Fight with Fear and Defeat of My Demons: My Personal Story

fight with fearThis is my story about my fight with fear and how I overcame my personal demons. I share the same time-tested strategies I use with my coaching clients to quickly re-center my racing thoughts and feelings allowing me to focus on what is truly important.

One morning, on the dawn of a potentially business-changing event, I woke up riddled with doubt and something else.  It’s normal to have bouts of doubts.  But, as a productive, well-adjusted adult I have coping skills that quickly move me past run-of-the-mill fears and doubts.  But, this time was different.  I was feeling titanic depths of fear.   I could breathe, I could think, I wasn’t sweating, my heart wasn’t racing, so I know it wasn’t an anxiety attack (I’m blessed to have never suffered one but I have those near and dear that suffer greatly).  But, it was fear. Big, very ugly, fear.  And it was trying to overcome me.

Fear?  Fear of what?  This was new to me, especially in the business realm.  Anything business is my comfort zone. I know how to move in and around business.  I live, eat and breathe business. I recognize that doubt and fear cloud your judgment and gets in your way of achieving your dreams.  I also know if I allowed indecision to get in my way it would be my ultimate downfall.  So I asked myself the same 3 questions I coach others when they express feeling fearful, “What’s different? What’s being said in your head? What’s the worse that could happen?” Beyond the questions though is the action I took that I always recommend others take when faced with inner demons.  But, first, let’s dissect those questions:

  1.  What’s different?  I looked at my last 24-48 hours to see if anything was different. Oh, yes.  I had traveled to attend a business conference within driving distance to where my 18-year-old daughter attends college, 2,300 miles away from home.  So, we spent the day before the conference shopping.  First, I’m NOT a fan of shopping, but I AM a fan of my daughter.  Second, she’s at the age where I am, well, an obstacle to her enjoying life, her way.  As I result, I felt very ineffective and sadly, she projected it, too. Once I identified that I could feel clarity knocking on my hotel room door.
  2. What’s being said-in-my-head?  Without resurrecting the now put-to-rest fears, let’s just say my feeling inadequate the day before obviously stirred some gnarly things back to life that had been said to me some time ago.  Once I identified them, I countered each and every one of them with, “That’s not the truth. Here’s the truth…” Peace joined clarity and both were knocking on my hotel room door.
  3. What’s the worse that could happen? I scribbled a few worst-case scenarios on paper and realized that all of them, some definitely not pretty, could be overcome. Even my worst option, “the business could fold” (followed by the very important detail of identifying the feelings: embarrassment and shame), wasn’t life-ending. I’d just have to get a job or start another business!  Once you address your biggest fear it loses its power. Now, clarity and peace joined hands with me and I walked out of the hotel lobby with a spring in my step, my face to the sky and a smile on my face.

But, the biggest part of overcoming fear and keeping it at bay is to do something, anything different and new.  And you always start small.  So, I downloaded the Uber app and hailed an Uber.  If I was home, perhaps I would have finally scrubbed the face of the iron till it shone like new. If I was at work, I would have replaced the old rope cord that operates the warehouse bay doors.  Then I initiated meaningful conversations (e.g.: potential revenue generating conversations) at the business conference.  When I returned to my hotel room, later that day, I pulled up Excel on my laptopfight with fear and mastered a few formulas that had been plaguing me for months.   Fear demons slayed, dead and buried.  Notice I didn’t say go on-line and watch cute kitten videos or watch a good movie.  Passive activity feeds demons.  You need to engage your brain to scrub them out of your head. Brain science has proven passive screen watching is very detrimental to your brain, your eating and sleeping habits, and your mood, not to mention it’s a big time waster. Heroes, warriors, champions, and go-getters (you know, us entrepreneurs!) don’t sit around and watch the screen, any screen.    

BONUS:  Another secret to slaying those demons?  Compliment everybody.  Say something nice to every person you cross paths with. ALL. DAY. LONG.  What happens is almost transcendent. You’ll find yourself looking for people to say something nice to and looking for something in them that is unique.   It’s really a nice diversion from those gnarly demons.  If your demons go deep, volunteer at a shelter of your choice. Food, animal, anything to serve others.  Volunteer every day if you have to.  Serve during your lunch hour.  Stop after work. Demons die of boredom when you serve and love up others. If you can’t find something nice to say to every person you meet in your day, or you get annoyed at the thought of doing this then the demons have a stronghold on you.  Time to take back your thought life. And apologize to those that work and live with you. 

I hope you slay your fear and doubt demons. Because that’s what they are, demons, also known as “the enemy.”  Demons suck the very life out of what makes you special and unique. When you become less they loom large.  They love it when you spend time with them. When you wallow in their darkness they get larger than (your) life preventing you from living a full and happy life. Take back your awesomeness, specialness, and uniqueness and turn-your-back-on those gnarly demons.  Live, love and serve. That will put them where they belong.  Away from your heart, mind, and soul.

Do you have a way of getting rid of your demons?  Please share, below. It’s a great way to serve others. As always, please be considerate and make your comments family-friendly.

Live, love, serve.



Is it abuse? A definition, 5 types, and 2 two questions.


Abuse is often over-used or used incorrectly. And yet, when it is needed to be said, the word isn’t uttered due to shame. It’s time to set the record straight. The word “abuse” is defined by Merriam-Webster as

  • a corrupt practice or custom

  • improper or excessive use or treatment

  • a deceitful act , deception

  • language that condemns or vilifies usually unjustly, intemperately, and angrily

  • physical maltreatment

Abuse comes in many forms.  Following are 5 major types:

  • Physical (when physical touch hurts.  Period. Yes, hair pulling, pushing and grabbing is abuse.  It’s that simple.  Throws a punch to the wall next to you also counts.  That is intimidating and not safe.)

  • Emotional (bullying, threatening and intimidating behaviors; you don’t feel safe; you feel crushed, minimized, by  the person that’s supposed to love you, limits your/denies you time spent with friends/family.  Unpredictable responses.  Embarrasses you in public. Framing things as you being over sensitive. Blaming you for their bad behavior.)

  • Financial (withholds information about and/or access to money; stealing/embezzling from accounts for their expenses and not telling you about it)

  • Verbal (when words said by others hurt and/or leaves you feeling confused.  Yelling/screaming/calling you names.)

  • Sexual (forces you to do something you don’t want to do)

    Regardless of the type, they are all difficult to experience.    The first step is to define it for what it is.   For example, you must first accept you are being verbally abused when someone swears at you and calls you names.  You have to say to yourself, “I am being verbally abused” and accept your reality, before you can confront the perpetrator.  But, what if you aren’t sure?  What if you were asleep in the back of the car and he started throwing popcorn at you and laughing.  Is that emotional abuse (embarrassing you in public)? No.  Juvenile? Yes.

    I will add to be framed “abuse” it needs to be a trend or chronic situation, in all abuse categories, with the exception of the physical.  One-and-done is all it takes and the police are called.   Please have some common sense about this.  Don’t count opening the kitchen cabinet door in your face, accidentally, four years ago as abuse.  Especially if nothing remotely similar has happened. That was an accident; and a funny memory you two can share.

Still wondering if is abuse or not?  The best way is to get educated about the topic.  If the dictionary definition didn’t help, here are some excellent resources to get you started (emphasis on emotional and verbal abuse because it isn’t as obvious or defining as physical abuse):

  • The Emotionally Destructive Marriage (Christian perspective on the verbally/emotionally abusive marriage) Book and website.  She exposes the subtleties and subliminal attitudes and behaviors of the abuser that so often confuse and conflict the victim.
  • Love is website dedicated to helping young people prevent and end abuse, but everyone can benefit.    Fabulous breakdown of the different types of abuse.  Helpful quizzes and resources.   On-line, 24-hour chat.  You have to take a quiz to activate it.
  • 7 Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship YouTube video created by Adam LaDolce, of SexyConfidence.  Excellent and entertaining.

Finally, I leave you with what may be the two most important questions to ask yourself to determine if what you’re experiencing is abuse:

  •  Does the person behave appropriately to the circumstances?
  •  How do you feel after an encounter with them?

Please remember to leave your kind words or comments below.

Blessings and Joy,

Doubters and Pouters, Boosters and Backers

boosters and backers“Tell me with whom you associate, and I will tell you who you are.”  Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe.  German author and statesman (1800’s)

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Jim Rohn, Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker (late 1900’s)

“You are who you associate with. Look around at your 5 closest friends and that’s who you are.  If you don’t want to be that person, you know what you’ve gotta do.”  Will Smith, actor (contemporary)

“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”  Unknown

“He who walks with wise friends will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer.” Proverbs 13:20

Timeless advice from all walks of life.  Quick, name the 5 people that you spend the most time with.  How would you categorize them?   As a…

  • Doubter and Pouter?

Or as a

  • Booster and Backer?

You need to associate with people that motivate and inspire you, who lift you up. You need to surround yourself with people that challenge you to be a better you. Surround yourself with dreamers and doers, movers and shakers, boosters and backers.  But, mostly surround yourself with people who believe in you, especially when you don’t.

If the people closest to you (family, employees, clients, friends,…) are not supportive, it is even more imperative that you find a strong support network.  Sadly, it may be time to separate the wheat from the chaff.  Though painful and possibly scary, you may have to release relationships that aren’t serving you well, anymore.

Just as important: who are YOU to your 5 closest people?  Are you a Doubter and Pouter or a Booster and a Backer?

Your Happy Warrior (a person undiscouraged even in the face of difficulties; a plucky crusader),

Annette de Lancey Giacomazzi