It’s been a Hall and Oates week. Shooting stars at night, blue birds singin’ through the day, high 5’s and high 10’s all around.
Last year I couldn’t be within 1 kilometre of a stage without feeling the hot and cold waves of anxiety wash over me. Over the last few months, I’ve busted out six casual lay-back gigs with my good mate Kenny Jewell. Last week, I did an interview for Tommy Emmanuel’s documentary, a jam and interview with Diesel for B.B. King’s birthday and I recently went on a mini weekend tour. Not only am I getting to the other side of these “challenges”, I’m getting lit up by them as well.
I’m also noticing the cyclical nature of fear. A year ago, this is how the cycle looked:
Event – anticipation/resistance – fear – depression/fatigue – surrender and feeling incapable – leap, but really thinking, “Get me the hell out of here” – realise that it wasn’t that bad, but automatically praying that I don’t have to do it again – Feeling trapped when realising the inevitable. Nothing changes if I don’t change.
But now with over a year of training, it looks a little more like this:
Event – instantly label it as a growth opportunity – identify and demystify anticipatory thoughts and the fear they bring with them – set intentions/plans with regards to the things that are in my control and bring acceptance to the things that aren’t – presence during the lead up (refocus) – attach myself to past accomplishments and remind myself of current purpose (if needed) – surrender with faith in myself and others – Leap! Accept and re-focus if anything pops up – celebrate the fuck out of the victory and put it in the bank of proof. Proof that fear is actually a teacher, not an enemy. I’ll expand on these elements in future posts.
After my dates with fear, the world is a pretty special place. The daily challenges don’t matter anymore, and the lack of background noise and restlessness allows me to fully absorb every tiny moment. I don’t feel like I’m running or trying to get ready for the monster around the corner. My energy in the house is better. I’m closer to my boy, I’m more connected with my wife. I’m swimming in inspiration and creativity. The passions to play music return. The “threat scanner” is switched off. I feel higher on the other side of fear than when I’m knocking something over within my comfort zone. I’m at peace.
The familiarity of this cycle is slowly rebranding fear. I’ve known for a while that it is ironically nothing to be afraid of, but experience is embedding it as a belief. Now, when it pops up, two voices race to the microphone.
- “Oh shit” (habit).
- ”Yes! Another fear I can say goodbye to.”
A close friend forwarded me a quote from an Instagram feed – “One of the greatest moments in your life is when you look fear straight in the eyes and finally decide to call its bluff.” – Mastin Kipp
And that’s where I am right now. The sudden rise in fear throughout my life had me believing that it was out of my control. Only because I couldn’t see how I was bringing it on. To see a future where fear is just another emotion to manage and not a time bomb ticking disease, is fucking exciting!
My deepest desires are starting to surface. No longer are they camouflaged by layers of scar tissue. I can see them. I can feel them. Some new and some as old as me. If the last few years have been dedicated to absorbing information, it now feels like the focus is shifting toward its use. Consistently sparking courage until the decisions to ride the waves of fear are second nature.
“Nerve cells that fire together, wire together”. – Neuroplasticity baby!