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Do the thing that you fear the most

Do the thing that you fear the most; and death of the fear is certain – Mark Twain

FEAR! Many can identify with that word.

Fear of failure, falling, dying, being alone, singing, dancing, speaking before an audience, fear of being who you are, taking the plunge, saying the truth, confronting, expressing one's feelings openly, committing, authority, water, fear of driving, taking a flight, dogs, people, old age, losing a job, losing a loved one, not recovering from an illness, getting hurt and the fear of the unknown.

Fear can do many things to you - it can make a hero in all its glory out of you or can paralyse you for a lifetime to never know what it would have felt like to be there. The fact of it is – the way you view it and play it out in your thoughts, in your actions and in your life. It brings to you the results you want!

Most feel incapacitated to even look fear in its eyes. It begins as a childhood story or an incident later in life that leaves the scar to be lived with. Some without even realising end up replaying the memory to live the fear. History is an irrelevant piece of data for it holds no ground in NLP. The approach is way forward and if you might insist to visit the past; NLP enables you through its tools and mechanism to visit a certain stage and repair it all to come back to start afresh. Whatever works to convert fear into a normal state?

The first ever search engine that was in existence, has been the human mind. When you key in the search word fear- it intelligently in all its wisdom shows up all data related with your existing fear. This reiterates the ‘why of fear’ .That is precisely the reason NLP techniques focus on the ‘how of things’, to replace identify how the fear can be replaced with an empowering feeling to bring the outcomes that you want in your life.

One of the most interesting stories of Fear is in a movie, ‘The best game ever played.’ It is about a Jersey based golfer, who was from a humble origin. He was showed away by certain intimidating gentlemen dressed in black trench coats and black tall hats with a gruff look on their face. His fear was that golf was a game of gentlemen and not the likes of him! Even though he went onto become one of the most renowned golfers to play – the fear came back to him in the form of visuals he carried in his mind of those men dressed in black. That created a state of mind that led only to a bad swing at the greens!

The way he changed his focus was quite an NLP approach of managing the situation. He played with the visuals of the memory he held in his head and converted them to an environment that suited him. He zoomed out the gentlemen and zoomed into the hole! He managed a fairly good spin this is where it can help you manage your state that is not useful for the desired outcomes. You might not know the difference between the real or imagined. It will reel the results where you focus your thoughts.

Fear is like a balloon, the more you air it the bigger it gets and can become a giant in your head. The way is to have comfortable air for it to float-like a reality check.
So I'd say - zoom out lighten it throw it shrink it make it sound faint.
How about you, zooming/fading/shrinking your fear away!
You might just not be able to find it!

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The Drive to drive

In the deep crevices of our mind we carry thoughts about our capabilities of what we can and what we can’t do. They seem to become ‘truth etched in rock’ for us. We live by certain scripts in our minds which fructify as a self- fulfilling prophecy. And mine was I couldn’t Drive! I am the rare variety of being in this day and age that can’t go on a joyride in an automobile if I wanted when driving a car is a child’s play. Every teeny bopper who can move his limbs can probably drive an automobile. Like they say that’s no ‘automobile science.’

The desire to ride a car by myself was strong. The more I looked at the roads I realised pretty much anyone could drive a car. If someone can do it I can do it. And when I donned the curiosity hat to unravel the excellence of how to drive a car; all I get is – you just turn the ignition on and drive- it’s that simple. The more persistent I got to know the secret; I got such varied responses that I got a picture that was even murkier. A friend told me “when I was a teenager, I just wanted to drive so I got my hands one of my friend’s car and drove. That was driving and haven’t really thought about it ever since”. Then a colleague of mine mentioned “I just joined a driving school for a fortnight and then started to drive to work and back.” It’s like riding a bike/ scooty, if you know how to ride one, this should be easy. And then someone shared how she bought a second hand car and started driving – “it’s not much of a risk you know, cause as long as even if it gets hurt, am not that hurt so that’s half the anxiety gone” was pretty much her approach. I began to realise it was more of ‘what’ information than ‘how’ that I was eliciting. Maybe they weren’t really aware of how they had this skill at all. It seemed almost like a natural innate skill to just be able to drive.

So I took the left brain approach and did what most people do - diligently joined local driving school. I didn’t stop short of eliciting from the driving instructor about his experience with learning driving. What better source than the horse’s mouth…He went onto to narrate the rural experience of how he while he was still in his village went onto one fine morning- getting onto his father’s tractor though am not too sure cruising or crushing through half the field. That was it, he tried a few more times and came to the city as a driver and now he’s a driving school instructor. Wow! this seemed as easy a walking on my two legs.

The driving classes sure were fun cause the controls ultimately were with the instructor. I practiced like a complete pro at it. Thanks to the much used car by many novices such like me and now it had reached a stage of just running with the ignition on and it ran more like being on ‘auto pilot.’

Post the driving classes, I felt a tad shaky to know it wasn’t going to be the much rickety and easy to manoeuvre car but my own Sparkling new car. The fear was burgeoning. The fear of crashing my new car into the other’s or the other way round, gears to change, referencing the ‘three best friends’ the two side mirrors and the rear, watching for the signals and the police vans that were just waiting
for you to skip the light, U turns, crossing the small almost mountain like speed breakers, people overtaking from any speck of space that might be left, being stopped at entrance and exits for giving details and paying the parking fee and driving on a road where everyone seems in a tearing rush and diminishing patience levels by the second was good enough to expand my fear. To top it is the other
50% of learning driving i.e. Reversing the car and parking appropriately in the right slot.

As if that wasn’t enough; driving here on the roads is quite an experience for it has an insatiable capacity to cater to pedestrians, animals, two - wheelers, cars, trucks, tempos, burgeoning trucks, autos and to add to that is broken dividers, road repairs, three tier basement parking, inching traffic and just some pot holes or I’d rather put craters in the road. Night driving is a completely different ball game; with half the street lights not functioning, learning how to keep twitching the dipper
which you wonder if the person driving would really understand or you really need to Honk. And candidly speaking, I just felt little night blind to be able to drive.

My mind was tricking me into a façade of reality check. I changed gears and began to work on my goal – or what I wanted rather than focusing on what was a roadblock. I wanted to drive and zip and zoom with my favourite music on – moving about like a free spirit. I almost started my driving class and half way down was down with viral – the mind was playing tricks with the body or was the body giving me aching feedback of not being able to get behind the wheels. Yet again I started
the second round with gusto and cinch! The driving instructor went missing for days. His phone was unreachable and the so called driving school didn’t have a replacement. There I went again –kaput! If I had to I could interpret; these were signs to keep me at bay from driving. I knew I just wanted to complete my driving classes of a fortnight in a month.

Then came the moot point – which car to buy. But had I yet learnt driving! Maybe I can buy the car later. Pat came a question in my mind – when is later? Don’t know! How about ‘Now’ – Could be! We have all the resources within us that we need. I got myself thinking about -What would it be like to drive a car right now? Just then I began drifting to the whole body feeling of driving a car on a road with dense trees and cool breeze while listening to my favourite music. I felt on top of the world. It felt so real!

The car delivery happened though late but sooner than I expected or wanted. Then came the time, to drive my very own brand new car. I sat in the car and drove with a mix of fear and joy. Fear of taking risks and discovering my own path and joy to see the opportunity racing in my hands. It was my first drive (though escorted) in my own car with my favourite music playing. I realised, this was a great state to hang onto.

Next drive, I knew I drove the car for 80 kms with my husband beside me and a set of informed instructions. Till one night I insisted on driving at that hour to challenge myself further. We were half way to our destination till when due to error of judgement, a bigger car came and hit my car from the rear. I rather than panicking changed the gears to neutral, parked the car on the side of the road to assess the situation. I managed my state of mind well rather than reeling into a tizzy and going into a shock. I thought to myself, it happens and it isn’t the first time such a thing has happened and now my car is evil eye protected. Now that’s some presupposition of excellence. Behind every behaviour is a positive intention.

Now I am setting small achievable goals like driving unescorted to get petrol filled, driving to a close by market for errands. Today I managed a 45 minutes’ drive with the top gun soundtrack in the background and just looking at the road ahead. I associate driving with being in absolute control by riding destiny in the driver’s seat and discovering new paths and detours. This gave me a sense of being liberated and capable of taking path changing decisions.

The way to experience the thrill of driving is to do it now!

Get the drive to Drive!

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" A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never
go back to it`s old dimension."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.