My Platinum Coaching & Mastermind group met in Charleston, SC for our first in-person retreat this past weekend. Each of the ten women spent one hour in front of the group. This was her time for coaching, masterminding, and getting support and clarity for new directions and ideas she is generating in her life and work.

As is always the case in situations like this, some of the presentations changed directions, and all sorts of unexpected aha’s occurred.

One of the women – I’ll call her Sylvia – became aware of a huge change that she wants to make in her life. As this awareness dawned on her, the group remarked at how her eyes lit up with a combination of both terror and excitement. It was obvious to everyone (including Sylvia herself) that she needed to do this thing.

“But, ohmigod, it’s just so scary!” she said.

I stopped her right there and shared something that happened to me in my own life recently.

I, too, am in a mastermind and coaching group. We had our first in-person meeting a few weeks ago in Florida. I returned from that with a plan laid out for a new idea around my upcoming CD release that thrills me and scares me, too. When I was telling my friend Joy all about it that week on the phone, she was giddy with excitement for me. And I said, “Yea, but ohmigod. I’m so freakin’ scared!”

Joy interrupted me, and asked a question.

She said, “Christine, how many more times do you want to say that – even to yourself – before you are just done saying it?”

What Joy was asking was this:

How much longer do you want to keep infusing this cool idea with the energy of your fear? How much longer do you want to play small and share your smallness with other people? How much time do you want to waste in fear before you’ll take the necessary action steps to move forward?

When I told Sylvia about Joy’s question, she stood up straight and said, “You’re right. I’m done. I’m done now.”

I said, “Are you sure?”

And she said, “Yea. I’m done saying it. I can do this.”

I applauded Sylvia’s clarity and courage. She knew she was moving forward with no more need for ruminating on fear.

I wasn’t nearly as brave.

When Joy posed that question to me, I had to pause and think about it.

Then I said, “Three more times.”

She said, “Yea? Three more?” And I said, “Yep. That’ll do it.”

I imagined that I was standing at a ticket booth, and someone was handing me three tickets – like they give you at the summer carnivals in the mall parking lot. I’ve used two of them since that phone call. And now that I’ve written this blog post – I’ve just pulled the last ticket stub out of my pocket and let go of that last reminder of the thing that stops us all in our tracks over and over again.

It’s okay to be scared, or overwhelmed, or nervous, or out of your comfort zone. But ask yourself this question:

How many more times do you want to say it?

37 COMMENTS ADD A COMMENT
  • Jenaveve

    When the new year clicked over I declared it to be the Year of No Fear.
    It’s working for me so far – I’m pushing myself to do all the things that terrify me (white water rafting among them!).

    Great post – thanks.

  • kristine

    I’m late reading this gem. And a good thing, too, as I got the biggest chuckle from John Roman! John, what is it about a “hen party” that scares you so much? And how many tries is it going to take for you to get over this fear? 🙂

  • laura

    wow, that was right on time. i have spent the week stressing about the fact that i am going to be a mom in six months and don’t feel ready (no day care, no nursery furniture, no diapers, no nothing!) and how i can’t relax and just enjoy the process. i constantly say how unprepared i am which completely takes away from the moments i should be enjoying. thank you for this post. i am done expressing how unprepared i am and ready to face it head on (or at least i can’t say that too many more times!) lol

  • Tracy

    John Roman,
    I’m betting you’re really the life of the party and that those around you feel incredibly empowered and encouraged. Not much appreciation for that kind of crappiness in this crowd. If you don’t like what you’re reading, try another blog.

  • Fiona Purdy

    I’m bookmarking this one

  • Slices of Beauty

    Exactly that ~ I am done now!

    Thank you Christine.

  • Diana

    This is a nice reminder for me since we just completed the first quarter of the year, and my word for the year is “Release.” Perfect. 🙂 Thanks.

  • Sue

    I needed to hear this again today. 2 more for me. Then I’m all done. 🙂

  • Tanya

    Love, love, LOVE this idea.

    Will buy my three tickets today too. Small no longer fits. My nasty saboteur (let’s call him “pompous boob”) just whispered in my ear…”go ahead, you can always buy more tickets, you know”. See why he’s a boob?

    This is a marvelous approach…thank you.
    Tanya
    http://www.tanyablog.wordpress.com

  • Ann White

    You cut right to the feeling that so many of us are carrying. I like not only that we need to recognize the negative energy with which we are bombarding our great ideas, but more humanly and importantly, I LOVE that you said: three more times. I think three more times will work for me — then move on and get going on some really super stuff. THANKS
    Reb Ann

  • J

    As always, SOO timely!! Thanks Christine!

  • John Roman

    English translation: A bunch of bourgie white women went to a seminar to explore the best way to open a boutique store in downtown Charleston, or expand on their otherwise mediocre career.

    Some of them realized they would actually have to *gasp* work and take risks.

    This caused much clucking among the hens, as they congratulated each other on this profound insight.

  • Marie

    I sort of read this in a different way – how many more times do I want to have to keep saying ‘I’m so sick of [situation], I can’t stand this, I can’t live like this, this is not how I want to live, I’m finished with [situation]’ but, guess what, all of those statements are tied up with ‘OMG I’m so freakin’ scared [of changing and leaving the situation]’ so I’m reading it differently and the same way, all at once.

    When I saw the headline I thought “yep, this is about how I’ve been spending X amount of time saying ‘I really think that I’ve had enough of [situation] and need a change”….and also “OMG I’m scared of the change.”

  • ChristineBeth

    This is a great idea and I can see many places where I’ve been blocking my ideas with my fear. Thanks for providing such a direct way to resolve this.

  • Mindful Mimi

    Christine,
    Right on again. It is funny to see how many people seem to be in the same spot in life. It’s encouraging to see I’m not alone. And your posts always help me to focus.
    Oh and you were right, the creative workshop was a success.
    Thanks
    Mimi

  • pati

    Oh, my. I’m feeling under the weather now, so I’ll be brief. A huge thank you (I’ll explain in another post). I was going to ask for good thoughts — it looks like quite a few of us could use them. So, if you feel you can spare a few, please send them. All the best, Pati

  • Patricia

    I came to this conclusion about myself recently, although not nearly as eloquently. Thank you Christine, so much for clarifying and sharing.

  • Tonya

    OMG….right before I stumbled across your blog, I was feeling major overwhelm and anxiety. You reminded me to take some nice deep breaths and ask myself if I wanted to keeping hanging on to these crappy feelings. Hello???? I don’t think so. Thanks for your refreshing words.

  • Giulietta Nardone

    Thanks for your honesty Christine!

    If it feels scary then we know we’re headed in the right direction.

    Giulietta
    Rebel at large

  • Sylvia

    Christine, I’m so glad you used up your last “ticket” with this post! Each time I tell someone new about my decision, since I chose to not view it as scary, I find myself consciously reaching for positive words – exciting, big, wonderful, liberating, etc. I have told my family, a few friends, my boss and a few co-workers. Wouldn’t you know, they are all encouraging and agreeing with me about what a wonderful and exciting time this is for me. They are picking up on my energy, which is much better for staying away from looking at the change as scary. It IS wonderful and exciting. And it will all work out effortlessly. The “how many more times do you want to say that” idea is incredibly empowering!

  • Deborah Wolfe

    Total awesomeness. OMG. Yes. I am reading (finally) Eat.Pray.Love. So much good stuff in that book and so much good stuff in this post, on this blog, in this world. Good stuff. This post wins this week’s Good Stuff award.

  • sema

    wonderful post.A great question to remember at moments of self-doubt.

  • Cyndee

    Oh Christine~
    One more time you are right on the money for what I needed to hear.
    As I step forward in this huge vision of fostering teens & finding property, so that I have a place where people come to heal, my fear shows up of how?
    I am using water in every way possible to help heal & wash those old places of fear…baths…longer showers….sitting by my fountain….drinking more water….and teas….

  • Catherine Cantieri, Sorted

    Another awesome post. This one really resonated with me. I’m on the verge of a lot of new stuff, but I keep telling myself, “I’m just scared.” Well, there’s a self-fulfilling prophecy for you! I’ll see if I need tickets or if I can just cash in that limiting belief right now. Thanks so much for writing this right now, Christine.

    p.s. “I’ll call her Sylvia” — love it! It’s becoming your version of Dave Barry’s “I am not making this up.”

  • Deanne

    Excellent concept. I like the three tickets metaphor. I might need 5:)

  • RebeccaW

    That you gave yourself 3 more times is rib-tickling, charming, and even profound, all at once. You answered a rhetorical question with a specific, and turned the whole thing into something useful that brings a smile. Love that.

  • Andi

    I was trying to talk with DH the other night to clarify some stuff. And he finally said something I’d been thinking but have been too scared to really commit to. And that is to start seeing/treating the jewelry making as a hobby, because it is not where the true juice is, and that it is ok to let it go and focus on the art quilts. (Well, he didn’t say the “ok to let go” part but I have a hard time doing stuff w/o external validation sometimes and that is what I was looking to hear). And one of the first sentences out of my mouth was the “Scared” one. But I have had some wake up calls this year (one friend diagnosed with ALS another needing a pacemaker at 29) and I know if I don’t step up and live bigger, I will be having the same conversation at 50 that I had this week at 45, and so on… Thank you for this post. 🙂

  • jenn

    Your timing, as always, is impeccable. I was just having a conversation with a friend last night where we both were talking about how scared we are to start doing the research for our dissertations. And now I’m going to stop talking about the fear, start getting the support that will help me get through it, and just do it already. Thank you for the reminder that this is what I want to be doing, rather than dwelling on the fear.

  • Positively Present

    This message will resonate with so many people (including me!). For the most part, we are repetative creatures. We do the same things over and over again. We say the same things over and over again. Which means we really need to give some thought to the ideas we are reinforcing in our minds. Are they positive? Are they encouraging and supportive? This post as really made me think about what’s going on in my mind and made me ask myself the question, “How many more times do I want to say that?”

  • Mark Lewis

    I had a very similar experience starting my business. Once I got over that fear of failure I was able to get started and be productive.

    Things can get complicated when it’s not just you saying ohmygod. Ultimately, for me, this aspect became motivating because now I know I can prove them wrong.

  • Lynne

    This actually made me well up with tears — your message seems laser targeted for me right now. Thank you so much…

  • Rebecca

    I’m going to echo what Tracy said – it always seems as though your post content comes at the exact moment I need it. I keep saying what I want over and over. But when I make strides to make my life choice happen, I have a two things that I say that I know prevents me from moving forward. One of those two things I have, as of this moment, let go. That leaves the second one, which I’m giving myself two more times to say, than that is it.
    So profound and eye opening, Christine, thank you!

  • Judy Wilder-Dalton

    Wow, what a ahhha moment! Really rings clear for me.

  • Tracy

    Hi Christine,
    As usual, your post is right on the mark for my current “big change” situation. I decided unconsciously to be done with the scared part 2 days ago. What an affirmation to hear you articulate the process today. I will officially say here that I am done with adding scared to the adventure. Thank you. Your work is a big contribution to my life.

  • Sandy

    Thanks! As always, I needed that. I am trying to decide if another degree that I know would make me happy, open up new career opportunities, and might help me work towards my “ultimate” goal is the right move. Just writing that sentences tells me it is. It was just the hard that was holding me back.

    Thanks for giving it a name. I am done now!

  • i let it go

    Wow! Profound post.

  • Rhiannon

    Fantastic post Christine – and perfect timing for me to read it. I am just pulling the last elements together for an exhibition that opens on Tuesday – the first that I have done all the organisation and promotion for myself. And at regular intervals I’ve had the “this is too scary” thought. Actually, the exhibition itself is not the really scary part. The scary part is having to do the publicity and “reveal”. As of now, I’m just sticking with my declared intention ( from your post a little while ago) that the exhibition will be “successful and enjoyable” and I have finished with feeling scared about the tasks surrounding it. Best wishes, Rhiannon

    PS – Good luck with your CD plans..really looking forward to hearing it 🙂