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Is a Technical Glitch About Me?

In a state of total frustration and anger, I shot off a blistering email to a friend about how much I hated marketing. Her response was, “So tell me what making a mistake or format not working means about you? Honestly, what does that mean?”

What does making a mistake or format not working mean about me? I read that wrong the first 4 times I read that question. I read it, “. . . what . . . format not working means to me?” That is a very different question.

If I send out an email and the format didn’t hold so reading it is confusing, what does that mean about me? At first, I thought I didn’t know what it meant about me. However, I know what it meant to me. My immediate reaction was that I had just sent out a sloppy message that is going to make me look careless and unprofessional to everyone on my mailing list, undermining my credibility, and totally ruining my business before I can even get it off the ground. But what does it mean about me? What is it that makes me think a technical glitch is about me? I would have to say it was just my fear trying to convince me that I should not be trying to learn new things. Do I believe that? Absolutely not! Living is learning, otherwise I am stagnating.

I’ll admit I totally lost it when this happened just a couple days ago. I was screaming at my computer, screaming at my email server, beating my bed with a book and then took a cloth bag and whipped the bathroom doorway until I was exhausted. I sat down and wrote out the email to one of my support team members, venting about how much I hate marketing; perhaps punching the keyboard with far more force than was necessary. Then I fell into bed to cry myself to sleep – except my sister called, so I answered the phone and proceeded to snip at her for all the suggestions she was making in response to a question I had left on her voice mail earlier in the day.

Now, I’m a Life Coach certified thru the year-long intensive training offered by the Fearless Living Institute, so even if a couple years ago I would not have recognized this as a spate of fearful, futile behavior that was highly unlikely to remedy anything, I certainly recognize it as such now. And still, in that moment of panic and frustration, I did it all anyway.

Would you like to know what I feel was progress for me in all of this? Instead of beating up on myself for being too stupid to figure out a simple mass email program, I raged against the email service for being so impossible to understand and so completely counter-intuitive. Now why is this progress? Because, distressed as I was in that moment, I didn’t take it out on me; I didn’t use any of this as an excuse to beat up on myself and run myself down. I released all that energy out into the room around me, put some in writing, and snipped at my sister a bit; but I didn’t run myself down. When I was done with my temper tantrum, I was able to function. I even went to dinner as planned with a dear friend and had a lovely evening. Before the Fearless Living training, this would have sent me into a tailspin of self-loathing and depression that would have lasted for days and I either would have canceled on my friend at the last minute (further punishing myself since I would have told myself I didn’t deserve to have friends or have any fun after screwing up something so simple) or would have gone and been in a bad mood all evening, wasting everyone’s time.

This is an example of the power of Fearless Living tools. It’s not that once I learn to practice

all the skills I’ll never have things go wrong or be afraid again; it’s that I’ll be able to work thru the challenge, without harm to myself, and return to the point of being able to think. I snipped at my sister a little, but I also told her what had happened so she understood that I wasn’t upset with her, I was just venting.

My sister is on my support team as one of my venting partners; she has been trained to let me wail and moan without comment or offering fixes until I let her know that I’m done and am ready either to end the conversation or that I am open to ideas if she has any she would like to share. We never judge each other for being upset or what we say when we’re upset; we never bring it up again later to the other one; we never tell anyone else what we heard during a venting session. Venting with the right person is a powerful tool for sorting thru all the negative emotions that may come up when things don’t turn out as planned. It allows me to feel what I feel without being controlled by it, ashamed of it, or trying to hide how I feel (lying to myself or others). Defining how I feel about the challenge allows me to move thru the emotional state into a receptive state in which I am again open to options rather than focused only on the problem.

When was the last time you experienced a sense of helplessness? When was the last time you beat up on yourself? What do you beat up on yourself for, is it not getting something done? Or not getting it right? Or being lazy? Stupid? Irresponsible? Does beating up on yourself make you feel better and ready to find solutions? Or does it just make you feel worse?

If you would like some tools to deal more effectively with challenging situations or people, Fearless Living life coaching is for you. There is a whole network of Certified Fearless Living Coaches. Do yourself a favor, give us a call.