We all have fears that stop us from doing, achieving, and succeeding. Even after years of training myself, I still have fears and worries just like everyone else!
I’ve learned from being a psychologist that worrying doesn’t do us a whole lot of favors, and fear doesn’t get us anywhere good. It’s not to say worry is always a bad thing -- it’s just human nature to get worried sometimes. However, we can worry too much, and that is when it starts to get in the way of our moving forward or pushing through barriers in our way.
Fear has stopped me from doing a lot of things! But I’ve learned how to manage it better over the years. I am certain that it’s something we can all push past too. Worry is normal, but when we aren’t mindful of it, it can become a habit. We become stuck in this worry wormhole and fear begins to rise to the surface, making it hard to get out.
In this episode, you’ll learn how I got out of this cycle of worry. After this episode, you’ll have a better understanding of how to make your fears more manageable and how to stop thinking small and live up to the dreams you’ve set for yourself.
[5:08] Why do we worry so much?
[7:40] Worry is something that can be controlled
[12:11] Recognizing fear and understanding how it works
[15:39] The power of believing in ourselves
[16:57] Changing the fear equation so you can start taking action
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Dr. Christine Li [host] -
Hi, everyone, welcome back to the show. This is episode nine. I am so very grateful that you are listening to the make time for success podcast, it's all going extremely well. And I have to say part of that is really a surprise. But it's a tremendous relief as well. So thank you for listening. The reviews that have been coming in for the show have been telling me that you're receiving the episodes as containing insight and love. Those are the two words that have been sprinkled throughout the reviews. And I have to tell you that that makes me so happy because that's exactly what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to put insight and love in these episodes and send it all out to you. So thank you for sending it right back. One lovely reviewer said Dr. Lee grasps all those feelings I have when I procrastinate. She comes from a place of having been there. So she knows the struggles and can relate. So glad to be sharing her knowledge so I can feel empowered. Thank you wait no more 284 for leaving such a great and fun review. If you're enjoying the podcast, too, please take a minute or two to leave a review. It's the best way you can help the show grow and get in front of more people. And I would be so grateful. If you would do that for me and the show. I'm very much hoping that every episode holds a piece of wisdom that you can hang on to and implement in your own life to make something new, whether it's having an easier day, a more productive hour, or just a happier outlook, whatever you choose to do that makes me happy. That makes me happy that the show has some sort of impact in your life. Today, I'm going to talk about the subject of fear. Why? Because it's just such a humongous factor and being able to get things done. And I think it's something that most of us struggle with in our daily lives, even when they're going really well. So let's go listen. Hi, I'm Dr. Christine Li and I'm a psychologist and a procrastination coach. I've helped 1000s of people move past procrastination and overwhelm. So they can begin working to their potential. In this podcast if you're going to learn a powerful strategies for getting your mind, body and energy to work together so that you can focus on what's really important, and accomplish the goals you want to achieve. When you start living within your full power, you're going to see how being productive can be easy, and how you can create success on demand. Welcome to the make time for success podcast. Hi, everyone. My purpose today is to help you see that you are the ultimate creative force in your own life. And the reason I need to do that is because there's a force in your life that seems to want to wrestle you for that top spot in your life. And that force is fear. And a little bit further into this episode, I'm going to use a little example from my own life to demonstrate why it's so important to always stay on top of our fears. Let's get started. I hear it every single work day as a psychologist and a coach. My clients say to me, Dr. Lee, what if this happens? What if that happens? What if this turns into a catastrophe? What if I fail at that? And I listen to my clients? And what I tell them is that if I knew the answers to these what if questions, I would be working in a very different field, I wouldn't be a psychologist, I'd probably be a stock picker. Or I would tell people what the weather was going to be or I'd be reading people's fortunes for them. I would not be a psychologist because my job is not to predict the future. My job is to help people live more comfortably in the present moment. And because I hear so many what ifs. What if this what of that? During my work day. I feel like I've learned a very valuable life lesson. I think the single biggest blessing I've gained from being a psychologist is knowing that fear gets us nowhere good that worrying really doesn't do us any favors. And I just believe in my heart that worrying is just not the most effective way that we can handle our life situations. So that may be great. A realization but we and I really have to come to terms with the fact that most of us worry a great deal. So why do we tend to worry so much? Personally, I believe that it's a habit that we learn throughout our early years we learned from school, we learn it from our homes, we learn it from society, from the news, and from just wanting to do well, it's not all such a bad thing. It's a reflection that we care that we're alert, and that we feel like we have a role in creating our outcomes. And somewhere along the road in our development, we learned that stressing out is a way to prepare for things. And I think that moment comes somewhere in middle school. It's a heady time, I know. And I think school has a big role to play in the development of general anxiety. I know that I used to connect freaking out about school assignments, and being concerned with doing well with being effortful. And maybe I was just afraid of looking like I didn't care or that I was lazy. I wanted to be a good student. And the way I showed that was freaking out at every turn, every exam, every essay that was due every meeting, I was just crazed with anxiety. And I spent a lot of time feeling anxious and uncertain. And it didn't help that I was always literally running behind on something. And I was literally running behind on everything. And it was so much for me to manage. emotionally. In hindsight, especially I can have some empathy for myself that I was really not feeling well, even though I was trying to do very well. The good news is that once I learned to put a cap on my anxiety to almost eliminate worry from my daily routine, I was able to really open up a lot of room for myself, I was able to think more clearly, I was able to take breaks and relax in real ways, not fake ways. I was able to be much more creative and productive. And I was able to do things without really fearing failure, I was able to mess things up, and know that I was going to survive, there were no what ifs anymore. I just would do things I would go through the middle part of things and then I would finish things. It was all a much better working equation for me. And I think here I want to just give you a really beautiful memory of mine. It is actually a lesson that I learned from years back when I was training to be a psychologist and I learned this lesson from my supervisor, Dr. Ken Garfinkel, who is one of the kindest and most gifted people I've ever known. And he's a psychologist who specializes in working with people with anxiety disorders. And so many years ago, more than 20 years ago, he taught me that the one thing he wanted to teach his children was to not worry, or to try to avoid worrying, I should say. And I remember that we were on a new york city streets when he was saying this to me and my classmate. And I just remember at that moment, tucking that precious piece of advice away in my head, and then using it over and over and over again, in both my work with my patients, and also in my own life. And so I thought I would share that with you hear because worry is something that is controllable. I think that's what he taught me in that moment. And it's something that we can handle. So, yes, I know, it's also a part of life, it's a very natural part of life, life is uncertain, and it can be seriously unpredictable. And of course, our very creative, very imaginative brains can really throw us for a loop and make us feel anxious, sometimes even in a split second, even when we're really really committed to living worryfree. And here's where I'm going to insert my own fear, to provide an example for you of how we can take our natural fears, the fears that crop up for us somewhat unexpectedly, and how we can still come out feeling like we're on top of the fear that we're actually not limited by are fears anymore. So what's the example The example is that I have been afraid to do this episode. This is what podcasters call a solo episode where there's no interview guest. And the host is just talking and providing a lesson or story is just talking on their own. And I've recently over the past few days, gotten it in my head that solo episodes of mine are not going to be liked as much as the interview episodes that I've already released. Because in my mind, the interviews have gone really well. They're totally fun and informative. And I think sometimes I fear that people might not want to listen to me, I might be a little bit of a drag, I might be too much of a taskmaster. So all of those little sneaky fears have come into my head and into my heart, to make it really difficult for me to get this episode, created and done. But as with all things, we have to get over fears in order to see what is out there for us. without sending out this solo episode, I would just be sitting here wondering about these things. And now that I'm giving it to you, now that I'm publishing it, in a day or two, I might actually know if you do like solo episodes, I might know the facts. And I also am definitely gonna find out if I like solo episodes. So maybe I end up hating solo episodes, but then I can choose to do the interview episodes and really rely on those heavily. But now I have this data, I have this real fact of this episode, to kind of observe and evaluate. And I can do it without fear. Now that I'm on this other side of fear. So this is my quick way of showing you how fear is a very unhelpful way of guiding yourself through your task lists and your dream lists. Fear is always going to be encouraging you to turn the other direction and stay small, and stay quiet and out of danger. But I'm here to tell you, what if you're never really in that kind of danger, what if you are never really ever meant to be small and quiet. Just think about that. We need to recognize our fears because they do exist, particularly when we're doing things out of our comfort zones like solo episodes. And when we're in times like these when we're also tired from being in pandemic times. So we allow the fears to be in our lives. But when we decide that we're going to look at them, we're going to look at our fears, we're going to name them, we're going to address them. When we decide that when we take that stance, our fears become manageable. It's when we stay hidden behind our fears. And when we don't take any action, that our fears become unmanageable and comfortable. They literally make us feel like we're distressed. They make our thoughts about being productive, much less powerful. Because our heart is not fully in the game when we're afraid. We're never playing full out when were really afraid. So let's play full out from now on. And that's a good news I want to share with you that you can develop this habit of allowing yourself to play full out. Hiring coaches and signing up for courses and hearing nice words from other people can help us to try to play full out. But in the end, I think the most important thing that we can do to help ourselves succeed is to really believe in ourselves. We have to believe in ourselves. The stronger the belief we have in ourselves, the better. And that's also really good news too, because you are the person in charge of that whole belief system. You're the one in charge of believing in yourself. You have full control over that, my friend. So I just told you my most recent fear, it was pretty big, it felt big. But now it's time to look at yours. What are you currently holding yourself back from? Take a minute to think about two or three things maybe that you're afraid to do things that feel inconvenient, they feel too big. They feel scary. What fears are preventing you from starting right away from starting and picking up tomorrow? I just want you to think a few moments about those two questions again, what are you currently holding yourself back from, and what fears are preventing you from starting right away. If you're feeling stuck here, I'll give you some cues. Some fears you might be facing our fear of difficulty, frustration, judgment, humiliation, not having enough time, having to use your free time. And feeling overwhelmed, of course, the list extends ad infinitum. But whatever your fear is, name it, and then look at it, and then decide to get bigger than that fear. Do not let the fear fool you into thinking that you don't have what it takes. Don't let yourself be the biggest block to your own success. It's just foolish to do that. It's human. But you have the power to change that and turn things for the better for yourself. So decide for yourself that the fear means that you have something to gain by completing the action, fear is now a signal for you. It's not a danger signal, it's a signal that there's an action that you need to take. Let your fear be a signal to you that there's something meaningful in this for you. Let the fear mean for you that you have to deepen your belief in yourself before you start. Let the fear signal mean for you that you will find something really interesting about yourself, other people or the world that you're in, when you face down your fear. So together, we're going to change the way we look at fear. Instead of thinking that fear leads to doubt leads to inaction. And staying stuck, we're going to change that whole equation, we're going to say instead, that fear leads to mindful reflection about the fear leads to deepening our belief in ourselves, leads to action, which leads to a revelation, some sort of information that helps us some sort of feedback from taking action. That equation is so much better, I guarantee you, you're gonna like it much, much more than staying stagnant and staying worried. So this is a good place for me to mention that it's taken me several years to actually produce this podcast to bring this show to life. Developing a podcast has been an idea in my mind for a very, very long time. But I needed to work up the belief in myself to actually be able to put the steps together and launch it. And even with a coach and colleagues who were kindly supporting me, and all the tech things being in the right place, I still had the thought midway, in the preparation for the podcast launch, that I could just stop the process, I could just quit and no one would really be the worst off, no one would even know. But now that I've launched this podcast, and it is doing its thing, I know now that I would have been much worse off if I had stopped and quit the idea of this podcast being a life thing. So I'm going to encourage you now to embrace your scary hairy idea, or your scary hairy ideas and work towards them. breathe life into them. You're the boss. Remember that. Just know that your efforts and your projects and your dreams are going to support you right back. That investment that you put in is going to come right back to you when you're through. So thanks for listening to this episode of Christine's most recent fears. Join me next week for another great interview episode, this time with Ricky Heller, who will teach us all about food, emotional eating, and habit change. Thank you so much for being here. I'll see you next week. Thank you for listening to this episode of The make time for success podcast. If you enjoyed what you heard, you can subscribe to make sure you get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website make time for success podcast.com for past episodes, show notes and all the resources we mentioned. On the show, feel free to connect with me over on Instagram too. You can find me there under the name procrastination coach. Send me a DM and let me know what your thoughts are about the episodes you've been listening to. And let me know any topics that you might like me to talk about on the show. I'd love to hear all about how you're making time for success. Talk to you soon.