How to Live Your Dream When You're Scared to Death.

Did something scare you today? This week? This year? What really scares you? An angry boss? A lost client? A problem without a solution? Zombies?

And more importantly, what does your fear make you do? Do you shut down? Make quick decisions without thinking?

When you're scared, you make emotional decisions. Sometimes they are rational and sometimes they are irrational. Sometimes these decisions turn into irrational actions.

For example, did you ever blow up over something that turned out to be quite inconsequential? I tend to 'lose it' on myself when I accidentally drop something when cooking in the kitchen. In retrospect, it was an accident, I didn't plan for it, and I mistakenly dropped a dish of food. But I still 'lost it' on myself. I wasn't scared, but I still acted irrationally.

It happens to the best of us. I help my clients look at their lives as a huge long line or spectrum with being 'totally in-control' at one end and 'totally out-of-control' at the other end. Most of the time, when we're scared, we tend to feel that we have moved from the safe, in-control extreme to the perilous out-of-control extreme.

But that's not true. We've just moved a little bit on our control line. Here's a little secret: We're never really totally in-control either. Someone or some thing, somewhere has a bit of control over us or has the ability to careen us out-of-control.  For example, our health, our kids, our spouse/partner, work, finances, etc. all can quickly have an immediate impact on our control system.

The faster you realize you are never in complete control AND that you are never in complete chaos, the faster you will move from being scared to a more meditative sense of reality. Realize that we spend our lives moving along this 'control' line without fear — we're just trying to get things done, we hit a road-block, and we solve that problem and move on.

Here are some rules I adhere to:

1. You are not at the far (deep) end of the out-of-control line. You've moved a bit out of control, don't be scared, and realize a small action can bring you back in control quickly. Don't stay in one place and begin to emotionalize your reaction. Worrying about what might happen will never really help you — you need to think rationally about your options and take action.

2. Take one small step. One micro-task which will allow you to start moving in the right direction and begin to feel better about your situation. Again, if you do nothing, you'll go nowhere. Even if you move backwards, at least you're moving — you can always course correct.

3. "Action expresses priorities." - Gandhi. Once you take action — any action — you will begin to stop worrying/being scared and start to make further decisions to help you get back into a control situation. Movement or action begins to eliminate most worry and fear. Get out of that haunted house ASAP!

Let me know how this works — the last thing I want you doing is spending a beautiful spring, scared, full of fear and stranded in worry. Life is SO much better than that.

The Most Important Thing You Should Do In The Shower.

My 13-year-old son hit me with a blinding insight the other day. "Dad, why are you so happy when I get home? I'm tired from school and practice and you're all excited when I walk through the door!"

After I stopped laughing, we sat down, I reflected and told him, "I love my life."

"I love you, your Mom and your brother at college. We're healthy, we have a roof over our heads, we're never hungry, and I love what I do for a living."

I added, "We have lots of friends and our families are doing just fine. And the best part? It's getting cold outside and we get to fire up our wood stove every night (it's something we both love to do)."

When was the last time you said "I love my life"? Candidly, it doesn't take a lot. I didn't mention grand palatial estates, world travel, chauffeured limos in the driveway, or pile of gold and diamonds everywhere. I mentioned what REALLY matters in your life — your relationships, your health, and what's happening right now. Don't project into the future and worry. Don't fall back into the past and feel guilty.

Stay in the present — acknowledge and feel gratitude for all the special things in your life RIGHT NOW. Every morning when you take a shower, I want you to go through all the good things happening in your life. Think about each one while you meditate under the water coming out of the shower. Try to do it every day.

Gratitudes are better than a cup of coffee! Try it.

When The Worst Thing You Can Imagine Happens.

Yesterday, I wrote about fear. Sometimes our fear of the worst that can happen paralyzes us. We don't move. We do nothing. Here's the reality — the worst almost never happens. Maybe 1 time in 100 or 1000. But we act and react as it it's right around the corner. We act as if it's a certainty.