Managing your fear

This is an amazing week.  I can hardly believe what is happening.

  1. Last Friday I made a major presentation concerning Lifewriting, and it was an overwhelming success.
  2. Our TV movie is still in play.  WOW things take a long time!
  3. I head to Orycon Thursday, and while there will host a party and  Webinar launching my first self-published self-help book, designed specifically for SF fans.  Yes, it is the one I’ve been hinting about.  Yes, you’re gonna love it, and yes, you’ll be invited to the party!
  4. I’m partnering with one of the master instructors on Creative Screenwriting magazine, Art Holcomb, to create a serious no-nonsense series of videos specific to screenwriters.   The man is brilliant, and I cannot wait!
  5. Working with Larry and Jerry tomorrow on the final(?) book in the Avalon series, and it’s finally percolating!! Yaaaay!!

There’s more, but my brain is sizzling just juggling this.  Major success, tons of work to do, huge amounts to be grateful for.

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One of the reasons that people are afraid to hope, to dream, to “put it out there” is that the higher your hopes, the deeper the potential fall.   Better to play it emotionally safe.

And the cost for that is never achieving to your limits.  Never finding out who you really are, or could have been had you not let fear stop you.    I KNEW that working that edge would risk sanity, relationships, and health.  Saw that clearly in 1979 in “All That Jazz” (to this day, before a big event or presentation, I’ll look in the mirror with “Jazz Fingers” and say “Showtime!”)

In that movie, Bob Fosse’s avatar was addicted to sex, drugs, and musical theater, and literally lost everything in the drive to chase some dream of himself.  He lost all contact with the things that were actually most important in life.

Every time I go into the pressure cooker, I know that any outcome that could be exhilarating will also have the potential for depression. The “Hero’s Journey” says that it is impossible to move from one phase of your life to another without facing the Dark Night of the Soul.  So the smart thing to do is to, BEFORE YOU BEGIN, get your resources in line.

No, this is not “failure thinking”.  It is being realistic: you will be tested to the limit.  Period.  I KNEW this could happen to me, and it did.  I made a presentation, did the very best that I could, and although the crowd cheered and I got more positive feedback and requests for contact than I could juggle (it will take me WEEKS to sort it all out!) because I didn’t get a 100% perfect result, I felt depression.   A week before the event I was nervous enough to puke.   But during the event itself all I felt was energy, and aliveness.  And I “processed” through the negative emotions within a day.  But my family, friends and business associates ALL felt some of it…but you know what?  I had a “web” of resource both deep and wide, and as a result took one day to lay low, one day to rebuild and recenter,  hit the ground running Monday, and everything is great!

 

Here is the way the Hero’s Journey impacted all that happened.

  1. Confronted with challenge–given the opportunity to make a presentation to genuine experts in this new marketing arena I am committed to mastering.
  2. Reject challenge–I felt fear, and a sense of insecurity.  The time frame for application was too short, I wasn’t ready…but no.   I have a rule: “If I am afraid, and the worst case scenario wouldn’t kill or cripple me, then that is probably a door to growth!”
  3. Accept challenge–I recorded a video of myself making a presentation of my product.  And was chosen!  Oh-oh!!
  4. Road of trials–I had to plan out the time and path to making a two-minute presentation to this group of “Sharks” with million-dollar lists of contacts.  Had to be sure I had all my stats in hand, all my testimonials, was sure of everything I was saying, and was 100% honest and present.  If I could do all of that, then no matter what happened, I could be proud of myself, and the sheer experience alone would move my life and career forward.  I used the “Secret Formula”, “Ancient Child” and “Morning Ritual” EVERY morning, as usual, but with a little extra “oomph”–this was the real thing. Not a dress rehearsal.
  5. Allies and Powers.   I needed clarity, courage, energy, creativity…and luckily, I’ve spent my entire life developing those characteristics. So…I could do it if I could “show up” without filters or ego.   To do this, I spoke to carefully chosen friends and associates about the situation, about ten of them.  Most responded as I hoped they would: with encouragement, support, statements of belief, powerful observations, advice, and love.  They were my tribe. Given that, I could believe that I belonged on that stage.
  6. Confront Evil–defeated.    I cycled through fear multiple times, but the morning the day BEFORE the event was the worst.   Crying in the shower time.  But…
  7. Dark Night of the Soul.  I could clearly hear the little boy inside me wailing in misery.  He wasn’t smart enough, tough enough, experienced enough….
  8. Leap of Faith–but this is actually a strength for me.  I will do ANYTHING for my family.  My “little boy” self is the “seed” of my love for my son and daughter and wife and sister.  That meant that if I could be honest enough to admit my terror, what I encountered was the reality of love.   I can fight for my family. And because I know that my intent is to create one million awake, aware, adult human beings, I also know that I must lead the way.  The easiest way to do that is to connect with a sacred intention.   Would I die to bring this to the world?  Yes, I would. And that gives me permission to go all-out.  And death brings things into perspective.  Was this death? Heck no.  Worst that could happen is everyone in the room laughing at me.   Bring it on.
  9. Confront evil-succeed. Again, the “evil” is the weakness and fear within me. Not really evil, just a twisted ego-survival drive.  The people in the room were wonderful and warm. The experts judging my presentation were sharp as razors…but also open-hearted, sincere and honest.   I did my absolute best, and the rest was in the lap of the gods.  I now have a stack of contact info from people who want to work with me…and it is an incredible blessing indeed!
  10. Student becomes the teacher.   Now I get to share my class with far more people.  And creating awakened writers is a step toward that million-person goal.  And I’ve had another test of the “Secret Formula”, allowing me to share greater truth with the world (Goals X Faith X Action X Gratitude = Results, remember?).  And I’ve been welcomed into a new community with vast stores of knowledge and resource, wonderful men and women seeking to express themselves as creative entrepreneurs in this new global economy.  And just as they have many things I lack, I have gifts and knowledge that will be of use to them.  Value for value exchange is a wonderful thing.   Life it good.

 

See how this pattern works?  You know IN ADVANCE the resources you will need to move to the next level.  Once you have applied it maybe ten times, you will develop an instinctive sense of how this works (what I’ve called I.D.E.A.–Instinctive Designation of Energy and Attention).   And you can begin to just “surf” the stress wave. Up and down, yes. Laughter and tears, yes. But you are “on the rails” the whole time, and never crash and burn.

 

Namaste

Steve

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