08 Jan Year of No Fear with Mitch Matthews
Well, hello and welcome to episode 209 of Dream, Think, Do. And welcome to 2019, as well. This is the first episode of the New Year, and so excited to be back with you. I gotta tell you I’m excited about this particular episode. I’m excited about this year. We’re going to declare something in this episode. And I want to invite you in on this. I want to declare 2019 as the year of no fear. How does that sound? The year of no fear. I know that’s a bold statement. That might be crazy. You guys know that if you’re a long time Dream, Think, Doer you know that I am a recovering worrier. That’s right. I have dealt with worry much of my life. I have not perfected it, I’ve not completely overcome it, but I am better today than I was yesterday, and I’m going to be better tomorrow than I was today.
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I think we need to draw a line in the sand and say, if fear is holding you back in any way, I want to say this is the year we bust through that together. I hope you’re with me on this. Here’s the thing, if you don’t deal with worry, God bless you. That’s fantastic. Maybe you don’t need this episode, maybe you should just listen to this episode for those other people in the world, because there’s plenty of them. I can tell you that the stats show that we get nailed by worry a lot. A lot of people get worried, a lot. They get hit by it. In fact, 72% of the American population, the workforce in America, says they’re impacted by worry. 70%, the last was 72 … 70% say that they lost sleep due to worry. 82%, get this, 82% of primary care visits are stress and worry related in the United States. How crazy is that? I just gave you something new to worry about. How about that?
Here’s the thing is that I know for a fact that fear, in the past at least, has held me back. I know, with talking to so many different people about going after their dreams. Dreams that people are passionate about, people are excited about, all of that. I’ve seen fear kill more dreams before they get started, but also as they’re launching, as they start to actually have success. I’ve seen fear sneak in, and steal it. Either shut down the dream or steal away the joy. I’ve experienced it myself. I’ve seen it in others. And I’ve just decided, you know what, as Dream, Think, Doers, I want to make 2019 the year of no fear. We’re not going to do this perfectly, but just think about it. Just think of a year where we are beating back fear with a stick. Specifically worry, right. We are going to be able to go past, blast past worry.
I hope you join me in on this. In this particular episode, what we’re going to do is we’re going to go after renewing your mind. Renewing your thinking. Specifically, we’re going to go after three things in your brain. Three key components in your brain that deal with worry. We’re gonna give you some tools, some specific things to be able to redirect that thinking. What we’re going to do is periodically, it’s not going to be the whole season, or the whole year, we’re going to come back to his. We’re going to revisit different strategies for overcoming worry. To live in joy. To live in creativity. To be innovative. To be in the moment. To have our best thinking, our best lives, all of that. Are you in? I hope so.
Today, we’re going to get specific. We’re going after the brain. We’re going after thinking. Just know that this is the beginning of something big. I’m excited you’re still here. I assume since we’re still talking that you’re in, so join me here. One other thing that I want to speak to as we’re going after worry, quick, just again, beat it over the head a little bit. Is that some crazy data came out recently on the subject of worry. This just ticked me off, all the more. It’s just one more reason why we’re going after this. A recent study looked at, basically people who said they worried. What they did is they had them journal, document the things they were actually worried about, over the course of time. A shocking thing, actually not so shocking, wasn’t surprising at all, but offensive. All right? Came out of that subject, and the study was by Robert Leahy, PhD. It was spoken to actually out of the book The Worry Cure. Recently looking at it, actually the author of that book, The Worry Cure, Robert Leahy, PhD.
Here’s the thing, the data was interesting in that. Had all these people journaling the things that they were worried about. What they did, then they also looked back retrospectively and said, “Okay, of those things that you worried about, how many of those things actually came to pass? How many of those things actually played out?” The shocking, not so shocking data … It would be interesting to hear what you think. I would love to hear from you on what you think. Are you surprised by this or not surprised by this? Basically, what they found was 85%, 85% of the things that people were worried about, never actually happened. Crazy, right? 85%. Then, get this, the 15% that did actually happen, they dug into that a little bit, and found that 79% of the subjects that discovered that they had worried about something and it came to pass, 79% of them actually said they were better suited to handle the situation than they thought they were, and/or they actually felt that they were better off having gone through the difficulty. What?
That’s amazing, right? And it’s one of those things that helps to guide us to where we’re headed with the brain, because what’s crazy about this is what that points to is that worry, one, doesn’t work. If you found that worry was only … If you, a doctor gave you a medication. Let’s say you had a problem, and the doctor said, “Here’s a medication, I’d like you try it.” “Okay, doctor. How effective is it?” And if the doctor said, “It’s 90% effective.” You’ll probably be like, “Heck yeah, I’ll take that.” If the doctor says, “Here’s this pill, I want you to take it.” And the doctor said, “It only works 15% of the time.” Would you fill that prescription? I can tell you, I certainly wouldn’t. Are you kidding me? Something is only 15%. Let’s say a kid takes a test, right, and they get 15% right. That’s not an F, that’s like an F++. That sucks, for crying out loud. That does not work. What’s also, I think, interesting about that and a lot of other data, basically points to the fact that worry … And this was offensive when I first realized it, understood it, comprehended it, but worry is actually a learned behavior.
We’ve talked about this a little bit in the past. That is offensive to think that worry, which does not necessarily feel like we choose it. We don’t wake up in the morning and say, “You know what? I’m gonna take a heaping dose of worry today. That’s what’s going to make today great.” It doesn’t feel like we’re choosing it. But we’ve learned to do it. We don’t naturally do it. Babies don’t naturally worry. We learn to do it. Some people are more sensitive to it, some people have more of a natural proclivity to worry. But, worry is a learned behavior. The good news, it’s offensive, ticks me off, but the good news with that is that if it means we’ve learned it, that means we can unlearn it. And that’s the good news. And that’s why we’re going after the brain, because our math can. Our brain is where we’re processing all this stuff. If it means that our brain has learned a certain pattern, a certain way of doing things, we see something and it triggers us to worry, then the worry program starts happening in our brain. We need to reroute this thinking. We need to renew this thinking.
I’ve personally found that if you understand some of the mechanisms that are actually happening in your brain, that actually helps you to start redirecting it. This is just going to be one of the strategies we talk about throughout the year, but I think this is going to help. We’re going to do a little brain science, but it’s with me, so we’re going to have fun. We’re going to meld some creativity with the science of it. Really, when we start to think about the brain, there’s three main players when it comes to worry in the brain. We’re gonna get into the science, the scientific names, all that. The medical names, but what I want you to do, is I want you to think about these three parts. One being the bodyguard, the next being the project manager, and the third being the boss. If you only remember those things, you don’t necessarily have to remember the medical terms if you don’t want to. Just remember the bodyguard. The project manager. And the boss.
Let’s break these things down and then we’ll relate them back to how it plays into worry. First I mentioned the bodyguard, and that is the amygdala. The amygdala is about an almond sized little shape in your brain, towards the front. I like to label that your bodyguard. It basically functions as your internal bodyguard. I don’t know, maybe you have had a season in your life, maybe you’re so famous that you have a bodyguard. Or maybe you’ve seen bodyguards around politicians, or maybe you’ve seen politicians around celebrities. And you know the basics. Or maybe you saw the Kevin Costner – Whitney Houston movie. You’re very familiar with the bodyguard. I’m not going to sing any of Whitney’s song, but I could, but you wouldn’t keep listening, so I won’t. You know how the bodyguard works. One of my favorite bodyguard stories is that of Charles ‘Big Chick’ Huntsberry.
Charles ‘Big Chick’ Huntsberry. He just went by ‘Big Chick’ and he was about seven feet tall, and just under 400 pounds. If I’m understanding it correctly, a huge man. He was actually, as Prince started to emerge on the scene … God bless Prince. May he rest in peace. When Prince started to blast onto the scene, if you were around during that time, you know he went from being unheard of to all of a sudden household name, skyrocket. If you knew Prince, if you appreciated his art, his music, all of that, that’s fantastic. Also, he was a thing to behold. He was a little man. A wee little man, about four feet or something. Wore high heels just to get him a little bit more loft, pouffed up the hair to get him a little bit more loft. An amazing musician. An amazing artist. Apparently, pretty shy. Going from obscurity to being a household name in just, what seemed like no time at all, made it so that he needed the best of the best when it comes to bodyguards. That, at the time, was Charles ‘Big Chick’ Huntsberry.
Why he went by ‘Big Chick’ nobody seems to know, but when you’re almost 400 pounds, and almost seven feet, you can call yourself whatever you want. ‘Big Chick’ former law enforcement, very good at his job. He was all about it. All about keeping Prince, and many of his other clients, safe. ‘Big Chick’ would walk into a room, scan the room, look for any dangers, and be able to call those things out. Be able to address those things. He would either remove those dangers, address those dangers, or remove Prince from the situation. He would scan a schedule for the day and start to assess any risks. Okay, this event is going to involve a lot of people, that’s high risk. I’m going to dive into that a little bit. This situation he’s going to be at home, but I’m going to be checking the home security, all of those things. He was a professional. He was a bodyguard.
He knew what he was doing, and his job was to keep Prince safe. Now, he was so big, Prince was so small, that apparently ‘Big Chick’ was also known, if things got really hairy, if things got a little scary or what not, he was able to tuck Prince under his arm like a football and carry him out of any dangerous situations. I just love that mental picture. Absolutely amazing. Now, ‘Big Chick’ was the ultimate bodyguard. And that is your amygdala. At least that’s how your amygdala sees itself. Your amygdala is constantly scanning your world to look for danger. It’s highly tuned. It’s highly tuned. And an amazing, an amazing function of your brain. It’s the thing that will, as you’re walking down a street at night, you might realize that coming up there is a dark alley off to my left hand side, so I am going to cross the street because I recognize the fact that that alley represents danger, so I’m going to move across the street to avoid that danger. It’s the thing that keeps you aware while you’re driving on the interstate and you see somebody swerving because they’re texting while they’re driving.
Your amygdala goes on high alert going, “I need to speed up. I need to slow down. I need to move to the side. I need to give them room. I need to get around them.” Whatever it is, your bodyguards on high alert. It’s also the thing that tends to scan, let’s say you get to your office in the morning, you take a look at your schedule and you realize you’ve got a meeting at 10 AM that involves that jackweed in the office that’s just being difficult to work with. I’m sure you don’t have any jackweeds at your office, but maybe you did at the last one. But you know what I’m talking about. Your amygdala goes on high alert, the bodyguard steps in going, “Jackweed alert. You need to be aware.” I need to get prepared for that. I need to do things to circumvent risk.
Now, it’s a beautiful part of your brain. It’s a beautiful function of your brain. It’s the very thing, that if we were living on the plains of the Serengeti, it’s the kind of thing that would keep us alive and alert to watch out for lions, tigers, and bears. Oh my. And that’s fantastic. The challenge is, that most of us do not in fact live on the plains of the Serengeti, we are not needing to outrun bears, and lions, and tigers. Thank you, Lord, for that. But, your amygdala is highly tuned, but not in fact all that good at determining what is real, and what is imagined, when it comes to danger. And so when your amygdala sees a potential danger, and whether that’s a dark alley, or the jackweed on your schedule, it sees the same level of danger and responds that way because of it.
Here’s the thing on this, is what we need to be able to do is we need to be able to coach our amygdala. Your amygdala is on high alert, and what can often, if the amygdala sees something it can ping it. It’s one of those things it can trigger a fear response. We need to be better at controlling that. Addressing it. Dealing with it. Now, what I need to do is introduce the other players in the brain before we start to talk too much about that, so let’s move onto the next player.
The next player is the project manager, and that is the basal ganglia. Now, that’s the bigger chunk in the mid-brain, in the middle of the brain. And the basal ganglia is absolutely amazing as well. The basal ganglia does a ton of different things in your body, but the reason I call it a project manager is that your basal ganglia is constantly on the look out for systems. It’s constantly trying to make your brain more efficient and effective so that it can devote more energy, your brain can devote more energy to the important things that might call for creativity, solutions, all of that. I’ll give you an example. It’s constantly looking for ways to systematize things.
My guess is, as an example, your bedtime routine. I’m guessing that your bedtime routine is something where your project manager, your basal ganglia steps in and says, “I got this.” I’m guessing that most of the things you do are probably in a pretty cohesive and consistent order. You just do them, you don’t put a lot of thought into them. If you want to really tick off, or test your project manager, your basal ganglia, tonight when you’re getting ready for bed, switch hands and try to brush your teeth with the opposite hand that you normally use. Or switch up the order on how you go through your process, and just see what your project manager does. I’m guessing it will get irate with you. “Wait, I have a system.”
The basal ganglia is also the very part of your brain that allows you to drive certain places. Maybe it’s the grocery store. Maybe it’s your office, maybe it’s your friends house. You can drive for 10 minutes. You remember leaving your home, you remember pulling into the parking lot, but you don’t really remember much in between. You were there. You were driving. You were aware, all of those things, but at that same time it’s your basal ganglia that took over so that your thoughts could drift a little bit, so you could be thinking about that project. So you could be thinking about that dream. So that you could be thinking about that upcoming date. Whatever it is, the basal ganglia, the project manager raises its hands and says, “I’ve got this.” Now, what’s beautiful about that, is that does tend to make your brain more efficient and effective. The challenge though is that your bodyguard and your project manager, can have a field day and you may not even realize it until their headlong into worry.
Let me give you an example. Let’s just say the bodyguard picks up on a trigger. Something that, in fact, could be an opportunity to worry. If you’re a long time worrier, or maybe a short time worrier, it could very well that your basal ganglia, your project manager, raises its hand, we’re talking nanoseconds here, this is not conscious thought. This is all happening at a subconscious level, but your basal ganglia raises its hand and says, “Oh, okay, bodyguard picked up on a fear, a worry, something to be concerned about. I’ve got a project, I’ve got a program, I’ve got a system for worry.” Boom, worry starts to kick in. You start to feel that worry. You start to feel the stress. Whatever it might be. Maybe the heart starts to race a little bit. Maybe your mouth gets a little cottony. Maybe your palms start to sweat. Maybe it’s just that you see that upcoming appointment, maybe it’s the jackweed, maybe it’s an intimidating manager. Maybe it’s a big meeting around year end, or maybe it’s something important. Maybe you’re going to do coffee with somebody you want to learn something from. Or maybe it’s that person, maybe might blossom into a relationship.
All of a sudden, the bodyguard and the project manager start to work together to kick into that worry routine. And you’re off to the races, and you don’t even know. I am such an advanced level, black belt level worrier, that I can be into worry mode … Hopefully, you haven’t had this, but I’m guessing that maybe you have. I can be into worry mode and not even be quite sure what in fact caused it. All of a sudden I’ll just be feeling stressed or worried, and it’s like, “Whoa, whoa. Where did I pick that up? Where did that come from?” Well, that’s the bodyguard and the project manager working hand in hand. Now, they think they’re doing you good. They’re trying to keep you safe, and they’re trying to keep you as efficient as possible. That’s where the learning to worry starts to kick in. Because those things start to happen and then if we don’t contend them, if we don’t push back, if we don’t catch those things, then we’re in a world of hurt because we could lose an hour, we could lose a day, we can lose a week to worry. Sometimes knowing exactly what caused it, sometimes not.
Let’s talk about this third player in our triangle of overcoming worry here. And that is the prefrontal cortex. What I like to call the boss. I call it the prefrontal cortex because it is where you do a lot of your executive function processing. What’s beautiful about the prefrontal cortex is that’s the boss of the brain bucket. That’s the top of the food chain when it comes to your math can. The boss is running the show, and can overcome, overrule both the project manager, and the bodyguard. The boss, if the boss is engaged, can say, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Bodyguard, appreciate the worry, appreciate the concern, but that’s not a real fear.” Or, “We’ve dealt with that before.” Or, “Hey, I’m actually ready for that presentation.” Can actually interject, it can overcome the worry sequence, the worry program.
Here’s the thing, what we want to do is we want to understand these cast of characters. The boss is one that can also, and we need to honor those other things, the boss could also say, “Wow. That is a dark alley coming up. Good job. Good job, bodyguard. I am going to cross the street.” Or, “Yes. There is an idiot texting in front of me, driving sporadically. I need to be aware of that. Thanks so much, bodyguard.” That’s fantastic, but it’s one of those things to be able to say, “Wait. This is the year of no fear. This is the year where I’m retaking, reclaiming my thinking. I’m going to redirect my thoughts.” Not in some artsy-fartsy, rainbows-butterflies and glitter power way. I don’t even know what glitter power is. Whatever. In a way of, “Wait, this is my year where I’m redirecting my thinking.” That is where we start to engage the boss. There’s some different ways to engage the boss.
In the last few minutes of this, we’re going to talk about different ways to engage the boss, because it can actually be relatively simple. The longer you’ve been worrying, the longer you’ve been a worrier, the more intentional you’re going to have to be with these things. I want to give you some tools, some engagement tools, some things that really will engage that boss to help you get started on our year of no fear. Here’s the thing, first the thing that we can do is we can manage our body. Now, one of the things, Lise Cartwright was on an episode just a while back, we talked about fear a little bit, one of the things that I loved that she talked about, she actually named that voice, that companion. That voice of the bodyguard. That, “Whoa there’s danger ahead.” Whether that’s real or imagined. I don’t know if you remember that episode, I should have looked it up. Just go to the website, go to mitchmatthews.com, search Lise Cartwright, you’ll see the episode.
She named it, and she actually named the bodyguard Nevel. She realized that voice is one of those voices that keeps her safe when it comes to dark alleys and bad drivers, but also one of the things that her bodyguard would shut her down when she would start to do creative endeavors, like launch her next book. Now, she’s written 25 plus books, and she’s had to fight back fear. She’s had to fight back worry every time. One of the things that she realized was is that, her bodyguard was just trying to keep her safe. To try to dismiss it and ignore it, doesn’t work. Because if you try to ignore the bodyguard, the bodyguard is just going to get louder. It’s just going to get feistier. It’s going to be more disruptive to your thinking and all of that. What she realized was to name it. She would say, “Well, thank you Nevel.” When she started to pick up on those warnings from the bodyguard. “Thank you, Nevel, for your concern that some people might not like this book, but I think some people will.” She would start to engage, what she called Nevel, a little bit.
I love that. Her, for her, part of it was just being aware of what was happening in her body, and not dismissing it. Not turning a blind eye to it, but saying, “Thank you very much, Nevel. I appreciate your concern. Thank you for trying to alert me. Yes, there might be some trolls on the worldwide webs when I launch this book. Some people may let me know that they don’t like it. They may be unsupportive. At the same time, I found, that when those people scream out like trolls under a bridge, there’s many others who will scream louder in their support.” She would just speak to it. That’s one of the ways, just be aware of what’s happening with your body. Now, you can also use your body in different ways to engage the boss.
One of the things that I’ve realized, and this is proved out in medicine time and time again, is that our bodies can actually overpower our mind. Our body can help us to redirect our thinking as well. To fully engage the boss. To get that boss, the prefrontal cortex, engaged. One of the ways to do that, and to interrupt the worry cycle that might be kicked off by our bodyguard, and our project manager, is to just say, “Wait. How am I holding my body right now?” If I wanted to get you stressed, all I’d have you do is act stressed. Think about, just think about it, don’t do it. But think about how you body, how you hold your body if you’re stressed and worried. I know for me, my shoulders tend to go up, but the tend to roll forward. I am a face rubber. That’s right, when I’m stressed out my wife knows. Melissa knows it because I’m usually rubbing my forehead, or rubbing my temples. I’m not smiling. I guaran-dang-tee you I’m frowning. If I’m in full worry mode, if I’m in fully stressed mode, my body shows it.
Now, here’s the thing. I’ve also found that if I reverse that, and this takes your boss, it takes your boss engaging. Say, “Wait, how am I holding my body?” If I shift that, and I start to put my shoulders back. All right, how would a happy person stand? How would a happy person engage here? It would be, all right, I have a smile on my face, I’m not rubbing my face. Maybe my hands are up, or open. I might make a fist, strength, not like I’m going to punch somebody, but a fist like, “I am strong.” And this, again, this is not Pollyanna. This is not saying, “THere’s no weeds. There’s no weeds. There’s no weeds in my garden.” This is getting you pumped up to be able to deal with weeds, or maybe in some cases, jackweeds. What it’s doing is it’s, your body is stating to engage and to be able to say … All right. It’s going to help that boss to say, “Wait, I’m not moving into worry mode here. I’m gonna actively do something.” It could very well be that actively doing something, it could mean that you need to do something in regards to the thing that the bodyguard to mind. Maybe it is that meeting.
To be able to say, “All right, am I fully prepared for that meeting?” What are some things that I need to do to prepare for that meeting? To be able to deal with that.” Maybe it’s some creative journaling. Maybe it’s some engaging, something that will get you to smile or make it easier to smile. Again, I’m not saying dismiss the problem. In some ways it’s good to acknowledge it. Acknowledging it first can start with the body, interesting enough, but then we’re going to shift into some engagement questions. Questions that are goin to help you engage the boss. I already started to tease some of those out, but we’re going to go after those a little bit more specifically.
First, you’re going to say, “How am I holding my body?” Second, I’m going to say, “What questions am I asking? What questions is the boss asking?” One of the first questions to ask is, you start to feel that your bodyguard is starting to go on high alert. Worry mode is staring to be kicked off by the project manager to go, “Wait.” Maybe it’s even good for you to say that internally, or say it out loud. Especially if you’re not in a coffee shop, or in an open floor plan in your office. Be able to say, “Wait. Thank you bodyguard, thank you Nevel.” You might just be doing this in your mind. But to be able to say, “Wait. Is this a rel or imagined fear?” In the case of the dark alley or the bad driver, that’s real. You need to address it. Most of the time, it’s not real. It’s imagined. That is what our thinking tends to do. If you’re like me, I can get form zero to 60 on the worry scale in a nanosecond. It’s to be able to say, “Wait, worry.”
Let’s just say something is going wrong with a client. To be able to say, “Wait. What is real? What is imagined.” Now, when I start to ask that question, let’s just say I get an email. A short email from a client that maybe I can interpret as there is a problem. They are ticked. To be able to go, “Wait, is this real or imagined?” To be able to say, “It could be real. But it might be imagined.” And then to be able to say, “All right. Is there something I should be paying attention to?” What you’re doing is you’re engaging it, you’re engaging the boss and it’s moving towards effective, helpful thinking versus negative thinking. What is our worry, that inner worrier want to do? Once the program manager kicks off that inner worry program, what is that inner worrier so good at doing?
It’s great, if you’re like me, great at painting these elaborate, dark, brutal pictures of how things will go, which usually means, for me, my family is homeless, we’re living in a box in an alley somewhere. Has that ever happened? No. Thank you, Lord, it has not. What I’ve realized is, even if some certain things have gone wrong, generally, we figure it out. Some of those things, actually, some of those set backs, when I look back, have actually been set ups for breakthroughs. For bigger things. Now, here’s the thing. Again, we’re not trying to move into the mode of singing, “Don’t worry, be happy.” Great song, love you Bobby McFarrin if you’re listening, I love you, man. You’re awesome. But don’t worry, be happy is not necessarily the best anthem here because for no fear, if we’re truly, if this is the year of no fear. We’re doing that and we’re going to be stronger, not blind. We’re going to be better, not blind. You understand? We’re not going to blind ourselves, turn a blind eye to problems. We’re going to be better as we face problems.
If we keep in mind, that data we talked about before, 85% of the things that were attempted, or that we do worry about, don’t, in fact, happen. But, those are the things that steal our joy. Steal our peace. Steal our presence of mind. Steal our ability to be creative. All of those things. That’s what we’re going to beat back with a stick. One of the things that I’ve even done, I take the engagement questions and to be able to say, “What else might be happening?” I get the short brief email from the client, maybe I could assume they’re ticked, but I might also say, “All right, what else could be happening here?” Maybe they’re short on time. Maybe they’re stressed. I wonder what I could do to help them out. If there is an issue, being able to say, “All right. How can we resolve that issue?” Maybe even say, “Where might there be an opportunity in this?” Those things. Sometimes, I had mentioned creative journaling. Sometimes you can deal with this in just the shift in body. Just the shift in the question asking.
Sometimes that’s enough for you to realize, “Okay, wait. I’m assuming there mad.” Or, “I’m assuming this is not going to go well.” To be able to say, “Wait, are those assumptions true?” They could be. But, how can I make them go a different direction? What are some of the things I can do to prepare for that? Sometimes it might be spending a little bit more time on a presentation. Sometimes it might be doing a little bit more preparation. Sometimes it might be checking in with someone to see how they’re doing. Sometimes it might just be saying, “All right. I’ve done what I can do, now I’m going to let this go. I’m going to walk away.” It’s one of those things.
One of the things that I’ll also do, and I’ll tell you this, this is us being real together. One of the reasons why we’re doing this particular episode … I knew I was going down this trap, but man I was even more fired up, because this morning, believe it or not, I woke up and I found it particularly easy to worry. New year, new opportunities, and some new challenges, too. Some of those challenges, I’m working through and I don’t have all the answers, yet. And I woke up and instead of being curious, I was really tempted to worry. I’m not even going to say that, I was worrying. I woke up worried. One of the things I did this morning was I did some journaling. I took some of those engagement questions and one of the engagement questions was, I asked myself, what are some examples of times where a set back was actually a set up? Where a set back was actually a set up. I started to think back through. I actually drew out this timeline and I drew almost, it was almost like an EKG monitor of highs and lows, highs and lows.
I thought about some of the highest points in my life, and what was interesting was a number of those times, not every time, but a number of those times, the thing that was directly proceeding it as life event, was what seemed like a set back. I’ll give you one example. Years ago I was in the pharmaceutical world, and I was out in the sales field, I loved it, but there was an opportunity to work into the training department. I knew that someday I wanted to do what I’m doing now. Speaking, and coaching, and working one on one with people. Doing things like this. I didn’t have a full vision, but I had a sense of it. I knew, probably doing some corporate training would help. I went for an open corporate training position. I interviewed for the job, and I prepared for it. I worked for it. Man, it was … I thought I nailed it. But, I didn’t get the job. Interestingly enough, I followed back up with the hiring manager. I used the word actually too much. That was the feedback that I got. The feedback was that I used actually too much in the interview.
It was a little heart-wrenching, a little heart breaking because people knew that I had gone for the interview. It was a highly coveted position, it was a lot of competition, all of that. Still, I wanted it, and I didn’t get it. It was a bummer. What’s interesting is that when I thought back to my career, I wound up not getting that position, going back to the sales field and recommitting to my position. And I wound up, I was a sales person in Montana. I had Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, an I wound up saying, “What’s something I want to do? I know that I’m going to get this someday, but what’s something I want to do before I move on?” I had the opportunity to hold an event and it was really cool. Long story short, I wound up holding an event, it wound up being something that attracted doctors from three states.
It was completely above board, they actually had to pay for all of their stuff. It was anomaly within the pharmaceutical industry, but it was because of some relationships I had with the doctors I had, and they trusted me and we had this amazing event. Had executives from the home office come out, from our regional office come out. It became a meeting, it became something of legend. I don’t want to oversell this, but it was an amazing experience, and it was truly a high point of my pharmaceutical career. Absolutely incredible. I think, “Wow, I don’t know that I would have had that had I not had the set back first.” That was a set up for a breakthrough. I started to do that, and I will tell you, I didn’t breakout in song. I didn’t start singing sound of music lyrics, and all of that. There was something that was happening in my heart, and I just did it for about 15 minutes. There were three or four different examples where it had a set back, but it had set me up for a set up. That was a good mental exercise.
What was I doing? I was engaging the boss to say, “Yeah, there’s some setbacks. I’m getting a sense now that those are set ups.” Now, I start, my brain’s starting, I’m training my brain to start looking for the set ups, for the opportunities that are coming and I know they’re coming. Especially now that my boss is fully engaged. My inner bodyguard is taken care of. My project manager is actually starting to say, “I like this.” I’m going to start the look for opportunities program as opposed to the look for things to worry about program. I’m in a completely different state. Here’s the thing. I always promise to shoot straight with you guys. If I’m not in a good mood, you’re going to hear it. Because I don’t fake this stuff. I think that we have that commitment, we have that relationship. We’re real. We’re honest with each other. I believe that.
I also think that that’s a huge part of this year of no fear, as well. That is that we gotta give ourselves some grace. We’re not going to be perfect at this. Some days we’re going to wake up with stress and worry. Some days we’re going to get it, we’re going to get socked with it in the middle of the day. Sometimes it might run free with us for a while. And hour or a day. Here’s the thing. What I want to do is this is the year where we’re not going to spend more than a day in it. I think we’re going to get to the point where we’re not going to spend more than an hour in it. I think we’re going to get to the point where we’re not going to spend a minute in it. Maybe even 15 seconds in it. We’ll say, “Nope, this is my year of no fear. Thank you very mch, bodyguard. Thank you very much, project manager. So appreciate you guys. The boss is kicking in, and now we are going to kick butt.”
I hope you dig this. Now, here’s the thing. I wanted to make this super simple for you to remember. We created a really simple downloadable PDF. It’s a one pager that’s going to help you remember it. Even has little characters for the bodyguard, the project manager, and the boss. It’s also got some space for you to take some notes, to be able to say, “All right. What are some of the specific things I’m going to do to engage the boss this week?”
You can download it above. Super simple. Super easy.
And it’s going to help you to keep all of this stuff in mind, and going to help you, us, together, make 2019 the year of no fear. I hope you’re in. I hope you join me. And I hope you invite some other people, too.
Please, share this particular episode and let’s do this together. Let’s truly make this year our best year yet, by making it the year of no fear. Let me know that you’re in. I can’t wait to hear from ya. Leave a comment below and let’s talk!
And please share this episode. #sharingiscaring Let’s spread the #yearofnofear love!