Posts Tagged ‘fear’

The One Thing You Need to Know to Overcome Perfectionism

September 7, 2013
erin-dougherty

Erin Dougherty


This excellent post
by life coach Erin Dougherty cuts right to the heart of the compulsion to be perfect. I first gained insight into this subject by reading a wonderful and eye-opening book that explained the link between procrastination and perfectionism.

Here is the sentence in Erin’s essay that jumped out at me:

I never realized that perfectionism was an attempt to avoid all rejection, all criticism and all failure.

I’ve seen this fear control the lives of so many people I know and care about. Instead of making things happen and living a life of choice, they end up letting things happen and living a life of chance. The fear of criticism and failure is where dreams go to die. It makes me profoundly sad to know that decades from now, on their deathbed, so many people will experience the soul-crushing pain of regret at never having summoned the courage to follow their heart and chase after their dreams.

May Erin’s essay serve as a clarion call to procrastinators everywhere: Surrender to the indomitable spirit within you that ceaselessly whispers, You can do this . . . you must do this . . . there is greatness within you!



THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO OVERCOME PERFECTIONISM

by Erin Dougherty

“You’re imperfect and you’re wired for struggle but you are worthy of love and belonging.” ~Brene Brown

There’s nothing perfect about me and I’m ok with that…now. This wasn’t the case for most of my life, though. In fact, I’ve been a perfectionist for almost 30 years. I’m not counting the first five years of my life when I was free to be as messy and magical as I wanted.

In third grade I asked my mom to buy me a stack of lined notebooks and colored pens. I spent hours neatly labeling each notebook by class, date and assignment deadlines. If I made one mistake like a jagged cursive letter or a misspelling, I’d rip out the page and begin again on a fresh sheet.

This was tiring but it was also a compulsion. Everything had to be (more…)

What Are You Afraid Of?

March 2, 2013

angry-womanMore than once, friends have confided in me that they are angry with their spouse or family members. My response is the same: “Anger is always a manifestation of fear. What are you afraid of?” The question catches them off guard but I see the light go on in their eyes. After pausing to reflect, they are soon able to articulate a thoughtful response.

For example, a man who allowed his wife to push his buttons acknowledged that he feared a loss of status as “the man” in the relationship. He was trying to avoid losing respect not only in his own eyes but in hers. Perhaps that realization will lead to a productive discussion between them about power dynamics in their marriage.

A female friend of mine who was angry at her mother and sisters admitted that she feared feeling (more…)

Meeting Eva Kor, One of My Personal Heroes

September 20, 2012

My daughter Erin and I were privileged to meet Eva Kor after her talk at St. Cloud State University



Two years ago, I interviewed Eva Kor for my blog. Eva had been sent to Auschwitz in 1944 at the age of ten, where she and her sister Miriam were experimented on by the brutal Nazi doctor, Josef Mengele.




Tonight, I finally got to meet Eva in person. She lectured on her life and philosophy to a packed auditorium at St. Cloud State University. Afterward, she signed copies of her books for dozens and dozens of people who waited patiently in line. Many also wanted photos and a few had personal questions for her. I was amazed by Eva’s energy and capacity for joy. She gave each person a friendly smile and as much time as they wanted. It was after eleven o’clock by the time she put down her pen.

It is Eva’s stance on forgiveness that has made her an iconic and controversial figure all over the world. On January 27, 1995, in a public ceremony marking the fiftieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops, Kor declared her forgiveness toward the Nazis who murdered her parents and two older sisters. Standing by the ruins of (more…)

Holding On to the Side of the Pool

March 5, 2012

Ten days before Christmas, my friend Jecenia was stopped on the freeway on her way to work, waiting behind a line of cars at an exit, when a careless driver plowed into her at full speed. For two months, she spent much of her time in bed, resting and recuperating. Many of her friends stopped by to visit, including Dave, who offered to give her an astrological reading. When Dave mentioned during the reading that she was living with a heart full of fear, she immediately knew he was right. So she challenged herself to use this down time to figure out why she had chosen to live in fear and how she could overcome it. As soon as she began exploring her inner terrain, one insight after another came tumbling out of her thoughts, and faster than you can say, “No more suffering,” she liberated herself from the prison of fear. Here’s are some of the thoughts she shared with me:

I realized that I had let fear be my king, and I bowed down to it. I wasn’t allowing myself to be me; I was letting fear completely own me. I’m a kind and loving person, why would I do that to myself? I had been living my life like I was holding on to the side of the pool, afraid (more…)

The Name of the Boat

January 31, 2012


Are you having trouble reconciling past experiences in which you either behaved poorly or others behaved poorly toward you? Are you weighed down with so much guilt, regret, anger or emotional pain that you’re having trouble moving on with your life? If so, this simple exercise may help.



Close your eyes and replay the incident in your mind, except this time watch it as an objective observer. While you watch events unfolding, bathe everyone involved as well as the situation itself in love, as if you were a parent sending unconditional love to your child.

If sending love to someone or something so hurtful is difficult for you, know this: You cannot (more…)

If You Worry, You’ll Be Weary

December 24, 2011

Are you such a worrywart that you’re exhausted from all the worrying you do? If so, you’re burning up a whole lot of emotional energy for nothing. In fact, worse than nothing. Worrying saps your life force, ages you, and weakens your immune system. If you are not actively trying to abolish your worry habit, then at some level you value being consumed with worry and fear more than you value being happy and healthy.

Fretting about what could go wrong is a self-fulfilling prophecy that needlessly produces suffering. To make maters worse, worry bumps you out of the present moment, stripping you of your capacity to feel peaceful and loving. Worrying never helps and always hurts; it ruins good times, intensifies (more…)

You Are Brilliance Itself

December 15, 2011






A life lived in fear is the wasting of a divine promise. You were blessed with a dream that you might live joyously and purposefully. You were graced with an indestructible spirit and an indomitable heart that you might pursue your dream with equal parts reverence and reckless abandon.






The next time you feel the icy (more…)

An Axe to Grind

December 3, 2011






How you see a person is not necessarily who they really are. Your assessment is biased by your fears, judgments, feelings and expectations. Lao Tuz, the Father of Taoism, expressed this truth beautifully:









Once upon a time a man whose axe was missing suspected his neighbor’s son.

The boy walked like a thief, looked like a (more…)

Is That My Intuition or My Ego Talking?

November 24, 2011

Kathryn Harwig






I know that a lot of people struggle with the question, How can I distinguish the voice of my intuition from the voice of my ego? I like the way that Kathryn Harwig, a friend of mine who’s an author and psychic, provides an excellent analysis of that issue in this essay from her website. With Kathryn’s permission, I’m sharing it here.









INTUITION VERSUS SELF TALK

Recently someone asked me, “How do I know if the information I am getting is coming from my intuition or from my own self talk?” This is a very good question, and one that everyone who is serious about being intuitive needs to ask on occasion. It is a challenge to be intuitive about yourself and most of us find that it is far easier to give someone else a psychic reading than to give ourselves good intuitive advice.

Why? Because our own hopes, dreams, worries and fears tend to get in the way of our hearing our inner psychic, at least when we are asking for information for ourselves. Many people solve this dilemma, at least in part, by consulting with other psychics. But, we also want and need to use our intuition to make our own lives better. So, it is necessary, I think, to be able to distinguish the voice of our inner self talk and the quiet voice of our intuitive wisdom.

I attended a talk once where the speaker said that our unconscious mind was unable to hear the word (more…)

It Is Useless Knocking at the Door of Heaven

September 10, 2011




When you feel attuned to God and bathed in the healing, protective glow of God’s love, you recognize fear for the illusion that it is.




Clouds don’t worry about falling into the sea because they can’t (a) fall or (b) drown. But they are free to believe they can, and they may fear if they wish.
Richard Bach

You realize it is not the adversity that needs to be changed, it is (more…)

An Insurance Policy Against Happiness

September 7, 2011

Worrying is an insurance policy against happiness. Even when tomorrow brings nothing but bluebirds and rainbows, the back of your mind remains fixated on the storm clouds that are surely gathering somewhere within striking distance.

Real difficulties can be overcome. It is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.
Theodore Newton Vail

Worry often enough for long enough and you (more…)

Worrying Casts a Long Shadow

September 5, 2011

When worries beset you, be still and go within. Invite your fears in one by one and watch them dissolve in the rarefied air of higher consciousness.

Any negative state, like worry, is like your shadow. If you run away, it pursues, but by standing still you see that it has no movement except that which you give it by running away.
Vernon Howard

Motivational pioneer Dale Carnegie observed that when you have identified and (more…)

The Ship Never Goes Down

September 4, 2011


Worrying keeps your best self locked away in a dark room. Yet your greatest fears, the monsters that plague your days and wreck your nights, rarely, if ever, materialize.



We poison our lives with fear of burglary and shipwreck, and the house is never burgled, and the ship never goes down.
Jean Anouilh

Even if the events that haunt your (more…)

Going Halfway Into the Darkened Forest

September 3, 2011



Shrink away from fear and it becomes your master. Beating your chest, gnashing your teeth, and howling at the injustice of it all only exacerbates your plight.


Wisdom never kicks at the iron walls it can’t bring down.
Olive Schreiner

Even worse, your resistance sweeps your (more…)

The Ghosts of Difficulties Past

September 2, 2011



Fear relaxes its hold on you when, in the midst of crisis, you can look beyond the pain of the moment and think, There is value in this.

Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.
Ralph Waldo Emerson





Summon the courage to look squarely at the challenge in front of you, lest (more…)

You Possess Exactly What You Desire

May 7, 2011

When you ask the universe for what you want, it is not your thoughts and words but the conviction behind them that carry the most weight, that ensure that you and your desire become a vibrational match. Such conviction requires that you also have faith in yourself, that you believe in your innate worthiness to receive life’s gifts.

Believe in your dreams and they may come true; believe in yourself and they will come true.
Unknown

If you sense any resistance on your part, you may be blocking (more…)