Legitimate Fear

Fear

By, C.W. Stratton

All of us have experienced some form of fear on one level or another.  Being able to identify legitimate fear becomes problematic for some.  Fear is the unpleasant emotion or belief that something or someone is dangerous, likely to cause harm or a threat.   Another definition suggest that the feeling can be experience weather the threat is real or imagined.  Focusing our attention on the feeling itself has the likelihood to limit our ability in determining if the fear is actually warranted in a given situation.  Obviously there are legitimate reason to experience fear.

*A barking dog exposing its fangs running in your direction.

*A car barreling down the road in your direction as you cross the street.

*Someone threatening you with a weapon or causing physical pain.

*An event or situation that can result in loss of life.

The fear that many of us experience aren’t typically associated with the aforementioned.  After assessing a given situation thoroughly, we may find that our fears aren’t connected to dangers or threats at all.  Some of our fears are associated with others and how they may respond to certain discussions we may be involved in.  We may be that individual who lacks self-confidence, whereas fear becomes a constant feeling at unexpected times.  Given this being a individuals reality, we must realize that lack of self-confidence doesn’t mean there are dangers or threats that will become of harm to the person.  The fear becomes the fear of a feeling that one may experience if we relay a message to someone and they don’t respond in a way that we had depicted in our minds prior.  A result, we begin to condition ourselves mentally to avoid certain conversations, situations and interactions.  Think about some of the ways and things we associate with fear:

*Change

*Changing careers

*Letting someone down.

*Being wrong.

*Asking for help.

*Following your dreams.

*Speaking up about what you believe in.

*Addressing an issue with someone who may have hurt your feelings

*Challenging a statement of someone that you know is inaccurate.

*Stepping outside of certain conventional practices.

*Rejection (avoid hearing that huge word “NO”).

These are only a few things that we associate with fear but as we can see, there’s no real danger, harm or threat involved in these.  However, we hold on and identify the feeling as fear, and in turn, it prevents us from making the progress that we say we desire.  We become paralyzed by the illegitimate fears.  We rob ourselves of the opportunity to communicate our wants and needs; we remain in the comfort zone of stagnation.  Is the zone really comfortable?  It’s just a familiar place to be that’s consumed with discomfort.  It’s time to challenge ourselves (our views, perceptions and ideas of reality) and become more confident and comfortable with who we are as people.  Being able to identify the feeling you are actually experiencing in a given situation is critical to progress; it’s not always fear.  It could possibly be other feelings you may subconsciously refuse to identify (inadequacy, insecurity, shame, or guilt).  It’s time to identify and conquer.

 

Searching the Bookshelf from Within

By, C.W. Stratton

Bookshelf

Searching and reading so many books about ways to improve our lives and how to overcome obstacles that we may face, has created so much confusion and increased uncertainty.  Trying to put all the pieces together from the books, social media posts, eBooks and blogs becomes overwhelming.  All the “How To” books lead us in so many different directions.  Going to the bookstore searching for “that right book” is like searching for a needle in a haystack.  When trying to narrow down our choices, we rely on those author names that we may hear in the media.  You know, the authors that relay how great their books are and how helpful their own words were for them.  This is by no means an avenue to discredit those author that spend countless amounts  of time dedicating their craft to reach those who may benefit.  The are great author out there who have been helpful and transforming many lives.

How do we sort through all the titles and advertisements to improve our situations?  It’s a lot of work for many.  The average individual is searching for something specific to their experience.  We want a fix to our circumstances and many want to situation resolved in an instant.  This isn’t realistic by any means.  Just as the our struggles and obstacles in life occurred over time, so does resolving them.  Yes, there is material out their that will be helpful but we must sort through the mess that’s before us; not the books, the mess within ourselves.  If we can get to that point, our search for the right material become less overwhelming.  We may then be able to find something that’s specific to our experience, which will eventually guide us in the direction we desire.

We may be awarded many suggestions from individuals regarding which material has helped them, but keep in mind that your reality and experience may be different than their.  Take the suggestions, look at it closely and decipher which parts of the suggestions can be applied to you.  Your motivation to improve your life or circumstances may initial manifest externally but as you continue to search, that motivation manifest internally which help in maintaining the discipline to continue taking forward steps.  The books are in abundance, life is in abundance and your desire to be the best you can be should be in abundance.  Stepping back and looking at the bookshelf, we begin the process of decision making, so step back and look at ourselves and do the same.  There is so much valuable information out there at our fingertips, lets use it.

The search for answers continue!

Unique Like Everyone Else

By, C. W. Stratton

Wandering  through life aimlessly is a reality for many.  When asking a individual of there current position in this world, the response heard at times is, “It is what it is.”  The phrase sounds cool and slick but when these words are relayed to a individual full of purpose and direction, it’s like a fingernail going across a chalkboard.  There are circumstances in life that can actually be changed.  Having direction, passions and goals are integral aspects of change.  We must broaden our experiences in the world and with others.
Unfortunately, there are individuals who don’t recognize a need for change or improvement.  Associates, friends, colleagues and even family of  such individuals have difficulty pointing out, to that person, that there is a need for change or improvement in their lives.  We will allow that individual to remain in the unproductive state they are in.  Why is this?  We either have difficulty with confrontation, we are selfish, don’t want to hurt that persons feelings, or we let that person remain where they are because it makes our mediocre existence look better than want it really is.  The question posed may take time to actually answer, but I’m sure the response will fall within the realm of the aforementioned.  If we were that individual who was at a “stuck point” in our lives, wouldn’t we want some assistance or guidance to move beyond that place?
Each individual creates their own existence along the way, but there may be obstacles and stumbling blocks on the path.  There are those who have the capability of overcoming them and you have those who have great difficulty with these obstacles and as a result they remain stuck in that position.  Can we find a genuine and sincere way to assist others?  This assistance doesn’t have to be monetary in nature because a few spoken words of encouragement and direction can be of great value.
We tend to get caught up in the reality that we’ve created for ourselves and leave many people left out of behind in the process.  As time passes and our circle becomes smaller, we become so encapsulated that we no longer can see beyond our own existence and not have the ability to see what actually exists outside of ourselves.  In turn, when we make an attempt to step outside of our encapsulated lives, we can’t relate to the other parts of life that we’ve neglected.  We’ve created an existence that’s full of “stuck points” and limitations.  We prevent ourselves from expanding our learning and meaningful experiences in the world.  We have separated ourselves as if we are not like others and we go as far as thinking that our experiences in this world are unique.  Once we break through the barriers we have created and step outside the encapsulated reality we’ve created for ourselves, then we’ll find the truth.

Being Your True Self

By C. W. Stratton

You can find your purpose through your passions.  This is a statement that was quite profound when I was first introduced to it.  Looking deep within my being allowed me to acknowledge my natural passions in life.  This wasn’t an easy task but I allowed myself to quiet my mind, shut off all the chatter and outside distractions to enter the next level of consciousness.  It was difficult at times and even scary, but it was a necessary process.  Once the peace and comfort was obtained, my ability to find the creativity and true passions began to emerge.  Many of us have true passions that we don’t tap into.  This may be due to our passions being unconventional or they don’t meet the status quo.  This fear of tapping into our true selves can create unhappiness, discomfort, dissatisfaction and an abundance of unfinished projects in our lives.  Never be afraid of who you truly are.  Be yourself because everyone else is taken.

The Map Home

By C. W. Stratton

If we were to look at our lives as if it were a road-map; beginning with the past, it may appear that we are totally lost.  We’ve hit dead ends, closed roads, some paths even under construction or no longer exist.  We would eventually say, as we look at the map, “This makes no sense.”  If we begin to look deep within ourselves with a keen eye, open mind and an open heart, we could see that every road leads somewhere.  Organizing the pieces will show you how to reach your goal or destination.  With this knowledge about your travels you can begin identifying the things that are most meaningful to you.  Once we make an accurate identification, we can begin sorting out the barriers in the road to make a clearer path for ourselves.

Where the Leaf Lands

By C. W. Stratton

Throughout our lives we have been bombarded with information about ways to improve our lives and to be successful.  Some of us have wandered through life aimlessly in hopes to find the one place we fit in.  We’ve followed the direction of others but soon found out, “this isn’t a comfortable place either.”  As a result, we move on to the next adventure that has been suggested to us.  A continuation of these events eventually makes it appear that we’ve become “a jack of all trades.”  We may have full resumes of things we’ve done in the past but taking a closer look we can find that nothing we’ve done really aligned with our inner being.  Some of us engage in things for social status or to say “look who I am now” or “look what I’ve accomplished”, only to find that these things were temporary and were no longer fulfilling…superficial.  Envision our lives as a leaf falling from a tree during the autumn season, it looks beautiful but the leaf will blow wherever the wind takes it; it has no direction or control of where it lands.  Some of us have lived our lives accordingly to the point it has created suffering, confusion, frustration and total discontent.  We as human beings have absolute control of what direction our lives go;  during those dark times of our lives it may appear difficult to see.  However, or inner selves possesses a light that can guide us in our pursuits.  Taking time to sit with ourselves and begin searching within our core to find our passions in life is critical.  All of us have something that we’re passionate about.  This can transcend to a doorway for us to walk through.  Although fear of the unknown and fear of change surfaces, we are safe to identify our passions; this identification becomes our foundation for our direction.  Our passions will eventually lead us to our purpose.

More Doesn’t Mean Better

Placeholder ImageBy C. W. Stratton

We go through our present existence wanting and craving a variety of things to make us feel better or appear more than what’s actually inside.  Some sit with thoughts of ways to improve their experiences in the world.  Our society and culture has conditioned us to be the winner or most impressive in every given situation.  The messages conveyed with regard to this conditioning has many of us seeking ways to become better, smarter or more accomplished than the next person.  Being someone who’s ambitious isn’t a negative thing; having goals and dreams aren’t negatives either.  What happens in many cases is that we become consumed, overwhelmed and confused with what being accomplished entails.
The very things we bring to our lives we feel will make us more accomplished and fulfilled are the things that keep us confined and unappreciative of the natural necessities of life we are given.  The conditioning we’ve experienced has cluttered our thought process and other areas of our lives.  We tend to want more of everything that may makes us feel good; at the moment.  The materialistic world that we’ve become so accustomed to being a part of has taken away some of our humanistic abilities to prosper without cost.  To prosper isn’t about:
*Having the most money
*Having the most attractive spouse
*Having the most friends
*Having the most expensive and fashionable attire
*Having the most advanced degree amongst your peers
*Having the biggest home
These are very important things to people and many have allowed themselves to be defined by these things.  I’m a believer that anything you put before your natural care for self and others, you will eventually lose.  When this occurs, where does it leave us?  Are we still able to feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment despite the loss?  Some may struggle this.  The though alone can be terrifying and devastating for many.  Think of the addicted individual (drug/alcohol addiction) who consistently needs the substance to feel good.  Day after day they seek out the substance and once obtained there’s a sense of relief, happiness and even accomplishment.  However, the experience soon vanishes and the individual seeks more.  Then you have the individual who isn’t addicted to substances who may go through the same experience when it comes to wanting more things to make them feel good.  The individual becomes satisfied with their new thing and quickly the newness wears-off and they move one to the next new thing…never being satisfied, no matter what or how much.  There are those who are addicted to substances, then you have those who are addicted to “MORE.”
With this thinking and the behaviors associated with it, we can saturate our lives with “things” to the point that it encloses us and the only thing others can see are the “thing’s” we’ve brought into our lives.  The individual can no longer be seen.  Improving self requires that we actually look at ourselves and begin working from the inside, not from the outside in.  When we get to the point of self-accomplishment, self-care, self-compassion and self-love we can place ourselves in a better position to appreciate the small natural gifts that are already given.  Anything outside of that become bonuses.  When making a life plan that can ultimately change your life forever, we must remember to begin internally.  We should treat ourselves just as good as we treatment those “things” we incorporate in our lives.