I HAVE SUCH A TREAT FOR YOU TODAY! My friend Cheri Honeycutt has written a guest post. Cheri is a master professional facilitator (on-line and in-person), individual and executive coach, speaker, podcaster and author. She recently shared an online session where she discussed the subject of fear, and the acronym she created to define it really resonated with me. I thought you might enjoy it too. Take it away, Cheri…
Not long after my divorce, when my world had been turned upside down, the transmission on my minivan went out. The final total to have it replaced was $4,997. At the time, I had only $5,000 in my savings. (Cue melt-down!)
This horrible news rocked me to my core! In a flash my financial safety net was gone and I was triggered into a swivet (my word for losin’ it!). In a matter of minutes I was flailing, literally and figuratively, imagining my demise and seeing myself as a homeless, single, abandoned woman living in my newly-transmissioned mini-van.
I wallowed in my despair for a few days, falling into one emotional pothole after another.
One afternoon I shared my worries about money and my enormous fears for my future with my best friend. With the dramatic flair of a Shakespearean actress I kvetched and cried and predicted my horrific future. My friend lovingly asked me, “Cheri, how far behind are you on your mortgage and other bills?” Through my tears I said, “I’m not behind at all.”
That’s when I realized that I had immersed myself in fear, not reality! My feelings had become facts: I FELT broke, so therefore I WAS broke. I FELT unsafe so therefore I WAS unsafe. I felt abandoned, forlorn, untethered so therefore I WAS all of these things.
F.E.A.R: My Divine Download
You may have heard the popular acronym for FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real. I like it. It speaks to what’s happening when we drop into fear. It highlights what happened to me when my transmission went out. The feeling of being broke (and therefore destitute) felt real.
That acronym is a great start, but then what?
Not long after talking to my friend I was given another acronym for FEAR: Find Evidence of your Actual Reality! This new acronym gave me instructions for how to get OUT of fear. To me, Spirit clearly gave me this download.To move away from False Evidence Appearing Real, I needed to Find Evidence of my Actual Reality! Click To Tweet
So here were the facts: Fact #1: I had $5,000 set aside for an emergency. Fact #2: Needing a new transmission IS an emergency. FACT#3: At the time, I was paid current on all of my bills. FACT#4: There was food in the refrigerator, gas in the car and propane in the tank! FACT#5: My consulting business was doing well and had regular payments coming in to pay all of my future bills.
My sadness about what had happened to me in my past and my fear about the impending doom of a future (that most likely would never happen) were undermining my ability to see my present reality.
I began to climb my way out of despair into my reality one fact at a time.
Creating Your Ladder Out of Fear
Deciding to – or being forced to – look for a new job is arguably one of the scariest things we ever have to do. You have to muster up the desire, the confidence, and the fortitude to apply for new positions AND be ready to be rejected. It can be brutal and feel overwhelming.As a job seeker one’s fears often show up posing as facts. In many cases, these “facts” may even keep us from putting ourselves out there at all. Click To Tweet
We may state “facts” like:
- “It’s not the right time to look for a new position. No one is hiring right now.”
- “I’m 57 years old. No one will hire someone at my age.”
- “There are no jobs that I’m qualified for or want that will pay me what I need to be paid.”
- “I’ve had too many diverse jobs. XYZ company is looking for people with a solid history in their industry.”
These all appear to be facts, but they’re not; they’re fears masquerading as facts.
To combat these fears, try Find(ing) Evidence of your Actual Reality.
From the examples above:
- Research what is actually happening in your industry and who is getting hired (oh, by the way, people are always hiring).
- Seek evidence of others in their 50s and older who get new positions. It happens every day. (LinkedIn is a great place to start, or ask friends.)
- Give thought to what you bring to the table BECAUSE of your age. Do an inventory of what you have to offer precisely because of your age and experience.
- Think about then articulate, what each of your diverse positions has ACTUALLY taught you and how they have shaped you to be an ideal candidate for a new position.
I won’t lie, our fears dressed up as facts are often difficult to tease apart. It’s why seeking the services of professionals (like HRMeg) to help you see the reality of your expertise and package those facts, or working with a coach to do some myth-busting, can be a great way to get un-stuck.
Here’s what I hope you take from my story: Feelings can present like facts. It’s in gathering the REAL facts that we can diminish our fears and get out of our own way.
When you notice that you’re experiencing fear (or when you’re stuck and not taking action – a sign that fear may have hijacked you), it’s a call to look at the facts. It’s a signal to take stock in what is true and factual in the present.
Cheri’s story is an inspiration to me and I hope her words give you hope, as well as provide you with an actionable way to proceed when you’re feeling fear. When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, or become aware that you’re fearful, remember Cheri’s acronym and Find Evidence of your Actual Reality. This reframing technique may be exactly what you need so that you can see clearly and move yourself beyond fear and on to action.
About Cheri Honeycutt
To contact Cheri or learn more visit www.cherihoneycutt.com
Download her “Get Unstuck Worksheet” at www.cherihoneycutt.com
Become a member of her “Design Your Life On Purpose” Facebook Group! It’s for people who don’t want to settle.
Listen to her podcast “Design Your Life on Purpose” wherever you get your podcasts.