Monday, August 17, 2009


Today I noticed a feeling getting stirred up deep inside my gut. It's always there around the same time of year...mid-August. It's called FEAR! I get an almost paralyzing fear of the beginning of the school year. If I'm going to be honest and ask my wise self what the heck scares me so much, I am given the following answers:

I'm afraid of failing.
I'm afraid of doing a bad job and not teaching my kids anything.
I'm afraid I'll disappoint someone and get screamed at by a parent or a supervisor.
I'm afraid I'll have so much work to do that I won't be able to go out with my husband, walk my dog, write, watch movies, simply enjoy my life.

Hmm. There it is. So, what does one do to counteract all of those unhelpful habitual thoughts that are born from fear? Luckily, I've been doing my research and here's what I've found. If we focus our attention on something, it grows - it gets bigger. So, if I really revel in those mean little thoughts that are telling me I'm going to fail, then all I'm going to create are more of those thoughts which, in turn, will produce more anxiety and keep me in that stressed-out and stuck place. I don't want to live there anymore. I want to bust out of that place with my arms and eyes wide open.

Therefore, my secret weapon will be...drum roll, please!....affirmations.

Whenever I have those thoughts (i.e. 'I suck at this job!', 'I can't handle all this work!', 'I need a new career!'), I'm going to tell myself some version of the following:

"I'm a smart,calm, and resourceful person. I know how to do this work and what I don't yet know, I'll be sure to learn. I am balancing the work just fine and will ask for help if the need arises."

Are you rolling your eyes at me right now?
That's okay. I get it.
But maybe somewhere deep down, you understand what I'm trying to do here. Maybe you understand that someone placing her attention on success and her strengths can help her (or him!) to create more success and more strength.

Trust me - I don't think that using affirmations makes fear just disappear into thin air. Fear is real and needs to be acknowledged. But once you've turned around and said "hello" to it, it's helpful to have a more positive place on which to turn your attention.

There are infinite possibilities when it comes to how we experience life. Fear is only one of the options- and I've gone down that road for much too long.