Archive for Fear

Give Yourself and Others a Break

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Why it is important to give yourself and others a break.

When was the last time you gave yourself a break when you made a mistake? When was the last time you took it easy on someone else when they made a mistake? Do you feel you are your own worst critic? Do people who know you best feel you are too hard on yourself?

In the past, I wore being hard on myself like a badge of honor. I would even admit to people that I went so hard on myself so that others would take it easy on me when I made a mistake. Alternatively, I believed that the harder I went on myself, the more it showed others that I cared. What I did not realize is the negative affect it had on those around me. This manifested itself in two ways.

First, people would get upset with me for being so hard on myself. I had an employee once get mad at me and say, “Chris would you stop it!” His face was bright red, and you could tell just how upset he was with me for beating myself up over things. At the time, I thought it he was being kind. I look back on it now and see something else entirely. I see the second negative affect being hard on myself had on people around me.

People I managed thought I would be as hard on them as I was on myself. No matter how many times I tried to separate the two. No matter how many times I tried to reassure them that I was harder on myself than I would ever be on them, they could not reconcile my words with my actions. People around me thought I would judge them just like they saw me judging myself. This led to people around me having a heighted level of uneasiness and, in some cases, fear. As the years went on and I realized how I made people feel, I felt a deep level of remorse and regret and have done my best to make amends.

Taking it easy on yourself when you make a mistake is being kind to yourself. Remember, you are not excusing the mistake or diminishing the negative effects of the mistake. What you are doing is accepting responsibility, apologizing, working on doing better next time and focusing on what is important. Taking it easy on others when they make a mistake, do something that is out of character or that maybe frustrates you a little bit is another way for you to show them you understand and have authentic empathy for them.

To have a more joyful journey, take it easy on yourself and others.

How this applies to fear

When it comes to fear and taking it easy on yourself and others, many people are afraid that taking it easy on themselves signals to others that they do not care. To overcome this fear, I invite you to apologize for your mistake, take responsibility for it and try to do better next time, all without being judgmental or hard on yourself. Finding a good balance between caring and not caring is the key. Many people are afraid that taking it easy on others means you condone their actions and think their mistake was no big deal. To reduce fear in others, I invite you to not be so hard on yourself. Doing with will also alleviate the unintended side effect of tricking your brain into the fear that others will be equally as hard on you.

How this applies to authentic empathy

When it comes to authentic empathy and taking it easy on yourself and others, I invite you to look at It this way. Showing authentic empathy for others when they acknowledge they made a mistake will help the both of you. It will immediately reduce your level of frustration. It will enable them to be more receptive to your feedback and suggestions on how to avoid the mistake in the future. It will allow their brain to focus on finding ways to avoid the mistake rather than finding ways to defend their actions. In the end, showing authentic empathy for yourself and others when mistakes happen generates the most positive outcome.

How this applies to WACASHWI

When it comes to WACASHWI and taking it easy on yourself and others, as you move things on to and through the process, mistakes will happen. Mistakes are ok. It is how you handle them that will determine your level of success. Giving yourself a break when a mistake happens or giving someone else a break when they struggle with your choices or make mistakes themselves will lead you to a higher level of success.

Your daily invitations…

  • I invite you to think about the last time you made a mistake.
  • I invite you to consider how hard you were on yourself.
  • I invite you to think about the last time you saw someone else make a mistake.
  • I invite you to consider how hard you were on them.
  • I invite you to write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions in your journal.
  • I invite you to talk to your friends, family and loved ones to see what their honest impressions were of how hard you were on yourself for the mistake you thought about above.
  • I invite you to talk to the person you thought about above that made a mistake and see how hard on them they thought you were if it is safe to do so.

Final step – how will you implement one thing you learned today in your life?

This all is but one step in your journey to living a more stress-free life, beating the demons of fear, and raising your level of authentic empathy towards yourself and others.

I appreciate you!

Are You Always Trying to Fix Other People’s Problems

Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes

Here is a way you can tell if someone wants you to fix their problem or if they are looking for something else.

Are you someone who is prone to fixing problems? When people talk to you, is your immediate thought, “How can I help fix this?” When someone talks to you about a problem they are having, do you immediately start to give them possible solutions? Do you feel this is a trait only men exhibit?

As a man, I understand that somewhere in my biology, somewhere in my genetics, I am pre-disposed to being a fixer. I have also had many experiences with women who default to being a fixer. In one case, I was dating a successful woman. Whenever I would talk to her about an issue or a challenge I had, she would immediately offer me a solution or, at a minimum, her opinion on how things could be made better. Today, I am thankful for the experience because it held a mirror up to me. Prior to that experience, I did not know how other people felt when I did the same thing.

Throughout my life and career, I have been in several positions where I was expected to have all the answers and fix everyone’s problems – or so I thought. What I never realized was that many of the people in my life did not need me to fix their problems. When they talked to me, they were not looking for solutions. What they were looking for was for me to show them authentic empathy. They were looking for someone to listen to them. They were looking to work through things on their own and come up with their own solutions.

I had always rationalized the fact that I immediately gave people advice by saying, “Since I went through what this person is going through, I should use past experiences and pain to save them from going through what I did.” This rationalization only worked when the person I was talking to was looking for a solution. When they were looking to vent, looking for a shoulder to cry on, looking for an understanding and ear and someone to show then authentic empathy, then jumping in with advice and trying to fix things had a negative effect.

This fact was solidified for me when I was working on a project with a woman I was dating. As I was working through the project, I was having a challenge with a few things. The woman saw I was frustrated and immediately gave me something to try. Looking back, I know she was trying to help. I know she was trying to alleviate my frustration. At the time, it did not feel that way. As I was going through the experience, I asked myself why her suggestion bothered me. I then realized it was because I enjoyed the process of being creative and figuring things out. I can only imagine how many people have felt the same way toward me when I did the same thing to them.

Whether you are a man or a woman, if you have the tendency to be a fixer, the next time someone talks to you about a problem or an issue, I invite you to try something different. Before saying anything, pause, think, and listen to everything they have to say. Do your best to understand them and experience authentic empathy for them without saying a word. Then, summarize what you believe you heard and repeat it back to them.

Start by saying, “Here’s what I think you are going through.” Then say, “Do I understand you correctly?” When they say yes, ask them a simple question, “Do you just want me to listen to you, understand you and have authentic empathy for you or do you want me to help you fix things?” If they want your help, they will be more open to accepting it. If they are just looking to talk, they will have a deeper level of appreciation for you. They will also see, hear, and feel that you both understand them and have authentic empathy for them.

Many times, people who are struggling do not need you to fix their problems, they need you to hear, understand and have authentic empathy for them.

How this applies to fear

When it comes to fear and being prone to fixing problems, if we have experiences that we know can help people and do not share them, many of us are afraid that we will be blamed for not helping them. This fear leads us to jump right in and give solutions or advice when we see someone has a problem. The way to overcome that fear is by asking the person what they want. That way, you let them know you care for them and that you have a suggestion or solution. They can then take responsibility for accepting it or not.

How this applies to authentic empathy

When it comes to authentic empathy and being prone to fixing problems, to increase your authentic empathy for someone, I invite you to overcome your desire to fix everything. When you ask a person if they want you to offer them solutions or if they want you to listen, you are showing that person that your goal is to experience authentic empathy for them. You are doing this by giving them what they feel they need rather than what you feel is best for them.

How this applies to WACASHWI

When it comes to WACASHWI and being prone to fixing problems, automatically trying to fix a problem when all a person wants is for you to listen is something that can easily derail you during the WACASHWI process. As you are working through things, life still goes on. People will talk to you about things that are not on your list. When your immediate reaction is to try and solve their problems, you take time away from your goals and your process without thinking. When you ask them what they would prefer and they tell you they want help fixing something, then you can make an informed decision. You can decide if helping them aligns with your current goals or if you need to steer them in a different direction. You can also look at your list to determine what, if anything, needs to be removed. The other advantage to doing this is that it prevents resentments from building. While we may always want to help, when we help others at the expense of ourselves without thinking, resentments towards that person and frustration towards ourselves will build up and have a negative effect on both us and them.

Your daily invitations…

  • I invite you to think about the last time someone brought you a problem and you immediately tried to fix it.
  • I invite you to consider the effects (both positive and negative) of your experiences when trying to jump right in and fix the issue the person was having.
  • I invite you to write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions in your journal.
  • I invite you to talk to the person you thought about above to find out what they would have preferred you do in the situation if it is safe to do so.

Final step – how will you implement one thing you learned today in your life?

This all is but one step in your journey to living a more stress-free life, beating the demons of fear, and raising your level of authentic empathy towards yourself and others.

I appreciate you!

Fear of People Consuming Only One Piece of Content

Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Do you find that people are only consuming one piece of the content you create?

Do you struggle with sticking to one thought or topic per piece of content you create? Do you struggle with the concept of going very deep on one specific thing? Do you feel your content will be too short if you stick to only one topic? Do you find that people are not eager to interact with you after consuming your content?

Throughout much of my life, I have been known as someone who loves to share what he has learned. When I first started creating content, I would pack each piece of content with everything I could think of that I learned. If anything I had learned popped into my head, even if it had nothing to do with the central topic, I would put it in the content. I would use the excuse that I was looking to add extra value to the people consuming my content. Another excuse I would use was that I wanted to give them everything I had. I convinced myself that giving people extra information was helping them. I never considered the negative effects it had on them or the reason why I was doing it.

Over time, the negative effects on people consuming my content became apparent. Most of the time, when people got done consuming my content, they were not sure what they were supposed to be learning or doing next. Most of the time, they also did not resonate with me. The interesting part was that sometimes they did resonate with me. I realized I had to do an honest review of my content to figure out what was going on. That is when I discovered what the common denominator was.

When I reviewed my content, I realized that people got the most out of what I was sharing when I stuck to one specific topic at a time. I realized that, if I focused on one thing and made sure that one thing impacted their life, they would want to consume more of my content. While I knew what I could do to fix things, I still was not sure why I did what I did. I knew if I could understand why I did what I did, it would help to keep me on the right track moving forward.

I began to ask myself a series of why questions until I had no additional answers. This led me to the realization that I was afraid that they would only ever consume one piece of my content. To overcome this fear, I thought packing the content full of different pieces of information would lead people to want to consume more content. What I did not realize was that the thing I was doing to prevent the fear from happening was the exact thing that was causing the fear to come to fruition.

One of the ways I handle this now is by creating a new piece of content the minute I begin thinking about it. I do this even if I am in the middle of creating another piece of content. In fact, I have started writing a few other pieces of content while I am writing and editing this one. Another thing I now do is take one piece of content and split it up logically. This post is a great example. This post was originally part of another post where I talked about this fear, the fear of only getting one chance to talk with people, and the fear of giving people too little.

First, I wrote the entire post. I kept everything together because I could see how similar all three fears were. As I read the post, it became obvious to me that, even though the fears were similar, including them all in the same post reduced the effectiveness of the post. I then split it up into three posts and enhanced each post with the proper questions, vignettes, and other things. Doing this allowed me to focus on each topic while improving the effectiveness of the post and the positive impact on the reader.

Many times, the fear of someone only consuming one piece of content is buried so deep that we do not feel it as fear. All we see are the effects of the fear. To overcome this fear when we create content, we pack multiple ideas into one piece of content. When we pack multiple ideas into a piece of content, we lose the people we are trying to reach by not allowing them to focus on what really matters. When this happens, there are many excuses we make. We do not want to shortchange people. We want to give people everything we have. We just must tell them this one more thing. To beat this fear demon, start by changing your perspective.

To change your perspective, while creating a piece of content, say to yourself, “Focusing on one point will be beneficial to the people consuming my content. When they get something out of this piece of content, they will come back for more.”

Make your content easy to digest and people will eat it up.

How this applies to authentic empathy

When it comes to authentic empathy and the fear of people only consuming one piece of your content, I invite you to have a high level of authentic empathy for your audience. While the content you are creating may flow naturally from you, it does so because of your experience level with the subject matter. Because you know the subject so well, it is easy for you to jump around from one topic to the next and follow your own line of thinking. If someone who is less experienced with the subject matter of your content is consuming your content, they will not be able to jump around from topic to topic as easily as you. I invite you to believe that most of your ideal audience is less experienced on the topic that you are. I invite you to allow this belief to guide you to stick to one topic per piece of content you create.

How this applies to WACASHWI

When it comes to WACASHWI and the fear of people only consuming one piece of your content, until you mitigate this fear, the content you create will be less than effective. Once you do the daily invitations below, you will have a better understanding of how much this fear impacts you. If you find that this fear has a significant impact on you, I invite you to consider adding a task to overcome this fear demon early in the process. Once you beat this fear demon, you will create more effective content, grow a bigger audience, and increase your level of success.

Your daily invitations…

  • I invite you to think about the last three pieces of content you created.
  • I invite you to consider if you stuck to a specific point or if you varied off topic even a little bit.
  • I invite you to write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions in your journal.
  • I invite you to recreate your content to ensure you focus on one specific topic and test the new content with your current audience.

Final step – how will you implement one thing you learned today in your life?

This all is but one step in your journey to living a more stress-free life, beating the demons of fear, and raising your level of authentic empathy towards yourself and others.

I appreciate you!

Fear of Only Getting One Chance to Talk with Someone

Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes

Do you find that people are not eager to talk to you?

Do you feel that you must tell someone every idea you have as soon as it pops into your mind even if it has nothing to do with the current conversation? Do you find yourself rambling at the end of a conversation and trying to think of anything else you forgot to say? Do you find that people shy away from having a conversation with you? When you ask to talk with someone, does it feel like they are avoiding you?

Throughout much of my life, I have been known as someone who loves to talk and share what he is thinking. Growing up, I was always trying to talk to my parents and tell them every little detail about my day. When I got into the work world, I would have conversation after conversation with people. Sometimes, dragging them on for what seemed like hours. There were very few times when it caused noticeable problems and sometimes where people said they could listen to me talk for hours. Since I thought it was no big deal, I never did anything to change. Also, I never thought about how ineffective my communications were. However, one thing happened that opened my eyes.

I was attending one of Ken MacArthur’s JV Alert Live events. I arrived after the morning mastermind session had already started. During this session, one person would throw out an idea and everyone else would provide feedback on it. When I arrived, an idea was already being discussed. When it came my turn to provide input, I was unsure of what already had been said. This led me to keep my input short and to the point.

After the mastermind session, I was approached by one of the attendees. He said he was interested in partnering with me and seeing how we could help each other. He specifically pointed to the fact that I was concise in my feedback as the reason he wanted to talk to me. Inside, I was laughing at myself. I had spent years trying to impress people with the volumes of knowledge I had with little success. Here, I shared one small piece of feedback and it immediately attracted a successful business owner to want to partner with me.

While I now had an example of how I could communicate more effectively, I still was not sure why had been doing what I was doing. I knew if I could understand why I did what I did, it would help to keep me on the right track moving forward. I began to ask myself a series of why questions until I had no additional answers. This led me to the realization that I was afraid that I would only get one chance to talk with someone. Regardless of how many times I had already talked with someone, I was afraid that the time I was talking with them right then would be the last. I thought the way to handle my fear was to show them how smart I was so that they would want to talk with me again. What I did not realize was that the thing I was doing to prevent the fear from happening was the exact thing that was causing the fear to come to fruition.

Many times, the fear of only getting one chance to talk with someone is buried so deep that we do not feel it as fear. All we see are the effects of the fear. When we talk with someone, we ramble aimlessly after the conversation is obviously over. When we do this, the person we are talking with grows impatient. That leads to them not fully paying attention and having less of a desire to have a conversation with us in the future.

When this happens, there are many excuses we make. We say we do not want to look like a liar by missing something. We say we want to make sure we give someone a complete picture. We say we just like to talk. Until we realize, admit to, and overcome the fear demon of not talking with someone again, we are doomed to repeat our actions and continue to have an ineffective level of communication. To overcome that fear, I invite you to take the perspective going into an interaction that this is only one of many times you will be talking with a person. Before having a conversation with a person, say to yourself, “This is the next in a long line of conversations I will have with this person.”

If we are not careful, we can manifest the fear we are trying to avoid by the steps we take to mitigate the fear.

How this applies to authentic empathy

When it comes to authentic empathy and the fear of only getting one chance to talk with someone once, when someone rambles on and on while talking with you, I invite you to have authentic empathy for that person. I invite you to approach them with the belief that they have a fear, deep inside of them that they do not yet understand. If you have a challenge of rambling on when talking with people, I invite you to have authentic empathy for the person you are talking with. I invite you to believe that they are uncomfortable with the extra time you need to talk about a topic and may react in a way that is less than desirable. I invite you to use this authentic empathy and belief to overcome your fear and realize that they will want to talk with you more if your conversations are more focused.

How this applies to WACASHWI

When it comes to WACASHWI and the fear of only getting one chance to interact with someone once, until you mitigate this fear, it will crop up when you are trying to get help with items on your list. This will lead to less effective conversations and driving people away that can help you. Once you do the daily invitations below, you will have a better understanding of how much this fear impacts you. If you find that this fear has a significant impact on you, I invite you to consider adding a task to overcome this fear demon early in the process. Once you beat this fear demon, you will have more effective conversations and a greater level of connection with the people in your life.

Your daily invitations…

  • I invite you to think about three people you communicate with on a regular basis.
  • I invite you to consider the fact that you may be rambling or providing them too much extraneous information when you interact with them.
  • I invite you to write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions in your journal.
  • I invite you to talk with the people you thought about above to verify if your considerations were correct and decide what, if anything, you can do to make your interactions more effective.

Final step – how will you implement one thing you learned today in your life?

This all is but one step in your journey to living a more stress-free life, beating the demons of fear, and raising your level of authentic empathy towards yourself and others.

I appreciate you!

Fear of Leaving Something Out

Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes

Do you feel like you always miss something when talking to people?

Do you get frustrated with yourself because you always feel like you leave something out when you are telling a story? Do people seem to ask you a hundred questions on even the simplest of topics? Do you remember something you wanted to say after a conversation is over and immediately reach back out to the person you were talking to? Do you feel like Steve Jobs in that you are always saying, “Oh, and, one more thing.”?

As I was creating some content recently, I started to write a story about overcoming fear. As I went through the story, I found myself veering off from the main story. I felt the need defend the way someone may perceive what I just wrote. I felt the need to explain what additional thoughts I had in my head at the time the story happened. I felt the need to explain things in further detail that had no bearing on the point I was trying to get across. I started to think I needed to explain everything in excruciating detail. That is when I realized an old fear demon was peeking its head out. I immediately stopped that post and started writing this one.

Much of what I write is written as I think and as I talk. In essence, I am picturing you, sitting in front of me and we are talking about a certain topic. This is an effective way for me to tell you my stories. For the longest time, it also had the unintended side effect of bringing up and old fear of mine. The fear I am talking about is the fear of leaving something out during a conversation. This fear demon is driven by a desire to ensure people get exactly what I mean the first time I say something.

When this fear started, it would come after I would give people a short explanation and they would have questions for me about the things I just said. Rather than being appreciative for the questions and thankful that the person was interested in what I said, I convinced myself that their questions were a result of me doing a bad job at explaining myself. As they would ask questions, I would get frustrated with myself for not doing a better job of explaining things. I allowed their questions and my frustrations to lead to two negative effects.

The first was that I developed a fear of leaving things out. The second was that the people I was talking to would feel and believe that the frustration I was experiencing was aimed at them. I realized that I needed to look inward to see what was going on and how to fix it. I soon figured the easiest way to fix both issues was to give more and more information, more and more detail. This way, people would get the complete picture of what I was saying and would not have any questions. Without their questions, my frustration would be gone. Without the frustration, my interactions with people would be better. Unfortunately, giving too much information caused problems of its own.

I gave people so much information that they naturally missed some things. Because I did a poor job of emphasizing the critical things, many times it wound be the critical things that were missed. Because I took so long in explaining things, people did not have the time or desire to ask questions. I noticed that there were changes I still needed to make. This led me to dig deeper to find a better solution.

This better solution came in two forms. First, I now make it a habit of learning how much detail the people I communicate with on a regular basis desire. The second is a combination of me giving less information, making sure the information I give is more specific, and me welcoming questions. The change in my perspective of what questions being asked of me means has made a world of difference in my interpersonal communications.

Communication can be a funny beast. Give people too much information and you overload their brains. When someone’s brain is overloaded, they have trouble processing the information you are providing them. Give people to little information, and they have a ton of questions. At their core, questions are good. When people feel they have too many questions, they begin to feel stupid. The goal is to communicate at a level where you provide enough information to generate conversation and at least some questions.

The desire to overcommunicate comes from the fear that you will leave something out. When you figure out the level of communication that suits your audience, shift your perspective on questions and focus the information you are providing them, you will beat your fear demon of leaving something out.

Provide your information to others at a level that generates a basic level of understanding and promotes questions.

How this applies to authentic empathy

When it comes to authentic empathy and the fear of leaving something out, when someone overexplains something to you, I invite you to have authentic empathy for that person. I invite you to approach them with the belief that they want to make sure they do not leave anything out. If you have a challenge of overexplaining things because you are afraid you will leave something out, I invite you to have authentic empathy for the person you are talking with. I invite you to believe that they are uncomfortable with your level of explanation and may react in a way that is less than desirable. I invite you to use this authentic empathy and belief to overcome your fear and change the level of explanation you provide.

How this applies to WACASHWI

When it comes to WACASHWI and the fear of leaving something out, until you mitigate this fear, it will crop up when you are explaining to people why something is or is not on your list. It will also crop up when letting people know why you needed to remove something from your list or why you are choosing not to put something on your list that is important to you. Once you do the daily invitations below, you will have a better understanding of how much this fear impacts you. If you find that this fear has a significant impact on you, I invite you to consider adding overcoming this fear demon as a task early in the process. Once you beat this fear demon, you will have more effective conversations and a greater level of connection with the people in your life.

Your daily invitations…

  • I invite you to think about three people you communicate with on a regular basis.
  • I invite you to consider the level of information you give them and if there is anything you can do to make your communications more effective.
  • I invite you to write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions in your journal.
  • I invite you to talk with the people you thought about above to verify if your considerations were correct and what, if anything, you can do to make your communications more effective.

Final step – how will you implement one thing you learned today in your life?

This all is but one step in your journey to living a more stress-free life, beating the demons of fear, and raising your level of authentic empathy towards yourself and others.

I appreciate you!

Pride, Ego and Their Effect on a Person’s Reactions

Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes

How do pride and ego fit in with fear and anger?

How do pride and ego fit in with fear and anger?

Do you take so much pride in what you accomplish that you let it inflate your ego? How do you react when you experience challenges or setbacks? When you struggle with something you take pride in, does your ego take a hit? When your ego takes a hit, do you feel fear, anger, both or neither?

There are many things I take pride in. If I am going to spend my time doing something, my goal is to do it to the best of my ability, and I take pride in what I do. Taking pride in what I do is a two-edged sword. On one hand, it drives me to be the best at whatever I choose to do. Even the smallest things like raking the yard. In the past, I have taken so much pride in even the smallest of things that I felt I let myself and others down if I did not do things exactly right. In the past, I have allowed pride to have too much influence over me. Sometimes, it led to an inflated ego. Other times, it led to fear which then led to anger.

The worst part is that people around me have been affected by how I am feeling. If my ego was inflated, they experienced an arrogant and cocky version of me that was a challenge to be around. If my ego was bruised and fear was setting in, they experienced a side of me that was short-tempered and spoke in a tone that conveyed anger and frustration. These are two of the reasons I worked so hard on centering myself and my life.

Once, I was trimming the yard for a woman I was dating. As I was trimming it, some of the grass got on the mulch. When I went to get the grass off the mulch, some of the mulch came out of the flowerbed. When I raked the yard, I could not get all the mulch up. When I then mowed the yard, some of the mulch got cut by the mower. My ego took the initial hit because I was not able to trim the grass without getting some on the mulch and taking some mulch out of the flower bed. It took another hit because I could not rake up all the mulch. It took another hit because the mulch nicked the mower blades. Then, I had to add my own insecurities and other fears to the list.

Looking back, each of these were small things. The grass getting in and the mulch coming out of the flowerbed was no big deal. Mulch degrades over the course of the year. The little bit I pulled out made no difference to how much we had to buy the next year. While I could not get it all up while raking, I got 99% of it up. If getting it all up was that important, I could have spent my time picking the rest up by hand. Nicking the mower blade was slightly a bigger deal. If I was so concerned about it, I should have picked up the mulch that I missed. While each were small things with easy fixes, I did not see that fact at the time. All I could see were the mistakes I was making and the effect those mistakes were having on my ego.

Later that night, when I was done trimming the yard, I was talking with the woman I was dating. We were having a simple conversation about how to make the front yard look better. I do not remember exactly what was said. What I do remember is eventually talking in an irritated tone that came across as I was angry. At the time, I was not confident enough to talk with her about how bad I felt about what I experienced while trimming the yard. Also, while I knew I was not in a good mood, I did not understand myself well enough at that time to realize how much those small blows to my ego affected me. Based on things I have learned and things that have happened since, if I had to do it all over again, I would have talked with her, let he know how I was feeling, and worked to overcome those feelings.

When we take pride in our accomplishments, we have a deep level of satisfaction or pleasure in those accomplishments. When we take pride in ourselves, we have a deep level of satisfaction in our abilities and who we are. Taking pride in something or ourselves will build up our ego. When we fail at something that we had been able to accomplish in the past, our ego will be bruised. When we fail at something we were once good at, our ego will be bruised. The challenge is to keep our ego from becoming too inflated or too bruised.

When our ego becomes overinflated, we start to tell everyone how good we are. When we start to brag about how good we are, we begin to believe that we will always need to be that good or nobody will like us. When we feel like we make a mistake, our ego is bruised, or we do not live up to the expectations we set for ourselves, we begin to fear that people will leave us. When we fear we are doing something that will make people leave us, we become upset with ourselves. When we are afraid and upset with ourselves, we react to others with anger. Our reaction is what eventually leads people to leave us. We end up causing the very scenario we were trying to avoid.

Keeping yourself centered will keep you balanced so your ego does not get to bruised or too inflated.

How this applies to authentic empathy

When it comes to authentic empathy and how pride and ego affect your reactions, to begin with, I invite you to have a high level of authentic empathy for others who have experienced your negative reactions. Neither you nor they knew where those reactions came from. When you reacted like you did, they were caught off-guard and caught by surprise. Inside, they started to feel like they were walking on eggshells. When approaching these people with a high level of authentic empathy, you create a fertile environment for forgiveness, understanding and authentic empathy. If you have been on the receiving end of someone’s negative reactions, it will require more strength at the beginning to give them the authentic empathy they need. I invite you to understand that they did not know where their reaction was coming from. I also invite you to see the work they are doing on themselves now and making the steps in the right direction to stop it from happening again.

How this applies to WACASHWI

When it comes to WACASHWI and how pride and ego affect your reactions, if you find that your pride and ego do affect your reactions, I invite you to consider centering yourself and reducing the effect that pride and ego have on your reactions as one of the first things you work through on your list. Doing this will allow you to mend fences and prevent new rifts from forming. It will also increase the support network you have and give you more success fuel for your transformation.

Your daily invitations…

  • I invite you to think about how pride and ego affect your reactions today.
  • I invite you to consider if your pride and ego have recently had any negative effect on the people closest to you.
  • I invite you to write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions in your journal.
  • I invite you to talk about what you have realized and your thoughts with the people you considered above if it is safe to do so.
  • I invite you to find a good coach, mentor, or therapist to help you work through things if you uncover that your pride and ego have led to major arguments or fights.

Final step – how will you implement one thing you learned today in your life?

This all is but one step in your journey to living a more stress-free life, beating the demons of fear, and raising your level of authentic empathy towards yourself and others.

I appreciate you!

Big Fears and Anger

Estimated Reading Time: 7 Minutes

Do big fears manifest themselves as anger in you?

How would your feelings change towards someone if you knew that their anger came from a place of fear? How would your opinion of yourself change if you knew your anger came from a place of fear? How would your life change for the better if you could eliminate a major source of your anger? How would people around you treat you differently if they knew you were afraid and not angry?

For most of our marriage, my ex-wife and I had a great relationship. One thing we never did was yell at each other. Until one time when I let fear overwhelm me and I yelled at her. I am responsible for my actions. I should have realized what I was feeling and handled myself differently. Even though we have been divorced a long time, it is something I still regret and am remorseful for to this day.

I had received a job offer to relocate to New York and we were selling our house. We had showings so often that it felt like it was every day. We had open houses most weekends. Even though, when preparing for the showings and open houses, we would get everything spotless, we were still having no luck in selling the house. One day, as we were getting ready for an open house, I decided it would be a good idea to brighten up the grout on the kitchen tile.

I got out what I thought was something that would quickly and easily make the grout white. I started brightening the grout and it looked great. What I did not realize was that it was basically paint and would take a long time to dry. By the time I realized it, we needed to leave the house in less than 30 minutes and there was no way it would be dry in time. I frantically tried to start cleaning the floor. All I succeeded in doing was wiping the paint around all over the tiles.

Inside, I was scared. We needed to sell the house soon. The company I worked for gave me 90 days to get everything in order and move to New York and we were running out of time. I was scared that what I did to the floor would cost us a sale. Unfortunately, my internal fears presented as anger on the outside. We had already planned on visiting her parents during the open house. While I was angry with myself, I remember yelling at my ex-wife to leave and head over to her parents without me so I could finish fixing my mess. When I eventually got over to her parents’ house, she was in tears. While I immediately apologized, to this day, her crying is one of the lasting images I have of her in my mind. In fact, just thinking about how I made her feel makes me sad and want to cry.  If I had it to do all over again, I would have talked with my ex-wife sooner about the fears I was feeling. I would have done more to conquer those fears. I would have done what it took to not make her cry.

Large fears can have a serious negative impact on our lives. Being afraid of losing your job, losing your house, losing your significant other, not being able to put food on the table, not seeing loved ones again and so many more things are large fears. Today, how do you handle large fears to prevent them from boiling over into anger and frustration? Do you push them aside? Do you confront them head-on?

There is an old saying, “When the evil in your mind is too strong, the only way to win is to deny it battle.” When it comes to fear, many of us feel the same way. We feel the only way to beat a fear is to deny it battle. When denying it battle also means we do not feel the effect of the fear, this strategy can be useful. On the other hand, denying a fear and still feeling its effects, especially when we do not realize how the fear is affecting us, is a recipe for disaster.

If you experience a large or significant fear, the first thing I invite you to do is to focus. Focus on one thing. Focus on the first obvious step you can take to overcome that fear. Focus on something you can control. Take care of that one thing and start to remove the bricks of fear one brick at a time. It will not happen overnight. The good news is that, just like fear can build up over time, you can take a big fear and break it down over time.

Perseverance is the key to beating a big fear demon one small battle at a time.

How this applies to authentic empathy

When it comes to authentic empathy and handling large fears, the amount of authentic empathy you have for others and the amount of authentic empathy they have for you will determine if your friendships or relationships survive. If people around you have confronted the same big fear as you and they have been successful in beating that fear, they have it in them to give you the authentic empathy you need to get through. Because they do not want to feel the pain that the fear caused them, they will struggle to give you the authentic empathy you need at first. When that happens, I invite you to show them a high level of authentic empathy and understand they are doing what they are doing out of self-preservation. I invite you to talk with them. I invite you to show your authentic empathy for them. When you show an increased level of authentic empathy for them, they will feel safe in showing an increased level of authentic empathy for you.

How this applies to WACASHWI

When it comes to WACASHWI and handling large fears, when you begin to work on handling a large fear, I invite you to use the questions in the WACASHWI method to focus on what you can control and will do next.  Ask yourself, what do you Want to control, accomplish, or focus on? What Can you control, accomplish, or focus on? What Should you control, accomplish, or focus on? And then what Will you control, accomplish, or focus on.? Once you have done that, start moving forward on one of the things you decided you will control, accomplish, or focus on.

Your daily invitations…

  • I invite you to think about the most recent large fear you experienced.
  • I invite you to consider who has been affected by that fear and what is in your control that you can use to alleviate that large fear.
  • I invite you to write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions in your journal.
  • I invite you to talk about your fear with the person you considered above if it is safe to do so.
  • I invite you, today, if you are afraid of something or if you are afraid of someone, start to work through your fears. Read, watch videos, do research, and do what is necessary to work through your fears. Reach out to a professional for help. There are good coaches, mentors, and therapists ready to help and ready to see you succeed.

Final step – how will you implement one thing you learned today in your life?

This all is but one step in your journey to living a more stress-free life, beating the demons of fear, and raising your level of authentic empathy towards yourself and others.

I appreciate you!

Small Fears and Anger

Estimated Reading Time: 7 Minutes

Do small fears build up and manifest themselves as anger in you?

How do you eventually feel if you are afraid of something every day? How do a bunch of little fears over the course of time affect you? Have you ever experienced anger that you felt came out of nowhere? How do you identify something as a small fear?

I was in a relationship once where I let fear get the better of me. At first, it was not anything big. At first, the things that caused me fear would be no big deal to most people. At first, fear drove me to do better. Eventually, I allowed fear to beat me down. Looking back on the positive things I did during the relationship, I originally thought I did them because they are who I am. While that is true, at some point I thought I might have been doing them to prove myself or impress the woman I was dating. Eventually I began to wonder if they were done out of fear instead.

As part of my personality, my goal is to do things to the best of my ability. When I would help the woman I was dating do something, I would go above and beyond. At a conscious level, I would say it was because that is the way I am. If something is worth doing, it is worth doing right. I now know that at a subconscious level, there was much more going on. Subconsciously, I was trying to prove myself. Subconsciously, I was trying to impress her. For me, these three things can all coexist and be true and authentic to who I am. Yet, there was a fourth force, a fourth feeling I did not realize was there.

While I was spending time doing everything as good as I could, proving myself and impressing the woman I was dating, deep inside, at a place I had not yet discovered, fear was hiding. This hidden fear was driving me. The hidden fear was feeding lies to my subconscious. These lies made my subconscious believe that this woman would only like me for the things I could do for her. These lies made my subconscious believe that there was no way she could like me for me. My subconscious quietly convinced me that the only reason she would stay with me was if I could continue to do things for her.

At first, this was fine. I enjoyed doing things for her to make her life easier. My life was made easier and fuller by us being together. The desire to make her life easier felt natural. Then, I started to make mistakes. They were only small mistakes. One time, while cleaning the bathtub, I was not careful, and I popped the pillow she used while taking a bath. While I ran right out and bought another one, I was still afraid she would be mad at me for the mistake. There were other small things. Too many to go into here. Regardless of what it was, it was not the mistakes that affected me. It was my fear of eventually losing her by making too many mistakes that affected me. Each mistake equated to a small fear in my subconscious.

Over time, these little mistakes led to fear building up inside of me. Even though I fixed them immediately, I apologized for them immediately, I was working to make myself better and I was doing my best not to make the same mistake twice. The challenge was that, at the time, I did not recognize that the fear was building up inside of me. Then, one day, I saw her remaking the bed I made that morning. All the little fears that had built up inside of me manifested themselves in me being upset that she remade the bed.

At the time, I said to her that, if she did not like the way I made the bed, she should just tell me, and I would do better next time. At the time, I thought that the reason I was upset was because her remaking the bed was a sign that I did not do something right. Looking back, I realize that it was the fear of her leaving me because I made too many mistakes that caused me to be upset. Looking back, I realize that it was my inability to deal with the small fears that led to me being upset.

Fears can build up over time. We may believe that it is just one little thing here and one little thing there. At the beginning, each small fear adds to the others. When you already have a bunch of small fears that add up, they start to multiply. At that point, the effect that small fears have on you becomes exponential and you do not know what small fear will be the one to push you over the edge.

There is an old story about a stone mason and his son. Each day, the stone mason goes to this large boulder in his yard and hits it one hundred times with a hammer. Each day, the stone remains intact. Day after day, the stone mason goes to this boulder and hits it one hundred times. Then, on the one hundredth day, the boulder splits in two. The stone mason’s son says to his dad, “Dad. What did you do differently this time to make the boulder break?” The father replied, “Son, it was not the first hit or the last hit that split the boulder. It was all the hits in between.”

Fear turning into anger is the same thing. It is not the first fear or the last fear that leads to you being angry, it is all those small fears in between. I invite you, today, if you are afraid of something or if you are afraid of someone, start to work through your fears. Continue reading, watching videos, researching, and doing what is necessary to work through your fears. Reach out to a professional for help. There are good coaches, mentors, and therapists ready to help and ready to see you succeed.

It is not the first fear or the last fear that leads to you being angry. It is all the small fears in-between.

How this applies to authentic empathy

When it comes to authentic empathy and dealing with small fears, if you are the one dealing with the small fears, I invite you to give the people in your life additional authentic empathy. The situations that cause the small fears that affect us are often no big deal to the people around us. When we experience authentic empathy for them, we can reframe their comments that the things we are afraid of are no big deal from being dismissive to be caring. I invite you to see that the people around you are saying that the situation that caused the fear is no big deal because they feel that saying that will help take the stress off you. In addition to giving others more authentic empathy, we need to give ourselves more authentic empathy. When we beat ourselves up for things, we multiply the effect of the fear. Giving ourselves the authentic empathy to feel the fear and then work though it will prevent much of the stress that comes along with the fear. Finally, if someone you know is struggling with small fears, I invite you to give them increased authentic empathy. I invite you to work with them to find the best way for you to show them you have authentic empathy for them. Doing this will positively impact that person’s life in more ways than you will know.

How this applies to WACASHWI

When it comes to WACASHWI and dealing with small fears, I invite you to carve out time in the process to handle the small fears you cannot see right now. Initially, I invite you to do this by setting aside fifteen minutes each day to focus on any small fears you felt during the day. As you progress through the process, you will find that you will naturally start to handle the small fears as they arise. When that happens, I invite you to take the fifteen minutes you were using to look at the small fears and use that time determine what you will do to put each small fear aside permanently.

Your daily invitations…

  • I invite you to think about some of the small fears you have experienced recently.
  • I invite you to consider the impact those small fears have had on your relationships and how you have been feeling.
  • I invite you to write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions in your journal.
  • I invite you to talk at least one person who has been negatively affected by your reaction to the small fears you thought about above if it is safe to do so.
  • I invite you, today, if you are afraid of something or if you are afraid of someone, start to work through your fears. Read, watch videos, research, and do what is necessary to work through your fears. Reach out to a professional for help. There are good coaches, mentors, and therapists ready to help and ready to see you succeed.

Final step – how will you implement one thing you learned today in your life?

This all is but one step in your journey to living a more stress-free life, beating the demons of fear, and raising your level of authentic empathy towards yourself and others.

I appreciate you!

Weaken the Grip of Fear

Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes

How can you weaken the grip a specific fear has on you?

How do you feel when you believe you have overcome a fear and then it crops back up? Is it a good thing or a bad thing for a fear that is apparently gone to become visible again? What good can come of having a fear that goes through cycles of being visible and then being hidden? Is there a hidden benefit you get from fighting one of your fears?

For many years, I was afraid to write and post things on social media. I was afraid that I would say something that people would misinterpret, and it would be on the internet forever. I was afraid that, if I started posting on a regular basis and then could not one day for some reason, people would automatically move on. I was afraid of getting negative feedback my posts. Despite these fears, I did it afraid.

I started creating daily posts. At first, I would post questions, thoughts, and quotes. As I created more and more posts, the fear of saying the wrong thing diminished. I was fortunate enough to attract people to the posts that mostly responded in positive ways. When the intermittent negative response was posted, it did not hurt as bad as I was afraid it was going to hurt.

I then started posting videos. At first, I would make sure I posted every day. I found out that I had some very loyal viewers (Thank You!) and I had at least some views every day. Then, I stopped posting videos for a while. When I went back to posting them, most of the viewers from the first time returned and the views were about the same as they were the first time. The fact that the viewers returned helped to put my mind at ease and alleviate my fear of people automatically moving on.

I then, took a complete break from posting on social media. When I decided to start posting again, all my original fears cropped back up. Initially, this felt strange to me. I thought I had overcome all those fears with what I had gone through when I was previously posting. That was when I realized an important part of overcoming fear was building up the strength to fight that fear until you can beat it once and for all.

The original social media posts I made were building up my strength to fight the fear of being misunderstood. This allowed me to feel and overcome the same fear quicker when I started posting again. The breaks I took in posting the original videos were building up my strength to fight the fear of losing all my audience if I stopped posting. This allowed me to feel and overcome the fear of nobody watching my videos quicker when I went back to posting.

As you go through the process of beating your fear demons, one of the things you will be doing is building up your strength against specific fears. There is a cycle that happens before you overcome fear when you continue to do something you are afraid of. Each time you do what you are afraid of, you will feel your fear getting less and less. You will feel the grip that fear has on you weaken. Then, out of the blue, you will feel the fear be almost as strong as when you originally started battling it. When that happens, I invite you to look at it as a good thing.

It is a good thing because it means you are building up your strength to fight the fear. It is also a good thing because the grip the fear has on you is weaker. This is evident by the fear not being as strong as it once was. It is a good thing because it means your mind is testing you to see how far you have come in battling your fear. Your mind can use that knowledge to help you find additional ways to battle the fear. It is also a good thing because it means you are not blind to the fear. There are some fears that would lead us into a world of hurt if we were completely blind to.  For example, fear of heights can be useful if the thing you are being asked to climb is unsafe for climbing.

Building up strength to battle one of your fear demons is a key step in the process to overcoming that fear for good.

How this applies to authentic empathy

When it comes to authentic empathy and building up strength to battle one of your fear demons, because it is a cycle and because it is a process, the more authentic empathy you have for yourself and the more authentic empathy you have from others, the quicker you will succeed. When you go through the cycle and a fear you thought was gone rears its ugly head, I invite you to give yourself a high level of authentic empathy. I invite you to accept that it is all part of the process. I invite you to take the fact that you can overcome that fear quicker as a win and something to be applauded. Then, keep working on beating the fear. When it comes to the people around you, I invite you to explain this process to them and ask for their authentic empathy. They will need to understand that you may fall down a few times until you beat your fear demon once and for all.

How this applies to WACASHWI

When it comes to WACASHWI and building up the strength to battle one of your fear demons, when you put a task on your list to overcome a specific fear, I invite you to consider if a more achievable short-term task would be to build up the strength to battle that fear. When coming up with the strength to battle a fear will take two weeks and overcoming that fear fully will take two years, putting a task on your list to work on the strength you need to battle the fear will give you a bigger, immediate benefit above what is obvious. The hidden benefit is that the strength you develop to battle one fear will be useful when battling another fear.

Your daily invitations…

  • I invite you to think about a time when you thought a fear was gone and it came back.
  • I invite you to consider something you could have learned from that experience.
  • I invite you to write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions in your journal.
  • I invite you to talk about your fear with someone close to you so they can support you when the fear crops back up.
  • I invite you to work with a good coach, mentor, or therapist for additional support when the fear crops up and to handle any negative feeling you experience while working through this process.

Final step – how will you implement one thing you learned today in your life?

This all is but one step in your journey to living a more stress-free life, beating the demons of fear, and raising your level of authentic empathy towards yourself and others.

I appreciate you!

Talking Your Way Out of Fear

Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Can the mere act of talking about a fear help you overcome that fear?

Do you keep all or most of your fears to yourself? How scary is it for you to think about letting someone else know about your fear? How does it feel when you think about someone finding out about your fear? How would it feel to not have to hide so many things from the outside world?

For many years, I have been afraid to talk about my fear of heights. (You will notice that this is the second post on my fear of heights. Looks like I am getting better.) I was afraid that people would laugh at me. I was afraid that people would look down on me. I was afraid that women I was looking at dating would find me weak. I thought I felt more comfortable keeping it inside.

Part of the reason I thought I was more comfortable keeping it inside was because it did not come up that much. It is not like I was dating rock climbers or going to amusement parks every day. I figured I could just keep the fear to myself and things would be ok. In a sense, they were. This fear was not causing me any real issues on a regular basis. Yet, it was always there and there was the occasional trip somewhere when the fear would kick in. Then four things happened.

The first thing that happened was that I made a conscious effort to get over my fear of heights. I walked up a thirty-foot spiral staircase on a pier on a regular basis. This made a big difference in my level of fear when it came to heights. However, since the fear of heights is not completely gone, I am sure I will have to face it again in future friendships and relationships.

The second thing that happened was that I recorded a video about it. While as of the time I am writing this, I have not released the video, one of things I say in it is, “As I am sitting here cutting this video, even my heart’s [heart rate is] going down. Maybe it is because I am telling you this, and maybe it is because finally I’m confronting a fear that I was afraid other people would laugh at me for.”

The third thing that happened was that I wrote a blog post about it. I went from not admitting my fear to anyone to admitting it privately to admitting my fear to the public. When I started writing that post, I felt the fear start to creep in. In fact, all the fears that I listed above (being laughed at, being looked down on, women finding me weak) crept into my head. The interesting thing was that they were not as strong as they were before I created the video. Then, as I was writing the post, they slowly started to fade. That is when I realized the power of talking about your fears. In fact, as I am writing this post, my level of fear is coming down even more.

The fourth thing that happened was that I told a stranger about my fear. On my walk one day, I walked up the spiral staircase on the pier that I previously talked about. After stopping at the top for a short while, I came back down. As I walked down, there was a woman and child standing there. I turned to look at the woman and said proudly, “Got to keep working on getting over my fear of heights!” She smiled back at me and said, “Good for you!” This level of positive reinforcement was key to confirming that it was safe to talk publicly about my fear.

All fears are valid fears to the person experiencing them. When you have two fears that exist together, they multiply each other. When you have a fear of something and a fear of telling people about your fear, your overall level of fear is exponentially higher than when you have a fear of something alone. This means the rewards from overcoming your fear of talking about some of your fears will be enormous.

To start talking about your fears, I invite you to write them down. There is no need to make your initial writing public. The mere fact of writing them down and then not getting any negative feedback will help you start to overcome your fear. If you are uncomfortable writing or typing, then use a voice recorder. The key here is to take your fear from inside and bring it outside of you in a safe way.

As your level of fear of talking about your fear decreases, make a conscious decision to share your fear with someone you trust. I invite you to pick the person you feel will either show you the most empathy or be the most supportive of you. As your level of fear of talking about your fear continues to decrease, I invite you to share your fear with more people.

I invite you to share your fear with people until you become comfortable sharing the fear. Eventually, you will get to the point where sharing your fear feels like no big deal. Even if the fear is not completely gone – yet. I invite you to utilize each chance you get to talk about your fear to help you work through and beat the demon of fear you are battling.

When you stack the fear of talking about a fear on top of the fear itself, you multiply the effects of that fear.

How this applies to authentic empathy

When it comes to authentic empathy and talking about your fear, authentic empathy from you and from others will be key to your success in overcoming the fear. To begin with, I invite you to have a high level of authentic empathy for others. Many people will say your fear is nothing to be ashamed of and they look at it as no big deal. Some will act like you talking about it is nothing to worry about. It is a good thing that they are being supportive of you and reassuring you that everything is ok. The challenge becomes when they act and sound dismissive towards you when they are saying it is no big deal. The fact is that they do not know they are being dismissive. They also do not realize the effect their dismissiveness can have on you when you are opening-up about your fear. A high level of authentic empathy from others will also be key. When you initially start talking about your fear, I invite you to find people close to you with a high level of authentic empathy for you. The more authentic empathy people show you the faster you will get over the fear of talking about your fear.

How this applies to WACASHWI

When it comes to WACASHWI and talking about your fear, as you go through the process, looking for ways to reduce your stress and extraneous thoughts will help you get more done. When you put a fear on the list you are working to overcome, I invite you to limit your stress and extraneous thoughts by talking about the fear with those closest to you. The first goal here is to limit the initial effects of the fear. The second goal here is to limit how stressful the fear gets.

Your daily invitations…

  • I invite you to think about one fear that you have a fear of sharing with people.
  • I invite you to consider how much better you will feel when you only have the fear to worry about and not the fear of someone finding out about your fear.
  • I invite you to write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions in your journal.
  • I invite you to talk about your fear with someone close to you who empathizes with and supports you.

Final step – how will you implement one thing you learned today in your life?

This all is but one step in your journey to living a more stress-free life, beating the demons of fear, and raising your level of authentic empathy towards yourself and others.

I appreciate you!