BETTER THAN THAT: LEARN HOW TO DEVELOP A “GOODFEAR”!
At the beginning of May, just before going to two Expos, I woke up
sweating, with a pain in my gut and I told myself: “Good God!” I don’t
know why, but I feel like it’s going to be a Gut Festival today again! (yes,
I’m talking about my gut in the Ray of Sunshine now! XD).
I just had a nightmare in which I was going to the Bella Doll Expo to show
and sell my dolls, but as I was in the bus that was taking me there, I missed
my stop and realized that I had forgotten a lot of things! In short, I was in a
I thought: “I know I’m anxious by nature and going on a trip like this, it’s
terrible! Why exactly am I hurting myself like this by going to expos?
Why not cancel it?”
Between my fear to forget important things, getting lost, missing a
connection, losing my train ticket, talking to strangers, meeting new faces,
etc. one might wonder, why not give up after all, right?
My guts had been playing roller coaster for a week (nausea and just feeling
bad, I don’t need to spell it out). So, yes, I’m a bit of a drama queen and I
feel like dying every time, but who likes to feel sick?
Nobody likes to be afraid, angry, sad, frustrated, etc.
But, I remembered what this dear Paul McKenna, the author of “Change
your life in 7 days” whom I often talk about said! It’s funny, because it’s
also what Lydie, my therapist and friend told me recently. Thanks to her I
got reminded of this important idea that I had forgotten about!
Paul McKenna says that an emotion deemed “negative” is nothing more
than a well-meaning messenger, yes, it is!
The more you ignore it, the more it’ll come back and hit harder. So, if you
open the door and kindly listen to it, it will not come back. Once the
message has been delivered and well received, it’s OVER!
How did I open the door to calmly listen to my fear? (Without wanting to
vomit I swear!)
With the same method I use to write the Ray of Sunshine, well a
derivative. In any case, I use the same mnemonic.
In 3 words, according to the great author and blogger, Alexandra Franzen:
Feel - Know - Do
FEEL: I started to feel what was happening in my body, how my body
talked to me and made me FEEL this fear. It was about letting it in, taking
its place, getting in from head to toes. I admit that it’s the hardest and most
unpleasant step. But, I held on, because I knew that once this wave would
go up to the point of overwhelming me, if I held strong, the level would
come down on its own and I would be able to fully breathe again. A great
pleasure, a great freedom! No more weight and tightening in my chest.
In fact, the most difficult step is to avoid internalizing the feelings and
emotions that spring out. Above all, don’t do anything else over than
feeling. No judging, no trivializing, accept things as they are. No “But, it’s
nothing, why are you freaking out like that?” No parasitic thought such as
“It’s Aunty Renée’s fault” either! If you feel like crying then do. Scream if
you feel like it.
Just feel, period. Just feel it, babe!
KNOW: At this point, you can mentalize a little, but not too much. No
headaches. It’s about KNOWING, not understanding the why or how. You
just need to know. Knowing why you are feeling the way you are. What
are the reasons why you’re having this unpleasant feeling (but not
negative, you understand? ^^) In my case, the nightmare made it clear. I
was afraid, because the day of the Expo was approaching. But it’s not
always easy. You’ll have to think about what may have happened during
the day, the day before or at least recently for you to feel like that? Look in
front of you or even better look down, close your eyes and imagine a
diving suit going down on you (thanks for the tip Lydie, haha!).
The first thing coming to your mind will be the answer! Again, no judging!
No, “it’s silly!” or “I don’t see what this has to do with this!” Your mind
has spoken, so listen to it, that’s all. Now, you know!
DO: Now that you know what puts you in this emotional state, you know
what the message is. Using my example, I knew I was afraid, because the
Bella Doll and Doll Garden Party were the following week (I’m a bit
masochistic, but that’s OK, I’m getting treated for it!)
My mind was trying to warn me about what may go wrong and wanted to
make sure that I was well prepared.
That’s where the DO comes into play and becomes important. Yes,
because if I know why I’m afraid, but don’t do anything about it, what’s
the point? The fear will just come back and hit harder on the door.
So, you need to ACT on the message.
So, I made a list of all the things that I could do to address each fear.
Fear of forgetting something: make a checklist!
Fear of getting lost: print my itinerary with the summary of each step, etc.
And what if the unpleasant feeling comes back?
Don’t panic! If it comes back, it’s for your own good. It’s there as a friend
to warn you that there is still something to know and that you missed.
Check out all the steps all over again (Including the FEEL one)
Once this is all good, imagine that it all goes perfectly well.
Feel, hear and see.
In the example of the Bella Doll, I could see myself arriving at my
destination easily, greeting the people I wanted to meet, having a good
time with them, I could hear what we said to each other. I could see myself
setting up my booth and noticing with joy that nothing was missing and
telling myself, “What a nice booth!” (Gotta compliment ourselves
I could feel the pleasant tingling sensation running through my body. The
whole film unfolded until its conclusion: my return home where I told
myself, “I’m so glad I went there!” I met great people, I had a good time!
It was really great, I can’t wait for the Doll Garden Party!
So, here’s what I would like you to remember: even if fear (or any other
unpleasant emotion) gets over you, that it twists your guts, makes you cry
or tighten your chest or throat you’ll know that you CAN succeed in spite
of it and even with it! And it doesn’t matter how many times it’ll come
back or the form it’ll take!
Courage is fear that made its prayer! Courage isn’t not being afraid.
Courage is to be afraid, but to still go there. Because you know fear can be
your ally. Because you got its message and you thank it!
PS: Epilogue. Guess what? Not only did I go to the Bella Doll, but I even
came back alive, incredible, right?!
No, seriously, I had an amazing time at the Bella Doll. I got scared again
for the Doll Garden Party, but I loved it too!
So, when’s the next Expo?
PPS: Don’t hesitate to share this article, the round-shaped buttons are there
for that. Thank you for being so amazing!