managing fear

3 Ways To Tackle Fear of the Future

3 Ways To Tackle Fear of the Future

Afraid of what's to come?

You aren't alone. The other day, I was talking with a 20 year-old who's moving to Nepal for 6-months. She’ll live with a family, learn the language, and be fairly isolated (as most host families don’t have internet.)

“Sounds like when I lived overseas!" I replied, laughing. "Those were the days of snail mail and expensive phone calls.”

But I also knew her fear – the fear of going someplace completely foreign, being thousands of miles away from friends and family- being alone.

She admitted that when she’d first learned about the trip something inside of her urged her on. The more she learned, the more she wanted to do it, until she was actually facing getting on the airplane.

Has that ever happened to you?

4 Ways to Choose Love in the Face of Uncertainty

4 Ways to Choose Love in the Face of Uncertainty

Life is filled with the unknown. Whether it’s a presidential election, a storm prediction, a doctor’s appointment or the stock market.

In fact, life essentially is uncertainty in action.

Think about it. Whenever you try something new – a dance class, a restaurant, lunch with a new friend, a job opportunity – there’s risk. Simply because it is new, unknown or uncertain.

So, how do we, as students of spirituality learn to embrace that which is unknown and not fall into fear?

3 Ways to Tackle Uncertainty

3 Ways to Tackle Uncertainty

I had a revelation the other day.

It was about transformation.

Our souls yearn to evolve and change, to up-level, to reach our goals and manifest our visions.


So we go for it and jump into the trenches. We start working and making things happen.

And then they do.

I experienced this last week. I realized that for the majority of this year, 2016, I have focused on closing my old life and making this transition across the country.

My life change has not only involved a physical move but also closing my coaching practice in Florida and transitioning clients, saying goodbye to friends (and family) I’ve had for over a decade, letting go of routines and habits, releasing an entire lifestyle and everything that was familiar.

And here’s the trick, the one I am now face-to face with: to make something new and not re-create the old.

Moving From Fear to Love

Moving From Fear to Love

Last week I was scheduled to make a brief speech in front of an audience of about 200 people. Normally, I enjoy speaking in public but sometimes it can make me a bit anxious.

And this turned out to be one of those times.

I woke Friday morning feeling my nerves racing around in my belly like fiery little sparks. I consciously worked at taking my mind off the event, focusing instead on my immediate tasks.

I had emails to write, phone calls to make. I wasn’t scheduled to speak until the afternoon, leaving for the venue around 4 pm.

At about 2:00, I quickly glanced through my emails and spotted one from a coaching client I currently have. Since January, he and I have been working on resolving an issue with one of his employees.

The employee was not doing a satisfactory job. Instead of firing him in January, my client chose to see if things could change and had spoken with the man on several occasions as well as given him two formal reviews.

None of his interventions had worked and recently he’d let the employee go.

My client had copied me his response to a recent email from this disgruntled employee.

As I read both what the employee had written as well as my client’s reply, my entire insides roiled. His former employee had refused to take any responsibility for being fired, was blaming my client and choosing to be a victim.

I was appalled but worse began feeling a panic run up my throat.

Moving Through Fear In 3 Easy Steps

Moving Through Fear In 3 Easy Steps

Last week I got a call from a woman in tears who confessed that she was incapable of completing even simple tasks anymore, like phoning a sick friend. She then said, “I’m paralyzed by fear.”

My heart went out to her.

Obviously she was in a lot of pain. Sometimes it’s easy to look at people who are successful or brave and feel like they must be cut from a different cloth. They must have mastered fear and no longer have it. We compare ourselves and feel woefully inadequate. Then we can think things like, “That person is so unlike me. I’m just a big scardey cat, afraid all the time.”

I knew this woman felt like she was alone in her suffering. 

So I resolved to support her just as I had been helped years earlier to walk through my own fear.

About fourteen years ago, I was a martial arts student, preparing for an upcoming rank test in Tae Kwon Do. This meant I’d have to break a board. I never felt terribly confident in sports and saw myself as clumsy and awkward.

I was slowly working myself into a panic about performing. Not only would I forget the moves for the form I was required to do but I’d get hurt or worseI’d make a fool out of myself and feel embarrassed in front of the other students, my teachers and family. 

I finally said something, knowing I needed encouragement. My teacher, who had also been a spiritual practitioner for more than 30 years, shared his wisdom with me.

Feeling Afraid? Try Acknowledging It

Feeling Afraid? Try Acknowledging It

When I was in my early 20s, I was offered a job in sales and design for a manufacturer in Hong Kong. My office was in a factory located in an industrialized and severely polluted part of the territories. After arriving and settling in, I quickly realized that it wasn’t the job for me. They hardly had anything for me to do and had hired me primarily as a favor to my mother. Every day I sat at my desk in a windowless room pretending to work. It was pretty awful.

Who Just Said That?

Who Just Said That?

Lately I've been hearing people talking about their anxiety. One man I know can't stop thinking about his health. He recently had a check up and was told he has high blood pressure. Now he can't stop thinking about the blood pumping through his body. His thoughts make him fearful and anxious, that he's going to have a heart attack or stroke at any moment. Then a pregnant woman mentioned almost the same thing. Even though this isn't her first child, she's finding herself fixated on the future pain and all of the awful complications that could happen despite the fact that she's already had near perfect birthing experiences.

So what is this?

What's Fear Got To Do With It?

What's Fear Got To Do With It?

About 25 years ago when I was just starting to find my career path, I had an interesting experience with fear. I was living in Hong Kong and had been working at a knitwear factory. I really hated my job but being so far away from my family and friends, making a change felt scary. (This was pre-internet days.) I finally mustered up the courage to quit my job after 6 or 7 months but then had to figure out what to do. After spending a LONG time thinking about it, writing a list of what I needed to have in my life and then realizing I didn't speak Cantonese, I ended up applying for teaching jobs.

Somehow I knew I was going to get one and before the summer was over, I had a brand new job at an international high school teaching English and art. I was excited! It was my first "real" job where I wasn't answering the phone or running errands. I even had my own mailbox in the office. Best yet, I got to read books all day! The two weeks before school started were great, I organized my classroom and outlined the textbooks, deciding what to do and when.