A boy was sent by his parents to see a psychologist when he was twelve years old. "We were worried," his father said, "he was so shy and in need of protection."
The boy loved to hide himself in the basement to work through encyclopedias from beginning to end. The psychotherapy didn't help much: When the prom was coming Bill didn't dare to invite a girl. And when, after days of persuading by his parents, he finally took heart, the chosen one turned him down.
His anxiety did not stop the boy from doing extraordinary things in his later life. The boy was Bill Gates, the richest man in the world for many years.
Anxiety and fear are important for survival in certain situations - as long as they don't overwhelm us. They sharpen the senses and enable the body to react faster than the mind - and sometimes it is precisely these milliseconds that save lives.
If humanity were without fear, says evolutionary research, it would have long died out.
Everyone is afraid, sometimes more, sometimes less; but few like to talk about it, or at least openly.
Fear does not have a good reputation, of course not. Anxious people are not made for fast times, for the ambiguity and constant changes of modern life. It is said that the world belongs to the brave, and that fear is a bad advisor. It is considered as a sign of weakness, as performance inhibiting and unmanly. It is annoying, stressful, it narrows down and destroys joy of life.
If it becomes too powerful, it can make people unable to act and it ultimately can make people sick.
But at the same time fear is one of the most powerful driving forces of life. It sharpens the senses, motivates, drives forward, awakens imagination, creativity, and creative power.
Overcoming fear triggers intense positive feelings; some people cannot live without the thrill. Extreme mountaineers, parachutists, giant wave surfers, in a weakened form also roller coasters or fans of horror films - they all seek the thrill of feeling the hormones of happiness that the body releases when the danger is overcome.
Many people who seem so strong and successful on the outside feel deeply vulnerable and powerless inside.
They fear others might avoid them because of their life stories. So they leave out the essentials as they might have practiced as children. But because they don't open themselves up to anyone, they feel like they're in an “as-if” life.
That means they live in a constant dissonance: between their origin and their present status, between the person they are at work and the person they are at home, between how they present themselves to the outside world and what they feel inside. As a result, despite their success, they do not perceive their lives as harmonious and true.
They do not imagine that many other men and women struggle with themselves as much as they do. But up to 75 percent of people have grown up with at least one childhood experience that places a heavy burden on them. It would be more helpful if they could talk more about and recognize it.
Are your fears or your blockages in your way when you want to try out something new?
We all know situations that trigger systematically the same negative behavior or feeling, like anxiety. You probably wonder what you can do to change or get control over these feelings. And you certainly have tried multiple times to react differently in vain.
To get hold of these undesired feelings and behaviors, I use a method that is based on the assumption that every human is a conglomerate of several elements. These are very different elements such as your fear, creativity, perfectionism, tolerance, joy, self-confidence, etc. These and many more elements make up the person you are. They collaborate to guide your emotions, choices, and behaviors.
If you are taken by an undesired behavior there is usually one single element that is activating it. What we all instinctively do then is trying to suppress this behavior or the feeling by conditioning ourselves mentally beforehand or by trying to ignore it. You have certainly realized that this does not work. Ignoring and pushing it into a corner makes it even stronger as it can continue to grow there in peace!
Instead of doing this I recommend a method where you take a frontal approach.
The element inside you that triggers this negative behavior does not want to hurt you. On the contrary, it wants to achieve something positive for you, but it does it in a way that you don’t appreciate – let’s say, it is a little clumsy. It seeks to help you in a way that does not suit you well, that does not make you happy, that perhaps even makes you feel extremely uncomfortable...
But it is doing it with a positive intention, and in my face-to-face coachings I am working on identifying this positive intention, taking the energy of this element and turning its power to serve an alternative (and desired!) behavior. This method truly works from the inside out and will open the door for you to change your behavior automatically afterwards. After experiencing this new behavior more and more often, you will be able to do exactly what you want to do, in exactly the situation that you could not get control of before.
To make this method accessible to a wider audience I transformed it into a compelling step-by-step approach which you can do as an online course or in a 2-day face-to-face event where you will do deep emotional work to help you discover patterns and behaviors you might want to change.
You will learn a whole range of new tools to release your own fundamental potential, overcome your fears, and set yourself an exciting vision of your future.