Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Mindful Monday: Don’t Let Fear Motivate You

posted by Beyond Blue

On Mindful Monday, my readers and I practice the art of pausing, TRYING to be still, or considering, ever so briefly, the big picture. We’re hoping this soul time will provide enough peace of mind to get us through the week!
I have a good friend who recently considered applying for the executive position her company just created. It was a step up the managerial ladder from her job, and paid a higher salary. However, it would require some late nights, weekend work, and involved more of the red-tape and administrative tedium that she hated.
She kept on procrastinating on completing the application: getting various letters of recommendation and articulating why she would be perfect for the job. Moreover, every time she spoke to me about the job, her facial expressions showed that she was hardly enthusiastic about it.
I finally asked her, “If the job requires more time at work and involves lots of the monotonous work you don’t enjoy, then why are you applying for it?”
“Because four people in my department have already applied for it, and if one of them gets the job, I know I’ll kick myself for not having applied.”
“That’s not a good reason,” I told her. “Fear should never be the motivating factor.”
She took a few days to ponder that and ultimately decided not to apply for the job.


It’s so easy for me to see the motivating fear in other people’s lives.
Just yesterday I emailed a friend who had made the same exact mistake in an interpersonal relationship as I did a few years ago. We both have a mutual friend who advised us to forgive ourselves and move on, to not dwell on it or make it any bigger. But neither of us listened to him. We responded in panic, divulged our error to friends and family, and made matters much worse.
“When will I start listening to you?” I asked my swami-mentor on the phone. “When will I learn?”
“You are learning. I see it. You’re doing better,” he replied.
It’s true … I’m beginning to assess my motivation for certain behaviors and decisions. If I feel the urge to move in one direction out of trepidation of where the other path might take me, I sit with that intention awhile longer, until I can tease out the worry and panic.
Yesterday I made big progress.
I called up an editor who had invited me to write a book on the saints, which would have provided our family with some extra income during these dry times when Eric doesn’t have much work, and I told her that my body would simply not cooperate on this assignment … and that I couldn’t afford NOT to listen to my body, given all my recent health problems.
For weeks I salivated over the moola that I could earn by cranking out the holy manuscript. But every time I sat down to work on the proposal, my body screamed “Give me a bloody break! I am so tired. Please, just a slight reprieve before you tackle another project.”
“If I don’t do this project, are we going to be okay financially this fall?” I finally asked Eric yesterday.
And that’s when I realized that I was applying for the job, like my friend, out of fear. I was afraid that if I don’t write the saints book that, come September, we’ll be out of cash, living on the streets, and I’ll kick myself hard for not securing a job when I had the chance.
I went back and forth on this opportunity a few million times, wanting so badly to look into a crystal ball and see the future. But at some point I realized that I have to walk by faith–which doesn’t come with a back-up plan, as my friend Michelle says–and not by sight, as is written in 2 Corinthians 5:7, and trust that there will be work for me when I feel stronger and more capable of crafting pious thoughts. Moreover, I have to live for today, this very moment in front of me, not for September or October of this year or for February of 2020.
“Don’t let fear motivate you,” I said to myself, just as I had to my friend a few weeks ago. “Walk by faith, which casts out all fear. Well, some of it anyway.”
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JR

posted May 11, 2009 at 11:26 am


Whew, that is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you.



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Kevin

posted May 11, 2009 at 2:23 pm


Good one.
By the way, nobody is going to write your book on saints in the interim.
If same offer isn’t available when time is right, another one will pop up.
There are loads of books on saints. Lots of people are waiting for the one you are going to write—the other ones won’t do.
Therese, you are the only one who can give the world the gift entrusted to your care. You have no competition.
Truly, the competition thing in the writer’s world is an illusion-even a delusion.
You are a mother–you know in a way I can’t know that we gotta wait for what seems an eternity to meet our infant—who comes when s/he is ready………unless we decide we know better than Nature and start pushing pytocin or whatever it’s called.
Infants aren’t worried about the other ones entering the world before them.
Unplugging, pausing, and learning from Nature is the remedy for the illusion that creates the urgent rush—and rush jobs are never as good as things completed at just the right pace.
We ‘teach’ best what we most need to learn. At 49, I’m just now getting into my version of your ‘playground’ (work is play…it’s elevating the work vs. diminishing it). I know that territory–never entirely free of the illusion. But, I’ll tell you this:
Life is so much nicer and the sandcastles we create are far better when a spirit of play infuses it. (sorry I slipped into older brother mode…can’t help myself sometimes).



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marilyn

posted May 11, 2009 at 3:24 pm


Therese just what i need today,havent been here for awhile but something sent me this way.I have been really letting fear of alot things run my life.
and your right i need to to listen to me not my mind.thanks.and yes your books will come in the times that there needed most.



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Inquisitive83

posted May 12, 2009 at 3:47 am


Thank you for this post. I too have experienced living in fear, and it was because my lack of faith.
I wanted to not be left behind with my generation, and fail when I knew better.
But I am learning to have more faith and know that one day my calling will be revealed unto me.



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J

posted May 25, 2009 at 10:44 am


Thanks for this, Therese. It really has gotten me to thinking. Much appreciated. God bless you!



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Your Name

posted May 26, 2009 at 7:57 am


I, also, am waiting for your book on the saints..and will look forward to reading it, Theresa…no rush…most of the fun is in the journey..the getting there experience …the book itself will just be the “proof” that you made it…you were there…good luck and God bless! Make today the BEST it can be !!!!



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Your Name

posted May 26, 2009 at 9:05 am


Even after you choose to do act in your best interest and not in fear there can be consequences.As one gets older you can begin to see the trail of choices and were it has led. There have been many times I have given up job opportunities for my five children.Some helped in the family in the short term, some helped in the long term, and some
I still regret. We are human and we have to do the best we can under pressure. There is a lovely Chinese parable about a farmer who had a horse with a broken leg. Everyone felt sorry for him until the soldiers came and took all the horses. It goes on but the jist is there is the ebb and flow of life. The hardest are when the ebbs and flows stay overlong that is when true faith comes in.



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SuzanneWA

posted May 26, 2009 at 9:22 am


Right this very moment – I’m living in fear. Trying to scrounge up enough money to pay my bills and have just a “little” left over at the end of the month. My CPA “forgot” to list my sale of principal residence on my taxes, so I have a humongous tax bill to both the IRS and the State. We’ve worked out a repayment plan – but where will THAT money materialize? Essentially, I’m living off my credit card; I don’t have enough money in my checking account for the basics, much less any discretionary spending. I have NEVER been this poor – I sold my apartment house in 2005 (big mistake) – and now don’t have the rents to help. I’m a 61 yr old, twice-widowed woman with no children, living on Social Security disability, BUT – I live by faith, NOT by sight. It IS hard with collectors calling at all hours, but I KNOW the good Lord will ultimately provide. I rest on the promises. I have ONE future income to believe in – a lawsuit against a man who conned me out of $25,000. If and WHEN he pays me back, I WON’T do the stupid things that bipolar disorder made me do with impulsive spending in the past.
Again, Therese, you’ve written an “eye-opener,” for which I am VERY grateful.
Your sister in Christ,
SuzanneWA



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Leeann

posted May 26, 2009 at 12:02 pm


Thanks Therese this is just the answer I needed. I have been struggling with whether or not to continue with selling beauty products. I have been worrying about what the person will or be able to understand how I am having such a hard time with it as you my body is asking or begging me to stop both physically and mentally. I guess I need to listen as well as understand and more important accept I am disabled and that will not change anytime in the future. After all I was awarded SSI because I can’t do many things and limited so not only do I need to listen to my body and mind but also accept the fact that I got SSI for a reason.
Thank You and God Bless.



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Catherine

posted May 26, 2009 at 7:50 pm


I, too, struggled with the hard choice of more money and stress or less money and more rest. I am happy I chose the latter; my brain chemicals are happier, too!



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Your Name

posted May 26, 2009 at 8:35 pm


MY SALARY IS NOT ENOUGH FOR OUR DAILY NEEDS.I DO MY BEST TO SRETCH
IT OUT,SOMETIMES I ASK HELP FROM MY SISTER IN LAW TO COVER UP THE
UNMET EXPENSES.INSPITE OF MY FINANCIAL DIFFICULTY,I CAN SAY THAT
I AM NOT ALONE WITH THIS SITUATION,I AM STILL THANKFUL TO THE LORD
THAT MY CHILDREN ARE IN GOOD HEALTH INCLUDING MYSELF AND THE REST OF MY FAMILY.I CANNOT SAY THAT ONE DAY IT WILL CHANGE,AND EITHER CAN’T
TELL IF IT IS A PERMANENT FINANCIAL SITUATION,NO MATTER HOW I LIKE
TO IMPROVE MY FINANCES,MY TIME IS DIVIDED IN CARING FOR MY KIDS
AND MYSELF,IN THE FUTURE,I WANNA SEE MYSELF AS A SUCCESSFUL MOM AND
IT WILL SERVE AS MY MOTIVATION TO KEEP GOING ON WORKING HARD,DO MY
BEST AND WILL LET GOD TAKE CARE OF THE REST.



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