I am afraid to take the first step. Fear entered my very bones as soon as I spoke the words out loud. “Oh my gosh what am I doing,” ran through my mind like a tornado in mid-summer. My self-confidence evaporated like raindrops on hot pavement.
The lies my mind told me were: FIGHT, FLIGHT, or FREEZE thoughts entered my mind.
Here is what my mind did for me as I put myself at risk. And telling people I am writing a book feels pretty risky:
- Fight: A battle began to emerge in my mind with reasons. Reason and more reasons of why? Why not? Should or shouldn’t? Don’t tell me! A huffy side came out as to keep people from approaching me with questions about writing a book. Prickly is what I felt my mood become.
- Flight: I immediately had the idea I could run away from the fear and anxiety. I could move to another city. Maybe another country. Change my name or change careers. Distance is what I thought I could created. At least that was what my mind dreamed up as a solution.
- Freeze: My favorite response. Don’t do anything. Paralyzed procrastination. Tomorrow was my mantra I’ll start. (still is on some days).
This is what minds do when we are afraid or anxious. Minds are doing their job to keep us safe. Sometimes too safe and life becomes small and our choices restricted. We are hard wire for survival and fight, flight or freeze is part of survival response the minds tells us to do automatically. We can experience fear of a physical threat or fear of a task or change.
Do you need to believe your mind when you are afraid or anxious? Can you make a different choice other than let your mind tell you what to do? Of course you can make choices outside of what your thoughts are telling you. You can still have fear and anxiety and have choice in how to act. However, don’t take my word for it.
See for yourself. Ask yourself, “Can you get up and go to work when your mind’s thoughts say, ‘Stay in bed, I’m tired or depressed?” I’ll bet you still go to work even when your mind says just the opposite.
What to do? How can you go beyond the fight, flight or freeze behavior? I am going to research this and give you the results with the next post. If you have any ideas I would love to hear from you.
(c) Brenda Bomgardner, MA, NCC, BCC 2012