Posts in conquering fear

When you're an empath, feelings, even other people's feelings, can be so powerful they become overwhelming.

Empaths are notorious for feeling ALL THE THINGS. Which is both a blessing and a curse. For some, emotions can get so overwhelming that they become frightening. When negative feelings show up, there's often a fear of going out of a control and feeling that way forever. When loved ones are in pain, there's this need to fix it because you're feeling it, too. Trying to fix things for people gets exhausting and can eventually lead to really restrictive ways of interacting with people. Emotions you perceive as negative, both within yourself and others, become intolerable. You might try to control your feelings, and maybe even other people's feelings. You try to block out the bad and embrace the good. Unfortunately, you can't banish pain and get only joy. So with this avoidance of the bad feelings, you tend to lose the full impact of the good feelings, too. And so the tension builds. Your shoulders get tight. Your stomach hurts. Your head aches. You might be able to express your emotions when you paint, write, or sing, but you find it hard to be truly vulnerable with those you love.

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"I'm not ready."

I hear this often when people talk about why they haven't started to pursue their passions. "I haven't learned enough. I need more supplies. I need more time. I haven't practiced enough."

My response:

"How will you know when you're ready?"

99% of the time the answer is, "I have no idea."

Being ready to pursue creative work is tough. Often there is no certificate, no graduation, no significant marker that says, "Ok, now you're ready. Go create." But the truth is there's no amount of preparation that will ever make you feel completely ready. Did I feel completely ready to be a therapist when I got out of grad school? Hell no! But I had to start. Because the only way you can know whether or not you're ready to do something is to actually do it.

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I talk to myself. All the time. If you see me walking down the street alone, you'll probably see me talking to myself. It's how I plan and process ideas. If it stays in my head and doesn't come out of my mouth, it's not tangible to me. It's just the way I work.

I know I look crazy, but it's not really something I can stop doing.

I also run into things and fall. All the time. I've had many a friend laugh at my stumbles over the years. I've actually got great balance, just no spatial awareness. The other day, I twisted my ankle walking down unfamiliar steps because I was reading my email. I fell, cursed, checked my ankle (it was fine), and then looked around immediately to see if anyone saw me. No signs of life. Hooray! Just then a security guard walked up and said, "Are you ok, Ma'am?" I laughed and said, "Oh, I'm just learning the lesson: Don't look at your phone while walking down stairs." He laughed, too and we went our separate ways.

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The problem with being creative & intelligent

HOLY CRAP I MADE A VLOG. I was writing my blog for this month, again talking about vulnerability and connection and it just wasn't feeling really exciting for me. It didn't feel right, but I figured I was just in a mood or something and I would post it anyway.

Then yesterday, it hit me: How can I ask people to be really vulnerable when I'm not willing to do it myself? Whoa. I'd been considering doing video for awhile, but I had tons of excuses as to why I hadn't done it, yet. The truth is: I was afraid. And for a multitude of reasons (maybe you'll identify with some of them when it comes to your important work): fear of criticism, fear of being seen, fear of being more successful, oh and the ever-present "fraud police" - Who the hell do I think I am?" But yesterday I quieted those voices down a bit, put my phone in my office window, and hit record.

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