Brain Change

Focus on life through a simplified mind

Challenge Your Fear

There is nothing to fear but fear itselfFranklin D. Roosevelt

I wanted to write a post on fear because lately I have been challenging my fears and the results have been very surprising. 

I want to be able to frame fear for you in the context it should be.  As a motivator to do fantastic things with your life.  Most commonly it permeates our lives by paralyzing our actions and clouding our thoughts with doubt. 

Seth Godin in his bestselling book Linchpin, details what he calls the “resistance”, or our “Lizard Brain”.  Our lizard brain is as Seth stated “hungry,scared,angry, and horny”.  These emotions are the only thing the lizard brain knows.  And evolution has done two things for us. 

1) Placed the lizard brain directly on top of the spine so every action we commit has to be filtered through the lizard brain. 

2) Ensuring our survival the lizard brain continually seeks to keep us in our “comfort zone”

Anything new, exciting, different and unknown will be promptly squished by the lizard brain.  It does not want us standing up and making a difference.  It wants us to stay quiet, sit down, go unnoticed so that the predators of life will not sniff us out and devour us.

So.. How then do we go about changing our lives from what they are now if our own psyche is trying so hard to keep doing the status quo?

Acknowledge the fear and then DIVE RIGHT IN.  You absolutely will not grow if you always seek whats comfortable.  You will never take a risk.  Everett Bogue in this Post said that risk is really fearing what you are going to lose.  And yes I am going to point to  minimalism and tell you this.  “If you have less things you will fear less things”.

Have you thought about all the stuff you would lose if you lost your job?  

Yes?

Are you working for your growth?

Are you working because you have gifts to offer the world?

Or are you working so you don’t lose your shit?

If answered yes to the last statement it is time to get rid of some stuff.  And get rid of some fear

If each item in your life was compared to a single strand of spider silk curling around your body, trapping your arms to your side then having a few items would be no big deal.  You could easily break the strands of silk and start over. 

What if you then owned a hundred items? The strands then become more stable and you can start to feel pressure on your chest when you try to breathe.  How about we jump to a thousand items? or several thousand as most developed countries citizens have. 

You can barely breathe from the tightness of the rope and the Black Widow called  Consumerism has it’s fangs sunk deep into your flesh, bleeding you dry, taking the life force from you.

I hope as you read this post you reflect in your own life, what holds you back? what do you fear?  Consider the fear, observe it objectively, and confront it head on. 

Chances are if your Lizard brain is telling you “stop” and “lets play it safe”.  You are on the right path to discovering some great things.

Here are some fears that I recently overcame and the results of confronting them.

1) Posting this blog on Facebook

I was scared to death about putting this blog out to my FB friends, this blog was my dirty little secret.  I stressed about what people would think, what they would say.  I finally decided that it did not matter.  What I have to say is more important than petty worries of fitting into the mold and hit the post button.  The results?  Not much.. No negative comments.  A few good view days and a few really positive comments.  My work is out for the world to see and it feels great!

2) Going to a spinning class

Spinning is exercising on a stationary bike with a group of people set to music.  It is a sport dominated by women.  So what would people think if I am the only guy in a room full of chicks doing a chick thing?  Absolutely nothing.  Inside my head I could hear my old petty self calling me every pansy name in the book but you know what?  It’s a damn tough workout, it kicks my ass and gets me in better shape, and I feel Fantastic when im done.  I would challenge anyone thinking it is just for chicks to try it out.  Most likely… if you scoff and scowl… you probably wouldn’t make it through a workout.

3) Tossing out a lot of stuff

Yes I feared tossing out all my clothes, tossing out my CD’s, tossing out multiple pieces of furniture.  Tossing out pile after pile of useless junk.  The thoughts that were pervading my mind constantly were,  “Holy crap I paid a lot for that” or, “What if I need this item again“? The peace that has come with having more space, in my closet, in my house, and in my mind.  I cannot describe… You will have to experience it for yourself Everett Bogue again made another great post about not believing anything anyone says you have to experience it yourself.  I challenge you all to the same thing…

Don’t believe me go experience it for yourself…Challenge the status quo..face your fears.

Some of the fears I am currently working on overcoming currently are.

1) Interviewing an “A” list blogger

2) Guest posting on popular blogs

3) Helping my wife become a stay at home mother

4) Becoming location independent

5) Earning full time income online (clever way to phrase it eh?)

By the way here are a few people I love to read that have crossed the limitations in the traditional sense and are doing some really fantastic things.

Gianpaolo Pietri – Gianpaolo recently quit his day job and moved to New York currently supporting himself online running the site Simplyoptimal.net

Nina Yau – Nina runs the site castlesintheair.org where she recently handed in her notice and is leaving the corporate world on November 30th.

Everett Bogue – Who quit his job last year and supports himself with his Minimalist Business and The Art of Being Minimalist E-books.  Everett is the Jugarnaught of minimalism and runs the blog  Farbeyondthestars.com

Henri Juntilla – Who supports himself entirely online and has great free content on his site.  As well as selling the great e-book Passionate Living

Leo Babauta – Who wrote The simple guide to a minimalist life and blogs about simple living on at his site zenhabits.net

The links to products are all affiliate

In conclusion I would leave you with this quote:

He has not learned the lesson of life who  every day does not surmount a fear~Ralph Waldo Emerson

what fears do you have?

What fears have you conquered?

I would love to hear your comments

(hint: leave a reply and press post comment button and lets start a discusion)

Please share this if you think it will help someone

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November 17, 2010 Posted by | minimalism, motivation | , , , , | 4 Comments

How to KILL a Bad Habit

Alcohol, tobacco, overeating, shopping, gambling, caffeine….Need I go on?

How do we rationalize in our minds that it is ok to keep taking part in self destructive behavior? 

You know this habit is killing you slowly one day at a time.  So what is it that keeps us going back?

We  must take back control of our minds and bodies and no longer be held hostage by habits that do not provide us with health and peace in our soul.

Heres How

1) Aknowledge that there is a problem.  Before you can ever go about fixing something you must understand that it is indeed broke.  You cannot start a battle with your bad habit if you really don’t consider it bad.  We must shine light on the cockroaches so that we may start to formulate a plan on how to get rid of them.  Ignoring the problem wont make it go away on its own. 

2) Accountability. Let your friends know that you are stopping the habit, make a deal with your spouse/children, post it online to a community of people.  We must use the help of those that love us to be responsible for our decisions.  Once we have declared publicy our intent there is a powerful urge to uphold our commitment.  It may not be all you need to make it through but it will give you a good push in the right direction.

3) Prepare for cravings!  Yes you mind with try to trick you into thinking “just this one time.  As soon as you start to do something different, our brains go into panic mode.  This evolutionary trait we all have is what Seth Godin terms the “lizard brain”.  It is the part of the mind that has alway been looking out for predators, keeping us safe when we where out with the wild animals.  The lizard brain never left us, it is there dormant until we start doing something different, something new, the lizard brain doesnt understand whats happening it just sends your body into overdrive trying to go back to what it feels is “normal” or “safe”.  After years of developing a habit your prehistoric brain considers it “safe”.  So before you will “kill” the habit your want to.  Understand that there will be powerful cravings driving you back to the status quo.  We must prepare ourselves for the fight to get through these cravings.

4) Substitute a positive habit.  One of the methods of preparing is to have a new habit to do when you get the craving.  Excercise, Healthy Eating, Writing, Drawing, whatever it is.  Choose something positive that causes you to take your focus off your craving when you do have one.  What could be better than using a good habit to help you abstain from a bad one.

5) Persistence is key, you must be as stubborn as a mule.  You may not succeed the first time but understand you will succeed.  Know in your heart and soul you MUST succeed and be persistent about succeeding.  Use these steps and realize every day for the rest of your life you may have to battle the urge.  Urges come in waves, some are stronger and bigger but they will pass.  We must be able to ride the wave out knowing there will be an end to it.

If you persist and impose your will over your habit.  Sometime around the 3-4 week mark of abstaining you will find relief, it will be as a cool rainshower on your soul.  Coming to the understanding that you will no longer be held hostage to your habit is one of the best natural feelings of euphoria out there.  When you get to this point.  You have metaphorically taken your habit out in the field and shot it.  Congratulations your free

What other suggestions do you have about changing a habit?

What habits have you conquered so far in life?

I would love to hear your thoughts

Please share this if you think it may help someone.

October 31, 2010 Posted by | motivation | , , , | Leave a comment

Another great find!

Guys I have been doing a lot of reading lately finding authors that are ahead of me in the game of life/bloggin/minimalism.  The most recent e-book I have read is by Henri Juntilla called ”Passionate Living a simple guide to doing what you love”. Click here to view more details. Henri has made a living online Playing poker, designing websites, blogging, and writing books.  Henri persuades us to take on the challenge to find your passion in life and do it.  He outlines how each of us can find our niche passion and either monetize it or not.  The money doesn’t matter living your passion does.  If your interested in blogging part time or becoming a full time web wizard.  Henri will give you a push in the right direction.  I found the content very uniform with what im doing if you think you may be interested as well Click here .  Yes the links are affiliate links and if you buy you will be supporting both Henri and I.  Henri also runs the blog http://www.wakeupcloud.com

October 15, 2010 Posted by | motivation | , , | 1 Comment

   

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