me and say how much they value these weekly
messages. And almost always I thank them and reply with, "I write them
for myself first and hope they are valuable to those reading them."
That is certainly the case this week. And I am hopeful that whatever
challenges you may be facing, whatever fear seems to be nipping at your
heels or looming like that 20-foot monster in front of you that at
least one of the ideas I've shared here will lift you beyond fear's
grip and place you back on the path where you can see that anything is
still possible.

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself." Draw the line in the sand,
say "no" to fear and anxiety and get moving in the direction of your


Quote of the Week:

One evening a wise old Cherokee grandfather told his grandson about a
battle that was going on inside himself. He said, "my grandson, it is
between two wolves. One is evil: Anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed,
arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false
pride, superiority and ego…." The other is good: joy, peace, love,
hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity,
truth, compassion and faith…"

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"

The grandfather simply replied, "The one I feed."

Betty Mahalik – Life & Leadership Coach

Dynamic Solutions – Specializing in Your Success!


"The world is blessed when you do what you do best!"

[email protected]

Copyright 2007 Dynamic Solutions



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