18th, September , 2019
False Experiences Appearing Real
Yes, it’s another acronym and it’s a goodie. Why? Because it describes how fear appears in our minds and our lives. 🍂 Of course, there are very real fears such as a fear of being shot if someone is holding a gun to your head, or fear of dying if you have a terminal illness, for example.
The majority of our fears however, are stories we have manufactured in our minds that validate us, keep us feeling safe and prevent us from feeling pain, hurt or suffering. 🌱Ironically, these same stories can cause more pain, hurt and suffering if they are always the headline act directing the show. Why? Let me put this into context for you.
As you may have previously read, by the time I was 7 years-old life had dealt me a few curve balls. I was conceived through date rape, adopted at birth and tragically lost my adoptive mother when I was seven.
The following year, my 8-year-old brain was beginning to ask curious questions. Why do I look so different to my family? My dad is tall, my brother is tall. They are both quite pale in complexion, with dark hair and my brother has brown eyes. I’m short, with brown olive skin, bright blonde hair and bright blue eyes. What stork delivered me?
Dad decided it was time to reveal the truth. One sunny afternoon he sat me down for a serious chat. In his most loving, nurturing and caring manner, he informed me I was adopted. He told me I was loved, accepted and a very special part of this family, yet what I chose to hear was completely different. Alternatively, I chose to focus my attention on the thoughts in my own mind. 👤 I was feeling scared and anxious, generating self-serving and limiting judgements –
“I have been abandoned and rejected, my own mother didn’t want me, I’m not deserving of love, I’m worthless!”
This sense of worthlessness and rejection was a crippling blow and ultimately drove me to become the only surfer in history to win six consecutive world titles 🏆, at significant cost to my quality of life and relationships. Yes, I achieved my dream, accepting I was now deserving of love 💚, I am enough. But at what cost? My body was broken, I was suffering adrenal fatigue, mental exhaustion and isolation.
What was driving me? Two things. My fear of rejection and my desire to feel loved. I decreed the only way I was ever going to be deserving of love was to become the best of the best, predetermined by a very scared 8-year-old girl who just wanted to be loved and feel like she belonged, often behaving in a way that gave people reason to reject her or finding ways to reject them first.
What is currently driving you and your choices?
How does your internal dialogue influence your decisions and behaviours?
Fear is a slippery sucker. It can propel us forward to achieve greatness and keep us stuck in the depths of despair. It’s a subtle voice that requires constant examination, self-awareness and the strength to shine a light on the darkness within. The stories we tell ourselves, or as Brené Brown calls it,
“our shitty first drafts”
become the narrative we live our lives by and only we have the power to change the story. ✍🏻 You can’t change what you can’t see, so stop for a moment, take a deep breath, tune into your thoughts. Determine if they are self-limiting or self-sabotaging, if so, change the channel. Anger, blame, criticism and despair are the obvious signs of negative dialogue.
If your language is limiting you, be aware that your life reflects your internal dialogue.
If you are ready to change the channel on your thoughts, shatter some of your personal limitations and create a healthier vision for yourself 🌸, please join me next week at my inaugural public workshop, EVOLVE.
I look forward to seeing you there!