Posts tagged fear loop

Stop Fearing Fear and Use It To Your Advantage


I had no idea when I mentioned how my boxing place was closed for a death in their family, that would mean that they would close permanently but I got the notice a week or so ago that indeed they are closing their doors. I’m pretty bummed about it but can you imagine in the course of a few weeks the life shock that family has gone through? My heart breaks for them as they figure out how to adjust to their new life. With that said, I have to figure out another cardio/strength option now that there are no close by boxing places for me to move on to….

Change is good

Boss: ‘Change is good!’ Employees: ‘Who’s getting fired?’

And change must be in the air because it looks like my long term contract that I had is probably coming to an end early December. It’s been a great experience, and my original boss was awesome. She taught me so much, was fun to work with and had perspective about the work we were doing. But, she left this past spring and as usual, with new management and changing of the guard – they want to bring in their own people. So, come end of the Fall, I will be looking for more consulting work. I’m not going to lean into the fear though. I have sent out some emails — and have some meetings already set up. And, I keep repeating to myself —what’s the worst that can happen? to help keep the fear at bay and get perspective.

Don’t Get Stuck in a Fear Loop

In this article about using fear to your advantage, they suggest reminding yourself that most of your fears are irrational, that you will get through the situation that is making you uncomfortable, and most times getting through it will make you stronger.  A while ago, I shared some info about Tony Blauer’s fearloop, and how you need to be aware of how it works so you don’t get stuck in it and become paralyzed by fear.

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Fall Means Time for Reflection


Barbell Infographic

Reflection in the Fall

It’s fall like out there –crisp and colder and that makes for a tougher wake up!

I always find this time of year is really good for reflection. It’s the last part of the year and you have lots of data to look at from the months past to see how you are doing.

  • Are you doing what you want to do?
  • Is what you are doing making you happy?
  • Do you have a lot of joy in your life?
  • Are you taking care of you – body and mind?
  • Are you being a good role model for your kids?
  • Are you the YOU you envision?

It’s never too late to make changes in your life and not have your every move dictated by fear. I talk a lot about being stuck in the fear loop.  The reason I talk about it often is because I am constantly doing a gut check when I find myself unable to make a decision or not confident in the decisions I make. My internal dialogue always asks: what are my intentions? and is fear leading me?

I dont want to be that person who purposely chooses actions that are designed to hurt others or acts out of fear. Both of those paths usually don’t lead anywhere good and end up hurting people unnecessarily. Usually there is a problem with me and my own feelings when I do begin to go down a path that isn’t healthy.  It never has to do with someone else at the heart of it.  Someone may have triggered it by their own actions but I am in control of how I react and process it all. I can choose to come from a place of help and good intentions –and when you do that, you rarely can go wrong.

Ok enough of the deep thoughts – Today was a strength day: Front Squats.

600m jog
bear crawls
crab walk
10 handstand holds

Front Squat

Front squats

I probably should have gone a bit heavier for that last one now that I am done with it. Gotta keep challenging myself and not take the easy road.

Tony Blauer: The Cycle of Behavior


Stuck in the Fear Loop

A few weeks ago a co-worker called me to get some advice about a work issue she has been dealing with for a while.  She has been putting up with a certain situation for a long time, enabling it to continue by not speaking up and requesting action. For anyone that knows me — It could be said that I lean a bit too much in the other direction and speak my mind fairly often and freely. It’s something that personally I need to work on — creating the right filters at the right time and being more diplomatic in some of my delivery methods. But this is not about that point!

She asked me how I handle certain situations that resemble what she is going thru and how I would handle the situation at hand.  What was clear from talking to her was that she was scared. Scared to get her boss upset, scared to talk to the head of our department, scared of what would happen to her if she did take the action — she was in what Tony Blauer calls the Fear Loop. She wasn’t only in it, she has been stuck in it for a very long time. Just going around and around the loop. So when talking to her, I automatically went into scenario mode and started asking her some questions –

Why are you doing this:

Are your intentions solid and sound? Are you trying to cause trouble or are you really earnest and believe, based on your experience that speaking up and highlighting the train wreck that may be coming is the right thing to do?

If No:

  • Don’t proceed.

If Yes:

  • What is the worst thing that can happen?  What would that look like? Would that really happen? How would you handle that?
  • What is the best thing that can come from this? What would that look like? Is that likely to happen? How would you handle that?
  • Could any other result happen that you do no expect?  What complications and/or additional actions come from your action?

Alternatives: Could there be alternative ways of handling the situation? What are the different options and scenarios around those?

After discussing all of the info and options– we both realized that the worst thing that could happen is probably not that bad, but even more — probably isn’t even going to happen. And that stepping back from going all the way to the Top Dog boss probably wasn’t the best first step and we came up with a scenario that takes into account her boss’s role and giving them the respect they deserve, while still pushing the issue and creating a situation where her boss has no choice but to either take action or she will go back to her original solution and go to his boss to address the issue.

Either way a decision was made by looking at all the possible scenarios and she can address the problem and take action. Will the outcome match what she was going for?  Its impossible to say because you have to take into account the other people and the unknown. However, those are points out of her control and she did the foundational work and made the best decision based on evaluating all the data and scenarios she had on hand at the time. It’s all you can expect and ask for when making the decision. 

Take the situation above and follow along to Tony Blauer’s model – The Cycle of Behavior and you can see she worked through the fear loop and got herself out of it and took action – in theory.  In real life dangerous situations, you have no choice but to take action. Day to day, you actually have to act on it or you end up stuck in fear — going over the different options, scenarios over and over again — resenting whats going on more and more day after day.

So many of us stay in the fear loop because we are scared. Ironic right? Scared of leaving the fear loop.   My co-worker has been trying to operate while constantly being in this loop. Can you imagine how unhealthy and unproductive and inefficient that is?- operating from a place of fear when you are making decisions and managing people.

The model above is a great resource to use when trying to figure out which way to go — follow it step by step and you will find your way out of the ole fear loop!

In order to change, you must change – or you can’t expect to see a different result than what you have been getting.  

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