The Magic Feather: Resisting FEAR!

August 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Posted in The Magic Feather | 1 Comment

The Magic Feather

The Magic is Inside YOU!

by Bev Thompson

A few weeks after posting my last article about magic talismans and short-lived miracles when facing your fears, I stopped by Fauna, an Upper West Side exotic pet and bird store in New York City to pick up a light for my aquarium.

As I came to the checkout there was a bin of Chinese finger-pulls, also known as Chinese finger-traps. “What are these used for?” I asked. “The birds play with them as a toy, unraveling them with their beaks,” the cashier replied.

I remembered back to traveling carnivals and circuses and the finger-traps they gave as prizes at their game concessions, their big-top tents and the circus elephants who lifted them, and the story of Dumbo, who lost his magic feather and his confidence to fly.

I couldn’t seem to escape the presence of feathers, fiction, and finger-traps that day.

Curious, I tested out the finger-traps with the cashier. I bought what remained of the finger-traps in the basket to test another aspect of fear in my classes  – and for this current article on Resistance!

How Can I Stop Avoiding and Resisting What I’m Afraid Of?

1) Let Go of Resistance

2) Avoid Learned Helplessness

3) Stop Catastrophic Expectations

 There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.

                                                                                                             ~ Alfred Hitchcock

1) Let Go. . .

When I first introduced the finger traps to an ethnically diverse group of students,many had never seen a finger trap or knew its use.

I asked one of the students to put his index finger into one end of the trap as I put my index finger into the opposite end. I then asked him to take their finger out. The harder he tugged the tighter the finger trap became with each pull and the tighter it became around my finger.

The fear? We would never free our fingers! When I asked him to relax and push his finger inward toward my finger and the center of the trap, the trap’s tightened weave loosened and we were able to release our fingers. The tension was no longer entrapping us and we were able to pull our fingers out easily and gently.

Remember:  Go toward the fear – accept it! If you resist – the fear will persist, gain momentum and wrestle control from you making you totally self-absorbed by your fear. Not releasing fear’s grip will entrap, minimise, and eventually sabotage your message, your delivery, and ~ You!

2) Avoid Learned Helplessness       

Life is Not determined by forces beyond your control!

Remember: You can do anything you want to do – if you really want to! How you live your life is determined by a choice(s) you make or an action(s) you take.

Don’t leave your confidence behind by giving up or selling yourself short!  Confidence is the part of yourself that you exhale and “give out” – not something you inhale and “keep in”.  Lose yourself!  Commit to others!  Reap the rewards that come with losing your self-conscious self to a confident persona. Lose your sense of helplessness.

Creating abundance insists that you move beyond your fear. If you become helpless, your talents become immobilized as well. The become lost treasure –buried alive.

Learned helplessness comes across to others that you are suspicious or distrustful, perhaps even a victim of circumstances. You may even think that these defenses will keep you out of trouble. You’ve come this far, you’re still here. Why? Because You are in control.

Get out of your own way and  – Breathe! Breathe OUT –  then Breathe IN the joy of how confidence feels; how enriched your life will become by putting yourself out in front – and not behind the scenes.

3) Stop Catastrophic Expectations

“If something bad can happen, it will,” you fearfully say!  Get a grip!  Once you start expecting disastrous consequences, a self-fulfilling prophecy can build!

Remember: There is pure folly in thinking that we are perfect and are living only for the approval of others. So you fail in any given instant; is it as bad as it might seem?

Practice your speech five times instead of three today in front of a friend or a family member before your big presentation. You say you did – and it was really bad. I say, did you fall down, get rejected, sound awful?

Well, get up, move on, and go practice your speech in the shower. The reflected resonance will give you greatest sounding voice. Your voice is yours. Uniquely yours! Only yours! You have a voice, so – use it, even if you’re not Perfect! Oh, and by the way – no one is!

Remember: Perfectionism is a form of Procrastination. You never get there!

Live life abundantly! There’s enough joy and confidence in abundance to go around. Keep some for yourself – then share it with others.

Smile at your reflection in the mirror; then give that same smile away to someone today!

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1 Comment »

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  1. Dear Bev,
    it is always a great pleasure reading your thoughts.Very interesting the point related to the finger trap ( I did not know what it is). I agree with your idea ” Perfectionism is a form of Procrastination”.
    Best,
    Rosa Barresi (Rome- Italy)


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