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How can you have a healthy relationship with fear? What does it take to really get to know your fear for your own benefit? Will changing your outlook on fear change your behaviors?
In this podcast episode, Melissa Vogel speaks with Kristen Ulmer about fear and anxiety.
Meet Kristen Ulmer
Kristen Ulmer is a high-performance facilitator and thought leader on fear/anxiety who draws from her tenure as the best woman extreme skier in the world for 12 years, from being voted the most fearless woman athlete in North America, and from intently studying an eastern approach to fear for 16 years.
An industry disrupter, Ulmer is the author of: The Art of Fear: Why Conquering Fear Won’t Work and What to Do Instead and star of the award-winning documentary film: Voices of Fear, where she challenges existing norms about what to do about this misunderstood emotion. Facilitating and speaking all over the world, her clients include Google founders, Citigroup, Olympic athletes, and the US Air Force. Ulmer’s revolutionary work has also been featured in such media as NPR, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, The Megyn Kelly Show, Tim Ferriss’s Tribe of Mentors, hundreds of noteworthy podcasts, and many more.
Visit her website.
In This Podcast
- Why should we talk about fear?
- Anxiety and ways to move through it
- Fear of failure
Why should we talk about fear?
Fear shows up in your body first, before entering the mind. Amygdala is the oldest part of your brain that manages fear through the fight or flight response. To the amygdala, everything is a threat and so fear is always present, therefore how you deal with this constant fear is important.
Fear is actually a gift from the universe to help us, not just survive but make on-point decisions, bring our A-game to everything we do, our focus – that kind of thing. (Kristen Ulmer)
It is an uncomfortable gift and it compels us to move and take action, but the problem comes in when we see fear as a negative thing. Some people see it as a weakness and shame their children for experiencing it, and this can create anxiety-issues in adults later on in life. The problem is not the presence of fear, but how people react to it, and that awful feeling that people feel around fear is not the fear itself but their resistance to its presence. Once you merge with fear, it does not feel bad.
If you are unwilling to feel fear, or maybe you’re a fear avoider, or you ignore fear or try to block it out or rationalize it away … you are messing with nature and disrupting the flow in your body and that causes a whole host of problems, including that you start to blame fear for holding you back but really it’s your unwillingness to feel it or your misguided approach on how to dance with it. (Kristen Ulmer)
Anxiety and ways to move through it
Fear flows through your body like water through a hosepipe, 10 to 90 seconds after the threat has passed your fear subsides. However, people build resistance to this flow by trying to eliminate the feeling of fear. By trying to get rid of fear, we kink the hosepipe and the flow of fear stops in your internal system like in your belly, your throat or back or shoulders and suddenly the fear settles and gets stuck in your body, becoming anxiety. Even though the perceived threat has passed, the fear, because it is still stuck in the body, does not flow out.
The stuck fear in our body manifests in:
- An exaggerated version of persistent fear
- Anxiety issues, anger issues
- The flooding of fear into other parts of your internal system, leading to fearful thoughts.
Fear is not supposed to be in your thoughts, it is meant to come through your body. Once you become acquainted with your relationship to fear, so many other of your behaviors can be explained. Don’t make people feel bad for feeling bad when they experience fear or anxiety.
That’s what it looks like to be in an emotional flow. When you’re sad, be sad. When you’re happy, be happy. When you’re afraid, be afraid. It’s all enlightenment. (Kristen Ulmer)
Flow and enlightenment are the same things, and enlightenment is intimacy with all things.
There are four things people do when it comes to anxiety:
- Resist it. Whatever you resist, persists. Resisting anxiety and fear causes PTSD, insomnia, anxiety disorders, and so forth.
- Accept it. While this is a step in the right direction, it is passive.
- Embrace it. A physical and metaphorical experience.
- Finally, being intimate with it is the most powerful way of dealing with fear in the healthiest way.
Fear of failure
For some people, the fear of failure keeps them on the couch, and for others, it pushes them to work on their goals, and the difference lies in how they view their fear. The unwillingness to feel fear keeps you comfortable, it is not the fear itself. If you are willing to feel fear, you can get into a flow state of having your fear motivate you to make precise decisions and thinking clearly.
Free fear and anxiety assessment and tips to help you
Books mentioned in this episode
Kristen Ulmer – The Art of Fear: Why Conquering Fear Won’t Work, and What to Do Instead
- Good Food Gratitude with Hollan Hawaii | BM 40
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Meet Melissa Vogel
Melissa Vogel is an energetic keynote speaker, business owner, certified personal trainer, certified group fitness instructor, 1st degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, a mother of three, and a podcaster.
Melissa has been voted as the Best Personal Trainer for 2020 by Inland Empire Magazine, and Built the Busy to Bomb Fit Mom exercise system.
She is quickly becoming recognized for her expertise and influence in her field!
Melissa has contributed to numerous publications and has been featured in the Trail Blazer Magazine, and published in the April 2020 edition of Health Magazine. Her approach incorporates personal experience, energy, humor, and charisma.
Thanks for listening!
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