Episode 8 Sitting With Fear

Sitting With Fear
November
18th, 2019
Keyhole - Content Marketing - Joe Dudeck
Joe Dudeck
President + Founder
Metaphorically Speaking Ep8: Sitting With Fear
"It's such a personal thing. Fear is not by the book. As individuals and as different people, we all react and feel it very differently."
Shannon Jirik

Experiencing fear is an inevitable part of being human. As small business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketers, fear touches our lives and work every day. In this introductory episode, we frame up this season’s conversation, acknowledging that while fear may look and sound different for every person, it will remain a common thread that connects us all.

 

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(music)

Joe: Hi, there. I’m Joe Dudeck, President and founder of Keyhole Marketing.

Shannon: And I’m Shannon Jirik. I work for Keyhole as the Assistant Brand Manager.

Joe: And this is Metaphorically Speaking, a podcast that explores the mysterious side of marketing.

(music)

Shannon: Welcome back.

Joe: So good to be back here. We’re actually recording this in Colorado Springs, my new hometown. It’s so good to have Shannon out here with us.

Shannon: Heaven on earth here, wow. When am I moving?

Joe: Yeah. You definitely need to pack your bags from The Midwest.

Shannon: That’s right.

Joe: If you haven’t been here before, this is a podcast that talks about the hidden side of marketing. We’re trying to get our eyes away from analytics reports and spreadsheets and things that seem to be so concrete and black and white, and thinking about more the mysterious side of things — things that can’t easily be seen but effect the way that we run and market our businesses.

Last season, we spoke a lot about how to tell your business story, comparing it to the way an artist would go into a studio and create a piece of artwork to share with the world. And this season, we’re taking on the very simple, very easy topic of fear.

Shannon: Yikes.

Joe: And we can definitely capture that in five easy episodes.

Shannon: That’s right. We’re experts.

Joe: Yeah, definitely. Just stick with us, and we’ll give you all you need to know about this topic.

Shannon: If you think it’s simple, then you’re in for a long ride.

Joe: For sure. We’ve tried to condense it into five episodes, but certainly as we got into this research, it was a big task and a big conversation. But definitely something that we were confirmed that it’s a topic that we need to pay attention to. We’ve done a lot of research in this season connecting with entrepreneurs, those in the career and business world, just kind of get a sense, asking them to say, “What are the fears that you have on an everyday basis?” And the amount of responses we got and the vulnerability in which they shared was confirmation that this is a topic that we can’t ignore. And it does effect the way we interact in the business world on a day to day basis and then just, again, the ways we market and run our businesses.

So we’re going to really try to unpack the fears that we have as business owners and marketers, things like fears of complacency and fears of comparison, fears of disappointing people, both clients, staff, and these are just some of the examples that were shared with us. So it’s definitely a heavy topic and something we’re anxious and both overwhelmed to explore.

Shannon: We are terrified.

Joe: Yeah. We’re fearful of talking about fear. But it’s a good conversation and it’s been enlightening for us and kind of changed the ways we look at ourselves and see what’s maybe gripping us, and it’s just been a healthy exercise for us to do the work of taking that moment to explore and see this topic.

Shannon: I feel like we’ve learned a lot about each other through the research.

Joe: It’s both been scary and awesome.

Shannon: Like, “What are you afraid of?” Yeah, I don’t know that I wanted to know that about you.

Joe: For sure.

Shannon: Yeah, so we definitely understand it’s a big undertaking. We know that fear is overwhelming, that it can be crippling, as we’ve researched it and talked for ourselves, and really looked introspectively at our lives as well. And like Joe said, that really confirmed why we want to have this conversation. And while there’s research behind it, we know we’re not experts on it, but we understand that this is a conversation that applies to us as people, but also us as business owners, as marketers and entrepreneurs. So we’re super grateful for those of you or the people that contributed to our survey that were vulnerable and honest with us in this conversation because we know that it’s scary.

So we are just grateful for the opportunity to share some of those responses with you, to share some of our experiences with you. And hopefully just provide a safe space, a space of vulnerability and a space of just recognition that fear is all around us. It can grip us all in known and unknown ways. And it’s not something that we can just push tot he side or ignore every day.

Joe: Yeah, for sure. I just was definitely personally surprised on the amount of information people were willing to share. I expected sort of the simple answers of, “I’m scared of spiders” and “I don’t like the dark.”

Shannon: Hey, don’t mock spiders. Don’t mock the fear of spiders. They’re terrifying.

Joe: Not critiquing it, those are just what I expected. It was very honest answers with some depth and grateful for that. Even people gave us their names. So we know what some of these fears are. So we’re grateful for that. And we’re excited to unpack this for you.

And just to give you a sense again if this is your first time through, the way we want to flow through these episodes, we don’t want to just get right into the work and get into the information. We always try to go through this process in three different phases where we take a moment to explore, take a moment to breathe in and just hear a thought, maybe read a quote, read a poem, read a song. Something to help almost calm our spirits and prepare us for what we’re going to get into, and we just really see a huge value in that moment of reflection to experience what we’re going to get into.

And then of course, we do get into the meat of the inspiration part and want to really explore what is there to take in, then we try to close each episode with a sense of motion, so what is that maybe action item you should take as a group or as an individual to see is there an exercise, is there a process, is there a conversation you need to have as a result of this. So those are the three phases that we want to walk through with this. Before we even really get into that initial reflection, I thought again, we know who each other are.

Shannon: Do we? Just kidding.

Joe: Well, we’ve learned a lot about each other in the course of this process, for sure.

Shannon: That’s right.

Joe: But I thought there might be just an opportunity for us to do a quick introduction. Again, if you didn’t go back to season one, of course we would encourage you to go back to season one, hopefully get a chance to enjoy that. But just a quick introduction of who we are so you know who these voices are behind the mics.

Shannon: Yeah. So in case you forgot us from last season, which is hurtful, but I understand, or really never knew us to begin with, just for a quick intro, I am Shannon. I’ve been working for Keyhole Marketing for a year and a half now. Maybe more. I don’t know.

Joe: It’s a whirlwind.

Shannon: It is. I’m a lover of all things outdoors, so this week in Colorado has been just healing for my soul, truly. Lover of calendars, all things, making plans, doing stuff. That’s about me.

Joe: Yeah, that’s you in a nutshell.

Shannon: That’s right.

Joe: Yeah. I’m Joe Dudeck, owner of Keyhole Marketing. I’m a father of one, a husband of one.

Shannon: Good. I was like, “Where are we?”

Joe: Not Utah. Not Utah. Love the mountains out here. Love the trees, the sunrises, the sunsets. All amazing. Always have loved those, but it’s greater to see them. Seems to be better to see them out here at the west.

Shannon: You just come to life out here.

Joe: I love it out here, yeah. So yeah, we wanted to just slide into that first phase, which is our reflection, just a kind of chance to breathe in and just take a moment to reflect on something that might set the stage for what we’re going to talk about.

Shannon: Definitely. So in this introductory episode, we’re really going to talk about framing up fear. We want to just provide an initial insight into it. So for this reflection, we want to start with a quote by Elizabeth Gilbert who is the author of Eat, Pray, love. And this is one that really stood out to us. Elizabeth says, “I made a decision a long time ago that if I want creativity in my life, and I do, then I will have to make space for fear, too. Plenty of space. I allow my fear to live and breathe, and stretch its legs out comfortably. It seems to me that the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back. If I can relax, fear relaxes, too. In fact, I invite fear to come along with me everywhere I go.” Wow.

Joe: That’s hard to even comprehend, I think, a little bit of what she’s saying there.

Shannon: I know. It’s very different than maybe what we would normally do. Let’s all be like Elizabeth.

Joe: Yeah, let’s definitely … I don’t know. Just take that in. Because I think a lot of people can read that and go, “It doesn’t make sense. Is that even practical? Is it even …”

Shannon: Yeah, it’s just not the natural response in any way.

Joe: So definitely stood out to us and we’re going to actually loop back to her in the latter part of our conversation and there’s kind of a part two of this quote and we’ll loop that at the very end as far as what should we do with this conversation. So right now I’m just going to take that in and hopefully you’ll get a chance to listen to that and take it in and see what does that mean for you. Is that something that you can get to? Is that where you already are? Is that even practical for you? Does that seem ludicrous? All that may be on the table.

Shannon: That’s right.

Joe: So a good way to start the conversation I think is definitely, like Shannon said, just kind of contradicts a little bit of the way we see fear sometimes. I think a lot of times we see it as something to be avoided and-

Shannon: That’s right.

Joe: … dodged and if it’s a part of us, then we have to get it off and run away from us. So that’s an interesting start to this conversation, because I think that’s contradictory to kind of ways a lot of us think about it. I know that’s something that I’ve lived that way for a long time. But we started this conversation, we did a good exploration with … We polled several people, what are their thoughts on, how do they define fear, what are the fears they have in life. We sent out the survey to, man, I don’t know. Actually, I have no idea how many people we sent it to. But we actually got 50 responses. I thought that was pretty good.

Shannon: Yeah. If you’re listening, thank you for responding.

Joe: Yes. We’re so grateful for it. And just the amount of response kind of said this was a topic that people cared about and that was good. I don’t think it was any family members that responded.

Shannon: Nice.

Joe: So it wasn’t just like my mom and dad or your mom and dad. It was actually people in the business world and could really share some of their experiences, so we’re grateful for that. And one of the first questions we asked them was how do you define fear. And if you look at Webster, I think this is a Merriam Webster definition, is that accurate?

Shannon: I got it from Dictionary.com.

Joe: Yeah.

Shannon: So whatever that means. Thank you to Dictionary.com.

Joe: Yeah. So probably not that far different if it is from MerriamWebster.com. But the definition if you look up in a book like that it would be, for fear, it would be a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, paint, etc. Was etc. in there?

Shannon: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Joe: Oh, wow. Whether the threat is real or imagined, the feeling or condition of being afraid. So that’s kind of like, that’s good black and white language of sort of what we can expect on how to define fear. But really wanted to hear from people who have experienced or are experiencing fear, like how would they define that and it was, man, such a range of responses.

Shannon: Yeah. And I love that it didn’t necessarily fit into this classic definition.

Joe: Exactly.

Shannon: They didn’t go to Dictionary.com and say, “Does my definition align with this one?”

Joe: Exactly. They just kind of spoke from the heart. So we pulled out a few. There’s so many good ones to choose from. We could sit here and the first episode could be just us reading the responses.

Shannon: Gosh, I know.

Joe: We picked out just a handful and wanted to read some of those. No judgment on any of these. There’s no, “Is this the right definition or are they off on this?” Because it’s really their vantage point and their experience.

Shannon: Right.

Joe: We’ll read them off and maybe there’s some that align with you and there’s some other tweaks that you would make, but some of the answers we got were definitions for fear were, “A roadblock of discomfort. The aversion to something. A lack of purpose. The sinking feeling that whatever I’m holding onto is going to break or my grip is going to fail, and that the fall is going to hurt. Something that holds you back. A feeling triggered by uncertainty of the unknown. A lack of control. A decision to not take a leap of faith. A mental block that doesn’t allow me to get through some challenge. Emotions or thoughts that hold us back and lie to us. A misuse of imagination. Worry and a projection of things that have not yet occurred. A pit in the stomach. The fog of dread. The anxiety of the seemingly dark unknown, the invisible hand of doubt.” Man, that’s super powerful.

Shannon: I know. It is. Some of these are just-

Joe: That’s a good metaphor right there. “The thought of being without. An unknown that stands in the way of progress.” I mean those, again, we could’ve chosen another 10 or 15 that were amazing, but my first pass at these, there’s definitely some that I’m like, “I don’t know if I agree with that. I don’t know if I get that.” Or some that like, “Man, that definitely hits home.” So I’m sure you have the same reactions when you … Yeah, go ahead.

Shannon: That’s what I love about it, is it’s such a personal thing. Fear is not by the book. As individuals and as different people, we all react and feel it very differently, and I think that’s what we want to dive into is just creating a space for what does fear look like for you personally. How do you think through these things? And we’ll talk through them based on our experiences and those people that responded, but it really is just a conversation starter for look inside and what does fear look like for you.

Joe: For sure. Let’s put you on the spot. How would you define fear?

Shannon: Yeah. I love some of these responses, so I definitely don’t want to copy them. I think as I was thinking about it, the last month or so was just when I feel like my emotion wins out or trumps over my logic and it’s almost a choice, like where I allow myself to feel incapable or helpless in a situation. So what I loved about some of these responses were, and if you go back and listen to the list that Joe read, which I know it was a lot, but for some people, fear is a very emotional thing and for some people, fear is a very logical thing.

Somebody said it’s a mental block where another person said it’s an emotional response, and I think for me, personally, in my definition, it is a little bit more of an emotional response. It’s where normally Shannon would think logically about XY or Z and in this case I thought emotionally about it and it kind of trumped over that maybe initial sense of logic and allowed me to say, “I don’t have control over this anymore,” or “I do feel helpless in this situation.” So that may be my definition.

Joe: That’s wrong, unfortunately.

Shannon: That’s wrong. According to Dictionary.com, that is incorrect.

Joe: It’s super valid. I appreciate your thoughts on that. Yeah, it’s just kind of a moving target, a lot of things, again, it gets based on our own experiences, our own vantage points, the way we see it. Even like our chemistry makeup, the way we walk through life. We talked a little bit, too. We asked kind of the definition just to sort of set the stage for people to think about this and then we thought about what are the things that people fear, and we kind of put our own list together before we even put a poll out there, a survey out there. This was our list. Just put it out there and maybe some of these things resonate with you and then we’re also going to share some of the things that we received from people through the survey that weren’t on this list. So, just kind of shows the breadth of fears that we all experience.

So our list would include stepping into the unknown, abandonment, failure, public speaking. Which Shannon shared this before-

Shannon: I shouldn’t laugh. That’s terrible. For some people that is-

Joe: No, but you said it actually before, like you said you’ve spoken to thousands of people before, I guess through what plays and something.

Shannon: That’s right. I acted and I performed in front of hundreds of thousands of people, but podcasting is more terrifying to me than doing that, yeah.

Joe: That’s interesting. Flying, so maybe like a lack of control or uncertainty, maybe there’s a lack of information. Change. Fear of change. Financial worries. Being loved or not being loved. Being alone. Not feeling good enough. Physical safety and sickness. Loss of a loved one who is sick. Started a new school. Begin a different job. Move to a new town. Meet new people. And what others may think, like what are their expectations of us. And we thought that was a pretty robust list until we asked other people what were some of their fears and wanted to read off some of those to you as well. Again, this may not even cover the ones you’re experiencing, the ones you face on a regular basis, but these were some ones that we didn’t hear before, didn’t have listed before.

Something bad happening to the people I love. Rejection. Impostor syndrome. Fear of, I actually looked that one up, that’s a very real thing. Fear of missing opportunities, unpredictability. Not showing up as my best person or not showing up prepared. Fear of losing what I’ve already achieved or gained. Fear of making bad decisions. Not achieving our goals. Demanding digital pace.

Shannon: So, that one’s just like keeping up with the times. Technology is so rapidly changing that there’s a fear of, “Can I keep up with that?” Just to clarify a little bit.

Joe: No, I appreciate that. Fear of complacency. Fear of forgetting something. Fear of not performing. Managing risk. Not being perfect. Fear of comparison, of being good enough. Fear of being unqualified. Getting to retirement age with nothing to show for it. Fear of letting others down. Staying relevant. Fear of being burnt out. Not retaining the skill of the work force. Risk and unpredictability of human employees. And fear of being unqualified. Which again, these are super real, rational fears that business owners, people in the … business leaders experience on a regular basis. So these are not necessarily just sort of generic fears. These are very much applicable in people’s lives.

So super, again, we keep saying it, but we’re still grateful for the vulnerability in which people shared these responses.

Shannon: I’m just afraid I won’t even get to retirement age.

Joe: There you go. Add one more fear to that list. I’m much closer to it than you are. In the spirit of sharing where you asked everybody else to share their thoughts, I thought I would sort of put you out to dry and share some of your thoughts. But I’ll follow up with some of my fears as well.

Shannon: That’s right.

Joe: What are some, again, not to let people who have shared their intimate thoughts or intimate fears through a survey, just leave them out there. I wanted to give us a chance to kind of share some our fears and be vulnerable.

Shannon: That’s right.

Joe: I’ll start with you.

Shannon: Of course you will, yes. I will share my fears first. Yeah. Okay. In an effort to lighten the mood a little bit, we talk about spiders all the time. I am legitimately afraid of spiders.

Joe: Oh, I actually didn’t know that.

Shannon: So that’s mine. Yeah, I feel like you make fun of that.

Joe: I did, but I didn’t know. I’m going to be sensitive.

Shannon: He’s always like, “Ha ha, afraid of spiders.” They’re just creepy. I also have a fear of parasites, which is super weird, but after an eighth grade biology class that I took where we spent an entire six weeks on a study of the insides of our body, I’m now terrified. I just think everyone has a parasite.

Joe: Oh, for sure.

Shannon: For sure. I don’t know if a fear is the right way to say this, but I hate when my hands are wet or sticky, so like fruit juice or anything like that, just like no. So I avoid that at all costs. Maybe fear isn’t the right word. Yeah, I guess in an effort to be a little bit more vulnerable than my fear of spiders or parasites. Some of my biggest fears are just the fear of commitment, which could really be in anything. That could be in relationships, it could be in a job, so just kind of the fear of getting stuck somewhere. Another one is the fear of missing out. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the acronym FOMO, but it’s a real thing. I’m always afraid that other people are doing something more fun than I am and I want to be there. So it might sound silly, but it’s a legitimate thing. Just feeling like you’re not a part of something.

And then probably a big one that I really wrestle with is just the fear of not finding my purpose, what is Shannon’s purpose in life. So that’s something that I feel afraid of.

Joe: Yeah. Thanks for sharing.

Shannon: So your turn.

Joe: Yeah.

Shannon: Now that I’ve been vulnerable.

Joe: Well, I mean, before I get into my own stuff like … It’s interesting to watch you share those things. And my first reaction is to not laugh and not be insensitive. But that’s, there’s a lot to be said right there because I think some times that is our reaction to decrease the value of a fear and put it aside and go, “Oh my gosh, why are you dealing with that?” But to stop doing that and just sitting there with somebody as they’re sharing like you just did right there, because it’s real for you.

Shannon: Right.

Joe: Spiders is real for you and I mean, sticky hands, it doesn’t make sense to me, but at the same time, there is some sort of meaning behind that. So for me to laugh it off is not sensitive to that.

Shannon: Thank you. I’ll laugh it off for you. I recognize it’s silly.

Joe: I think for us, for me, there’s been a lot of fears associated with this move out to Colorado, which go back a couple years. We’ve been processing the move from Indiana to Colorado for a while. We didn’t just pack our bags in the middle of the night and just hit the road. Contemplated a lot of things and ramifications of that decision, so something that we’ve been experiencing for a while. Some of the things that came to mind, I’ll tell you this real quick, too, as a backdrop that we, for a while, a lot of these fears about reinvention had been swirling in my mind quite a bit. Kind of gripping me and controlling me for a while and overwhelming me.

And for me, what I ended up having to do is just write them out. For that situation, that ended up being enough, just to get them, almost slowing their pace of scrolling around because they hadn’t really been defined. I kind of knew them a little bit. But just taking the time to list them out, call them out, identify them, really help to stop the whirlwind going on inside my mind. So of course that doesn’t work for everybody, but that was just definitely helpful in these experiences. But some real fears that I had going into this was leaving our parents who are older. One day would they need us and now we’re not going to be anywhere close to them. Even just the hard part of saying goodbye to them and Quinn not having grandparents near by. So all those fears of, “Is this the right decision? Is this putting everybody in a bad situation?” Sadness of seeing, or the fear of just having to see Quinn adjust to a new, all these different changes that he was going to experience.

For me to just fear losing friendships that, you know, we all have friendships that only live and operate well in person and once they’re long distance, it’s as though they never happened to begin with. I think that was fear of losing those opportunities and those friendships. So far, the friendships that are always, were very real to begin with have stayed intact and that’s been good to see, but that was a very real fear. Business wise, losing a client because of lack of proximity. Just being a couple time zones away and not a five minute drive away, that somebody would just go, “You know, I’m just going to find somebody local,” so that was a fear. Losing a client, losing some work that would require me to stop paying somebody who’s working for me and stop those partnerships and relationships. That’s definitely, I wouldn’t say that’s gone. That’s definitely always swirling in the back of my mind.

Sadness or fear of being alone, like not having relationships and friendships that I had formed over all those years and people I would work with in coffee shops and that kind of stuff, and them not being around, that was very real for me. And the fear of not having that.

Shannon: He just likes to find strangers everywhere he goes and become friends with them.

Joe: Which is a good thing out here, because I can still do it out here, but I think there is a sense of like would I still be able to do that out here, so there was a fear of that. Even the fear of like this passion and this love for the west, would that fade away having been out here? Would that just get to be normal? Or like even Lindsay and me, what I call suburban living, would we fall out of that sort of lifestyle where we don’t, we just live in our house, we close our garage doors and don’t talk to anybody else, and we do our yard work. Are we really going to embrace the landscape around us and all the activities around us, or is that going to eventually fade away?

So those are all fears that had been living with us for months and again, for me it was taking probably 30 minutes to just call them out, list them out, identify what they were, and that just helped me move them through. So those are definitely real fears nothing manufactured there.

Shannon: And if I may, what I find really interesting is even as I spend time with Joe and Lindsay, they don’t look like they’re living in fear. They don’t look like they’re processing through these things for the last couple months and even are still as we speak. But I think that’s what’s so real about fear is that may not be real obvious to other people and yet, Joe and Lindsay and Quinn are really wrestling with these things every day. I’m wrestling with some different things every day. And until we’re able to speak about them and be vulnerable about them, I might have no idea that Joe is working through some of these things.

Joe: Yeah, thanks for sharing that. I think we had one experience probably about a week or two of being out here. I think about a week. Well, we’ve been out here for a while. We moved out April 15th, but then we didn’t find a house until May and move in until June and our stuff was in pods for a while, so we’re sleeping on the floor. We both about three or four days after that, I think I put a post on social media just saying, “Hey, this has been hard,” because I think up to that point, we had pointed all these photos and we love it out here and look at the snow coming down and look at the mountains. But the reality was we weren’t loving life at the moment. We felt very disconnected from people and experiences, and certainly sleeping on the floor and questioning like was this a good decision or not.

But it was amazing the response we got from people of support and comfort like, “Hey, we had the same experience, stick it out. Keep going.” And really within 24 hours I think, our spirits were changed through the influence of other people and that process. And we’ll talk about that later, sort of how do we move through fear. But I think that’s one thing we’ll talk about is just that community and connection with people that if we keep it to ourselves and we stay … And it was hard to put it out there, because I wanted to put on this façade like everything was amazing. And in a lot of ways it was amazing, but at the same time it was hard and it was accepting the pain and the hardship of it. And that just helped us move through that fear, because a lot of those moments we just wanted to sit and then regret the decision.

So, we’re grateful for those who reached out and I think that was a good exercise for us to experience the value of community and the value of connecting with people. And that’s really what we’ve found a lot through this research is, and these conversations and surveys, is just everybody deals with fear. It’s not like, “Well, if you’re still in that fear spot, you got to get out of that.” Everybody deals with it and so don’t feel like you’re on an island and feel like you just have to deal with it on your own, because the opportunity is where you get a chance to open with people, is the chance where you realize, “Wow, everybody’s in this thing together.”

Shannon: Definitely.

Joe: It’s all been good. I think what was interesting in that process, too, is as I’m sitting here kind of riding out my fears, I was thinking through like where is this coming from, because that’s kind of like my MO of going back in time and going like, “What is this from? Is this legit? Is it real? Is it a lie?” And so I was thinking through some of those sources of fear and I don’t know, what do you think are some sources that come to your mind where you think about fears in general, where do those things come from?

Shannon: Definitely. And I do think, as we say before, it could be different depending on each person, but generally speaking, some things that come to mind are just unresolved emotional distress. And for some people, that could be based on past experiences, that they’re still working through or haven’t finished working through. For other people, fear is a very futuristic kind of emotion. It’s I can see or I can project something that may happen in the future that I don’t have control over, and that’s where my fear comes from. It could be a grief of something lost. You’re moving, you’re leaving people and family and loved ones behind, for one example. But that could portray itself in many different ways.

It could be getting stuck in old ways of thinking. For me, like I just mentioned, one of my biggest fears is I’m feeling stuck here. It could be a feeling of a lack of control. This is a situation that feels outside of what you can do or what you can contribute, and in that sense, I don’t like feeling like I don’t have my hands on the wheel. I’m not driving this. I think a lot of fears stem from just kind of today’s culture of comparison. There’s a lot of people who feel inadequate, who feel unqualified, who feel imperfect, just because they’re watching everybody else’s lives, maybe on social media for example, that just look so much more majestic or better than theirs.

And then maybe fear just coming form some unreasonable expectations, whether those are things you’ve placed on yourself, whether those are things other people have placed on you. We live into the sense that I am not meeting an expectation that somebody or myself has kind of told me that I should be or do.

Joe: And I agree with that. I think there’s a couple of thoughts I had as far as the same deal, sort of these experiences of the past that effect who we are. And I also thought like our upbringing, like the environment we were raised in-

Shannon: Definitely.

Joe: And the way our parents, the landscape they set for us, we inherited some of that kind of through their behavior. I think there’s even a sense of spiritual or an unseen force that’s sort of playing behind the scenes, and a lot of people can hear that in good ways and negative ways, but I think that there are definitely powers that are going on in realms that we can’t even acknowledge that are affecting those things.

Shannon: For sure.

Joe: It’s not easy to call out or identify or attach our fears to, but I definitely think there’s some things going on sort of behind the scenes that we can see. So, just as we wind down this episode, and we wanted to loop back to that Elizabeth Gilbert quote, and there’s kind of … continue what she said earlier, and there’s sort of a part two that we’ll read off now and there’s an exercise you can take from this.

“Dearest fear, creativity and I are about to go on a road trip together. I understand you’ll be joining us, because you always do. Apparently your job is to induce panic whenever I’m about to do anything interesting, and I may say you’re superb at your job. But understand this. Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way. I recognize and respect that you’re a part of this family, so I will never exclude you from our activities. But your suggestions will never be allowed. You’re allowed to have a seat and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You are not allowed to touch the roadmaps or suggest detours. You are not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.”

So again, it’s clearly not the first draft that she put together or the first time she experienced fear, and she just put this together as something that she said, “I’ve got to put a mark in the road and just, create a new path going forward.” So that’s the challenge I think has rounded this episode. Is there something you should write to fear? Is there a note that you should write to the fears that you have? Is there something that you’ve been continually controlled by and it has the power, and you see in her quote here that she’s giving, she’s relinquishing the power from fear. She’s saying, “You’ve always been here and you’ve limited my creativity, but for no longer. You’re going to be here and that’s part of the process, but you’re no longer to control how it goes.”

So we just encourage you to take some time as we round out this episode, is there a note that you should write to the fears that you have, is there some ways to regain power and reclaim victory over some of that sort of thing? So that’s the challenge. And whatever those fears may be, maybe they’re business related, maybe there’s family related. We don’t know what they are, but I thought that was such a good letter that she wrote and maybe something we could all follow.

Shannon: Yeah. I can’t believe she personifies it. And she even calls it dearest fear. I would never use that word and that’s just amazing to me. And I think that’s such a scary but such a cool challenge. It’s just personify fear for once and look it in the eye and say, “This is who you are to me and this is who you aren’t to me.” And so that’s crazy. I definitely want to do that challenge. But it’s crazy. Anyway. Cool way to close that out. Our hope in initiating this conversation, like I said before, is just to offer a safe space for reflection and vulnerability. Joe and I have shared some of our fears today and we are grateful for that opportunity to share those with you. We want you to know that we’re doing this conversation right along with you. We’re looking at our own lives and our own fears, and we realize that it is scary, but we also realize the benefits. And we see that in a life like Elizabeth.

She has worked through a lifetime of recognizing her fears and being able to say, “You don’t have full control over me anymore,” and for that reason she just has such a more fulfilling life. So that said, we would love to open the door to any questions or comments you have related to this topic as we start with episode one and dive in. Or if you’re interested in learning more in general just about what we can do for you here at Keyhole Marketing, please don’t hesitate to send us an email at HI@KeyholeMarketing.us. We would love to hear for you.

Joe: For sure. Thanks so much.

Shannon: Thank you.

(music)

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