"I can admit that I live with fear. It’s not something that ever goes away."
Fear, doubt, hesitation, anxiety, concern, frustration, self-limiting beliefs…. Whatever you want to call it, we’ve all been there.
So, how can you proactively overcome all of it?
In this discussion, Jon Berghoff shares from the heart and opens up about his experience with FEAR—yup, even an uber successful guy like Jon struggles with such self-imposed limitations.
In fact, it’s something he’s had to deal with for his whole life. As he puts it, “I live with fear. It’s not something that ever goes away.”
Maybe he can’t eliminate it—I don’t think anyone can—but he does consciously decide how to work with it. Today he’s going to share the 4 scientifically proven ways to breakthrough your fears.
- #1 – The impact a formal mindfulness practice can have on breaking through fear.
- Discover the 3 attention skills that are absolute lifesavers when it comes to dealing with fear.
- #2 – What story are you telling yourself? Learn to manage your internal narrative so you can accelerate in the areas that matter most!
- #3 – How to reframe the things you fear so you can move towards the things you want.
- #4 – The importance of changing your physiology and being smart about what you put in your body.
- And much more…
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
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[00:00:03] Hal: Hello and welcome to the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. The show that empowers you to wake up to your full potential and achieve your biggest goals and dreams. I am your host Hal Elrod and I invite you to join us each week as we share actionable strategies to take you life to the next level as well as interview world class experts and entrepreneurs who have achieved extraordinary goals themselves and we ask them to give you a peek behind the curtain and teach you exactly what you need to do to do the same. Ready? Here we go.
[00:00:32] Jon: All right, all right. We’re going live. Hey, what’s going on everybody? We’re going to talk about fear today. Fear. How to conquer it, how to overcome it. I’m kind of pumped to talk about fear and we’re talking today about four scientifically proven ways to break through our fears. I’ve been really looking forward to talking about this. I deal with fear all the time..I have to deal with fear every single day. I’ve been dealing with fear for as long as I can remember what I’ve been dealing with for whatever that’s worth. So look, let’s get right to it. I would love your questions, I would love your stories, I would love your feedback. I would love to interact directly with you. I am watching the live stream as we record this.
The topic today is ‘fear’. I want to start by sharing from a very personal perspective. Fear is something that I know many of us who are members of the Miracle Morning community, many of us who are the Achieve Your Goals podcast community, fear is something that we probably all deal with in our own way. Fear is a very personal thing and so it’s only fitting that today if I’m going to talk to you about ways of breaking through fear is a very personal conversation for me. I can admit that I live with fear. It’s not something that every goes away. I live with it and I’ve learned to work with it. I finally figured out, I think I figured out, although since I think I figured out something it usually means I haven’t really figured anything out.
I feel like I finally figured out that I can never really eliminate fear from my life as an entrepreneur, as a parent. I can’t seem to get rid of it. What I can do is I can learn how to work with it. Thank you Samantha, thank you Christopher for the questions. By the way, I’m going to address those questions head on in just a second here. How do you calm yourself with fears of the future? How do you cope with fear of what others might be thinking of us even strangers that we don’t know?
[00:02:35] Jon: I’m happy to address all of that. I’ll start by saying that fear has played a big role in my life and I’m going to go back to in high school. There was a time in my life in high school where, and I don’t really put too much energy in trying to fully understand or comprehend why certain things in my life worked out the way they did but I know this. I know that when I was in high school I lived with an intense amount of fear. I was afraid to go to school every day. I was afraid of what people thought of me. I was afraid of what they might say to me about me. I was so afraid that I really barely made it through high school. I just became completely socially disconnected. I think I became disconnected from who I was.
I got lucky and not everyone gets lucky the way I do that I really stumbled into an opportunity and many of you who know me or we have gotten to know each other you know my story that I stumbled into an opportunity to be an entrepreneur at a young age. That was like a way out for me. I was lucky that I got to sell Costco knives and that company had a culture where I was able to completely let go of the life I was living during the day and go live a different life selling kitchen knives. If that sounds weird, it is. But interestingly and that’s where Hal and I met. Many of our good friends Jon Vroman, John Ruhlin
In fact we did an episode a few weeks ago where five of us came on. We’ve known each other for 20 years. We had John Ruhlin and Jon Vroman, John Kane and Hal, Hal the odd ball who is not named John. But we all grew up in that culture. I got lucky that that was a way out for me but not everybody gets that lucky. So if I share something with you today that helps you, that makes me feel really great. I’ve learned a lot about dealing with fear. Today I’m going to share with you four strategies to deal with fear. Even if you’re somebody who feels like fear is necessarily slowing you down at least not in a conscious way.
[00:04:33] Jon: I have found that for me even when I am crushing it at life, there are always little voices in my head that will come up and I might not use the label fear to describe them but it might doubt. It might be hesitation. It might be a limiting belief in myself. It might be an anxiety. It might be a concern or a frustration. To me these are all derivatives. They are all like the brothers and sisters and cousins of fear. The four strategies I’m going to share with you today I’m going to start with the first one which is maybe the more complicated of the four strategies I’m going to share
The first of the four strategies I’m going to share to deal with fear in an effective way is what I would call and I think this is really important, we all have to learn how to build a practice of mindfulness. Now, there’s a lot of different labels and a lot of different words I could use that might mean the same thing to a lot of us. Some people call these contemplative practices and I’m going to go way into this right now. I’m going to dive deeply into my experience with meditation. Some people call it meditation, some people call it practices of connectedness. You might call it prayer, you could call it whatever you want.
But I’m going to tell you that in my life, one of the things that has really, really helped me and as I said earlier not to figure out how to get rid of fear, I have decided I can’t get rid of it. But I can learn how to work with it in a more effective way. I can learn how to work with it where it doesn’t have a grip on me. In the four strategies I’m going go to share with you today, in the final three they are actually really practical. Not that mindfulness or meditation isn’t but it’s the one that most people struggle with. That’s why I’m hitting it head on. I’m starting with it. So let me talk a little bit about mindfulness meditation and what that’s done for me. I want to give credit here to Julianna Raye. Somebody if they could tag Julianna in the comments so she knows I just gave her a shout out.
[00:06:26] Jon: I want to give credit to Julianna who I was introduced to about three years ago who is my mindfulness coach. If you want to learn more about Julianna you can go check out unifiedmindfulness.com. I had been introduced to meditation, I may have been 15 years ago. It’s when I started meditating. In fact when I started… I never shared this. I might as well share this. When I started meditating, I had come across at the time it was only available as an audio program, maybe it’s a book nowadays. There was a Deepak Chopra audio program called ‘Synchro Destiny’. He had these six different meditations. These six different meditations they were all of like Eastern origin.
So they were literally these like Hindu and I could be getting that wrong. I think they were these Hindu sayings but he interpreted them. I’ll never forget. I had that audio program, ‘the power of synchro destiny’. I don’t if it was the title or the subtitle but I transcribed word for word the whole program. Just by pen and paper. I had someone who would taught me, if you really want to internalize something you’ve got to put pen to paper and recreate it basically. I transcribed all these different meditations that he taught. In that transcription, I then started meditating and I’ll never forget, this might sound like the most trivial example of the power of meditation.
But it is kind of crazy. I had been meditating on a certain saying, I think the saying. I think the meaning of that saying, it’s been 15 years. I don’t remember exactly but it was something about connectedness. I’d been meditating on that one word for about a week and I was driving in my car and I decided out of nowhere I’m going to call up this girl that I used to know like years ago and she was never anything more than a friend, or a loose acquaintance. Just a friend that I knew. I thought her number was still on my phone. I’m going to call her up for no reason. Well, I called her up and it just so happened that as I called her I was on my way home from an indoor soccer game.
[00:08:34] Jon: I hadn’t spoken to this girl. Her name was Suzie. I won’t say her last name to protect the identify of the innocent here. I call her up on my home from my soccer game. It just so happened that during that game I had sprained my right ankle so badly that I could barely drive my car. I was driving it actually with my left foot, which if you’ve ever done that it doesn’t feel safe. Suzie answers the phone. No exaggeration, this is the truth. This is exactly how the conversation goes. Keep in mind I had been meditating for about a week on connectedness and what I had learned about certain meditations is that depending on what you believe on quantum physics and a bunch of other things, that we actually can create connectedness across time and space.
I don’t know if I really believe any of that until Suzie picked up the phone. So she picks up the phone and she says, “Hey Jon. I haven’t talked to you in years.” I said, “I know. I just figured I’d called, just saying hey.” About a minute into the conversation and she’s like, “Well, what are you doing right now?” I say, “Well, I’m driving home from a soccer game.” And I tell Suzie, I say, “Suzie, this might not sound safe but I injured my right foot, I’m driving with my left foot.” She goes, “Is this some kind of a prank?” And I said, “No. This isn’t a prank.” She’s like, “What are you talking about?” It got weird for a second. She was silent and she said, “Jon, you wouldn’t believe it.” She said, “But I’m driving my car and I’m also driving with my left foot because I recently sprained my right ankle.”
Now, that’s a true story and I remember I was silent and then I got really weird and she and I both decided it was really weird, we ended the conversation and it never really went anywhere after that. It’s kind of a funny story. I’ll tell you this. I have since that moment, the list 15 years. I have had many, many, many instances where the deeper I went with meditation the more I had synchronistic events in my life and many that were more than just trivial. Ones that actually led to really important accomplishments, personally and professionally. So that was how I was introduced to meditation.
[00:10:40] Jon: Thank you for your patience in hearing my rambling. I’ve never told that story of that first synchro destiny moment. They told me maybe there’s something to this meditation. But today’s podcast episode or live stream if you’re watching is about dealing with fear. Over the years what I’ve learned about meditation and having a contemplative practice is look, I could talk right now about all sorts of band-aids that we can put on our emotions. In fact I think that’s what a lot of us do in our lives. We destruct ourselves from our emotions. I joke with my wife or my friends it’s like do I want to deal with my emotions right now or just eat a piece of cheese? For some of us it’s not a piece of cheese.
It’s something else or it’s a drink or it’s a puff or it’s zoning into the television. In my mind those are all the same things. They are all things that we do to avoid feeling what we are feeling and that’s just the human experience. So fast forward, 13 years later I was first introduced to meditation, Julianna Raye, my coach who I met about three years ago maybe four years ago, she taught me a practice of meditation that helps me to build three attention skills. So I want to share these three attention skills with you because I believe in my experience has been that in dealing with fear these three attention skills are absolutely life savers.
By the way if you have questions about dealing with fear I don’t know that I have answers to your questions but you’re welcome to post them in the live stream. I can see a bunch of them that have come in already and I’m trying to share these stories and talk as I’m reading what you’ve posted. I think I’m going to do my best to help you out. So mindfulness meditation helps to develop three attentions skills. I’m sharing these three skills with you because I want to sell you on developing a mediation practice because I believe that without having a formal practice you can’t develop these three skills any other way.
[00:12:31] Jon: It would be like saying well I know all about going to the gym and I know all about lifting weights and then expecting my muscles to change. I can’t know all about something when it comes to mindfulness or meditation but not practice it and think that I’m going to get better. Sometimes we think intellectually we can just understand our way into changing who we are being. We have to actually nurture practices and habits that change our way of being if that makes sense. Mindfulness meditation, the form that I learned from Julianna has helped me to build three attention skills. Number one is what we call concentration power.
Concentration power is the ability to stay focused on whatever I deem to be important at any given moment in time. When it comes to dealing with fear that’s really helpful because often times fear is allowing my mind to wander into the future, to wander outside of what I really need to be focusing on which is probably something that should be right in front of me. So building our concentration power through a mindfulness practice is a fantastic antidote to fear. Stay focused on what matters because often times if we unconsciously move into a state of fear, it is just because our mind might be wandering away from whatever is actually more important in that moment.
The second attention skill is what we call sensory clarity. Sensory clarity. Sensory clarity is the ability to detect, to discriminate, to distinguish our sensory experience. So what does that mean? Well, I’ll just make this personal. For me, a lot of the time when fear is taking over from me, what happens is I don’t really notice what’s going on until it’s too late. I don’t know if any of you can relate to that. I don’t really notice what’s going on until the internal chatter in my mind has been going on for so long that it’s like it’s paralyzing. Sometimes it’s not the chatter, for me it is often the chatter and when I say chatter I’m talking about just conversation in my head where I’m actually talking through either a conversation or literally talking through the future that I don’t want to have happen.
[00:14:41] Jon: But I don’t notice until it’s so late in the game that that fear is like it’s got a grip on me. I don’t know if you can relate to that. Sometimes it’s not a conversation in my head. Sometimes it’s images in my head where I don’t realize until it’s too late but I have literally played out in my head like what it looks like for my business to fail, my wife to leave me, my kids to be all messed up. I don’t know if any of you have ever played any of these things out. You don’t realized till it’s too late. Like oh my gosh, that’s a little out of control. Sometimes it’s not a conversation in my head and it’s not the voices, it’s not the images.
Sometimes it’s just the physical feeling of type of fear. It’s before I walk in to give a presentation, before I walk into a social setting. That’s what it could be for a lot of you. Before I go into this important meeting or moment, there’s something in my chest, like a physical representation of anxiety. If you’re listening right now, if you’re paying attention you might notice that I just called out three different ways that we actually experience our moment by moment experience. It’s through what we hear, and I’m talking about inside of ourselves. I’m not talking about the sound of the cars or the birds or the wind.
I’m talking about the voices in my head, or sometimes it’s things that i see or sometimes it’s an emotional feeling. Now, here’s when I know I’m really messed up. I know I’m really messed up when I’m talking to myself, seeing things and feeling something all at the same time. That’s what Julianna my coach calls that we’ve become inter-tangled our sensory experience and we have to learn how to unravel that. Untangle it. So at this point, some of you might be listening thinking, well you’re completely describing an experience that I have from time to time, which by the way if I am describing your experience and you want an immersion in helping you to transform fear into courage and an unstoppable confidence, make sure you join us in San Diego next month at the Best Year Ever Live Blueprint.
[00:16:39] Jon: We’re 30 days away, 300 or 400 or you are going to be there. Bestyeareverlive.com, bestyearever.com. Hal and I cannot wait to spend three amazing days with you designing the year of your life for 2018 but back to our regularly rescheduled programming. So I shared with you earlier, I’m talking about four ways of dealing with fear. The first one is to develop what I would call a mindfulness or meditation practice. What I’ve been trying to advocate for here is when you develop a mindfulness practice… By the way if you are watching the live stream, give me a shout out, a hallo, a question, anything. I need to know if this is of interest. So just post a comment, question, idea, just so I know you’re still there.
So, I’ve been talking about meditation and how it builds three attention skills. One of them is concentration power, the second one is sensory clarity, the third is what we call equanimity. This is a big one when it comes to dealing with fear. Equanimity is the ability to avoid the push and the pull of our internal experience. What does that mean? What it means is, imagine emotions are kind of like a wave and they come and go. When they come, if we are unconscious about it, they can grip us and they can pull us under the water. If you’ve ever been sucked under the water at the ocean shore, at the beach you know that that’s a scary feeling.
Well, that happens to us all the time with our emotions. Our emotions come and go like a wave. They don’t just show up at our doorstep. They slowly creep in, they expand and then they slowly go away. So when we talk equanimity what we are talking about is can we allow our emotions to come and go without allowing them to throw us under the wave? So those are the skills that mindfulness helps us to build and the reason I wanted to stop and talk about those because if you’re listening and you’re like me, I can’t hear about those skills and not agree that okay, I have to learn how to build these if I want to learn how to deal productively with fear.
[00:18:29] Jon: So let’s circle all the way back to if you don’t have a regular meditation practice what can you start doing right now? Well, I am not an expert in teaching meditation, I would direct you to unifiedmindfulness.com and go learn from Julianna, start a regular practice right now. Pick up her mentor’s book, The Science Of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young. We will be leading and teaching meditation at the Best Year Ever Blueprint event next month but I just wanted to finish this point by saying, look if fear is something that you deal with on a regular basis or any disempowering emotion, the first thing that I’m sharing with you today that has helped me in a huge way is having a regular mindfulness practice. Having a regular meditation practice.
And it’s subtle. But it builds and it can be really, really helpful. I told you I was going to share with you four strategies today. Four strategies for dealing with fear and in an effective way. The next three I think are a lot easier and a lot more practical and almost instant and it’s more noticeable to notice the results. So here we go.
The second of these four ways of dealing with fear and I don’t have fancy labels for these so you just going to bear with me as I stumble through this because this isn’t’ like some canned talk that I give. This is just me riffing on how have I dealt with this and I got a few scribbles on a piece of paper. If you are on the live stream, there’s my scribbles right there. Those are my notes. So you can see how interesting it is for me to turn that into something coherent.
The second of the four ways that I want to talk about is what I call managing your internal narrative. Managing your internal narrative. Now, what do I mean by managing your internal narrative? Really what I’m talking about is what is the story that you are telling yourself about what’s happening in your life or in your business? Whatever the arena in your world, it can be your family, it can be in your business, it can be where you go to work every day, it could be everything. But my point is, what story are you telling yourself about what’s going on in your life?
[00:20:34] Jon: I’m going to specifically give you a resource here and the resource I want to give you is an example of a story that you can use to maybe replace a disempowering story. I’m holding up a diagram and what I’m holding up a diagram of is something called the Hero’s Journey. I’m a huge fan of the Hero’s Journey. The Hero’s Journey it’s a philosophy that I learned about from a great teacher by the name Joseph Campbell. If you want to learn more about the Hero’s Journey just Google it. You can also check out a great documentary called Finding Joe by Pat Solomon. I love Pat. Super cool dude. We had him at our Quantum Lead mastermind event a few years ago and he was the executive producer.
I could be wrong on that title of finding Joe, a documentary about the Hero’s Journey. But the Hero’s Journey in a nutshell and this is the non scientific inaccurate explanation of the Hero’s Journey. The Hero’s Journey it’s rally Joseph Campbell’s discovery. Joseph Campbell studied mythology, religion and he really studied culture and civilization across time. one of the things that Joseph Campbell found is that when you look across all of the stories that had been told all across history when you look in religions, cultures, societies, indigenous, modern and you even look at film, modern day Hollywood films, Joseph Campbell pointed something out.
I think Hollywood is obviously taking a cue from these stories to go back across generations and civilizations. But what Joseph Campbell found is that there’s a, what he calls a monolith or a monomyth which is there is a universal plot line. There’s one storyline that is kind of embedded within all of the stories that have ever been told. If that sounds crazy, do your own homework. Go check this out. It’s really, really cool stuff. But what I love about the Hero’s Journey which is the label that Joseph Campbell uses to describe this journey that we are all on is that the Hero’s Journey allows us to really reframe the story that we tell ourselves about our lives.
[00:22:40] Jon: I’m going to give you a really high level overview of the Hero’s Journey. If you’re interested in the Hero’s Journey, there’s an episode that we did on the Achieve Your Goals Podcast, we did this like a year ago or two years ago. It was a long time ago where I think we brought Pat Solomon on. We talked about the Hero’s Journey, we maybe have done more than one episode on this. So I’ll find it, we’ll post it and you got to go check it out. But here’s the Hero’s Journey in a nutshell. It’s the idea that in our lives there’s a journey that we are all on whether or not we are conscious of it.
If we become conscious of it my experience has been that I can accelerate it. My experience is that I can actually participate in that journey but if I don’t become conscious of it or I don’t consciously articulate where I’m at in the journey, I can become paralyzed. For me this is a great way of understanding what’s happening in my life in a way whereby understanding it that almost becomes a form of mindfulness. This almost becomes a form of meditation to where the fear doesn’t get a hold of me. I just understand the role that it’s playing if that makes sense. So here’s the Hero’s Journey in a nutshell.
There’s really like three or four phases in the Hero’s Journey that we can all connect to. The first phase of the Hero’s Journey is what Joseph Campbell calls act one. Sometimes it’s called separation. This first phase is where we go from what we call the ordinary world which really just means we interrupt the pattern of our everyday thinking because I truly believe that if I think the same thoughts every day, if I feel the same emotions and I get dressed the same way and I eat the same food and I do exactly the same things and I say the same things, not much is going to change in my life. So the Hero’s Journey is asking us to recognize that really the first step on our journey is to listen at a deep level for a calling to maybe step out of our ordinary world.
[00:24:36] Jon: I like to re-interpret that and say what I really hear there is we’ve got to be willing to open up our minds. We’ve got to be willing to open up our minds to see things a little bit differently and to maybe sense that that the world might be calling something of us that’s greater than what we have currently recognized. So, in this first part of the hero’s journey, really what happens is it’s what we call answering the call. So there might be some of you right now who are sitting in fear, in your lives and in your businesses. One of the things that could help you out is if you recognized that maybe in your Hero’s Journey the reason you’re feeling a sense of fear is because you feel a calling to something more.
And you’re simply afraid of what could happen if you pursue of that calling. You’re afraid of the unknown. You’re afraid of the uncertainty. See I have found that for me personally when I stop and recognize that hey part of my fear just comes from whatever stage I am at in the journey and not realizing that I am just at a certain stage it is actually very understandable where fear is normal and natural. Just by recognizing that it can help us to deal with the fear. So according to the Hero’s Journey, the first stage is what we call answering the call. Answering the call means that we decide that we’re going to follow this whisper.
We’re going to follow this internal voice. We’re going to follow our gut. We’re going to follow this opportunity and that leads us into the second stage and that moment where we go from that first stage of deciding to answer the call, by the way how many of us have resisted answering the call in our lives? We hesitate. Well, the moment that we decide to answer that call, Joseph Campbell calls that crossing the threshold. Some people call it crossing the first threshold.
[00:26:30] Jon: Crossing the first threshold is where we decide that we are going to move from feeling or hearing or sensing that that the world is giving us a chance to do or create or be something more that we are actually going to commit to following that. Then what happens is once we cross that threshold, we get into the second act of our Hero’s Journey. For some of you, maybe what you’ve done is you feel like you’ve answered that calling. Samantha asked the question, “How do you figure out the calling?” That’ a great question. I’m a really big fan of Otto Scharmer out of MIT who teaches something called Feary You. One of the things they teach in Feary You it’s called Presencing.
Check out the book Presence. It’s one of the most powerful books I’ve ever found about connecting to your deeper purpose so that you can create the future that you want your dreams. It’s some pretty crazy stuff but it’s a bunch of really smart people that I personally really respect and one of the things I’ve learned from them is that in order to connect to a deeper intelligence and there’s all these fancy labels and infinite intelligence, a deeper wisdom, a consciousness of connectedness, a field of information and energy. So all these different labels out there. In order to connect to that deeper connectedness one of the things we have to do is we have to learn how to open our minds and what does that mean?
It means let go of our old patterns and ways of thinking. We also have to learn how to open up our hearts. Which means we have to learn how to see the world from the shoes of other people, from the eyes of other people. When we allow ourselves to let go of how we’ve been thinking and what we’ve been believing and we allow ourselves to let go of how we see the world and see it how others see it, it might draw us to a point where we not only can open our minds and our hearts but we can open up to the potential and the possibility of the highest calling that the world has for us. Now, personally, one of the questions I’m always asking myself is what are my highest strengths? What are my highest strengths, talents and capabilities. When have I been at my best? Why was I at my best? How can I take the factors from those moments and keep re-inviting them into the present and combining that with what gives me joy, what gives me passion.
[00:28:37] Jon: That’s Presence by Otto Scharmer, Peter Senge, Joseph Jaworski and Betty Sue Flowers. There’s probably 100 books called Presence but it’s the one that’s co-authored by Peter Senge and Joseph Jaworski.So that’s my answer to how do I figure out that calling is… Well first of all I never stop asking. I never stop asking why am I here, what’s my purpose? What meaning can I give to what I’m doing? How do I keep applying my strengths? How do I keep connecting the dots between the opportunities, the people in my life, the strengths that I have and what gives me joy. I just don’t stop asking. That allows new exciting things to emerge again, and again and again. So back to the Hero’s Journey. For me and the way Joseph Campbell describes it is that once we make that commitment to follow that calling what happens is now we go into this second act.
These I’m just paraphrasing here but really at that stage in our lives or in our journey, maybe you can all relate to this if you feel fear in your lives right now. The second act is where we what Joseph Campbell calls we face some sort of supreme ordeal. We face a supreme ordeal. What does that mean? Well, facing that ordeal we meet people on our journey that become mentors but we also meet people who become villains and we also come across ideas that are going to help us and we also come across destructions but ultimately we find ourselves facing some sort of moment.
It’s a moment you might call it an obstacle, an adversity. Joseph Campbell calls it the Supreme Ordeal. Depending on the interpretation of the Hero’s Journey some people call it the rebirth or the reincarnation of people, some people call it dying and being reborn and actually if you look across cultures and you look across religion and you look across stories that are told, this whole storyline of some part of me has to die in order for some new part of me to be born, that really is a universal story line.
[00:30:35] Jon: So this second act of the hero’s journey as Joseph Campbell has identified, this journey is present in every culture, every civilization, every religion, every myth if you deconstruct the. What really helps me is when I can step back and go, I’m going through multiple Hero’s Journeys in my life. Maybe I got one in my personal life, one in my business. For me every client I have is like through a whole Hero’s Journey but sometimes I have to stop and just recognize you know what I am just facing the natural moment of a supreme ordeal right now. I’m just facing natural experience of some major adversity. What really helps me when I feel fear in the face of knowing that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be as Hal always says.
It’s knowing what’s on the other side of that. Because what’s on the other side of that second stage is what we call the third threshold. Which is where after we face an ordeal, after we face some major adversity on the other side of that there is usually some sort of transformational discovery. I don’t know about all of you but I can think one ordeal I faced after another after another. For me I remember having kids. And any of you who are parents having a kid, talk about having a polarizing experience. It’s like the greatest moment of your life and then a few days later it’s like the worst moment of your life when you’re dealing with these things you’ve never dealt with.
It’s like this unavoidable ordeal. What’s been interesting for me with having kids is after the second and then the third I started to finally realize that for me at least, speak for myself, they bring the equal part challenge and opportunity. That reminds me how life works, that’s how nature works. Where I live now I grew up in San Jose California where there were no seasons. I feel so lucky to live where we have seasons. Not only because I learn how to love, I trail around in the snow, I’m outside every day. I’ve reframed what cold weather means to me.
[00:32:31] Jon: My kids they cannot wait for the snow. We go skiing three, four days a week. But I love the seasons because when I look at nature, I feel like nature has a deep infinite wisdom. Nature has been the invisible school long before school was a word. Nature reminds us that life operates in seasons. So when I see nature turning from one season to the next, it reminds me of the next journey. It reminds me that in life we go through a winter to come through to a spring and a summer and ultimately a harvest. In the Hero’s Journey, on the other side of any ordeal we can find incredible transformational positive benefits.
That eventually leads us to depending on which version of the Hero’s Journey you study, where it all circles back to where I take that wisdom back to my community, back to my family, back to my business, back to my clients, back to my team, back to myself. Now, I’ve gone through this journey where I’ve come out a brand new person. So let’s go all the way back to this call today is about fear. I told you I’ll share the four strategies. The first one we talked all about mindfulness and meditation. The second one what we’re talking about here is we’ve got to learn how to manage our narrative. We got to learn how to manage the story we’re telling ourself.
I’m using the Hero’s Journey to give an example that when we learn how to see a place in our own Hero’s Journey, we can learn to accept that certain emotions are just part of the journey and we can become decided because we understand what’s going to happen next. Hopefully this is helpful. Hopefully this makes sense. The third way that I want to share with you today to deal with fear is to redirect your focus.
So the third and final way that I’m going to share with you today to deal with fear is about redirecting our focus. One of the ways that I redirect my focus and if you listen to last week’s episode or the week before that, you’re noticing a pattern, it’s what I’m passionate about. It’s what I do in my day job. It’s about designing questions. I design questions for teams, and cultures and companies and communities and institutions to shift an entire group of people.
[00:34:27] Jon: But everything we do in that work applies to individuals. So how do we redirect our focus? By choosing new questions to ask. Because if I’m living in fear there’s a good chance that I’m unconsciously asking questions like what’s wrong? Or how bad is this going to get. What if I’m unconscious? I’m going to keep asking those questions. I don’t know about all of you but I don’t know a way to ask a question like what’s wrong, what do people think of me or how badly could this go or how did I get myself into this position? I don’t know how to answer those in a way that’s going to make me better off. What I know if I keep asking those questions, I’m just going to get really smart about what’s wrong, what’s not working or what’s broken.
So again, those of you coming to our Best Year Ever Blueprint event next month in San Diego the whole event is guided by five or six questions and you go through an activity as part of a supportive community and when people live it, it’s changed their whole life because they are ready to bring new questions, new ways of being in new plans into to 2018. Bestyearlive.com, bestyeareverlive.com. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. Questions like well, what is it that I actually want?
Whatever area in your life you have fear around, let’s say it’s finances. There’s two steps. One is you got to reframe it. You might say, “Man, things are terrible. It’s crazy. The IRS is coming after me. I’m not making any money. I can’t keep track of anything. I got all these problems.” Great. I’m going to ask you this, “What do you want?” I’m going to keep asking that until you learn how to frame the situation in a way where we can now have a conversation that moves us towards something, not away from something.
Because telling me what’s wrong or what you don’t want, doesn’t tell me what’s right or what you do want. You can say, “I got all these problems.” That doesn’t answer what should we strive towards. It just tells us we got problems. You can say we got problems all day long but all we are really doing is fixing a broken bus to that Chevy. Nothing wrong with the Chevy but that’s not the same as saying what would it look like to design a Tesla? If you got fear in an area of your life I’m going to ask you to reframe it. What do you want in that area? I want to be thriving. I want to have confidence, certainty, I want to have a plan in place, I want to be growing, I want to be developing, I want things to be working, I want to be successful. Great.
[00:36:33] Jon: Now, we can ask a whole new set of questions like what would that look like? Or who do you know is excelling in that area that we can go learn from? What actions could you take immediately, the smallest actions to move you towards that? What’s a big bold step you could take symbolically to move you towards that? When have you been successful in this area? Why does this matter to you? These are all questions that once you have a positive frame can help you drill in a positive way to reshape your focus towards something worthwhile.
The fourth and final answer I’m going to give you today to dealing with fear, thanks for tuning in to Achieve Your Goals Podcast and for tuning in on the live stream. Hope you enjoyed this. If you did, share it with your friends. If we’re going to see you in San Diego next month, awesome. If you’re still waiting to get your tickets I’ll make a personal commitment. If you pick up a ticket to bestyeareverlive.com. if you sit through the first day and it doesn’t completely change your life, come up and let us know. We’re not going to ask questions. You don’t have to tell us why, we’ll just hand you a wad of cash to give you money back, go out have a nice night on a town. That’s our guarantee.
If it doesn’t change your life in the first day we’ll give you everything back plus 200 bucks to go and have an incredible night on the town. We make that guarantee every year. Nobody has ever asked us for anything back. We offer it, it’s an incredible event. Can’t wait to see all of you one month from today. That’s why I can’t stop talking about it. The wad cash guarantee. That’s right. Bestyeareverlive.com. Don’t come by yourself, bring a friend, bring a couple of friends.
Hey, the last advice I want to give to all of you, this is what I do to deal with fear and it’s the easiest and it’s the most obvious. The first one I gave you is the most complicated, developing a meditation practice. We went way into that. The second one about managing your narrative and then the third one about questions. These get simpler until we get to the last one here which is about changing your physiology.
Change your physiology. I’ve noticed the fastest way to shift what’s going on for me emotionally what’s going on in my mind is to change my physiology. It’s why I spend most of my days standing, it’s why I do yoga every single day. It’s why I move my body two, three, four times a day because I have noticed that when my body get’s sedentary, that my emotions get stuck at the same time.
[00:38:35] Jon: If you find yourself not in a great place change your physiology. Of course I can’t say that without saying I truly believe that a lot of what is dictating our habitual emotions more than anything else is actually what we eat or don’t eat. Whether or not we hydrate. I truly believe that because our emotions reside inside of us physically that if we’re eating a lot of shit, if we’re eating a lot of processed foods and a lot of dead food or we’re putting stimulants into our bodies everything that I’m talking about today it doesn’t work when the fuel that we’re putting in our bodies, and there’s no separation between what we eat and our ability to manage emotions.
They are one and the same. So we’ve got to develop practices and habits where we’re putting into our bodies the kinds of foods that give us lasting fuel. We’re talking about whole foods. I’m not going to go off on any particular diet. It’s not my area of expertise. I eat 80% vegan and the other 20% I do whatever the hell I want. I feel great. I don’t consume a lot of caffeine but once in awhile I do. I notice I’m a lot better off when I get rid of stuff like that in my life. So just throwing that out there. Fourth and final way to deal with your fear is to change your body, move your body around and be really smart about what you put in it.
Hey, love all of you. We’ll see many of you a month from now. Bestyeareverlive.com. Bestyeareverlive.com. Read all the small print, bring your family, if you’re not having fun after the first day, Hal and I will give your money back plus a couple of hundred bucks to go have a night out on the town. We’ll talk to you really soon everybody. Take care. Bye, bye.
[00:40:11] Thanks for listening. To learn more about The Achieve Your Goals podcast and to get access to today’s show notes, transcript and exclusive content from Hal Elrod, visit halelrod.com/podcast. Thanks again for joining us, be sure to tune in next week for another episode of The Achieve Your Goals Podcast.