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Living without Fear

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Living without Fear - July 22, 2005 4:36:00 PM   


Posts: 54
Joined: February 15, 2005
From: Indianapolis, IN
Status: offline
Hello again and thanks so much to those who have been perusing this Forum:

I was meeting with a business colleage and also my unofficial coach the other night and we had some interesting dialogue. I had been sharing some of my frustrations and doubts about the new projects that I have been taking on. One, my fear of not being able to really reach my clients in helping them with their agenda.

A good coaching question can stop you in your tracks. To quote her, "You can't expect your group to go where you haven't..have you gone there?" Although I know this fact in my head, it hit me at the heart that I may have missed the mark in how I have opened this Forum. I began thinking about Fear. Such a tough topic and also one in which many of us may not trust enough to share that we experience it.

Sarah Ban Breathnach writes in Simple Abundance,"Our dragons are our fears: our daily stalkers, our night sweats. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failing. Fear of starting something new and not finishing. Again... Or the real fear, the one that sends shivers up our spines: the fear of succeeding and of becoming our authentic selves and facing the changes that will inevitably bring."

It is exciting and exhilarating at this point in my life in a new role to be able to shed a new perpective, and help co-create a solution, skill or action plan to individuals, teams and leaders in this industry. But there is Fear. Everyone lives with some degree of fear whether they admit it or not.

I remember one of my first patients. I was drenched in sweat on the burn unit without my CI for the first time and having to make a splint for a race car driver burned over 60% of his body while his family members watched on.

I remember the first supervisory position I was promoted to. Not knowing how to "act" around my peers and worrying that I wouldn't make the right decisions.

I remember my first large speaking engagement at a national Brain Injury conference and wondering right before I got to the podium WHY HAD I DONE THIS TO MYSELF???

Most recently the Fear has been will I be able to move to a new role and do what I have been doing my whole life, coaching, with a population that I feel very committed to, pushing their envelope on being the best they can be?

When we turn on the lights and confront our fears we see that they are nothing more than our own stories. A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It's not our thoughts but the attachment to our thoughts that causes this unrest. Attaching to a thought without inquiring that it is true can lead to beliefs about ourselves that hold us back. Beliefs that slow us down or even paralyze us from action.

The therapist who would love to become certified in NDT but believes there is no way he would ever pass the course.

The new manager that knows she could have a fantastic program but can't handle a confrontation with a certain therapist that is bringing the entire team down.

The therapist who dreams of starting that private practice clinic to treat Women's Health but is immobilized by the "What ifs" and stays in a job that isn't challenging her.

Where in your life would you benefit from examining your fears? Where would getting rid of fear help you find the clarity and energy to act? What would your practice, relationships or life look like?

I welcome your comments and questions.


Carroll Nelligan, MHA, OTR
Professional Coach
Post #: 1
Re: Living without Fear - July 22, 2005 8:20:00 PM   


Posts: 3332
Joined: May 11, 2004
From: Michigan
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I just discharged a police officer who is on a tactical team. Fear... fear is a big motivator when "clearing" a room or an area. To be successful in his role, he needs a healthy dose of fear, otherwise he'd have a greater probability of mortality.

And, if religion is mentionable... placing your trust in the Lord reduces fear.

I try not to worry about the things I can't control. And, when I look at anything, the worst case scenario in regard to fear would be fear of failing. I say that, but life would go on. Whatever I failed at would become a joke and in the end my family would still love me. And frankly, technically the support of family and friends, even in times of failure, is what really matters. Frankly, I don't care what others think too much. Failure builds character and is only truly failure if one doesn't learn from it. I've learned a lot... :)

(in reply to cnelligan)
Post #: 2
Re: Living without Fear - July 22, 2005 10:37:00 PM   


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Joined: December 2, 2004
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Where in your life would you benefit from examining your fears? Where would getting rid of fear help you find the clarity and energy to act? What would your practice, relationships or life look like??

It?s funny that you should post this. I?ve been examining my fears about a particular work situation and came to some resolution this morning.

I have worked in a suburb (hospital based satellite) clinic for ten years. For me, this position has been a paradise. I am steady, but not too busy. We control the schedule so that I can give quality care. I work with an aide who is THE BEST. Many patients comment on the pleasant atmosphere our comradery creates. We have similar philosophies and are there to serve our patients whole heartedly.

In a few months our clinic is moving into a building which was jointly bought by our hospital and several groups of doctors. The hospital administration?s hope is that these doctors will refer their patients to us and that we will turn out a high volume. I know one of the doctors specified he wants a McKenzie certified therapist. While I do use McKenzie principles with appropriate patients, I?ve never been to a course. Also, my boss does not plan to send the aide I work with to the clinic and hasn?t communicated what help I will have (even hinted I?d work alone initially).

My initial reaction was FEAR- fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of others insisting I treat in a manner I?m not comfortable with, fear of the doctors finding me lacking, fear of being overwhelmed with too many patients, fear of being given a co-worker with little passion for his/her work. Basically, fear of failure and fear of being put in a position where I?d be pressured to violate my principles.

I did a little self examining today and decided that I need to put those fears aside. I thought if I go into this filled with self doubt and fear, I will not be focused on the job before me. I realized that approaching this with fear will rob me of energy and keep me from doing the good job I know I can do. I?ll find a way to hold to my principles of quality care in this new situation. I can?t control how the doctors will feel about me and my skills, but I can continue to grow and give the best care I?m capable of.

There is a quote (author unknown) that goes something like, ?I?ve been through a lot of terrible things in my life, a few of them which actually happened.?

I remind myself of that when I go down the ?what if?? worry road.

(in reply to cnelligan)
Post #: 3
Re: Living without Fear - July 29, 2005 12:23:00 AM   


Posts: 61
Joined: January 19, 2005
From: usa
Status: offline
FEAR is aka as False Evidence Appearing Real.

Whenever I do fear or doubt, I remember the above, brush them off, move forward, confront the fearful situation or imagined challenge.

(in reply to cnelligan)
Post #: 4
Re: Living without Fear - August 21, 2005 6:30:00 PM   


Posts: 18
Joined: August 20, 2005
From: Raleigh,NC
Status: offline

Why is it that we tend to fear success? The fears of a speaking, management situations, and difficult patients care issues make sense but not success. I have practiced in several settings as a physical therapist but it is in outpatient clinics where many PTs have verbalized their displeasure with their position and/or organization but seem paralyzed to move on. Their lack of initiative in finding a new position or defining one ia likely a fear of success. I have also acted in a similar fashion. Why do we fear success?



Ken Stack, MS,PT,CSCS

(in reply to cnelligan)
Post #: 5
Re: Living without Fear - August 23, 2005 8:49:00 PM   


Posts: 54
Joined: February 15, 2005
From: Indianapolis, IN
Status: offline

Thanks for your post. I too have witnessed this paralyzation in many different work environments. You pose a great question.

One of my favorite authors on the subject of fear is Rhonda Britten (Fearless Living). She brings it back to Maslow and it makes alot of sense to me and the situation you describe. We tend to avoid personal growth because this too can bring on another kind of fear. A struggle against our own "greatness" and the fear and dangers associated with it. When we really have the chance to become our authentic selves ie. the great clinician, the excellent program manager, the true leader...we may have to go through some uncomfortable changes. We may have to really examine who we are.

Does this perspective help with your question?

Please post again soon.


Carroll Nelligan, MHA, OTR
Professional Coach

(in reply to cnelligan)
Post #: 6
Re: Living without Fear - August 24, 2005 12:24:00 PM   


Posts: 1
Joined: January 26, 2005
From: New Jersey
Status: offline
For me fear of success is my attatchment. Attatchment meaning how do I define the word success. I like the definition, "a favorable result" rather than "gaining wealth, fame, ect". If I can try to do my best, I'm already a success. It may mean just finding out more about who I am. Whether or not I gain wealth or fame is out of my control.

(in reply to cnelligan)
Post #: 7
Re: Living without Fear - August 28, 2005 10:06:00 PM   


Posts: 52
Joined: April 20, 2004
Status: offline
i'm not sure if i have much in the fear dept. i'm in no way one of those macho "no fear" guys. work is great and i'm not afraid of learning and doing new things. maybe a little apprehensive with the public speaking thing but i don't do a whole lot of that. the only REAL fear i have is something happening to my kids (3 & 1 yrs.).

(in reply to cnelligan)
Post #: 8
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