This is a part of a special FLTP Blog Series, that follows Two Fearless Living Training Program students as they documented their journey going through the program each week. Laurie Weaver created the beautiful images and Juile Panhke Nelson wrote about her experience, both inspired by each week while in the FLTP program.
Fearless Living Training Program – Module One
Julie Jahnke Nelson – Guest Blogger
What is fear? We hear a lot about fear and how it holds us back. We’re told we should, “Feel the fear, and do it anyway.” We’re taught that if we wish hard enough and think enough positive thoughts we’ll be able to reach our goals. But we might not really understand what fear is, and how it plays a role in our lives. I’ve been dreaming and wishing and willing myself to pursue my dream of freelance writing for years, but fear has kept me stuck, no matter what I’ve tried.
As I started the first module, I felt excited, hopeful, nervous and scared. I was about to embark on a journey that would force me to take a good, hard look at myself, and how fear was holding me back. What I learned from Rhonda as I started the program, is that fear would try to stop me from watching the videos, listening to the audio, and doing the exercises. And that was true! I found myself making up excuses, stalling, feeling anxious, and wanting to walk away whenever I was about to start the next video or exercise. But I acknowledged fear, and completed the videos and exercises, and I’m so glad I did.
I’m starting to understand what fear means and where it shows up in my life. Now I’m able to identify what fear looks like, and I have a visual representation of it. I learned that fear makes me think things that aren’t true, and it makes me question myself and my abilities. Not in every area of my life, but in the area that I dream about the most – the thing I’ve wanted to do all my life, but haven’t been able to make happen, and that’s writing. Fear is doing its job of keeping me safe, and stopping me from pursuing my dream, so I don’t get hurt.
I had no idea how fear really worked. I thought it was my fault I hadn’t realized my dream of writing. I told myself, “I must be lazy, I’m not motivated enough, or I don’t want it badly enough.” I realize now that a lot of how I act or don’t act is a coping mechanism to help me get through certain situations in life. This is an eye-opener. It gives me hope that I can achieve my goal of freelance writing. It’s no longer a matter of, “Oh well, that’s who I am. I just have to accept it.” I know that I can change. This is so exciting!
I realize I’ve been waiting until I have enough confidence to write and submit my work before I start writing. I keep thinking, “Someday I’ll do it. Someday I’ll move forward. Someday I’ll have enough confidence. Someday, someday, someday…” But I’m tired of waiting for “someday.” Someday isn’t real. It’ll always be in the future. But what I learned from Rhonda is that confidence is a result of taking risks. Confidence doesn’t come first, risk does. Confidence comes through stepping out of our comfort zone. In this module, Rhonda outlines the steps to move outside of our comfort zone through stretching, risking, and taking actions that feels like we’ll die if we do them. The “Stretch, Risk, Die” model is pure genius in how it helps us recognize what our comfort zone is and making a plan to take risks and build confidence outside of our comfort zone.
I used the “Stretch, Risk, Die” exercise to outline the steps I can take to realize my dream of breaking into freelance writing. Now it doesn’t seem so daunting, and I can take small steps that will build my confidence and lead me to take bigger steps, and ultimately help me reach my goal. This isn’t just any game plan or taking all of the steps and breaking them into bite-size chunks. I’ve tried that before, and it didn’t work. This model takes my fears into account, and my comfort level with each task, and that makes all the difference. At the same time, I can recognize and acknowledge that fear is stopping me, and move past it to accomplish my dream.
Now I know what fear is. I know how it works, and how it’s trying to keep me safe. I also know where it shows up for me, and what it looks like. Now that I recognize it, and that it’s there to help me, I can move past my fears, and reach my goals. For this training program to work, Rhonda says, “Work the work, and the work will work you.” I know this is true, because I can already feel it working. I’m so excited, and I’m soooo looking forward to module two!
Links to FLTP Blog Series:
FLTP Week 2 Blog Post
FLTP Week 3 Blog Post
FLTP Week 4 Blog Post
FLTP Week 5 Blog Post
FLTP Week 6 Blog Post
FLTP Week 7 Blog Post
FLTP Week 8 Blog Post
FLTP Week 9 Blog Post