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Is there an area of your life where you're feeling fed up, frustrated, or giving up? Perhaps deep down you know that there is some kind of fear holding you back.

Do your fear response mechanisms start to kick in when you even think about it?

It might be falling behind on a project (cough cough, aahhm...), an area of your home or office that's getting messy and dirty, goals related to your weight, study, or how you relate to your kids or your partner. Is it affecting your self esteem and even impacting on other areas of your life? Blegh!

It might be a small thing or it may have gone so far it's causing real problems. Perhaps it's something like:-

- Putting off exercising

- Over eating


- Obsessing with one activity to the detriment of other things that need attending to (for example your garden is perfect but you haven't changed the cat litter, or you watch a lot of movies but don't talk to your partner/kids/friends/parents...., or you frequently check facebook but don't keep up with your emails, or you go to the gym daily but your home is a tip, or you get stuck with computer games and don't cook decent meals......).

- A build up of paperwork stuff like tax papers, forms, bills, school notices and so on.

- The house is just out of control

- You never seem to catch up with the washing (laundry).

- Insert your thing here 

 A little game I used to play with myself, to get past the old fear thing and actually say to myself what it was I really did want to achieve, was to write under the heading "things for the magic fairy to do" or "things to do when I have super-powers". 

You see, that fear thing can be so strong it can stop us from even SAYING what the thing is we want to achieve. We've put off dealing with it so long we're not at all comfortable being reminded of it any more, so we've developed excuses and avoidance tactics. We're afraid we might fail, we're afraid others might see us fail, we're afraid of making a mistake, being seen to make a mistake, and what we think that would mean.

What would it mean? What would it mean if we had a go, made a start, and didn't get it right or didn't see it through?

Well, really, making a mistake or failing just means we've had a go, taken action and learned something that will help us in our next attempt – but what we THINK it means, is that we are not good enough and we are not worthy, or that we might be attacked by monsters – and we all have our own words and phrases which express that most powerfully to us.

That's right – most of our irrational fears come down to those basic things – not being good enough, not belonging, not being worthy, being found out or exposed as not being good enough or not worthy. Being afraid that we can't do it, that we are incapable, or that others will judge and criticize us is just a variation on not being good enough or not being worthy if you think about it.

This fear is like a big danger warning telling us we could be harmed in some way – but really it's rhubarb (that's my polite way of saying bullshit). There is no monster, it's an imagined danger that doesn't really exist.

But it really feels scary – so we get ourselves stuck and don't make progress on that thing. Not only that, but we build up an elaborate array of strategies for avoiding it, like blaming others, having lots of reasons etc.

I suspect many of you reading are familiar with the TV show Hoarders and its variations. What fascinates me about it is recognizing the fear response strategies people have developed that lead them to such chaos. And of course, seeing these extremes make our own issues seem ok and normal. We really feel for these people, or perhaps we sit there criticizing and judging them, but if we're honest with ourselves, their strategies are familiar to us in some way, even if we're doing better in our own life.

So, back to the magic fairy or you with super powers. This was my way of bypassing the fear and asking myself - yeah, but if I could, what would it be?

And why do we need to do this, to say it out loud, to ourselves, to someone else or write it down, to admit to ourselves what it was that we did want before we got too sad, too overwhelmed, too burdened with obstacles or too sidetracked with other things?

Because if we can't say it, we can't have it! What we can put into language, we can experience.

It is ok, necessary even, for us to stop protecting ourselves from knowing and saying what we want, what our desired outcomes are.

Procrastination is one of the most common signs that we have a fear response going on and that we need to develop more and better language around the issue. Other tell tale signs (because I do love a list), are:-

 - Guilt and shame

- Obsessing

- Feeling out of control

- Easily overwhelmed

- Shutting down feelings

- Not connecting with others

- Fatigue

- Apologising frequently

- Finding fault with others

- Playing victim

- Being a people pleaser

- Giving up

- Endless daydreaming

- Running, hiding, blocking it out with drugs, alcohol, shopping, gambling, TV..

- Manipulation

- Bitterness

- Putting yourself down

- Neglecting your health

- And many more......

So that's what's going on, but what do we do about it?

Get back in touch with it, (the thing you got stuck on) using the magic fairy if necessary to start you off gently. Developing language to describe the positive outcome will assist your unconscious to re-focus and to filter in the information you need to see more choices, more possibilities that will allow you to make progress.

We can ask ourselves:

- How do we want it to be (stated in the positive, not how we don't want it to be)

- How exactly do we define that? How would we know if the magic fairy had done it for us? What would we see? How would we feel? What would we be saying to ourselves?

- Why do we want it? For what purpose? What would it give us? This question will lead us to addressing our values. It's like a quality control check that weeds out the rhubarb and checks that our goals are things that really do matter and are for the greater good. If you end up with things like love and peace, you're on the right track. (Yes, of course cleaning up your desk can lead to love and peace!)

I'd love to hear about your stuck issue and how you've been able to look at it in a new light or make progress with it using this method.  Post in the comments section below, or use the Ask Yvette tab at the top if you want a reply from me about your issue.


#5 Jasper Edrich 2013-02-14 10:58
That was a good kick or three up the pants and backside to get me back on track. Thanks. Agree with other responder who said it is timely.
I need to (NO: I WILL FROM NOW ON) write, peruse, and pray about awareness of the symptoms and finding the link to the THING WE WANTED TO ACHIEVE TO START WITH, and the devils that sneaked like serpents in to prevent getting there. Some of those devils are in human guise, but mostly they are figments of a scared and fearful soul and mind, and must be spotlighted so they frizzle away to nothing. Your piece was worth more than a trip to my esteemed psycho lady, who also is one of those magic fairies. I'm a believer; I see them as and call them (NO: I BELIEVE THEY REALLY ARE) God's angels: it is vital for each one of us to find them and commune with them: they often appear in human guise, or like your surprise e-mail. Don't ever stop. Now I'm inspired to end all this procrastinating preparing questions for a client's public meeting, stop all this surfing and DO A BRILLIANT JOB THAT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND HELP THE WHOLE COMMUNIITY WHERE CLIENT RULES OK!
Cheers for now; look after my ancient wine-producing uncle and aunt nearly 90 (or more by now?) in Quinns Rocks.:-);-)
#4 Glenis 2013-02-08 06:47
Welcome back, I missed you, hence I'm in a bit of a state. Your 'list' is my list I'm afraid and am going to have some therapy on 15th Feb, lets hope it helps.
kind regards
Glenis from Devon, England
#3 Jennifer 2013-02-07 18:37
You have such a great way of getting down to the matter at hand. I have missed your posts:-)
#2 Loretta David 2013-02-07 03:40
As usual, your timing is superb. Fear is controlling my life and holding me back from making most decisions.
Welcome back, and I have enjoyed your newsletters for years, and also missed them. It is so wonderful to hear your happiness with your new Coaching career, and the importance of your family and writing.

I just turned down an adult rancher townhome which was pretty close to what I have been looking for (the past 2 1/2 years), because it is not in the area I want to live in. I also would need a partial mortgage and am the only one making the decisions. Spouse's mild dementia is not helpful.

I have made a decision to stick to the 2 areas I do want to live in. I have papers all over the place, not in my own home (house sitting), all our furniture and most stuff in a storage bin. Spouse in pain daily (and the stress is making that worse). My own health is on the back burner. Behind on important stuff, but bills are all paid on time.

Hey, I see the light at the end of the tunnel, just gray skies most days here make it hard to envision a home when the sun isn't shining. I am not feeling sorry for myself, just need to get us settled into our own home or another rental. 95 of 100 don't want a cat, and even some that are for sale. Spouse is attached to the cat.

Enough already, this too will change, as the weather will.

Loretta from Canada

Keep up with your positive lifestyle, I am so proud of what you have accomplished, and how far you have come!
#1 Anne 2013-02-06 08:06
Great advice & I always look forward to your articles :D


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