Monday, September 14, 2009

Beyond Fear of Changing

My coaching clients often tell me they experience profound fear before our first session together. I always explore that fear with them before we move on to other issues they want to work on.

The answers that come up most often are about what will happen if the very changes they want to bring about really happen. Common fear-making beliefs are about deserving, courting disaster, being punished, succeeding, failing, drawing undue attention, being vulnerable to attack, becoming someone they do not like, becoming greedy, arrogant, selfish, uncaring, full of themselves, envied, judged, alone and unloved. Wow!

Me too. When my first book, “Emotional Options” came out, I had lots of those fears! Only a few came about, just as they might have had I done nothing.

I recall a frightening moment when I felt as if I were setting sail in unchartered waters. So many of my beliefs about my lot in life, what I could have and how I must feel had changed, I felt adrift, not knowing where I would land, who I would be. It was about 38 years ago. I did an Option Method dialogue with my dear friend Marvin Beck. I told him I was afraid of crossing a line into an unknown reality.

He asked me, well, “Mand” what scares you about that?
I might not be able to get back, I answered.
What scares you about that? He asked.

My mind went all fuzzy. I felt disoriented – just as my students often do now. This has happened many times. When I was born for example. When I was 14 and lived in Australia. When my son was born. When I went to GROW to become a group leader, discovered the Option Method, took the est training, became hospice volunteer, moved to California. I’ve never been able to get back into the unenlightened state I had been in before those transforming experiences. So far it’s been fine each time.

My list was shorter back then, but I came out of my foggy state and happily told Marvin I figured it would be ok.

Recently people have talked about that kind of fear when they registered for my Breakout to Miracles Weekend. In life the course begins when you sign up for it. Maybe even when you just think about setting out in a new direction, opening doors you may not have known you closed.

I once asked a student, What are you afraid would happen if you were happy? After a long, long, long pause she whispered, You mean, give up pitiful? Then she burst into uncontrollable, gasping, side splitting laughter.

Think about something you would like to bring into your life? Is it scary? Don’t stop there!

Ask yourself what’s scary about it? Do you believe your answer? What are you concerned would happen if you were not scared?

We are going to change. Each and every one of us will grow, learn, gain, love and lose, age, most likely die. The big choice is whether we choose our changes, willingly engage them or simply brace ourselves to endure them.

Wishing you enlightening changes and great happiness.


Find out more about The October 23-25 BREAKOUT to Miracles Weekend in Palm Springs

Learn to use the Option Method in “Emotional Options” by Mandy Evans