1: to be afraid of : expect with alarm <fear the worst>
One thing I learned about working in the Cannabis Industry is that many of the original founders as well as current leaders and workers are fearless. They have faced jail, failed crops, media, and ridicule fromn the public. Yet they continue to push on. They seemingly ignore fear of failure because they have been given an opportunity, a privilege, to do something amazing, create an industry, and live a life of purpose. It’s a movement. I think that we can all learn to apply the same fearlessness by making our life a movement. I know for me as a leader in this wild ride of an industry I have learned to apply my fearless nature to my daily work. My hope is that in the midst of all the crazy new fears we are facing as a society you can take this entry and face your fears, regardless of what they are.
January 30, 1971 - ?
That, is my feeble timeline. The magic all happens in the dash between those two dates. When you look at your life this way you see how small that dash really is. You have so little time to do amazing things. Why not be the best leader in your company NOW? Why not be the BEST parent NOW? Why not be the best partner NOW? For most of us it’s because we are afraid to stand up, step up and speak up.
You can fear making a mistake because you think you may be perceived as being stupid. You can worry that society will judge you. You can be afraid of failure because you speak your mind. You can live a safe life free of risk and lacking the pure joy of great success. By having that perception, you are giving into the fear. The lesson I learned a long time ago is that those things outside me, the external influencers, are not able to CREATE FEAR. In fact they have no power unless I grant it.
In her book, RAISING CHILDREN THAT THINK FOR THEMSELVES, Elisa Medhus wrote,
“We are raising children to be externally rather than internally directed. In other words, we are teaching them to make choices in life to gain the approval and acceptance of others. Internal direction is the key to a child growing up believing that there is nothing outside of them which can bring them joy.”
What trigger is launching your fear?
Cannabis consumption has a funny way of ridding your mind of the useless daily “to dos” and turning on your creative reflective head space. Once during a cannabis assisted meditation, I was transported back to a time when my childhood was altered forever. I remembered my sister, developmentally disabeled and often explosive in behavior, exiting her school bus. It was my job to make sure she did so safely and made it to my mom’s apartment for snack. Her disability often made this process ugly. It was not uncommon for me to be attacked by her with a well-placed lunchbox or foot to the face. Not exactly the High Life, but she was my responsibility in those moments.
That experience changed my life in ways I never expected and created fear in me that, until my meditation, I never understood. Suddenly, everything was clear. My biggest fear was failing my parents, my sister, and myself. I was abused my my sister (albeit accidentally) in a way that stuck the fear of “making a mistake” to me like infused cannabis oil sticks to chocolate.
Childhood fears run deep. When triggered, we unconsciously and subconsciously go back to reacting like that scared child. Like everything that is learned, we simply react without thinking. By doing this, however, we are allowing our hurt, inner child to take the keys to our adulthood. The question is, should a hurt child be driving your adult life?
There are a few steps I utilize when facing my own fears. I will outline these below, but first I want to share a story with you that changed my life forever.
A BAG….OR A BOX?
Once I was traveling and noticed a man trying to get through security with a bag full of powder. At a glance, he looked suspicious. Was he a terrorist? Would we all be running for our lives, having been exposed to some harmful, toxic agent? While the hearts of everyone in line thumped and we readied ourselves for a fight or flight response, the man was surrounded by armed security. As it turned out, the man and his wife were vacationing in Denver when she suddenly died. The man was strapped for cash and it wasn’t clear if he had a life insurance policy on her or not. In any event, the only way he could afford to bring his beloved back was to cremate her and put her remains in a bag.
Watching this situation evolve was somehow cathartic for me. We will all someday be in a bag or a box. (Hopefully not one being examined by TSA.) Either way, we will cease to exist on this planet. While the fear her remains caused was potentially real, if manipulated by constant reminders about potential terrorism in the media, what fears led to the situation her husband was facing? Financial problems? Poor planning? How much longer will you allow fear to dominate your decisions? Knowing that you ARE going to die, what decisions that you are afraid to make can you now make?
The next time you are faced with a fear, say to yourself,
“I am feeling fear in this moment because I believe (name the belief). I accept that I am afraid, but realize that this fear is not real. This belief was given to me as a child or by a circumstance: (name or situation). It is therefore not my fear at all.”
Next, ask yourself this: “What if I found a better feeling thought than this? What if I imagined what this situation would be like if I was not afraid? What if I became the observer of this fear and gave it no power? How would I act then?
Finally, take a different action than you would have previously taken. This does not need to be a quantum leap. Small steps work best. Say someone is yelling at you or treating you poorly and you feel the fear rising, take a moment of breath and build a boundary. Sometimes taking a step back and out of the room will be the best thing you can do to create a buffer between someone else’s behavior and the correct action to deal with it. Doing something slightly brings new awareness to the moment and brings about longer-term change.
When facing fear literally say to yourself:
1) “I admit that I am afraid.”
2) “I know that this fear is false and made up by me in my own head.”
3) “If I created it, then I can choose a better feeling thought.”
4) If all this fails, at the end of the day, injest a little cannabis and try it again. After all, it works too!