Confidence, the Stock Market & Overcoming Fear

I awoke today quite interested in what is going to happen today on the stock market. So many
 are concerned after reading articles and listening to the numerous negative news reports on TV. Magically (or really not so magically because what would one expect when fear is in the air?) the market has lost its footing and is beginning to tumble.

There is a definite lesson to be learned in all of this. It is one that is quite obvious to many, but I'm going to spell it out for my sanity/amusement. When fear becomes the principle guiding force in the economy, within the business world, within our families, or individually - a tailspin is inevitable.

To illustrate my point, I'm going to imagine I'm walking a tightrope across the grand canyon. Let's say I
believe that the rope I am walking across is so stable & magical that there is no doubt I will make it across. I jump on and begin my journey to the other side. I'm so confident that I dare to dance my way across. I set my gaze on my destination and don't have a single thought about the possibility of a fall. Half way through my journey, I'm elated at my progress. And then...a stranger standing below yells to me..."that's not a magical, sturdy rope! It's just an ordinary one that I can find at any old rope store!!" All of a sudden I realize the magnitude of what can happen if I lose balance. I buy into his negative talk/doubt and begin to teeter back and forth. Sweat pours from my brow and tears begin to form in the corner of my eyes. "I'm too young to die!" I whisper to the universe. I become certain I am going to fall...the rope begins to sway back and forth and the next thing I know I'm flying through the air toward the canyon floor.

I am not a stock expert, but I'm thinking it's very possible that if last night we were told we gained a AAAAAA+++++++ credit rating (I know ratings don't get that high...but I have to be a bit dramatic to make my point...so bear with me :-D)  the Dow Jones may reach new heights. Nothing has changed surrounding the companies that people invest in -- our fears have just taken over.

Our economy is based on confidence. But how are we supposed to be confident when all we hear is how horrible everything is?

Likewise, on a personal level...how am I (or you) supposed to get anywhere when I don't believe in what the universe has in store for me? Curling up in the corner and weeping isn't going to get me anywhere. Fear brings our most monstrous nightmares to life. If you fear the loss of your relationship - you'll probably do things to lose it. If you fear you'll be poor, you just may...because you'll probably freeze in your tracks and fret. If you are creative and fear that someone will steal your idea, you won't do a darn thing...someone will release a similar idea into the market and you'll be left saying "if only I were bold enough to make my dream come to life."

When I look at the US and our amazingly challenged congress and decision makers, I see a group of men and women fearful of losing their jobs - thus their decisions are fear-based. The result is a sinking ship. I'm thinking that we must act out of truth and fearlessness to move ahead. If that means losing a job or risking security then so be it. At what point do we look beyond self-preservation and do something that will truly make a difference?

One day back in my college days, a buddy of mine listened to one of my fear-based rants, looked me in the eye with a fierceness I will never forget and uttered, "fuck fear, Jen....fuck fear!!" He snapped me out of my funk and we both laughed until tears came to our eyes. I'm not one to throw that four-letter word out into the air often; however, eleven years later when I begin to spiral into a fear based tailspin I repeat these words to wake myself up.

Fear is a part of our daily lives - our internal stock market is susceptible to instant crashes. Yet - it takes a second to put on our Superman/woman suits and force our stock back up. Moment by moment. Step by step...we can force fear out of our lives and replace it with confidence.

- Jen Engevik
Project BE Bold

Fear by Author Steven Pressfield: What is Our Biggest Fear?

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Resistance feeds on fear. We experience Resistance as fear. But fear of what?

Fear of the consequences of following our heart. Fear of bankruptcy, fear of poverty, fear of insolvency. Fear of groveling when we try to make it on our own, and of groveling when we give up and come crawling back to where we started. Fear of being selfish, of being rotten wives or disloyal husbands; fear of failing to support our families, of sacrificing their dreams for ours. Fear of betraying our race, our 'hood, our homies. Fear of failure. Fear of being ridiculous. Fear of throwing away education, the training, the preparation that those we love have sacrificed so much for, that we ourselves have worked our butts off for. Fear of launching off into the void, of hurtling too far out there; fear of passing some point of no return, beyond which we can recant, cannot reverse, cannot rescind, but must live with this cocked-up choice for the rest of our lives. Fear of madness. Fear of insanity. Fear of death.

Steven Pressfield - Author, War of Art

These are serious fears. But they're not real fear. Not the Master Fear, the Mother of all Fears that's so close to us that even when we verbalize it we don't believe it.

Fear That We Will Succeed.

That we can access the powers we sense in our hearts we truly are.

This is the most terrifying prospect a human being can face, because it ejects him at one go (he imagines) from all the tribal inclusions his psyche is wired for and has been for fifty million years.

We fear discovering that we are more than we think we are. More than our parents/children/teachers think we are. We fear that we actually possess the talent that our still, small voice tells us. That we actually have the guts, the perseverance, the capacity. We fear that we truly can steer our ship, plant our flag, reach our Promised Land. We fear this because, if it's true, then we become estranged from all we know. We pass through a membrane. We become monsters and monstrous.

We know that if we embrace our ideas, we must prove worthy of them. And that scares the hell out of us. What will become of us? Will we lose our friends and family, who will no longer recognize us. We will wind up alone, in the cold void of starry space, with nothing and no one to hold on to.

Of course this is exactly what happens. But here's the trick. We wind up in space, but not alone.  instead we are tapped into an unquenchable, undepletable, inexhaustible source of wisdom, consciousness, companionship. Yea, we lose friends. But we find friends too, in placed we never thought to look. And they're better friends, truer friends. And we're better and truer to them.

Do you believe me?

- By Steven Pressfield in his Best-Selling book The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Creative Battles

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Smash Fear, Learn Anything by Tim Ferriss

Bestselling author Tim Ferriss shares his zest for life and passion for helping others conquer fears!

10 Thoughts on Whole Living

Sat down to read more in Whole Living Magazine and ran across page 93, written by Terri Trespicio. She shares the following 10 Thoughts on Whole Living:

1. Your body already knows how to heal itself; You just have to get out of its way.

2. Go ahead - vent a little. Think of it as a detox for the soul.

3. Good posture isn't about rigidity, but fluidity.

4. When you can appreciate being alone, you're rarely lonely.

5. Clutter is the by-product of indecision. Make sure everything in your space is there because you choose to keep it.

6. You may not be in school anymore, but there's always more to learn.

7. True sufficiency doesn't mean having plenty; it means having enough.

8. Pay attention to how you walk. Ask yourself what you're rushing toward - or away from.

9. Transform anxiety into excitement; focus not on the fear of what lies ahead but the possibilities you might create.

10. Lead with your heart, not your ego.

Tips taken from: Whole Living: body + soul in balance, September 2010 print edition, Volume 27, Issue 7,  p.93. No Place Like Home written by Terri Trespicio.

- Post by Jen Engevik of Project BE Bold

The Unlived Life by Steven Pressfield

Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.

Have you ever brought home a treadmill and let it gather dust in the attic? Ever resolved on a diet, a course of yoga, a meditation practice? Have you ever felt a call to embark upon a spiritual practice, dedicate yourself to a humanitarian calling, commit your life to the service of others? Have you ever wanted to be a mother, a doctor, an advocate for the weak and helpless; to run for office, crusade for the planet, campaign for world peace or to preserve the environment? Late at night have you experienced a vision of the person you might become, the work you could accomplish, the realized being you were meant to be? Are you a writer who doesn't write, a painter who doesn't paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what Resistance is.

One night I was layin' down,
I heard Papa talkin' to Mama.
I heard Papa say, to let that boy
boogie-woogie. 'Cause it's in him
and it's got to come out.
—John Lee Hooker,

Boogie Chillen'Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease and erectile dysfunction. To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be. If you believe in God (and I do) you must declare Resistance evil, for it prevents us from achieving the life God intended when He endowed each of us with our own unique genius. Genius is a Latin word; the Romans used it to denote an inner spirit, holy and inviolable, which watches over us, guiding us to our calling. A writer writes with his genius; an artist paints with hers; everyone who creates operates from this sacramental center. It is our soul's seat, the vessel that holds our being-in-potential, our star's beacon and Polaris

- Steven Pressfield in The War of Art