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Have you ever feel lonely?
Do you find yourself isolating because it seems easier?
Is hugging, flirting, connecting, or confronting difficult for you?
Wish you could just get over it already? Whatever “it” is?
Me too. For decades.
The worry, doubt and guilt was killing me.
I thought if I just tried harder things would change. (They didn’t.)
I thought if the RIGHT person loved me I would feel loved. (Nope. That didn’t erase the lack of love I had for myself.)
I thought if I was more successful than I would definitely feel loved and accepted. (Actually being successful just brought up how empty I felt inside.)
I thought I was doing everything I was SUPPOSED TO DO…
I was reading books on opening my heart to love and going to therapy to discover why I never believed anyone REALLY loved me. (Thanks a lot Dad!)
Don’t get me wrong, those books and therapy were awesomely wonderful. I learned some great tools but deep down inside, I didn’t feel like I deserved to be loved or that I had any right to love myself.
Words like selfish. Worthless. Not good enough. Kept popping up in my brain. And I had plenty of proof that it was true! My screw-ups. My heartbreaks. My failures.
Then one day as I was reading another self-help book, these words leapt from the page: “When you get down to it, there’s only two emotions: Fear or Love.”
That’s when the penny dropped.
Fear or Love.
Yes. That’s it. FEAR!!!
I was afraid to be loved. What if they found out how damaged I really am?
I was afraid to speak up. What if they don’t want to listen?
I was afraid to be as successful as I dared dream. Who will like me then?
Everything. Always. Was about everyone else.
How will THEY feel if I don’t attend Christmas dinner?
What if THEY leave me because we disagree?
I don’t want to hurt THEIR feelings.
THEY won’t like me if I don’t do what THEY want so I won’t make waves.
Always. Everyone else. And I thought I was doing it all in the name of love.
That whole time I thought I was being kind and considerate. I thought I was being thoughtful!
I had the right idea but was going about it all wrong because I didn’t understand how fear really worked.
And to be fair, once I admitted that maybe I did have fears it felt overwhelming to even think about because there was just so many! (That’s a lie by the way. You only have one Core Fear. More on that in a bit.)
Fear of getting hurt. Fear of being dumped. Fear of being ignored, rejected, disposed of. Fear of feeling vulnerable. Of looking stupid, and selfish, and secretly worried that I was not good enough anyway.
I felt stuck.
I desperately wanted to be more loving. But without a framework, I didn’t know HOW to love another without losing myself.
I yearned to be a better person. But without a system, I didn’t know HOW to say no and still feel connected and kind.
I was told to be like Mother Theresa so I devoted myself to being there for others. But without guidance, I didn’t know HOW to take care of myself when everyone else needed to be taken care of.
So I just kept doing what I did best.
Ignoring. Avoiding. Pretending.
ALL. THE. TIME.
Until the pain got so great.
The resentment so high.
The disconnection so evident.
THAT I COULD NOT DENY IT ANYMORE…
That moment was the moment I devoted myself to fear.
Understanding it. Learning how it worked. Mastering it.
Mastering fear has allowed me to…
Stay open hearted and say no.
Give from the overflow so I never get depleted.
Speak with kind words and stand for myself at the same time.
Be successful without feeling so much guilt and shame about it.
And so much more…
IT FELT LIKE A MIRACLE.
That’s when I learned – without a shadow of a doubt – that there’s Only ONE Thing Standing Between You and More Love in Your Life, More Success, More Joy…
That One Thing is…. Fear!
I wasn’t the first one to have the penny drop.
If you read the great books or listen to any of the ancient or modern sages, you hear them all repeat one mantra, one declaration, over and over again: Fear or Love. That’s it. Fear or Love.
The problem was I couldn’t find any book or class or workshop on how to master fear that had a framework, a system. Instead, all I found was a bunch of cliches that were nice to repeat but not very helpful when facing a decision and I riddled with doubt.
I could find nothing that explained how fear worked for me in MY LIFE and I needed that. Without a personalized system I didn’t trust that if I did the work, it would give me results. Guaranteed.
Neuroscience is great but knowing fear is part of my neurobiology never stopped me from eating a donut. I needed real skills and real tools.
That’s why none of this fear stuff is your fault because the REAL PROBLEM is...No one ever tells you how to get beyond your Fears!
Because I was so desperate (by this time I had three failed suicide attempts), I was determined to figure this out.
It took me years but slowly, day by day, exercise by exercise, tool by tool… I was changing. And the fears that cut me off from love were no longer holding me back.
I no longer felt guilty when I said no. I could accept compliments. I was no longer afraid of speaking up or walking into a room full of strangers.
I found myself knowing exactly what to do when I had doubt. My fear of rejection and failure practically evaporated. I could see the lies of my negative thinking and instead, I embraced the powerful, empowering, loving, authentic me.
And here’s the big one: I wasn’t ashamed of my past anymore.
That’s a true miracle.
You know what mastering fear has given me? If I had to sum it all up in one word?
FREEDOM. I am truly free.
Free of the shame and blame and guilt. Free of the punishment and debt. Free of the abuse and betrayal. Free from it all.
The day I devoted myself to mastering fear EVERYTHING CHANGED.
By the way, you don’t have to get all buddy-buddy with fear. (Not yet anyway!)
But you do have to make a decision. You do have to decide to do something about your fear thing.
Here’s the good news: I’ve done it!
You don’t have to wait decades for relief. All I need is 10 weeks of your time.
Because when you see how YOUR insidious, sneaky fear really works, everything changes.
Once you have a system and the guidance from someone who’s been there you will no longer be held back by fear….
Imagine. You’ll be able to go anywhere, do anything, and meet anyone.
You’ll be FREE!
Then, I’ve got great news!
The course I created to save my own life is called the Fearless Living Training Program (FLTP). (I’m not into cute and clever names. Let’s just call it was it is. A training program.)
By the way if you’re looking for fluff, move on. This is not for you.
If you’re looking for a quick fix, this is not for you.
Don’t misunderstand me. You will have immediate changes but they won’t be fixes, they will much, much more than that.
When my life sucked, I tried all that quick fix stuff. It was nice, for a while. But soon enough, I had the same problems pop up and had no real solutions.
So yes, I’m not into temporary fixes. I needed a permanent solution. One that would work when the next crisis hit.
You’ve probably guessed that the Fearless Living Training Program is deep and it’s going to ask something from you.
You’re right about that. It will ask something from you. And so will I. (I rarely teach the FLTP live but I’m doing it starting October 4th.)
And yes, it will give you your life back. In fact, after ten weeks with my coaching and guidance you will get a BETTER LIFE BACK!
I love you. I believe in you. Now it’s time you take a risk and believe in yourself. I will be right by your side giving you the guidance you need to truly transform and transcend whatever fear is holding you back….but you have to pull the lever and say YES.
A funny thing happens when you’re confronting fears you’ve kept buried for so long – your entire life starts to change.
Even beliefs you were convinced were written in stone start to erode and crumble.
When Linda attended the Fearless Foundation Workshop she realized her core fear was of being INCOMPETENT.
Applying the tools and techniques she mastered during the workshop resulted in a raise, a better work schedule and a whole new outlook on her career.
Then, with her newfound confidence, she began questioning other feelings, beliefs and behaviors she had clung to for as long as she could remember.
She’d always figured they were just character flaws that she was born with….
But now that she felt so much better about herself – thanks to the Fearless Foundation Workshop – she started wondering if fear might not be at the bottom of those issues as well.
For several years she and her husband Joe had dreamed of owning a place of their own. But it always seemed just that – a nice dream, but out of reach financially.
But as she started asking whether her fear of being incompetent might not be holding her back there too, she realized money wasn’t really the big issue. It was the voices that kept whispering in her head….
You can’t handle all this responsibility…
You’re gonna let Joe down…
Home ownership is for grownups…
It didn’t help that Joe had his own fears around money and security. So between them, even the thought of buying their own home was out of the question.
Fortunately, one of the things she learned at the workshop was to challenge her beliefs by asking one simple question:
Are you making this up or is it a fact?
So she asked herself, “Is this a fact? Can I really not handle responsibility?”
She reviewed the evidence….
She was so good at taking on responsibility at work that her boss wanted to give her more.
She did a great job of taking responsibility for her and Joe’s finances.
And she’d always taken good care of herself.
So obviously, she wasn’t incompetent at all when it came to responsibility.
Not a fact she concluded.
What about letting Joe down if they made this move? She decided to simply ask him….
“Absolutely not,” Joe replied. “Whatever happens with this move, I know you would never let me down.”
And what about her not being a grownup? Was that a fact?
Fortunately, she was able to disprove that one just by reaching in her wallet and getting her driver’s license.
“It says right here I’m 42 years old,” she said out loud. “Definitely a grownup!”
Then Linda remembered what I’d told everyone at the workshop. “If you’re going to make things up about yourself, make it up good.”
So instead of letting her fear of being incompetent keep her on edge and keep her focusing on what she wasn’t doing well, she started keeping track of all the ways she was competent.
And before long, she and Joe had purchased a townhouse in a place they had long dreamed of living.
Once that happened, the dominos started to fall. And Linda was now ready to confront one of her most rigid beliefs: she never wanted kids.
She had always told herself that motherhood just wasn’t something she was interested in. It was fine for others, just not for her.
But now, looking more closely, she realized that this, too, grew out of her fear of INCOMPETENT.
Linda had always had a very difficult relationship with her mother. So Linda was convinced that if she had children of her own, her relationship with them would end up being the same as the one she had with her own mother. In other words, she took it as a fact that she’d be an awful (incompetent) mother.
Applying the same principles of Fearless Living, she soon realized that “fact” was also made up. And that if she didn’t let fear run her life, that deep down what she really wanted was a family.
She was pretty nervous though, about how Joe would react to this about face….
But when he heard her change of heart, he was ecstatic. He desperately wanted a family of his own as well.
And that’s what they decided to do….
So why have I told Linda’s story? Why do I want you to know about all the changes she was able to make in her life once she overcame her fear?
Well, it’s probably pretty obvious by now….
I want to convince you to attend the Fearless Foundation Workshop, and experience for yourself the transformation that comes when you can finally separate yourself from your fear.
And why do I want that…?
The truth is this:
It breaks my heart when people don’t trust the dreams that are trying to be realized through them – and don’t trust the decisions that will help them become the people they were born to be.
Linda’s is just one of countless stories about people I’ve worked with whose lives have become their own because they fulfilled their right to be fearless.
And now it’s time for you to live your own story of transformation.
Catch up on Linda’s story here:
Linda Part One
Linda Part Two
Linda Part Three
Linda Part Four
Linda sat on a bench in the locker room of the Pilates studio where she worked. She had just finished her last class of the day, and now she was furiously going through her notebook.
She wanted to review all the tools she had learned in the Fearless Foundation Workshop before going in to talk to her boss…
Then she wrote down her intention for the meeting:
- Get a regular work schedule
- Make more money
Then she took a deep breath and headed to her boss’ office.
“Hey, Terry,” Linda said as she sat down facing the desk. “Thanks for agreeing to meet with me.”
“No problem,” replied Terry with a smile. “And thanks for filling in for Marge the other day. It’s great knowing I can always count on you in a pinch.”
This was the exact thing that in the past would have made Linda cave in and forget about her request. But this time she used one of the proactive behaviors she had listed in her notebook.
She looked out the window for a second, then turned back and said, “Well, that’s what I’d like to talk to you about. I love helping people feel alive and healthy. And just like my clients, I need a regular schedule to be at my best. So would you be willing to support me by setting the same hours for me each week?”
Terry looked a bit taken aback at Linda’s request. “Well, we’re a small operation, as you know. So I need everyone to be flexible, because people get sick and things happen.”
Linda was prepared for this because of what she learned at the workshop about handling difficult people. So she stayed focused.
“Yes, I understand. I get how that would make things easier. But what works best for me is a set schedule. Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays would be my preference.”
In the past, Linda would have just kept talking to justify her request. But now she knew that was what her fear wanted her to do. So this time, she went quiet, allowing her boss to reply when she was ready.
“Well, it sounds like you’re not backing down. So fine – I’ll adjust your schedule. I guess I don’t have any choice.”
Linda ignored the not very subtle dig – she knew that was just her boss’s own fear trying to get her to back down.
She wasn’t sure if she should push her luck. But she had promised herself that she’d practice being fearless.
“That’s great – thanks. And there is one more thing.”
“Yes, Linda…?” Terry didn’t try to hide the irritation in her voice.
“I’d like to talk about compensation. On average, I teach 22 students per class. And a lot of times there’s a waiting list just to get in.
“I know you pay senior instructors per student rather than per hour. I’d like to be compensated in the same way.”
“Geez Linda, I just agreed to give you set hours. Now you want more money as well?
Getting no response from Linda, Terry went on. “You know memberships are down. This just isn’t a good time to be handing out raises.”
At the workshop, Linda had learned how to set boundaries with clarity and compassion by validating the other person first and then restating your request. It was time to practice…
“I understand your point,” Linda answered. “And based on the last four weeks of students coming into my class, I’m in the top tier of your instructors. I would like my compensation to be equal to the others.”
From that point on the conversation didn’t last much longer. Terry grumbled a bit but in the end, Linda got exactly what she wanted.
As she walked out of Terry’s office, Linda took two steps before breaking out into a huge smile. She’d won!
And that night, she took her husband out to celebrate – her treat.
Linda’s experience was not at all unusual for people attending the Fearless Foundation Workshop.
Participants are often astonished at how their lives change once they identify their core fear, understand how it has controlled so much of their lives, and then put the abundance of tools and principles they learn at the event into practice…
Oh, and as for Linda….
Once she found the courage to ask for what she wanted, she experienced a 180-degree shift. She no longer had to drag herself to work.
She loosened up her approach and began leading her classes in a fun, goofy way that was much closer to her real personality.
As a result, her classes grew even more, and her income along with it. And she had more time (and money) to devote to her husband and personal life.
But then something else happened – something completely unexpected that changed Linda’s life in ways she never imagined.
I’ll tell you all about it in my next post….
Read the other posts about Linda’s story here:
Linda Part One
Linda Part Two
Linda Part Three
Linda Part Four
When Linda first walked into the room, she was surprised there was no stage.
That’s odd, she thought. I figured there’d be more people. And I’d just have to listen….
I hope it’s not one of those rah-rah gatherings. I don’t know what I’m going to tell Joe if this turns out to be a mistake. We can’t really afford this…
She grabbed a seat in the back of the room and was worrying that she’d made a horrible decision….
I didn’t actually meet Linda face to face until the second day of our Fearless Foundation Workshop when she somewhat reluctantly volunteered to get some one-on-one coaching in front of the group.
By that time she knew that the event was pretty much the opposite of rah-rah. Or woo-woo, for that matter. Because by Day 2 she’d already filled pages of her notebook with practical ideas for conquering her fears and changing her life.
She told me later the first turning point for her came right away, when I asked the group, “Do you ever feel any of these things or do any of these things?”
Wishing things were different?
The list continued through about 20 more feelings, challenges and wishes.
And Linda circled at least 80% of the items on the list.
What Linda didn’t realize is that everything she checked – in fact the entire list – relates to just one single feeling:
All of these thoughts and conflicts are what I call your fear responses.
Think of it this way: your fear responses are those things you usually label as your problems.
But the reason you have any of these problems, if you’re like Linda, is you always put other people first.
You’ve told yourself that if you could only say no, then your life would be so much better. But you just can’t.
The thing is, you’re right. Your life would be better.
So why haven’t you learned how to say no or put up boundaries?
Because you’re afraid.
Afraid of rejection.
Afraid of being judged.
Afraid of not being enough.
And underneath all these fears is a single fear that is so deep it drives the others. What I refer to as your Core Fear.
Most of us don’t even know what that core fear is. We may swear we know what our biggest fear is, but we’re usually wrong.
It’s why the entire first day of the Fearless Foundation Workshop is devoted to discovering your Core Fear.
Because when you identify your Core Fear, you realize that all your mistakes, all your bad decisions, all the times you don’t trust yourself, are not your fault.
They occur because fear is having its way with you.
But once you understand that – once you recognize how your core fear works and how to deal with it – it can no longer trick you.
As I presented this idea to the Fearless Foundation group, I could see Linda in the back of the room, furiously taking notes, but doing her best to avoid eye contact with me. So I figured this would be a good time to shake things up.
“Linda,” I asked. “Would you be willing to share what you’ve discovered?”
After giving me a deer-in-the-headlights gaze, she hesitantly stood up and faced the rest of the group.
As I began to question her, Linda revealed that by going through the exercises we had done, Linda came to realize her own Core Fear: being INCOMPETENT.
She had spent her life working overtime to make certain no one would see her or think of her or accuse her of being incompetent. She had to prove to the world that she was ABSOLUTELY NOT INCOMPETENT.
So Linda was always the first one at work, and the last one to leave. She was the one everyone could count on to work overtime, or fill in for an absent co-worker, or take on the volunteer project at church.
She would do everything she could to avoid tasks she might not do perfectly. And oh, how she hated to be micromanaged. She never wanted anyone to see what she was doing, just in case she was doing it wrong.
So much effort and exhaustion and perfectionism – all because of fear.
“So Linda,” I asked, “is there anyone in your life that you have difficulty talking to? Anyone right now you worry might see you as incompetent?”
Her voice came back in a whisper. “My boss,” she said.
“And if you weren’t afraid of talking to your boss, what would you want to say. Or ask for?”
She didn’t hesitate. “A raise. And better hours.”
“So if I gave you some tools to use, would you be willing to ask your boss for those things?”
We could all see the dread on her face. But very nervously and sheepishly she nodded her head and squeaked out, “I’ll try.”
And in the next post, I’ll tell you what happened when she did….
Read the other posts about Linda’s story here:
Linda Part One
Linda Part Two
Linda Part Three
Linda Part Four