Fear & Procrastination

Recently, a friend of mine sent me an email which I found so thought provoking, I asked her if I could share it with you. Here it is, with my subheads.

Ceil begins

“I understand what fear and its resulting procrastination can do to a person. I’m reading a book written by a Buddhist, The Wishing Year by Noelle Oxenhandle. I particularly like what Noelle says about worrying, and I’ll paraphrase:

The Wishing Year

Like wishing, worrying is a form of magical thinking, one that springs from the deeply held belief that our thoughts can affect what in the world around us. But worrying, it seems, is the shadow side of wishing. For it begins not with the vision of something desired but of something feared, something to be repelled. And whereas desire is a powerful of fuel for actually making something happen, fear is less so. Rather than energizing us, motivating us to action, it tends to deplete us, to make feel helpless, overwhelmed, lying there flat on our back in the darkness.

My friend continues:

“Socrates, who lived in the 4th century B.C., said that happiness does not depend on external circumstances or material resources but on one’s capacity to know what is good and true and to act accordingly.”

Noelle said, “To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. It’s not possible to make a single path by just one step. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. It won’t do anything if we just think it once.”

Ceil again

“I know it’s New Age thinking to celebrate the mind’s ability to transform their circumstances, but I believe in adding to that basic knowledge our belief that through Christ, we can do all things that strengthen us.

I’m going to read Victor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning (which he forged in the crucible of Auschwitz), and I suggest you do, too. This book can help us make, ‘Belief Changes.” In other words:

  • We will never allow a single sale of our written work to be the measure of who we are or who we will become.
  • The second belief change involves re-framing. it takes one signing for us to succeed at the first big step of being a published author. So, instead of focusing on that singular step, let’s look at each critique of our work as a small step toward our goal and celebrate that. Say the signing is worth $500.00. Well, if each step was worth $25.00, then it would take 20 critiques to possibly get to that signing. Let’s celebrate each of the $25.00  20 steps.

I don’t want you to think I’m reducing Frankl’s great work, written under horrific circumstances, to one of searching only for moolah, but I think it’s an acceptable application.

Also, let’s read Kitchen Table Wisdom by the physician Rachel Naomi Remen.    Let’s think about positive thinkers – the affluent affirmers, the manifest-your-dream, create-your-own-reality believers, and all those expecting radical favor, blessings, and the best cut of the meat in the deli.”

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