I met my climbing partner at the gym last Tuesday and he looked like he’d had an overnight flight from Tokyo.
“You OK? You look like shit.”
“I woke up last night at three and couldn’t get back to sleep. I’m completely stressed out.”
To say his life is perfect might be a slight exaggeration but it’s pretty damn amazing. He owns a small web development company and has successfully grown to eight people in a distributed workforce that hums along 24×7 with developers in Canada, the Ukraine, France and England. He lives in Chamonix with a beautiful wife and works when he wants.
His problem is that he needs to find something to worry about.
He has never fully addressed his Fear Frontier© and until he does he’ll go on waking up in the wee hours and missing out on the joy of life for fear of the future. Sound familiar?
In my upcoming book, Fear is Fuel, I share the neuroscience of how to find courage and confidence. One of the primary explorations is discovering your most influential trauma from when you were between 7 – 12 years old. That’s your Fear Frontier©
Mining the depths of your psyche for that early trauma can help you recognize specific defense mechanisms you developed before your pre-frontal cortex fully developed. Mechanisms to “protect” yourself. Only then can you reveal how those reactions both serve you and hold you back. Like it says in the Book of Life: “The compulsive need to worry is evidence that – somewhere in a past we haven’t fully unpacked and understood.”
Your Fear Frontier© creates hidden anxieties because you have never properly consolidated that traumatic memory from your childhood. Memories form with two halves: an episodic memory (which is just the facts) and an emotional memory attached to those facts (how you felt at that moment). The science of neuroplasticity proves we can change emotions associated with our episodic memories. Doing that will release anxiety.
If you want to be fully present and see how great life can be, then unpack your past and figure out what your event or series of events was. What happened that scared or traumatized you as a youth? Then gradually you can see how it effects your life today. That is one of the biggest steps toward leading a courageous and anxiety-free life. It’s one my climbing partner has started to work on as well.
If this has been useful or insightful, please pre-order a copy of my book Fear is Fuel. I wrote it after six years of research to show anyone how to find courage and confidence and live the most amazing life possible.