We all know we have fear of failure, the unknown, the ‘bad’ stuff – but did you know we also have fears about our joy? Our success, our happiness, our fulfilment?
I had a meltdown recently and it was all because my brain had a flip out about me not having something to struggle about. I did not know this at the time, of course. At the time it felt more like I had an enormous basketball of anxiety as heavy as a bus sitting on my chest and making we mentally run in circles to try and “fix the problem”.
What I think needs to be discussed that is not often discussed is resistance to what we want. The break down of breakdowns and procrastication and the “fear of failure”.
Let me take you through this meltdown and show you where the subconscious sabotage was, and then leave you with a little exercise to empower any of your own underlying fears about life being joyful, easy and fucking peaceful.
Yes, it’s a thing.
Said meltdown looked a little bit like this:
“Em (housemate) – I am having a meltdown, can I please talk it out.”
“Sure. Let’s sit near the pool.”
Amber spills her guts… “Can’t believe I just told you that.”
Em – Questions everything and mirrors back my own bullshit.
Me – Tries to wriggle out of uncomfortable questions.
Finally, accepting that right now I’m in what Em calls “contraction”, aka going from how I used to be and getting comfortable with how I am now. Showing that, writing that, and expressing that in business as well as in real life.
I get exhausted from this entire process and want to sleep for two days. I close my eyes and lay back in the sun.
Half in, half out of the pool.
Eat half a papaya.
Eat a raw chocolate cup.
Eat some falafel.
Read bad jokes on Pinterest.
Laugh a little.
Distract everyone in my house that works from home with said jokes for an hour or so.
Laugh a lot.
Drink some water.
Relax in everything I have expressed.
Accept that shit’s calming down inside of me and that’s just the way life is inside of me now. Less chaos, smaller bouts of it and quite, well, still. More than ever before and that’s fucking great.
Back to life. Back to writing. Back to expanding.
Sometimes we just need to talk.
Face some truths.
Eat some juicy fruit.
Laugh at ourselves.
And get back on with it.
At the end of the day, what I realise is that when we are so used to writing about struggle, reading about how to get out of struggle; when there is no struggle, that becomes the struggle. Silly mind. No struggle is a great struggle to have.
Hilarious, I know. But, no surprises.
This is standard sabotage that most of us have running our lives without even realising it.
True story. You see, to remain active, the mind wants something to fix, to solve, to make better. It wants something to ‘do’, to think about. Fear is generally it’s go-to. Some kind of variation of not being loved or not being in control. I swear it’s true. Take a look at the thoughts running through your mind. I bet you a burrito and a beer (you owe me this when you realise I am correct) that your anxieties, doubts and depressive feelings stem from a variation of “I am not in control” or “I am not enough”.
Just in case you were not sure.
Worrying about the future, career goals, relationships working or not working, peoples opinions, money are all fear of not being in control.
Worrying about not getting everything done and getting it done fast enough, your looks, your social media profile, getting validation, your body are all variations of not being good enough or being loved.
This means that control around food, obsession or worry about your body fat, angst around your business success/failure, anxiety (focus on future unknowns), depression (focus on what you do not have or who you are not and believe you need or need to be), alcohol, eating, over training, over working, saying yes when you want to say no, are all examples of behavours we are all too nonchalant about, commonly used to avoid the emotional pain of not ‘being enough’ or not being in ‘control’.
(Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get my ubereats address!)
A lot of the time we don’t consciously direct our mind. You gotta give that thing something to do, even if that’s, “yo chill, homie, you don’t need to think, I am being present and grateful and full of joy right now, I will call you when I need you again”.
You see, it’s a survival machine, so it’s always analysing, comparing, contrasting, breaking things down, adding a label and a meaning, attempting to avoid pain (aka. the unknown) and move towards pleasure (stimulation that can often be a distraction from the exact emotional pain we need to be with, observe and process to grow and become freeeeeeeeeeee). It will however, run a lot faster from pain than towards pleasure. Think about it; What is more important to you, eating a marshmallow or getting your hand out of the fire before you get a third degree burn? The mind works the same way. Its priority is pain avoidance and here is the ticker. Emotional pain/discomfort is perceived exactly the same as physical pain and discomfort. Hence the avoidance of the unknown and fear controlling people’s lives. Dayyyum.
Great for preserving the human race. Not so great for fulfilling our soul.
Pain and pleasure is humanning. Fulfillment and transcending darkness is soul work.
So this survival way of living is pretty primitive and doesn’t have much depth. This is called, The Comfort Zone. Like, shit, life is okay, it isn’t too bad. You’re taking it easy, not being challenged much. You know, safe and boring as fuck.
Soooooooo then WHY the eff do we sabotage what we deeply desire in our soul? And by what we want, I am grossly assuming that collectively we value love, freedom and happiness. We all have different variations and forms of what that means to us. Generally, it’s flowing finance to support our human foundations, genuine and empowering relationships to fuel connection and living in alignment with a deeper meaning residing in the depths of each individual soul. Just casual, you know. Nothing too intense.
Read this next bit carefully.
The mind fears freedom. Because it is not familiar. It is (wait for it)….unknown!!!
We think we want freedom and joy and love and all that jazz, like money, a job, travel and a loving partner to create this, but unconsciously the mind is so used to fear or great at its job of searching for problems, that to actually achieve these dreams things are very fucking scary. Because there is no room for fear, there is no familiarity there.
Just like in my personal example above – “No struggle – WHAT? No, I MUST have struggle. If I am not struggling and working until I collapse or if it’s not hard, I am worthy of the financial gains or free time?” Do you see it?
OK, so let’s move into the solution.
Hands down, one of the biggest sabotages and blocks I have assisted people through in my career, is the fear of actually getting exactly what they want. Because, what the fuck will we do when there is no pain, no story, or nothing to hold us back? Well, we’d be joyous, free, it would be easier, flowing even. That is so damn unfamiliar!!!!! And here in stands the issue. Even though it is deeply fulfilling, it is still unknown to the mind.
We resist ‘easy’, or more correctly, the fear in us resists easy because there is no place for fear in ease and we are familiar with fear. Comfortable with our problems. Attached, some might say (I say). Sometimes we have to realise that the only thing standing in the way of our deepest dreams is the fear that we will actually achieve them.
We have to give joy clear instructions. Just like we would a child.
Joy, money, love – they’re all waiting for us to get very clear on what we want from them and them from us. Our brains are exceptional detective mechanisms and when we clearly place a visual in our minds, describe a process with words on paper, energetically incarnating the experience in our body prior to it happening, our cognitive function flicks into problem-solving mode, and moves towards the desire and away from the pain of not having it. Where before, the pain would always win. Our mind fucking despises the unknown. So even though we consciously want these things, our subconscious says, “Yeah, not happening buddy because I don’t know what that looks like and I am just not down with uncertainty”.
If we can give our soul desires a bit of substance by using our cognition, the subconscious backs the fuck off and says, “Alright, alright, I can handle that. Let’s get to it”. The wheels in our mind begin to churn to see, think, design and resource how to make this occur.
Thinking affects potential, potential affects action and action affects result.
My advice: Write a letter to your life. Write a letter to love, to joy, to happiness, to money, to your future relationship (or a new way of being in a current one), one to your career and to yourself. Let them know what you would do with them when you have them exactly where you want them. What would life look and feel like? Write and write and write until your heart is full, your body is energised, you are alight with the spark of inspiration (not hope and not motivation, that’s bypassing action and being driven by fear respectively) and THEN, begin to align your actions and your attention with thinking and energy in the direction of those letters.
This is NOT some attraction law via affirmation, this is dissolving the fears of the unknown and disease of more because you have given your dreams structure, direction, focus and now you have a plan. Emotions drive behaviour and beliefs drive emotions. What you are addressing is the fear of having it all and not being okay without the pain and struggle. Re-read that last sentence.
So, now you are ready. Now you know what it feels like and you can be guided by the cognitive, energetic and emotional map you’ve made for yourself. Your “yes” and “no” from intuition will be easier to sense because it has a target. Your mind will be clearer and intelligence can be directed. Change has to happen on a mental, emotional, physical (actions and plans – the doing part) and spiritual level. This exercise addresses the mental, some of the emotions and the spiritual. Your actions and constant thoughts are then up to you. It’s not a one-off job, where you can say ‘now I am done’. Every time fear kicks in, you have to notice it, let it go and re-adjust your mind and actions again. Every. Single. Time. This is why meditation is so damn important. Your biggest challenges and the things you feel the most resistance against are the EXACT things required of you for your next stage of evolution. The intuitive YES and simultaneous FUCK NO of fear are your guides!
And the best bit? You don’t need to worry about getting it right. This thing called life is an opportunity to focus on what we desire, be triggered by fear, address the fear, work through it, move beyond it, evolve and then do it all over again.
So just promise me one thing. That you will get yourself an Em, a pen, and a diary and you will enjoy the fucking ride?