by Lee Anne McClymont
Welcome back to Sweet Potatoes. As many of you know, over the past month we have been having a conversation about the relationship each one of us has built with the emotion fear. Through this series I offered some suggestions about how you can re-arrange your relationship with fear and, if necessary, revise it in a way that supports better decision-making skills. Last week, we spoke about fear as a neutral partner. The objective of last week’s assignment was to restore your confidence in fear-filled situations by recalling times when you navigated fear successfully. You may also remember that last week I asked you to return prepared to work on your anticipation skills.
Are you ready?
Anticipation is the handmaiden to imagination. Before you can practice good anticipatory skills, you must engage your imagination. I like to think of imagination as the “cost of admission” for effective problem solving but imagination is not just a plaything. It’s actually a form of intellect that helps craft our vision of the world we live in. Without this gift, your vision flattens and all the analytical powers of the world cannot hoist you above the everyday fray. Imagination can help you build hope and restore trust. Keep this in mind as I ask you to explore an improbable association. The whole point of this exercise is to help you see with fresh eyes the beauty and promise planted within most fear filled situations.
For the next few minutes let’s play a crazy compare and contrast game. Consider your feelings about these two statements:
I am in love.
I am in fear.
How do they make you feel and behave? How do others behave toward you once you have expressed these feelings toward them? Remember to look for similarities—don’t highlight only the differences. Some of you may be sketching your way through this series. As you do that I hope you are able to capture the sense of confusion that frequently accompanies both of these experiences.
Imagination helps secure the space you need to reconcile the powerful emotion of fear within the entire array of human emotions. It does this by blurring the lines between experience (the past) and anticipation (the future). Throughout this series, you have had to reflect upon your new relationship with fear. In today’s article I have asked you to consider an unlikely comparison with the objective of giving you the chance to develop a fresh approach to learning about your own belief systems and behaviors as they relate to two very powerful emotions: fear and love.
Fire consumes most things in its path.
Love also behaves this way. Fear does, too. The point of this week’s columns is to encourage you to take the first step in disengaging your own fear program. Recognize the powerful energy associated with the feelings you find inside fear-filled situations. Divest the emotional distraction that fuels fear. Consign it to a lesser role in your decision-making. Befriend fear—do not try to destroy it.
Building your own personal narrative that supports your growth requires some degree of imagination. Ask yourself as you work on your person narrative, these questions: How could I have done this better? What would I do now differently, had I only known more about a certain circumstance? Take time to hit the pause button and replay the scenes if necessary. As you consider the facts, you may, unwittingly, expand your range of approaches to new fear-filled situations that serve to forward your growth not thwart it.
Next week I shall return for my last column about fear. I would like you to think about this week’s assignment and consider some other improbable associations at play within your life. This example is a point of departure for assembling creative content within your own personal narrative. I look forward to speaking to you next week when we work on our final exercise in this series, which I call “Point of Departure.”
Lee Anne McClymont is radio talk show host and producer of Courage Cocktail which broadcasts live on Wednesdays at Noon EST on WCOM-FM 103.5. In June 2010, Lee Anne published her first book, “Friendly Fear Notebook”. She is a guest columnist for Hillsborough, NC-based newspaper, “The News of Orange County”. She launched Radiocentrix.com as an extension of her interest in using radio broadcasting as an Open Source Media outlet. Her work at Radiocentrix anchors radio podcasting within the digital landscape– effortlessly streaming radio interviews between live radio broadcasts and podcasts. Lee Anne is the principal owner of Vast Republic Inc., a media company committed to promoting the voices of authors, artists and businesses within the digital platform.
About Lee Anne McClymont
Host and producer of a new radio show hit "Courage Cocktail" broadcasting out of WCOM FM, Carrboro/Chapel Hill NC. The Friendly Fear Notebook forms the basis of this show but with a twist-we talk to an expert and then interview a "Guest with Guts" Come out to our Facebook page called Courage Cocktail poke around, download a pod cast and you are on your way ! Sip slowly....Le