My colleague Andrew Sercombe and I had a great conversation over lunch last Tuesday about people’s fear of stepping out and following their heart in pursuit of their true passion.
I came up with the title of the blog – Quitting the Fear Factory – that seemed to encapsulate that feeling of petrified stasis. Andrew was inspired to write the following which is too good to confine to the followers of his blog so with his permission I have reproduced it below. A lot more good stuff can be found on his site http://andrewsercombe.wordpress.com/
Go and have a look.
HOW TO BECOME AN EMPLOYEE IN THE FEAR FACTORY (THEY DON’T LIKE TO USE THE WORD ’SLAVE’)
1. Sign on – you’ll be able to find any excuse, the one most people use is ‘I had no choice’.
2. Take a mix of simple, widely available and common unpleasant experiences and exaggerate them. You won’t need many, but make sure they are not SO exaggerated that they lose any sense of being faintly possible.
3. Add the yeast of an uncontrolled, pro-active imagination. Dwell on them by returning to them in your mind, talking about how bad they are to yourself and others in a frightened spooky over-emotional voice. Make sure you think about them regularly, especially when you are alone, first thing in the morning and just before you go to bed at night.
4. Bake them well for many hours by imagining that you cannot NOT think about them. (Focus on anything and it will get bigger in your thinking. If you keep visiting the same tree in a wood you will create a well-worn path to it. Keep visiting it for long enough and you’ll build a motorway).
5. Remove, in your imagination any possibility of those experiences being neutralised or mitigated in any way, so they hold no hope or chance of escape. Make sure no one can possibly rescue the situation and that you are paralysed from helping yourself to get away.
6. Wrap them up with normal everyday items (newspapers are excellent for maintaining good fear quality) so that everything around you reminds you of how afraid you are.. That way you will not be able to get away from them.
7. Create a web of statistics that ‘prove’ that the chances of these things happening are overwhelming. You will perceive your fears to be permanent, personal and all pervasive.
The Fear Factory, of course, has no windows that might let the light of reality in, and has lots of dark corners where invisible unidentified evil ‘presences’ might hide, silently observing your vain attempts to escape and waiting patiently until your courage has been completely destroyed and you are paralysed by fear so they can come and ‘get’ you unhampered by humour, reality or common sense.
Terrified yet? Keep thinking that way and you soon will be. You can do it with everything from people ‘getting’ you, cancer ‘getting’ you, and unemployment ‘getting’ you.
QUITTING THE FEAR FACTORY.
1. Resign from the Fear Factory with immediate effect,without waiting for the end of the week or any back-pay you are owed, and simply WALK OUT NOW. Avoid entering into conversation with any current employees of the factory or the management staff. They want to keep you trapped. After all, they will want to convince you of their (wrong) belief that there is no hope of a better life. (The back-pay argument is a trap, by the way. The owner of the Fear Factory has no intention of ever paying you what was agreed, but he needs your energy and imagination to keep the fear factory delivering the goods in your area.)
2. Whistle, hum, sing and play encouraging songs as you feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, and smile as you walk out of the factory gates. Smiling works to increase the seratonin levels in your blood and annoys the security guards. It also makes you happier and even more inspired.
3. Choose a mountain top destination and walk towards it, knowing that anyone who lives with purpose and who has a mission in life lives longer, experiences less illness and enjoys each day much more fully – even though life is tough. There are many good things ahead but the finest ones are a little reserved – they do not make themselves obvious. You need to look for them before you see them, and when you do meet them, treat them with respect. The best things in life are not for the casual observer. Whenever you notice them treasure them and they will serve you very well indeed. You’ll be surprised at how little you need to be truly happy now you are no longer a slave in the Fear Factory.
4. Be kind to yourself, forgiving yourself for the mistakes you’ve made in life (include the mistake of signing on at the Fear Factory), noticing that the seeds of courage, happiness and joy that you were born with have sparked unbidden into life and are starting to germinate. They grow slowly and strongly, more like oak trees than mushrooms, so tend them well. Take time to be quiet, away from others, so that you learn how to grow your strength without the need for the hubbub of other people’s opinions, busyness and activity.
5. Focus on growing your COURAGE. Deliberately set yourself some interesting challenges that will need courage from you, and take on things that you really want to achieve. You’ve left the fear factory now so you won’t be afraid of not getting something quite right or perfect. Failing from time to time is normal, and it shows you that although none of us intends to fail,it is part of learning how to be successful. Choose new activities where you are clearly the learner.
6. Weed your life, and tend it well, keeping it productive and bearing fresh fruit. Link up with other ‘Quitters’ who have learned the lessons of contentment, courage, freedom management and self-control you are learning.
7. Review the above six steps, and commit never to sign the control of your future over to anyone else or for anything else ever again.
Welcome to freedom. Those of us in Powerchange have set off for the mountains too. It’s great to have you sharing the joy and the journey.