Have you heard of the fight, flight or freeze response to stress? It’s a basic description of how one processes stressful situations. Do you fight your way through it? Do you run from it? Or do you freeze and just ignore it? Throughout much of my life, flight was my instinctual response. Leave the situation and move on. Additionally, I was a knee-jerk reactor, so I reacted by fleeing quickly when my flight response was triggered.
Although my flight and knee-jerk responses were long ago, well prior to starting Positive Focus, it doesn’t mean they fully went away. They don’t show up often, but now when they do, I identify them much more quickly. I’m able to think through the situation rather than making a rash decision to flee and move on. I am a dive-in-and-see-how-it-goes person. Most often that creates great experiences, but sometimes it turns into a ‘what was I thinking?’ situation. However, because I’m a firm believer that there are no accidents, I always know it works out in my best interest, even if I don’t see it in the moment.
This got me thinking about running from my dreams. In the past, if something seemed too big, too far out of my reach, or had too much at risk to achieve it, I’d remove myself from that dream. Now, I reframe any fear-based thought, word or action that holds me back into something that helps me live fully with deeper love, laughter, health, abundance, peace and happiness. Positive Focus wouldn’t exist today if I allowed my prior flight and knee-jerk tendencies to control my thoughts, words and actions, especially early on. There were many times in the early years when I felt that running would be far easier than continuing my vision of creating a global organization that spreads positivity. When new people joined the PF leadership team, I was ecstatic knowing he/she was ‘the’ one to help fulfill my vision. In those early days, when we would part ways, for a variety of reasons, I would be disappointed, frustrated, and ready to throw in the towel. As PF grew, so did I; I began to see these experiences as PF and yours truly getting closer to actualizing the vision rather than taking steps backward. I would be lying to you if I said that that thought still doesn’t visit when I’m stressed out, especially when I want to do more than I truly can. Now, rather than run, I assess the situation. I sometimes talk to a dear friend or I sometimes just sit with it myself and come to the conclusion that it’s fear talking and not my heart. It’s fear that wants to say goodbye, not my heart. It’s fear that thinks “I can’t do it,” not my heart. Fear says, “I will fight you before you fight me”. Fear says, “I will run from you before you run from me”. Fear says, “I will freeze and ignore you first before you ignore me”. I now move through fearful thoughts of disappointment much quicker realizing, whether personal or professional, these changes are bringing me closer to my ultimate desires and not further away from them.
How about you? Do you fight your dreams? Do you flee your dreams? Or do you freeze and do nothing at all?
For the next week I invite you to live your life fully by reframing your fear based responses by:
Becoming fully aware of your thoughts, words and actions. Through awareness, you can adjust your thoughts words and actions in ways that serve you. For a few days, simply be aware of your thoughts, words and actions. No judgment, just awareness. After a few days, review them and ask yourself if they uplift you or tear you down. Be gentle with yourself and move forward in awareness of your feelings.
Knowing all is well. Even if you are going through a stressful, challenging time in your life, know that love lives right in the middle of it. You don’t have to wait to get to the other side of the challenge to feel loved and loving. Breathe in the fact that every experience you have is simply an experience, it doesn’t define who you are. You are love, who sometimes experiences fear.
Surround yourself with people who see your greatness. You know who they are, the people who will remind you of why you want the dreams you want, the people who say ‘you’ve got this!’ Be that for them too. Be the light for those who aren’t in a space to see your greatness, because they can’t see their own.
Mostly, my wish for you this week is to really truly look inside of yourself and see all the amazing things that are inside of you. Perhaps you’ve fought them in the past. Perhaps you’ve fled from them in the past. Perhaps you froze your inner light in the past. This week is the week to look inside, love yourself up and allow your flight to be one that brings you higher and higher, closer to living a life filled with deeper love, laughter, hugs, health, abundance and happiness.
Until next time, live it up, love it up and fly high!
“Don’t fight forces, use them.”
~ R. Buckminster Fuller
“How blessings brighten as they take their flight.”
~ Edward Young
“If you get too attached to how you want it to come out the other side, you freeze. I try to trust that it will work out in the end.”
~ Jennifer Connelly
I am fully aware of my thoughts, words and actions and adjust them accordingly.