Think Excitement, Not Fear!

Yinyang1My good intentions often get waylaid, including last week’s thought to continue the talk about money and passion. I am not there right now and instead want to share a revelation. It came to my attention that many feelings, behaviors, and ways of being in the world break down to two sides of the same coin. For instance, I was asked if I feel fear when I speak to large groups, do presentations or workshops. My immediate, gut level response was “I don’t feel afraid, I feel excitement!” The person asking the question said, “Fear and excitement can feel identical because they are two sides of the same emotional coin.” I didn’t know this and what struck me is the very different results that each of these feelings produces. Fear is often experienced as STOP, there is danger ahead and excitement is LET’S GO, this is going to be good! Fear and excitement produce an identical physical sensation in the body. What determines our interpretation? How do we change your experience from “I’m afraid” to “I’m excited”? My exploration of this topic turns up a consistent message; stop fighting the physical sensation of fear or anxiety and instead channel the energy. When you are feeling afraid or anxious, your body is an aroused state and trying to calm yourself down will only increase the fear. The aroused energy has no place to go (think closed container) so it intensifies rather than decreases. You might want to take a walk or sing a song, do jumping jacks, anything that allows the sensation of fear to transition and move out of your closed physical system.

When you stop fighting the fear, embrace the physical sensation (mind over matter) and claim the experience with an attitude of curiosity you can begin to shift yourself away from fear towards excitement.

Are you asking yourself why is Cynthia talking about this? What does this have to do with business? I am currently fascinated with the dichotomies in our behavior and observing how they show up in the work we do and in our business. Most of us live on one side of the proverbial coin or the other and I am curious to know if living more in the middle, embracing both elements of a given behavior would better serve us. Or is it about using our awareness to consciously transition from one behavior to another as in the case of excitement and fear?