Working Women Of Florida hosted a conference on September  5th and 6th at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, FL. I was honored to be asked to speak on the subject of fear. Standing on the stage with 400 women present was an awesome experience. (Notice the picture at the top of this page.) The love and energy of this group of women inspired me to keep doing what I love most. I met some pretty amazing ladies, whom I hope to share with for a long time to come.
The presentation included the 5 “A’s” to remember when you desire to overcome fear. Those include:
  • Acknowledge
  • Awfulize
  • Appreciate
  • Ask (Afform)
  • Act
Acknowledge your fear and what it really represents for you. Is there a deeper reason for the fear? For instance, I once experienced a fear of driving that was more about a fear of success than it was about driving. Once I acknowledged that, I was ready to let that go and move forward!
Awfulize those dreaded experiences. In other words, take it to the extreme. That can help you realize that things aren’t going to be quite what you imagine. If in fact they are pretty bad, you might be surprised at the tools and skills you have in place for handling the situation.
Appreciate that in the past those feelings have served a purpose. Once you can accept and honor that, it is time to understand that you have outgrown other old behaviors (i.e. thumb sucking for comfort).  You no longer need these limiting thoughts and beliefs.
Ask questions that will help you. Rather than continuing to ask questions based in negative programming, begin to ask the questions that a changed you might ask. Instead of asking, “what if this went wrong”, imagine asking, “what if this went right”? (More information on questions that work for you can be found in the works of Noah St. John, originator of Afformations.)
Act on your new beliefs and understandings. To decide you have overcome a fear of elevators is great, to ride in one is real victory. Find someone you trust to support you in taking those first steps and celebrate the new you!

Take steps today to begin creating the life free of fear that you desire. Please, let me know your stories. I’d love to share your successes with others.

It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day stuff that comes up. Traffic slows to a halt, friends disappoint you, money is tight. Over the weekend, my son who is in Argentina could not access his money through the ATM machines. He is 13 hours by plane away, does not speak Spanish, is unfamiliar with the city as he just landed there on Tuesday and was 45 minutes from the campus of the University of Buenos Aires (by bus) where he is working for the summer. The night before he got off at the wrong bus stop and it took two hours of wandering to find his apartment.

I was on my way into a restaurant for dinner when I got his call. He called using Skype. (How I love Skype!) However, he has to call me, as he had not yet purchased a local cell phone. He was down to 12 pesos and it was now Friday night. There was a banking strike in Argentina. It is winter, so it was colder than he is accustomed to here in sunny Florida. The details continued to pile up (electric was down, so he lost communication, etc.) and of course, it was extremely easy for me to go into awfulize mode.

However, that would not change or improve anything. My son is bright, and truth be told, he is 21, a man! So, I reminded myself of his ability to problem solve and focused on what an adventure this is for one his age. I was reminded of a time when I traveled for a company as a young model and I would call my mother from the hotel with some panic. Later, the panic was done and I would go out for the evening. Not bothering to call her back, I couldn’t understand her being so upset with me the next day when I got around to checking in.

I spent Sunday breathing deeply and enjoying the friendship of a long time friend. We walked the beach and then enjoyed a glass of wine together watching little ones splash in the water. By Monday morning, my son sent me an email, things were restored back to normal and he had great fun with his fellow comrades who live off campus with him there. He had made good use of American Express and so had his friends. He paid for their purchases, they paid him back in pesos. Simple enough.

I recently came across this video and I have shared it with clients. I think it is a great lesson in recognizing just how much we really are capable of overcoming and puts the little stuff into perspective.

I hope you enjoy this, get a tissue ready!