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Understanding the 4 Fears Ruling Your Life

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Article by Sue Lester

Understanding The 4 Fears Ruling Your Life

You don’t need to be racked by anxiety to have Fear ruling your life. You may not be aware of it, but there is an underlying fear every time you fail to do something you know would improve your life.  Even those little inactions throughout each day count. That telephone call you don’t make. The movie you’d love to see but you don’t go to because your partner isn’t interested. Fear keeps us stuck. Fear keeps us from living our potential, and Fear limits the love we can receive. 

In this 4 part series I’ll use the stories of 4 women to illustrate how we can identify and clear those fears so we can enrich our lives.  To protect my clients, the women’s names have been changed, and may have elements of another’s journey integrated to give you a richer experience.

 #1  Rejection/Abandonment. 

When Trish came to me she was very unhappy, feeling insecure in her relationship yet desperate to conceive as she felt a baby would bind her husband to her.  Trish did absolutely everything she could to pamper her husband, acquiescing to everything he suggested, never expressing her own opinions and desires.  She had spent years structuring her life around him to the point she lost contact with her own friends and was now quite lonely.   She became very jealous and upset when her husband attended business functions or talked about female colleagues.  Trish was scared her husband was becoming distant and hoped a baby would bring him back, and bring some love and joy into her own empty life.

Years ago I moved into my new home and bought a brightly coloured mat to welcome my family and friends into my home.  The sunflowers glowed as they welcomed me home each day, and I loved seeing them. At first I kicked my shoes off rather than wipe them on the mat, but one day I was in a hurry and forgot. After that, it was easy, and after all, wasn’t that its job? Days turned into weeks, months, the flowers faded under the sun and dirt to the point I forgot they were even there.  One day I noticed the mat was looking quite worn down and not very welcoming. It started to irritate me more and more each time I saw it.  Eventually a pretty daisy caught my eye and I dumped the old doormat in the bin.

Although the adult is my client, I strongly believe my duty of care is firstly to the unborn, or yet-to-be-conceived child.  Just as it would be unethical to help someone already underweight lose more weight, no matter how fat she feels, helping a woman conceive without first helping her be in the very best physical and emotional state she could be for motherhood is also unethical according to my values.  Anyone who believes a baby can fix a broken marriage seriously underestimates the emotional, physical and financial strains a pregnancy then newborn creates for many relationships.  Likewise it is unfair to have a baby to fill a void. Every child deserves a whole mother.

In her desire to keep her marriage, Trish had lost her Self and buried everything that had attracted her husband in the first place.  Her journey back involved changing her beliefs about her self-worth, identifying her soul needs, and what could make her heart sing. We also adjusted her values, cleared the toxic backlog of negative emotions in her body, and started setting boundaries and goals.  Once we had her relationship with her Self back on track we turned our attention to her relationship with her husband.  He was still around because he had started noticing the positive changes in Trish, so was quite open to working on rebuilding their relationship together.  They decided to take that extended trip they’d dreamed about together before they married.   It is fortunate she didn’t delay taking action any longer!  


#2 Safety & Security. 

Jill confessed she hadn’t told her husband that she’d been investing in herself by attending personal development workshops. She said he’d been so scathingly dismissive when she first came home motivated to make changes to improve herself and her life, she felt unable to share with him.  In Jill’s eyes their relationship was devoid of connection, passion and love but she couldn’t leave him because she’d made a vow “Until Death Do Us Part”. “Besides”, she said, “I’ve got no where else to live, and I’m worried what other people will say.”

One beautiful day a frog happily hopping along came to the edge of a road where cars had made deep ruts. She spied an old friend from tadpole school sitting glumly in a muddy puddle below. “Hi! I’ve just found some great flies, come on up to share them with me.”  “No thanks”, replied the frog below. “There’s a sparkling creek nearby with lots lily pads . I’ll show you”, invited the friendly frog.   “I’m OK down here, really,” came the answer. The friendly frog made one last effort, “I’d really enjoy your company, please come up and join me.”  But the frog below just repeated that he was fine where he was, and had all he needed to get by.  One day  the friendly frog was surprised to see her old friend out of the rut. “What changed your mind?” she asked.

“A truck came along.” 

Our Values are simply what’s important to us, and that dictates how we spend our time.  Values shift over time as we grow older and our interests and priorities change.  Shift in Values are the main reasons a couple grow together and apart over time in a relationship, and this was certainly the case for Jill.  The more she learnt about herself, the more uncomfortable Jill was in her rut.  Jill’s highest value was security and she was willing to sacrifice much.  Her initial embarrassment and hurt at her husband’s reaction, then her guilt at hiding her education, played out in frustration, anger and coldness, alienating her husband even more.

Together we clarified Jill’s values, and what her goals were, so we knew where she stood and where she wanted to go.  We cleared the build up of negative emotions in her body to give her clarity and calmness. Next was changing a couple of negative self beliefs which were lowering her self-esteem, leaving the way free to examine her relationships with herself and her husband.  We discussed boundary setting and developed an action plan.  Once Jill understood she could only change herself, and was responsible for her own happiness, she was able to stop trying to push him out of what she saw as his rut, and stop resenting him for resisting. 

Within the financial security of her marriage Jill now has wider horizons and the confidence to start exploring ways to gain financial independence.  Whether her husband will follow her remains to be seen, but either way Jill can now see exciting options for herself, and has the confidence to take action.

#3 Loss of Control

 Anna is one of those amazing super organised, highly effective business women who just get things done.  She had achieved all of the personal and business goals she’d set herself to date.  She believed she’d be able to have a baby and raise a child with minimal disruption to her busy schedule. Anna confessed she had to shed some girlfriends who simply weren’t coping well, in her eyes, with motherhood.  Working to a busy schedule, she had planned her pregnancy, a birth by elective caesarean and a minimum time off work, all coordinated with her husband’s commitments.

Anna was aware from her friends’ experiences how time consuming and disruptive IVF is to a busy life, so was highly motivated to try more natural fertility support options first.    She maximised her chances by insisting her husband have a sperm analysis, and join her in clearing heavy metals and toxins out of their bodies, cutting back on alcohol and caffeine and consulting with a naturopath specialising in natural fertility. Anna monitored her cycle she could calculate exactly when she needed to schedule in sex.   She was quite thrown when she didn’t quickly conceive in the months she had allocated, and grew increasingly frustrated as the months passed. 

One fine day in the forest a monkey came across a jar left behind by some careless picnickers.  At the bottom of the jar were some dried fruit. Delighted, the monkey thrust his hand inside and grabbed a handful.  He grimaced in pain as he tried to pull his fist full of fruit out of the jar, but clenched, it was too big.  He danced around in frustration, waving the jar on the end of his arm in the air. By the time his friend came along, he was slumped on the ground, looking glumly at his fist inside the jar as he thought of all the sweetness he was prevented from tasting.  “Let go” suggested his friend.  “But I want the fruit so much.”   “Let go,” urged the friend.  “But I’ve worked hard for this.”  “Let go,” came the response.   By now the monkey was thirsty as well as hungry, so with a shrug and a sad sigh, he let go of the fruit and removed his hand, rubbed raw from trying to force it out of the jar.  “Now,” said the friend, “How else can you get what you want?”    A moment later they were both savouring the sweet fruit.

Although Anna was highly successful, she was also highly stressed, always with a feeling that there are never enough hours in the day.  She had cut contact with friends with babies and toddlers as they reflected a reality she didn’t want to face.  In our work together Anna identified to herself, that she was concerned a baby would impact on her business success, her ability to work long hours and achieve highly.  She realised she needed to either de-stress, make space in her life for relaxation and nurturing activities in preparation for a child, or else decide a child really didn’t fit into her life style. 

We explored why she wanted to conceive and what it would mean if she did, and also if she didn’t.  Anna realised her desire for a child was partly due to the hormonal surge common to women in their late 30s. Mostly it was due to it being on her list of expectations, that is, what she thought others thought she needed to do to lead a full life, even though she felt motherhood was boring and a lesser occupation.  Every woman is different, and Anna identified that what she really wanted was to reconnect with her husband, and inject some fun into her life, so that’s what we then focussed on. 

Jane, on the other hand, really valued family connection, so in the same situation she chose to reorganise her working week to allow space and de-stress time, and to work on clearing her underlying fears of  childbirth.  During pregnancy her work priorities changed again, and she implemented the partial exit plan she had designed earlier so she could be the mother she wished she’d had, and still maintain an active interest in her business.

#4 Not Enough

Nola confessed she had always wanted to be a mother but she was worried she’d end up like her own mother.  Nola had always felt her mother loved her eldest daughter best, and that Nola herself could never please her.  Their family had struggled financially and Nola was the one who always had the hand-me-downs and missed out on school excursions. 

As an adult the same patterns were playing out, with Nola feeling she was second best and not allowed to achieve more or faster than her sister, whether in a career, buying a home, finding a partner or having a baby.  Whenever things seemed to be going right, particularly financially, Nola would make a choice which sent her spirally down again.  Her, potentially unfounded, jealousy was driving a wedge into her relationship, pushing her partner away with distrust, accusations and spying.

There was immense excitement around the frog pond as it was the day of the Great Flagpole Challenge.  All of the fittest and bravest frogs gathered to race to the top of the slippery pole towering above in the growing heat. The crowd cheered as the contestants leapt over each other on their way up. Some were pushed or kicked off immediately. One by one the less fit and less brave frogs gave up as they climbed higher and higher, risking a fall or being scooped up by an airborne predator. As the number of competitors reduced, the crowd stopped cheering and started gasping as the climbing frogs struggled on.  “You’ll never make it, come back!  This is crazy, you’ll kill yourself. Look how exhausted Freddy is, ” floated up to the climbers, and one by one they gave up until there was only one frog climbing, higher and higher.  The crowded yelled and warned of dire consequences of continuing but still the lone frog climbed...all the way to the top.  It was only during the interview afterwards that her secret was revealed – she was deaf so didn’t hear others’ warnings and doubts.

Nola’s deep seated sense of not being good enough, to be loved, to achieve success etc was the first area we worked on.  Once she was able to value herself she allowed herself to achieve success to her level, not her sister’s, so she started to show up differently and stop self-sabotaging her career and finances.  Once Nola felt lovable, she could begin to trust that her partner did love her enough to stay faithful, and the more she showed trust and love, the more he responded.  We helped Nola accept her mother would probably never be the mother she wanted or deserved, and that didn’t mean Nola was not worthy of love. Nola could learn from her mother and ensure she parented her children differently. 

We collapsed Nola’s negative anchors to her partner and family, and cleared the toxic build up of years of repressed anger and hurt.  Nola was then able to set and maintain clear boundaries, without flying off the handle or weakening and giving in.  Step by step Nola turned her life into the one she wanted.  During our sessions she learnt to judge which of those inner voices was hers, sharing wisdom, and which were from the past, holding her back with doubts, criticism and fears.  Nola learnt to expand instead of contracting. 

If you too would like to learn how to shed the parts of your past which no longer serve you, and feel more confident and ‘enough’, call me to book a time to change.  Ph 07 3103 2679 or 0428 128 679.

10 Aug 2010

Article/Information supplied by Sue Lester

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.