Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois                        

Welcome to the podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois.

Faith                   

I’m Faith

Lois                          

And I’m Lois.

Faith                      

Our podcast explores life’s many transitions that inspire and daunt us.

Lois                       

Greetings Faith!

Faith

Oh, greetings to you, Lois.

Lois                         

We are so glad to be back in our podcast studio. Yes. Sitting here working out our podcasts on transitions.

Faith                    

And transitions in life are going to happen whether we like it or not, we might as well learn to do them well.

Lois                        

So we hope that you are getting some tips on how to look into our lives and what we’re doing and then also how to make some shifts that help you go through these transitions. Or if you know someone who’s going through transitions like this, that you’re able to share these podcasts. In fact, please do share that. When you’re done listening, we’d love it if you’d share it with someone who you know is going through a transition in their lives. And if there’s a transition we have not touched on that you would like us to cover, please let us know. You have myriads of ways to get ahold of us and we would love to hear from you.             

Faith  

And we will respond to you.

Lois                       

So when it comes to every single transition that we face, every single one, there is one thing that’s gonna stop us in our track if we don’t deal with it. And we get to face that head on today. It’s episode 74 Transition. The Impact of Fear.

Faith                   

Oh, and fear is so big and it hits us all, you know, from early childhood all the way up until probably our last breath. There are various stages of fear that we are going to encounter. And a lot of times we just like to dismiss it or turn away from it or ignore it. But the reality is fear has a huge impact on our life.

Lois                       

So fear is defined as the unpleasant feeling that’s triggered by the perception of danger, pain, or a threat, whether it’s real or imagined. Right? We can be afraid of someone or some thing, and it’s very real to us in that moment, even if it’s imagined.

Faith                    

Yes, it’s very real, oftentimes for some people like myself, I can actually experience it even if it’s not there. And so the more kind of emotional or sensitive you are to things, you can actually feel things that don’t exist.

Lois                      

How does that transfer into your body yourself when it comes to fear?

Faith                   

There’ll be a lot of anxiety and stress, terror, that rush that just kind of that cold water feel on the inside that rushes up and hits you and you want to avoid it. You want to do the fight or flight and that’s the normal response to fear is I’m either going to fight it or I’m going to flee from it. That’s normal. That’s pretty normal. That’s how we survived all these millennia of years to exist today, but the problem is that if it’s something we do need to face, we don’t want to fight and we don’t want to flee. We want to know how to step into it, to face it and to overcome it.

Lois                      

And we are going to work through a lot of these wonderful issues today. For me, if I get a phone call or a text or an email from someone who appears to be upset about something and particularly upset at me or aggravated at something that that’s going on that maybe I have a part in, I will find that there’s fear for me before I look at the whole thing, like I just see the headline, I’m going, oh my goodness, I wonder what they’re going to say. And it starts in my stomach and it comes up and it gets stuck right underneath my chest and I know exactly what feeling that is because I’m not angry. I’m afraid of what is going to happen when I open the email or when I read through the whole text or when I listen to the voice message. And I find that sometimes it’s unfounded because the person really isn’t that upset and once I listen to what’s there, I can actually dissipate it because maybe it’s a misunderstanding or it’s something I can deal with, or even if it is something that I need to work through that I can work through it. But when I first get that text or that message, that’s when I know I’ve experienced some sort of fear because it’s stuck. Yeah. I don’t know what to do with it.

Faith                   

So it’s recognizing it like you just did and that’s really, really good. Where is it in you? Where do you feel it? Where do you sense it rising up within you? And once you know that, then those basic things of, okay, wait a minute, I’m okay. Take a deep breath and get grounded because you’re going to move through this. And that’s what we want to talk to you about today is how do you move through fear?

Lois                        

Because fear is a real and critical response to emotional and physical danger. And we always want you to know that we’re not saying don’t have fear, because if you didn’t have fear, you couldn’t protect yourself from a real threat. So what we’re going to be tackling a little bit today is that sometimes we have fears over situations where the stakes are not our lives. Like what I just mentioned, getting an unwanted text. While that’s uncomfortable, my life is not in danger with those. But we get triggered and if we don’t bring that under control, it’s going to grow to a place where it does take over.

Faith                    

Exactly. And you need to find out what is triggering you. So usually behind something like that, it’s like, are they going to reject me? Are they going to be mad at me? Are they gonna accuse me of something? And so we don’t like those feelings. Right. There’s the primary feeling which we are not in touch with until we find out, wait, what is this reminded me of? And so it’s good to get in touch with what is happening. What are the origins of this fear?

Lois                      

Let’s start with that. What causes fear? I mean it’s so complex, Faith, there are so many different things. Some of it can be, as we discussed earlier, a couple of podcasts back. It could be the result of trauma.

Faith                    

Exactly. Trauma’s a huge one in the fact that we’ve had these old reactions to things that were out of our control where we got hurt or we got blamed or something. It’s important to honor the fact that there’s a history. There’s an origin to our fears. A good example, it’s a simple one, but I had two brothers, oh boy,] you can imagine. And one is seven years older and one was 10 years older. So they tease the heck out of me and one of the things they love to do would be to hide and then jump out and terrorize me and just, you know, go ‘boo’ and do things or chase me or a boogie man’s going to get you and that type of thing. To this day, that’s a reactionary thing. And I, and my husband liked to tease me early on. I said, don’t tease me that way. Don’t jump out at me. I don’t like it. And so even though I understand there’s no danger in it, there’s that old origin of that reaction that that’s where it originated from. I don’t like to be scared. I don’t. Don’t jump out at me. And people really respect that with me. I’ve let people know, don’t do that. I even taught my daughters don’t do that with me.

Lois                      

That’s powerful. But that’s good. So you recognize it and you share it so that it doesn’t happen over and over again. Right? Exactly. And that’s actually knowing it there. So another element that can cause fear is a loss of control. Because if you feel like you lose control in a situation or at work, it can start magnifying and growing into fear because you want so badly to be in control. And so I’m not saying this is healthy by the way, but I’m saying when you lose control, you can become afraid of all these things. Now also, if you lose control of a vehicle or if you’re in a place where there is a reason that you can have real fear with a loss of control, but some of the times we get engaged in fear is not necessarily because it’s real. It’s because we feel that we should be in control. We’re not, we’re afraid of what someone might do to us. That hasn’t happened yet, but we’re still afraid that might happen and we make that get out of control.

Faith                 

And so we need to take into consideration what are the things that really do frighten us. And set boundaries. Like I do not like horror movies. I don’t go to them. Why I don’t like them. I don’t like to be afraid that way other people can go to them and it doesn’t bother them and they laugh through it and they think that’s hysterical and that’s great. If it’s fun for you, enjoy, it’s not fun for me. So you can avoid somethings but then other things you necessarily you know aren’t necessarily avoidable. You sometimes have to step into it and face it and how to do that is to feel various ways of being in control.

Lois                       

Anxiety is one of those things that can create fear. It can if you allow that anxiety to grow and sometimes it’s absolutely based in something real, but anxiety can be a cause of fear for you. So you walk around afraid of the world and what you see around you. And I think the hard part about all of these things we’ve mentioned – unchecked and if you don’t decide to resolve it, -they often turn into almost like a phobia.

Faith                     

They do, they can. Yes. Then that becomes bigger and you need some additional help sometimes to get through some of that. But that’s why there’s so many different phobias that are named out there. Just be aware that maybe you do have that and deal with the phobia because you don’t have to be its victim. I have a fear of heights. Okay. And they now know that’s more neurological than actually, oh, I’m afraid of heights. I don’t like be high. It’s the brain. That’s how it perceives things. So I can see a scene in a movie or even on a YouTube thing of a height thing and I feel it in my body. I can feel the rush right away. That’s neurological. Okay. And so my husband said a very wise thing. If you have a fear of something, a real legitimate fear, does it interfere with your life? If it doesn’t, so what? Right and so do I need to go to places that are terrifying and say I need to go to the edge of the canyon? No, I don’t need to do that. Those are the things that you take into consideration. Is it interfering in my life? If it is, deal with it.

Lois                       

And that’s where the phobia can become twisted because then we may not do things that we really could do because we’ve created a scenario that makes us more afraid. Right? So that’s a great litmus test if it’s something you need to do with your children to go to a soccer game, but you don’t like a certain thing that you’ve gotten frightened of in this one arena, find a way to work through that. So you can be at that game. Another thing that we can explore fear with and what to do about it is to avoid avoidance. Create some kind of safe environment where you can face your fear and discover whether it’s real and it’s founded and has to be dealt with. Or whether it’s not.

Faith                     

Absolutely. And again, that’s the history of things. If you have a history that has caused this fear to take root inside of you, you’ve got to deal with that history. If there’s really no history to it or you don’t remember, then how can you dismantle it? Just the reality test of, okay, being afraid of squirrels is probably not going to hurt me. I can probably stomp my foot and the squirrel will run away, but if you really have a fear that a squirrel is going to come up and bite you or something or attack you, you might want to really deal with that because it’s going to keep you out of nature because there are squirrels in nature. You can’t avoid everything. It’s more about stepping into it and finding the answers, and if you, it’s really locked in there. I cannot emphasize enough. Get some help. Yes, because there are people who specialize in phobias, in fears that cannot get unlocked. And you can get free of it.

Lois                       

Well, and here’s a great quote to cling to. At moments when you’re doubting whether it’s real or something that you can work through. Thich Nhat Hanh has written, “Every time your fear is invited up, every time you recognize it and smile at it, your fear will lose some of its strength.” Oh, I like that. I had to be for many years, a reporter who went on the street and I had to ask complete strangers questions because it was part of my job and I had to go do that. And there was this inside, I didn’t want to do it. I was afraid. What if they say no? What if they, you know, try to hit away my microphone or my camera, and. I was just, I would have so much fear, but every time I would look it up and I would think, I actually would say to myself, this person wants to meet me. And when I would say that, whether it was true or not, I believed it enough in that moment that I could take the next step and go and talk to these people because it was a legitimate fear that they could say no, but what was the worst that could happen? So I really like this quote because when you think of these fears being invited up, and you recognize it and smile at your fear will lose some of its strength. And we’re not belittling enormous fears that you may have. We’re talking about many fears that just kind of crimp our style during the day. We don’t do things that we could do and enjoy because we have this fear element.

Faith                   

And another thing is to name it. I just to saw in brief last night on a show, one of the dance shows, and I was going through quickly and one of the judges was talking to one of the contestants. She had a lot of anxiety. He said, I’ve had anxiety too about my dancing. And he said, one of the things that I’ve done is that when I feel the anxiety rise up, he says, I call it. Oh here’s anxiety Annie, she’s here. And I thought that’s brilliant because he said, name it, name what it is, and then name something where you feel empowered. And he asked her, he said, what is the name that would empower you? And she said, wonder woman. He goes, so you go. And so now go out as wonder woman.

Lois                       

That is so cool. So we are in Episode 74 Transition, the Impact of Fear. And one other way to manage and start facing fear in your life is to accept what is in your control. There are plenty of things in your life that you have control over just as you function through your day and all of those kinds of things. And there are situations that are beyond your control and every time you try to pull in these things that are outside of you and have control over them, you get so frustrated and then that can cause a lot of fear because you want so badly to have this person or this refrigerator not go bad, or your car not be hit or whatever it is that you make that a bigger fear because it’s out of your control, right?

Faith                    

Yeah. And when you feel out of control, everything else is going to, it’s just going to pick up momentum and it becomes a mountain when literally it was probably a mole hill.

Lois                      

So think about those things that you cannot change and do your best to try to focus on what it is you can. And really most of those things that are really outside of our lives, we can’t touch. We can’t change, right? Going to happen. It’s how we respond to those kinds of things. You know? I mean a lot of you may be uttering the Serenity Prayer a lot of times, but it’s one of those great things to keep front and center. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Faith                   

So good and then look for what’s positive in life. You know, instead of everything being such a negative and that nothing is working or everything is scary in life, that’s not true. It’s bringing in the elements of truth into the fear and saying, you know what? There’s really a lot of good things that are happening in my life right now.

Lois                      

When we’re afraid, what do we focus on? The negative. That’s right and the scary and we cling. We look at an entire event and we don’t even see anything positive that came out of it. We only focus on this negative and that’s when we think the world is a scary place when everything we look at is so negative. But what if instead you flip that and you looked at the whole picture, like maybe something started out really negatively. Your kids are at a soccer game and nobody wants to play with them at first, but at the end of it, they either scored a goal or they saved the goal or they were with some friends and it turned out really well. But all you focus on is the very beginning instead of the whole picture. What if you could expand that, right?

Faith                   

Yeah. We think our fear is going to be the ultimate outcome. Yes. And that’s not necessarily true. We don’t know what the outcome’s going to be yet. Most often people who are really, really afraid, will find out that the outcome turned out completely different than what they ever expected.

Lois                        

So when you’re looking for those positive things in your life, what about those people who actually care about you? Because we all have at least one person. We may not have gazillions of friends, like some of our other friends on Facebook, but we have, and they’re not real. But we have somebody that we can know cares about us. And when you can share what’s scaring you with even that one person, or journaling about it and writing it down and getting out, you start finding positive things in your life that will outweigh what you’re so afraid of.

Faith                    

There’s actually so much more good to our lives then we oftentimes we have credit for and take an evaluation of because it’s there. One thing can be so powerful as you said, that it can be a distraction. And then we begin to believe it’s all that way. It’s the all or nothing thinking. And the reality is no, it’s both-and. I have some fear of going on, oh, but I also have all of this good in my life as well.

Lois                      

And if you can find people to hang out with who are positive in a little more happy, you know, I know in my life when I, and certain times I have to choose it. But when you’re around people that really drain you, for lack of a better word, and so if you don’t choose to counter that or add to your life with people who also lift you up, you will stay in that drained mode and then, out of the negativity comes more fear. So I urge you, there are places in our life where we can’t avoid some of these people who are going to take from us, supplement it with people who offer life into your life.

Faith                    

I totally agree with that and find meaning in life too because there’s so much meaning. There’s so much depth to the goodness in life and the goodness within people and get support. The finding meaning is oftentimes when you’re afraid. Getting the support you need, getting encouragement, asking people, this is how I’m feeling about myself right now, but how do you see me? And getting reminded again of who you really are.

Lois                      

Who you are by rediscovering your purpose, right? Sometimes we kind of forget we’re on this trajectory. We get afraid. Things haven’t worked out exactly like we want and we need to remind ourselves, guess what, this is what my purpose is. I’ve got a couple of little detours here, but we forget and we all do. We all do. And I don’t know what it takes for you. If it takes sticky notes, places, if it takes a something on your phone that will Ping and remind you of where you’re going in life or if it’s your journaling or if it’s a good friend you can share that with. But those kinds of things are super important.

Faith                 

Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And one little quick side note, there is legitimate fear. There’s the fear that it’s real and sometimes we will dismiss those little intuitive type feelings that we have. Like, ah, I don’t like it out here. There was some, this doesn’t feel safe. Trust that. Yes, trust it. Don’t ignore it. Cause what we’re talking about are the fears that aren’t necessarily fully realized or fears that maybe you faced in the past. But do not mistake what we’re saying here today that you may face some sense of, I don’t really want to go here. Well then don’t.

Lois                       

Absolutely don’t. Look around. I mean I’m one of those people having been a reporter for so long, if you ever watch me leave the house or leave a shopping mall and go to my car, I’m never on the phone. I have my keys ready. I am literally doing a three 60 and while I’m walking I’m doing that. That’s totally fine. That’s empowerment. I’m taking care of myself so I’m not worried as I get to my car, anytime I see somebody on the phone being really nonchalant is there, especially when they’re walking into a place where somebody could come up to you, oh my goodness, don’t do that. So I totally agree with you. Protect yourself when you’re like that. And as you’re finding meaning, if you could take the time to listen to somebody who’s also in a difficult situation. One of the things I learned over and over again is we’re not alone so many of us. And as we’re all listening and talking to each other, we’re afraid of things. And when we listen to what other people are afraid of, we find ways to encourage them and guess what? They’ll do the same for us. Absolutely. And I love that meaning that we get to give and receive and watch what happens during that time. That’s so good. Yeah. And so consider how you can flip the lie that fear puts on you, which tells you you can’t do this. You need to just stay where you are and shift your focus to some more healthy emotions in your life where you might be able to find meetings.

Faith                

We encourage you to face your fears and anxieties so they don’t become debilitating.

Lois                        

And if you’re challenged by fear, please know that you can find wholeness even as you work on feeling safe.

Faith                  

If you know someone who might benefit from this podcast, please share it with them.

Lois                       

And join us next week for Transition, the Impact of Spiritual Growth.

Faith                  

Get the latest news on our social media platforms and on our website, and please subscribe.

Lois                       

More to Life with Faith and Lois is a podcast to support, encourage and uplift you.

Faith                  

As you transition through all sorts of change, we want you to know there is more to life.

Lois                       

We’ll be back next week.