Over this month, we have looked at fear. In our last post, we dug in on Fear and the Track Record. Today, we bring it all together with an add.
To catch you and me up to date, here is what I have shared this month.
This month I will speak on fear and how we allow it to consume and control us. Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous likely to cause pain, or a threat. It is to be afraid of someone or something.
Many of us allow fear to control decisions and choices that we make, which in turn may alter the path that our life is meant to take. It can be stressful, create anxiety and overwhelm us and our lives.
When I think of fear, a video from Steve Harvey’s talk show comes to mind. He was in between airing his show during commercial break and out of nowhere got the urge to speak to his audience about “jumping”. He speaks about how is it that we really know if we can be successful at something if we don’t take the “jump” and just go for it. It was awe inspiring and motivational. I suggest finding it and watching it. It resonated with me and to be truthful it helped me “jump”.
Fear can be for a multitude of things. We can be afraid of anything from spiders, to a change in careers, or maybe we are afraid of death. These things are inevitable. We will experience so many different things in the duration of our lives. Why would we allow the fear of encountering these things freeze us from moving fluidly to experience all that the world has to offer?
It is so much easier to say than to do. I get that, believe me. I spent my life questioning what it was that I was meant to do. I dabbled in different jobs. Many of them over the years. I exceled in some, but not at others. But no matter what job I was doing, something wasn’t there. Even though I felt this in the depth of my heart, mind and gut, I didn’t know what it was that I was meant to do. I was fearful of going back to school. I was fearful of failure. Or maybe a little fearful of getting an education that I either would not use, or I wouldn’t truly love. Because of this I took many years to explore, to figure out what it was that I was destined to study. From the age of 19 up until the age of 31, I kept coming back to helping people in some capacity whether large or small. I worked in retirement homes, I worked with children, I worked with adults that had Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome. I grew to know that I was meant to help. Whatever that looked like? I also knew that I love hard. I genuinely care. I feel pain of others and truly empathize. So, there had to be something that fit this criteria. There had to be something that nurtured my strengths and passions. And there was. But first I had to dig deep and get to know who I am as a person. Then it took a whole other level of realness within me. Which at moments brought on a fear of its own. But I pushed through it, fear and all. I worked on my abilities and skills and the rest fell into place.
When we think of fear, we think of the negative aspect of it. What we don’t always realize is there are actual benefits to feeling fear. Fear guides our fight and flight responses. It also heightens our senses while keeping us alert and better prepared. When our brain kicks in to fight or flight our body is pumped full of Cortisol (the stress hormone). When we are finding ourselves flushed with stress or fear our adrenaline kicks in. Adrenaline increases our heart rate, but also gives us a burst of energy and focuses our attention on the danger at hand. During this fearful or stressful state, your body is also supplying norepinephrine, which is much like arousal. It helps us become more aware, alert, awake and focused. We become more responsive. And it pumps blood flow to the areas that are the most essential during this time, so that we can flee the stressful situation.
I think of all the things that our body and brain is capable of in these moments. I think hell, why are we not learning how to use fear and stress in a more positive way? Why can’t we build on our fear and maybe somehow it will help us overcome and conquer something that we had no idea we were even capable of? Or maybe allowing ourselves to feel the fear in those very real and terrifying moments, we in turn discover life-altering realizations about who we really are, and why we react in those particular moments.
So, a little more about what I discovered in the moments of facing “my fear”, and even years after. I spend my younger adult years just living life, moving from apartment to apartment, house to house. I never stayed in any place too long. I never stayed in any relationship too long. I had a gypsy soul, and still do in a much healthier way. I was lost I guess you could say. I was so unsure of anything in life, anything other than knowing I wanted to be a mom. That was the only thing I could think, the only thing that I was certain of. Even though I was young, I was a lover, and a very nurturing person. I knew I needed to be needed. It might sound crazy, but that was something I felt at a very young age. So, the years went by quickly, still no growth on my part, or at least I didn’t feel that there was. Yet, there was! Every single moment of my life was growth somehow. Even the moments where I was failing. There was growth in my bad decisions. There was growth in every relationship I ever had. I couldn’t see exactly how this would all play out. But it did. And now years later I see how and why all of those moments, those fearful situations, and those terrifying yet brave choices that I made put me in the right place in my life. It gave me the tools I needed to know when the moment came for me to “jump”. And it’s funny because I watched Steve Harvey’s video and thought “how will I know when and where I should actually jump?”. Boy did it smack me right in the face. It was like walking straight into a brick wall. And it was scary as all hell. It shook me to the core, yet, made EVERYTHING so damn clear. Everything in my life had led me to this moment. Now this may look so different for each and every one of you. It may not only shake you to your very core, but it might knock you right off your feet. I guess that is where harnessing our stress hormone and our fear comes to play.
Today, OCTOBER 30, I offer…
Maybe instead of running when we feel this undeniable pull in a certain direction, we should instead explore this path. Maybe this is the path that we were meant to travel. Maybe it is something you never in a million years thought that you would do, or even be interested in doing. Now let me be clear, I am talking healthy changes, healthy exploration and experiences. I am not saying to jump into a random relationship or take a job because you have a fear of the unknown. I am saying listen to your body cues. Feel that surge of energy when the cortisol flushes through you. Use that as your driving force to challenge or overcome the obstacle that you are facing.
… and I intend to; explore. Thanks for that reminder Jenny. These past few years, especially, since my TIA/stroke in 2015, I have felt something of a gnawing in my Soul. Indeed, over the last year or so in particular, I have taken on a strategic and almost purposefully meandering journey of reflection and re-engineering … almost. No, not almost, indeed and in deed.
This week, that kind of culminated in a post called What Matters Most? In that, I shared on making and leaving your M.A.R.K. and stating your C.A.S.E.. I highly recommend the read if I do say so myself; and I do.
With that in mind, my deepest desire is not for riches nor fame, but service and impact. I seek only to work with those I can truly help. They are identified in that blog, where I focus it down to:
- I love, honor and have a blast helping global goal minded, and noble hearted educators, entrepreneurs and leaders move the world. I speak, teach, coach, facilitate, consult, write, cartoon, sing, dance, vlog, blog, pod and create on it.
How does this relate to fear? I am about to go outside my ever increased (over the years) box. I have had moments in my life where I was called upon, first resisted, and then made my jump… and those moments served in (a) teaching me my best relationship with fear, (b) showing me new understandings of capacity, and (c) offering new vistas and roads. This moment is no different.
In doing so, it might mean some kind of change of scenery; not necessarily geographically. It might mean new circles. It will mean new circles. That does not mean leaving my teaching, nor my work with Epic Engage™. That is the core and heart to this growth. I am an educator and entrepreneur who simply wants to love, honor and have a blast helping those global goal minded, and noble hearted educators, entrepreneurs and leaders move the world. It does mean digging deeper on a global focus.
Since childhood, I have seen myself as “Terran”, and my neighbourhood was Newfoundland and Labrador. I seek to primarily travel and work and walk with those that get that. That is not an elitist view because such a vision is open and accessible to anyone. It does mean that it is time for me to put on those global glasses and find those whose full heart is in it. I have no desire to retreat into local life. I love where I live, and will always call it my “hood”. But my vision is world embracing, and embracing is more than “accepting”. It requires a Wholeheartedness that says there is no “Plan B”. It requires such a Wholeheartedness that many might not share. That is OK. A part of me wants to ride with everyone. A bigger part of me knows that we best ride with those who want to ride together.
My life and friendships and work will not change much. But, there will be a fundamental change in seeing my life as “global”. As noted, I care not for riches, nor fame. Still, this “boy inside the man” has always sought service and impact that has no freakin’ borders and serves those who have the capacity and deep desire for the “betterment of the world”.
Some will not be on board, and that scares a part of me. But, that is good. Fear is a friend that causes us to question what it is we fear. Some fears tell us that we need to protect ourselves and that is a good thing. Some fears say “I dare you“. That is a good thing too.
For the next two months, I am choosing to run silent and deep. I will continue posting daily on my platforms of Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, thrice daily; morning, noon and night. Three times daily with posts that I feel might add to the character of life.
That being said, I will be laying low otherwise.. I will be focusing on my teaching, Epic Engage™, my university courses and my health. I will not be out and about. There may be an event or two. There will be a few coffees and evenings with friends. But, I am drawing back, taking a deeper dive into those “global” eyes. I will be better understanding that I am a world citizen; an educator and entrepreneur without borders, if you will.
Will drawing back and doing so be scary? Yup. Yip. Uh-huh. It will mean questioning and changing my life in ways I have gotten used to for now seemingly too long. I love my life, and am grateful for it; but it is time to change it.
So, and again, let me ask you.
- What matters most to you? What cause or work or progress or service matters most to you? Deeply. Maybe consider those global goals to jog some thought.
- How do you imagine yourself now, or in the future, helping advance on it… moving the needle on it?
- Who do you imagine yourself best serving in doing so?
- What talents, capacities and services do you bring to move that needle?
- How will you be known with consistency, that is aligned with you, simple and enjoyable?
Dare yourself. Your fear might be your friend. Fear is never the end… it is the beginning; of discovery. Spend some time with you. Reflect. Re-engineer. Face the fear and feed the fire. I will.
So, yes… fear has been our journey for October. Together, Jenny and I ever continue to be committed to living a joyful life and work. Friends and colleagues do that. As noted, having a better understanding of fear helps too. We will continue to explore our own perspectives on love and character and how they can build a life of work, play and service that is right for each and all of us.
Join us, stay tuned and engage us. Our lives matter.
Peace, passion, prosperity, and a whole bunch of Love and Character
Benny and Jarry
Peace, passion and prosperity…
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Benny and Jarry
Jenny Dearing speaks to love in action. She brings talent, experience and learning around love, trauma and care. With a passion for Child and Youth Care and Addictions, and a background in same, she connects, and memorably so. Her work spans children and youth care with addictions, personal and senior care, respite work, and business leadership; delivering on all. Jenny is a Certified Virtues Project™ Facilitator, with professional training in child and youth care with addictions support and home support services. With certification in ASIST Suicide First Aid, Autism Awareness and Understanding, Trauma Information Care and Child and Youth Care Practice, Jenny brings it, with zeal. On top of all that, she loves singing, and is an accomplished multi-media artist … and brings both to her work. Artistry is a path to love and healing. Jenny knows it. She believes in it. She drives it.
Barry Lewis Green moves the needle on character leadership and unity building with joyful ferocity and thoughtful zeal. Barry helps leaders forge strong, united cultures at school, work, business and community. Joe Calloway says, “I had the distinct pleasure of being in an audience in Montreal with Barry Lewis Green on the stage. Quite simply, Barry absolutely captivated us with his talent, his message, and his heart. The feeling of unity that Barry created in the room that day was extraordinary.” With 39 years in education and leadership training and development … and work in the private, public and community sectors across Canada… and as a speaker, educator, master facilitator, coach, writer, singer, dancer, and cartoonist, Barry stokes the fire on together strong.
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