Espresso Shot 7: Overcoming Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt

April 17, 2023 NICOA DUNNE CORNELIUS Season 1 Episode 7
Espresso Shot 7: Overcoming Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt
Show Notes Transcript

In this week's Espresso Shot, Nicoa introduces you to her tipsy BFF! Or rather the method she uses to observe herself and her behavior to uncover what she's making something mean.

Nicoa also shares what she's learned about the reptilian brain and how it can get in the way of what we truly want. This ancient part of our brains is responsible for keeping us safe. Back in the day, it protected us from threats like wild animals. Now it STILL treats stressors in our lives like lions, tigers, and bears when it doesn't have to. Hear real examples from Nicoa's coaching practice of times when overcoming anxiety or the FUD factor (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) has helped her clients create a Life by Design.

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Nicoa Coach:

sometimes don't, you just need a quick moment of inspiration. Or maybe you just need a moment of caffeinated contemplation to reflect on life. That's the idea behind my weekly Coffee with Nicoa espresso shots. I'll be sharing short jolts of inspiration in each clip. In addition to my longer Coffee with Nicoa interview episodes, make sure to subscribe so you never miss an espresso shot, or a full length Coffee with Nicoa interview created just for you. Good Monday morning, everybody. It's Nicoa coming to you with an espresso shot this Monday morning. This espresso shot is all about education. I actually had a, I started to say coaching session, which I have those frequently. As you know, I am a coach and I have a coach. But I also have a therapist. And I was reminded this week as I've been doing work on my somatic awareness, my mind connected to my body. As I do this work, I was reminded by my therapist about the reptilian brain. So just want to remind each of you a little bit about how the brain works so that as you go forth this week, you can give yourself a break. And remember that sometimes your brain overrides your deepest heart's desires, but I'm going to give you a few tips for you to be able to overcome that, just as my therapist did for me, and I did a little homework. So here's your education, your espresso shot of info, the reptilian brain, right, where the amygdala is located in your brain, it's really responsible for your instinctual or automatic behavior. So it's, sometimes it's the things that you just can't override, because it's natural to keep you safe. Historically, it is actually the the oldest part of the brain. And it's responsible for basic functions of your body like breathing, your heart rate, the body temperature, and it's also for keeping you safe from tigers and bears. But we have evolved, if you will, over the centuries over the millennia. And we now are still getting triggered by that part of our brain. But we're not really afraid of tigers and bears anymore. We're afraid of things like what people think of us and mortgage payments, and am I going to get fired? Or will I ever find a new job? Yes, that's what that reptilian brain is doing. It is the stress reactor is part of the brain that plays a really key role in processing of your emotions, particularly fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Yeah, that's right, the Fudd factor. Let me talk to you now about how we overcome that because you have the ability to, and the more we talk about this, and the more often you pause and reflect on what I am sharing with you, you actually are growing the prefrontal cortex of your brain, it's the newest and most evolved part of the brain is responsible for a range of like higher level functioning, including your decision making your planning, your problem solving. And it has the ability to override the automatic responses generated by that reptilian part of your brain. And it allows for more thoughtful and deliberate behavior. Well, we've often talked about the most annoying thing about life or I like to say most liberating thing is that you are the common denominator here for the life you want to design and the life you're trying to experience. So if you have the have access to your prefrontal cortex, which you do, then you can actually intentionally get out ahead of your thinking, and be more thoughtful and deliberate in order to change the behaviors that are no longer serving you. So let me give you an example. So imagine a person is really afraid of public speaking. And their amygdala may be triggered by the thought of speaking in front of a group actually had a couple of clients the past few weeks, who were super anxious and having anxiety attacks around speaking in front of a really large group of people. And that anxiety and that fear is a natural response. It can lead however, to avoidance behavior, or turning down opportunities where they might not be needed to speak or being asked to speak. Or maybe they simply just lose a lot of sleep and they're overly anxious and physically have reactions. And they may not even deliver exactly what they needed to be effective in their jobs. So with the help of the prefrontal cortex, when your amygdala is causing you to stress out about this opportunity to speak, it doesn't even see it as an opportunity, then that prefrontal cortex can actually say, You know what I'm going to practice. I'm going to seek out opportunities where people can give me feedback. I'm going to move through the anxiety and gradually desensitize myself from the fear response. So you can Practice and CO create ways to overcome that anxiety. But the most important thing you have to do is become the observer of you. So what do I mean by the observer, becoming an observer of oneself, and you can put your hand over your head, I make this gesture all the time, but you're on a podcast listening. So imagine your hand is over your head, and you look up, that's the true you your inner being, or I like to call her my tipsy BFF, she's up there observing me, she already knows that I'm perfect as I am, and that there's nothing that I need to change. She's there to cheer me on every step of the way. And how she does that is by observing my behavior, and then I have a relationship with her. And I asked her, What am I seeing? What are we seeing? What do we want, how's what we're doing, getting us what we want. So becoming that observer of oneself, not the Gremlin on your shoulder, the judge who's telling you to be afraid, but the observer who loves you, it's really the opportunity to look at your behavior as a central part of developing a greater sense of self awareness that can help you shift your habits and override those historic tendencies. So by observing your thoughts, your emotions, what are you making this mean? Your behaviors without judgment or attachment, we can then gain insight into the patterns and triggers that underlie our habits that are no longer serving us, or that are causing us to have anxiety. And we can then begin to make more intentional choices that align with our goals and values. So I had another example of coaching client recently, that has a habit of procrastinating. And let's say that they really, and in this case, they really found that getting stuff done was challenging, and could often cause a lot of overwhelming thoughts, and paralyzation. By observing their thoughts and emotions, when faced with the tasks at hand, they began to realize that they were avoiding the discomfort of the uncertainty or the fear of failure related to some of those tasks. But we only got there by observing what are we making it all mean, and digging deep, doing like a root cause analysis. So with this awareness, they began to develop strategies for managing those feelings related to their tasks. And they really weren't able to break their tasks, their strategy was to break their tasks into smaller, manageable steps, and reframing their mindset to focus on the process. Rather than the ultimate outcome. They got a lot more done by incorporating those types of practices. And it helped them to shift their way of doing to a way of being that was more fulfilling and satisfying. By creating that deeper, greater self awareness. They made some really intentional choices that were aligned to what mattered most for them. Some of those practices that they've incorporated include meditation, deep breathing exercises, they take many a whole bunch of breaks during the day, they're short breaks, and then they come back to the tasks at hand. But because the task has been broken down, it's a lot easier to tackle. Ultimately, the goal of all of these practices for them is to shift from a mode of reactive behavior to one of intentional action. So they actually look forward to doing the tasks they feel like they're getting more accomplished every day, because we broke it down into small tasks. And I asked you this week to think about, where are you actually in a space of reaction from your amygdala, where you have fear, uncertainty and doubt. And were you able to get out ahead of it and observe yourself and really use that prefrontal cortex, that conscious awareness to become so aware of your own thoughts, your own emotions, your own behaviors, that you too can begin to make some deliberate choices that align with your values, and help you find that greater satisfaction in your life. Through consistent practice and reflection, you can develop the self awareness and self regulation skill to a level that is by default, and very much a life by design. So pause, observe look at that inner being that BFF looking down on you have a lovely conversation with her or him and CO create some practices that will make your life easier as you move forward through the week that your espresso shot from Coffee with Nicoa Please make some comments in the comment section. Let me know what you're thinking. And any of you want to share some celebrations around practices that you've applied from this or other espresso shots or coffees with Nicoa Please share them. We want to engage with you. Thank you for subscribing. Make sure to subscribe so you never miss an espresso shot or a full length Coffee with Nicoa interview created Joe For you


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Nicoa Coach: