EP37 Overcoming Fear, Anxiety and Limiting Beliefs
Todays show is about overcoming fear, anxiety and limiting beliefs. This is something I know a little bit about… Actually, I’m an expert on this because it’s something I’ve struggled with in my life. I’ve personally had to work through a lot of stuff and I’m going to share a little bit about that story to start things off and then we’re going to dive in to the five Super Important things you need to know. Also, eight steps to overcoming any fear, any anxiety and any limiting beliefs
[0:00:13] KC: All right, welcome to the Business of Life, this is Keith, I am your host and excited for today’s topic. Overcoming fear, anxiety and limiting beliefs and I am an expert on this because it’s something that I’ve definitely struggled with in my life and some stuff that I’ve personally had to work through a lot of stuff and I’m going to share a little bit about that story to start things off and then we’re going to dive in to five things, five super important, that’s why I have it labeled five super important things you need to know. Also, eight steps to overcoming any fear, any anxiety and any limiting beliefs.
Before we jump into all that, I just want to say thank you again for everybody that’s listening. We’ve really had a large or we’re developing a large base of loyal listeners, you guys are tuning in every single week and I’m grateful, I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful that you’ve been out there sharing this podcast, I’m grateful that for all the feedback that we’ve been getting back and yeah, just from my heart to yours, thank you for taking the time to listen and this really is a labor of love for me. Enjoying every single piece of it.
Sorry, I had to pause there for a second. I have my cellphone’s hooked up to my computer and somebody was ringing in. Anyways, this podcast about overcoming fear, anxiety and limiting beliefs. I grew up in a family that it was believed that anxiety, depression, fear, limiting beliefs, all of that, that it was completely genetic, that it was something that you got, “Oh he’s got the anxiety, she’s got the anxiety thing,” and it makes me sad, it makes me get a little bit choked up because my father, his sisters, his mom, same thing on my mother side, my mom’s mom, their lives were really ruined by anxiety, by severe chronic anxiety over and over.
There’s a lot of people that I’ve worked with over the years that it really controls and has ruined their lives as well and I feel and know that I’m an expert on this because it’s something that I’ve had to deal with myself. I used to have severe anxiety, severe panic attacks, I used to have just, it was crippling, I couldn’t drive down the road. Now I’m, it’s sort of another lifetime ago and there was a lot of therapy that I went through to get through it, there was a lot of personal development, there was a deep commitment to my spiritual path but through dealing with that, it really was about 20 years I suffered with that.
And there’s still coping skills that I’ve learned and as I’ve gotten deeper and deeper into my spiritual path, the power of any fear, any anxiety or any limiting belief, not only has it really dissipated and it’s moved away from my day to day life, I also don’t believe it anymore and I that’s a really important thing. One of the things that I do advise you, if this is something that you’re looking for a little bit of help with, you can go ahead and listen to this episode once like you’re out driving in the car or you’re doing something that you don’t have the ability to take notes.
But this is probably one the first episodes that I’m going to recommend that you actually sit down and take notes with this, if you think this information is pertinent to you and you think it’s something that you can use and you can use skills that I’m going to teach. A couple of other things that I’d like to really ask is if this is something that you’re working through then I’d love to hear from you and you can message me in a few different ways, you can find me directly on Facebook. So I’m under Keith Callahan for my personal page.
An easier place to get in touch with me at is our business page for this podcast. It’s just the Business of Life Podcast. The easiest way, just go into Facebook, search the Business of lLife Podcast and it’s going to bring me up. The second thing is, if you’re listening to this and you know somebody that you think can benefit from this that you know somebody that you think can benefit from the skills that I’m going to be sharing, somebody that may be struggling a little bit, please, reach out to them, help them and ask them to listen to this and then ask them to reach out to me and if there’s anything I can do to help, I am here 100% to support.
With that said, let’s dive right in to it and I shared a little bit about my story, I don’t’ think I need to go in to heavy, heavy detail with it. The most important piece though is at one point, I honestly believed that anxiety, really like a generalized anxiety and anxiety disorder was something that was genetic. I believed that. And I believed it with all of my heart because I was feeling it, it was in my bones, it was passed down to me from generation to generation and I no longer believe that.
If there’s anything you take from this episode and this is something that you struggle with, know that that is real, know that it is not something that is genetically passed down to you. You can have a predisposition towards it and what I mean by that is maybe you’re more of a sensitive person so you feel things a little bit more. But the way that you’re interpreting things is what’s causing the anxiety, it’s not that you just have anxiety, that you’re blood flows with anxiety, it’s created through how you’re interpreting things in your mind.
Really want to start with that and again, let you know that if this is something that you’re struggling with, you do not have to struggle with this for the rest of your life, period, end of story. Just knowing that for me, when I first started getting — I went to a therapist and did a lot of work with this and just knowing that was relief to me, just knowing that was like literally, “Holy shit, are you serious?” The conviction of the woman who I was working with, the conviction of the therapist and she just knew, she knew without a doubt and she knew that it didn’t matter.
Everybody’s got these stories, right? They’re like, “Yeah but Keith, it might not have been that way for you,” but it is that way for me and I’m here to tell you it’s not. It’s just not. It’s not true. Let’s dive into the five super important things to know. The first thing is I want you to understand that any self-limiting, any anxiety based, fear based thoughts, they are real but not true. Again, they’re real but not true and what do we mean by that?
We mean that the thoughts are very real, you’re having these thoughts and you have a physical reaction to them, you feel that everything, you feel it. There’s a realness to it but they’re not true. Let me give you two examples of this and you can sort of look at it, this is a good time to reflect back and look at any thoughts that you may be having and identify them and see if you can put them up to that they’re real but not true litmus test. I don’t like flying, I have never liked flying and I also have a friend who doesn’t like flying.
I don’t like being way up in the air. She doesn’t like landing and I don’t like being way up in the air because I’m out of control and I don’t like it, it’s still something that I work through. But I understand that that thought, although it’s real that I’m uncomfortable, I don’t like this, it’s not true. There is no danger to it. There’s a lot more danger in driving in a car, right? So that thought for me is real but not true.
My friend, she loves being up in the air, she is totally chill, totally comfortable but she has this fear when you land that something’s going to happen and I’m the opposite. When we land I’m like, “All right, thank god, we landed, I’m glad we landed.” For both of us, those thoughts are very real when we’re up there and we’re at cruising altitude, that’s when I don’t like it and those thoughts are real but they’re not true.
For her, when the landing is coming, I’m excited, I can’t wait to land, I love the skid on the pavement and I love the whole thing about it. For her, it’s very scary during that time. Those thoughts for her, that’s a real fear but it’s not a true thing. Understanding that the thoughts are real but are not true is a very liberating thing and once we understand that, we can start to look at the connection between our thoughts and our feelings.
The feeling of fear, the feeling of anxiety are the results of the thoughts that you’re having. Really important to understand, that’s where it’s stemming from. Again, understand that the thoughts are real but not true. Another example is, when somebody says “I can’t do that” and there is something really, really simple — one of the most basic statements, “if you believe you can, you can. If you believe you can’t, you can’t.” It’s so true. Both of those thoughts are real right? Like, “I can’t do that.” That’s a real thought. It results in a real result.
“I can do this,” is another real thought and it results in a real result but they’re not universal truths. A universal truth is gravity right? Every single time you throw a rock up, it’s going to fall down. But the thought of “you can’t do something”, that’s just a thought it is not true but it feels very real to you right? Again, the first part of the five super important things to know is understanding that thoughts are real but they’re not true. The thoughts that are troubling you are real but not true.
I’m going to challenge you to go as deep as you can with this because whatever it is that you’re struggling with, wherever your fears, whatever your anxieties are around that it’s true that it’s thoughts that are real but they’re not true. The second thing is, understanding each time you don’t run, you gain power. A really simple example of this is stage fright right? Stage fright is a very real thing, public speaking is a very real thing that a lot of people struggle with.
If you get up there on that stage or right before you’re about to speak, right? Like you’re going up there, you’re getting ready to speak and you’re totally freaking out, you’re losing your shit and you decide that you’re not going to go up there and talk. What just happened when you did that is you actually lost all your power. If you just take step by step, one foot in front of the other and you go out there. Even if it’s the worst bomb in the world, you gained power because you didn’t run.
So really understand that each time you get in to a situation that is normally fearful to you, that’s normally anxiety provoking and you don’t run from it, you gain power. Really important to understand. The third thing is getting comfortable with feeling uncomfortable and this is going to take a little bit of time, it’s like a muscle that needs to be cultivated because a lot of times when fear is coming up, when anxiety is coming up, we just want to get comfortable, right?
What happens, like how do we get comfortable? We move from the situation that’s causing the discomfort to something that is more comfortable, we run away, it’s just like number two. So getting comfortable with feeling uncomfortable start to put yourself in a position that makes you a little bit uncomfortable and sit with it. Start to stretch that more and more uncomfortable.
The fourth thing is continue to stretch yourself and not getting complacent, very similar to the third one, getting comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. Stretch yourself a little bit every single day, do things that make you uncomfortable and be cautious about retracting back. If you experience something that causes you fear or it causes you anxiety and you stop doing that thing, what happens is you’re creating a self-imposed prison on yourself You’re making your world, your life, your freedom smaller and smaller. This is just a tiny little thing, but continue to stretch yourself and not get complacent.
The fifth important thing to know is that most people with fear and anxiety and these limiting beliefs is people that are of higher levels of intelligence of higher IQ’s. Really simple reason for this. This sort of connects with the piece of “you’re not born with an anxiety disorder, it’s not genetic but you can have a predisposition”. The higher level of intelligence, the more, the faster your brain works, the faster thoughts come in and that can lead to, if they’re negative thoughts, if they’re limiting, self-imposed beliefs, that can lead to increasing fears and anxiety et cetera.
Those are the five super important, I’m having fun saying that today. Five super important things to know. Really, those are things to keep in mind, that isn’t the eight steps, I’m going to go through the eight steps next but it’s really, it’s important to know those things, it’s important to understand those things, it’s important to have them in the back of your mind. So how do we actually overcome our fears and limiting beliefs and anxiety? All right.
Step number one is, you have to have an insane desire to overcome it and for me, things had to get bad, they had to get really bad before they got better. They had to get so bad that the work required to change the work required to get this thing off the launching pad was a lot of work. I’m not going to candy coat it, you want to live this big, beautiful bold life, you want to live this life free from the controls, free from the shackles of your fears and anxieties, it’s a lot of work.
It’s a lot of work in the beginning then you break through that barrier and it’s sort of a self-perpetuating. That work in the beginning, it’s like the rocket ship trying to leave earth right? Trying to break that gravitational field, the amount of work that it takes to get through that and then it goes on its own. You have to have that insane desire to overcome it.
This is one of those things that without that insane desire, without the desire to do the work necessary, you’re not going to move through it. You have it, things aren’t going to get any worse when you start doing this work. Think about it. For me, it was really “Do I want to live that life”? I saw generations of people before me that were living that life, I saw what it did to them and I was in that, I was living it, I was feeling it, it was very much a part of my life.
I had to ask, take an honest look, somebody’s handing me something. Somebody’s handing me a set of tools just like I’m handing to you right now and they’re giving me the ability to heal myself. That’s the way that I looked at it or I can continue on the way, the path that I’m doing right now and go down like generations before me have gone down. That scared the shit out of me enough, I should have given a disclaimer. Hopefully your kids aren’t listening. If they are, I’m sorry kids, I’m sorry parents. But it did, it scared me so much that I did not want to have to live that life that they lived and the desire to do more, to be more, to have more freedom, to live without those shackles on me was so powerful, I had that insane desire to overcome. You need to have that step one.
The second thing is, understand that this is happening for you and not to you. I need you all in on this. I need you all in on having that insane desire to overcome it. I need you all in on believing that this is happening for you and not to you. Because when it’s happening to you, you’re a victim and when you’re a victim you’re never going to get out of that victim space. When it’s happening for you, it’s empowering and I’ll tell you what, here is from my heart to yours, here is the gift that this is coming up in your life because the actions, the thoughts, the interpretations, the self-love, the self-care, all of that stuff, you’re not doing it right that’s why all these things are coming up.
The biggest blessing in the world is the feeling that you have right now because now it’s forcing you, it’s putting your back against the wall and it’s saying, “You have to make these changes. The big beautiful bold life that you’ve always wanted to live is on the other side of these changes.” That is what I mean by understanding this is happening for you. This is a gift in your life. It’s hard to believe it right now and if somebody told me that when I was going through it, I would have probably flipped up my middle finger and because it was painful, it was a lot to go through right? It was the best thing that ever happened to my life.
If you ask anybody about the time that when they really started to follow a spiritual path, when they really started to follow god, usually it doesn’t happen when something beautiful happens, it happens when we get dropped to our knees and we need help. And they’ll all tell you that that was the best thing that ever happened to them. Our bodies and our systems, it’s the mechanism that alerts us that we’re doing something the wrong way. The reason this is happening, it’s not like, “Oh god’s or whoever is coming down on you and this happened to me, why is it like this, why does this have to happen?”
It’s like, “Oh my god, thank you. Because I feel this way, I know that I’m not doing something right, I know that I need to shift something so this is happening for me to give the awareness, to give me that insane desire, to give me that power to overcome it.” Third piece is cultivating faith. I need you to believe 100% that it is possible for you to lead, for you to live this big, beautiful bold life that is heart opening, that is safe, that is loving, that is compassionate. You need to believe that that’s available to you. You need to cultivate that.
Here is one of the first prayers that I ever started with this and my question was, I don’t believe. I really don’t like — I believe that you can help me but my mind just gets obsessed with, I’m going to be like this for the rest of my life right? That’s not the place that I wanted to be in and I was like, I want to believe but I don’t.
Here was step number one. I started just paying in my mantra and everything was that I can’t do this myself, I know that somehow, some way this is possible but I have no — it’s out of my hands. I don’t even believe. I even surrender over my belief, I surrender over everything and it’s in that surrender process. Cultivating faith happens through the surrender process.
I want to repeat that one more time because this is super important. We’re talking about the third step, cultivating faith. Your faith is going to cultivate as you nurture and follow through with the surrender process. We’re going to hold on tight right? Because sometimes it’s scary to surrender, sometimes it’s scary to — the bravest thing that you can do is nothing and fully surrender over and just surrender over to your — whether you believe in god or you have a spiritual path or you believe in a higher being, whatever you want to call it.
Surrender over and have faith that as a human being, your body, your mind is going to fix itself. Step number four is, you have to — our mind can only think of one thing at a time. Just to give you an example of this, one of the easiest things to do to stop or slow down a racing mind is just focus on your feet, focus on your legs, focus on any part of your body and focus on the feeling of it.
You can do this right now. Now when we focus on — I’m doing it and I’m having a hard time talking. When we focus on something else, our mind starts to slow down. Step number four is determining what you want to focus on and I would encourage you to choose two things. I would encourage you to choose something you can focus on when you are in a mode where you need to slow your mind down. This is when a lot of people will turn to meditation but I’ll be honest. If you’re experiencing a lot of fear and a lot of anxiety, you’re probably not going to be able to meditate right away.
I have so many people that I work with and so many people that I work with that have this situation and the number one thing that I recommend is coloring. They have those adult coloring books right now and you have the ability. What happens when you do that is you’re now focusing on the lines, you’re focusing on drawing, you’re focusing on coloring. In the simplest form, your mind starts to slow down. You can’t outthink your way out of this and so many… that’s where people get caught up and fear as an anxiety and limiting beliefs, they want to outthink their way, they want their mind just to stop and step number four, determining what you want to focus on, another way we could word that is shift your attention.
Your mind is going to continue running but what can we shift it to? It could be listening to music, it could be just focusing on feeling your breath go in and out, it could be focusing in on coloring, it could be going for a little walk, it could be doing a visualization exercise like whatever works for you in the moment. Step number one is you have to find something in the moment and then step number two is finding a new hobby, a new habit, a new way of being as a totality.
Here is a really simple example of this. I want you to think about the hobby, the habit, something that you’re going to really focus in on. I want you to think of it as something that you can do all day every day and it can be all encompassing. You can still do while all the rest of your stuff.
Here is a good example. If you took up photography. A lot of people just have generalized fears, generalized anxieties, whatever they’re doing, wherever they’re going, their mind’s racing and it’s always going somewhere else and maybe it’s panic attacks, whatever it is. Let’s say that — and we have iPhones with us all the time now, you’ve really got in to photography. Now when you’re driving down the road instead of letting your mind wander, your mind is constantly focused in on looking for beautiful things that you can take a picture of.
Then you see something and then you see something and maybe you stop and you zoom in and try to get that beautiful picture, maybe you get in to editing pictures, all this stuff but creating a hobby like that — because here is what happens. Usually we’re caught up in these loops, we’re caught up in this loop of fear, we’re caught up in this loop of anxiety and we need to put our mind on something else and we need to give it something for an extended period of time so it can actually get back to resetting itself. This is what we’re talking about is our central nervous system is going to reset itself.
What we’re focusing on, when we’re focusing on fearful thoughts, when we’re focusing on anxiety stuff, our central nervous system’s getting wound up and it’s a self-perpetuating thing. When we get caught up in something that takes our mind and we can do it and we can use it for extended periods of time, we have an anchor now, we have an anchor in our life and I want you to figure something out that you’re actually going to have joy with this.
For me it was my spiritual path and all the time throughout my day, my focus is on my connection with god, my focus is on loving kindness, on compassion, on forgiveness. All day every day. And then the mind wanders and I bring it back, then the mind wanders and I bring it back. That’s all day every day and the other piece is like when your mind really runs away, do you have something that can ground you? That’s the coloring book, that’s puzzles.
Puzzles are a great way to just really focus your mind, they slow your mind down, cleaning the house, different things like that. Determine what you want to focus on. You need that one thing, “This is my — I’m really wound up, let me go do a puzzle, let me go do this, let me go do that. Then I want you to figure out what is your hobby, what is your habit, what is it going to be? And it’s something that you can use with you all the time. Two perfect examples, the photography and for me my spiritual path.
Number five, when thoughts come in, welcome the thoughts, don’t fight them and don’t run from them and this is scary at first. Usually what happens is fearful thoughts come in, anxious thoughts come in and we want to just, “Go away, want that thought to go away, I don’t want to think that thought, I don’t want to have that thought.” It’s just going to keep coming, it’s just going to keep attacking you.
Here is the scary part, the scary part is just sitting, I’m going to give you three phrases here; loving kindness, compassion, and forgiving. When I’m going through my day, those three phrases are where I’m at. If there’s a negative thought that comes up, rather than trying to say I don’t want that thought, rather than trying to just avoid that thought, to run away from that thought, to say, “Oh my god, I wish this wasn’t happening.” Just have compassion towards it.
What happens when we have compassion towards it, it starts to lose its power and maybe initially it’s screaming and then we have compassion and now it’s just yelling and we continue to have compassion and this takes time, takes days, weeks, months, sometimes years. But the most important thing is every time you have compassion toward it, every time you have loving kindness towards the thought, every time you have forgiveness towards your thought, towards yourself, towards your feelings, towards your mistakes, they start to lose their power.
Every time we try to fight it and run away from it, it’s not necessarily losing its power, it’s not necessarily gaining power either but it’s just, we’re stopping it. That loving kindness, that loving compassion, it dissolves over time. I want you to remember the piece that I told you about the faith because when you have faith in this process, you’re allowing yourself to sit in loving kindness, you’re allowing yourself to sit in compassion.
Number six is exercise, pure and simple, get that heart rate going, vigorous exercise. As vigorous as you can do. The perfect way that I heard someone describe this is exercise for a half hour like you’re fighting for your life, like your life depended on it. That type of vigorous exercise. Not going to go into too much more with that piece. Number seven, cutting with the sword. This is for when you lose all power like you’re taken out, something just drops you to your knees right? There’s this crippling fear, crippling anxiety. Panic attack maybe.
And at that point, what I believe is all the other things like you get in to this fight or flight mode, I want to repeat that, this is when you get in to that fight or flight mode. Loving kindness doesn’t work here, compassion doesn’t work here, forgiving doesn’t work here. What works here is fighting. The way I look at it is literally I look at it as something outside attacking me. I want to repeat that because that is super important. You have this thoughts and it’s just racing and you can’t keep up with it and you feel like this thoughts, this energy, this being, that’s how I look at it, like a being has taken you over and you’re cutting it with a sword, you’re literally in a fight for your life, cutting and thrashing and stabbing at whatever.
For me, I can see it, I have my eyes closed right now and it hasn’t happened in a long time, knock on wood but when that crippling, self-defeating energy or fear or whatever would come over, I would actually see it as something external and fight it like, “Get it off of me.” In my mind I would visualize like ripping it off my head and then it’s on the ground and stabbing it. This is real talk guys, it was like, “F you!” Nasty, this thing’s trying to kill you, you want to kill it. I live there for a while, I live there for maybe two or three months and it’s not going to take you that long.
I had a lot of stuff like a lot of — that’s the insanely strong limiting beliefs. That’s the piece that comes in that says you’re never going to amount to anything, you’re not going to get through this, it’s never going to happen, all that stuff and I would have these battles in my mind, this battle lasts 10 minutes and then that thing’s down and it’s dead and it might come back. That one exercise saved my life. It was that bad for me. Cutting with the sword.
I used to think about it like that, I used to practice it like that, I used to do it like that. In the beginning you may not have that strong of I call it energy like that strong of energy coming in but if it is, you got to fight it just like that, just like I described it and literally create your own world around it. A lot of people get really uncomfortable with this. Listen, you’re going to talk to yourself all day long. I’d rather instead of letting something like that take over me, take over my energy, take over who I am as a husband, as a father, that’s not allowed in me, that’s not allowed in my life and if that ever comes after me, I’m going to kill it and I’m going to kill it in that way and that way that I just described.
The eighth thing sort of like the cutting of the sword, that’s used in one spot, one circumstance right? So we talked about that, the eighth thing is, over all, praising through your day. I want to give you a little secret here, it isn’t saying like, “I want this, I want that.” Praising is giving thanks for what’s already coming. Really, that’s getting back into that faith, it’s getting back into that belief, it’s getting back into all of that.
Thank you, thank you for all the — like, even one little beautiful thing you see, one little thing, “Wow, that thought came up and I didn’t run, thank you for the help, thank you for that beautiful, thank you for that experience.” Fear came up and you saw it, you had loving compassion towards it and it stopped. Thank you, thank you. Praising through your day, always with gratitude, always with compassion, always with thankfulness.
That’s the eight steps, having that insane desire to overcome step one, step two, understanding it’s happening for you and not to you. Step three, cultivating faith, believing a hundred percent, step four, those two determinants of what you’re focusing on, what you’re focusing on, the coloring book thing or the puzzle, something like can take your mind off when you need to, something that can slow your mind when you need to. Also the big focus we talked about, the hobby, the habit and we talked about the photography and also the spiritual path.
Number five is when thoughts come in welcoming those thoughts and not fighting them, when we talked about welcoming them with loving kindness, compassion, forgiving, number six is vigorous exercise and making that a habit five, six times a week. Number seven is cutting with the sword, having that life or death battle with those things that are coming after you. Seeing it is something external and that you do that when you feel that everything else isn’t working, it’s just too much, that’s when you do that.
And then praising through the day, going through the day with gratitude, going through the day with thankfulness. Not only for the beautiful things that come up for the day, knowing that this is the faith peace, this is the deeper peace. Praising through the day knowing that the big, beautiful, bold life that you’ve always dreamed of, the freedom, the open heart, the safety, the security, knowing that that’s coming. Giving thanks for that coming into your body.
I want to thank you guys for listening in today. My prayer is that this helps some people. My prayer is that there’s people out there that this is the right time and the right place for this to come up in their lives. My prayer is that if you know somebody that can benefit from this, please share it. My prayer is that if you have questions, reach out to me on Facebook, again the best way is through the Business of Life Podcast Facebook page.
And send me a direct message, I’d love to talk with you about it, love to hear how things are going for you and yeah, I’ll do my best to respond to everybody as we continue to grow, sometimes the messages become a lot. But I don’t want you to hear it that I don’t want to hear from you, I do, I’d love to hear from you and go get it, go live that big, beautiful freedom based life. Talk to you guys soon.
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