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This month's article comes to you from Quinn McDonald at QuinnCreative.com
and provides some great tips on dealing with fear and uncertainty. We
hope Quinn helps you accomplish your goals.
The FNO Staff
Dealing With Fear and
Uncertainty by Quinn McDonald
When you own your business, you have freedom to set your schedule and
choose your clients. You also have freedom from a regular paycheck,
reduced healthcare costs, and shoving the blame for bad decisions
somewhere else. Not all freedoms are equal.
Looking at my schedule, I see it's not as full as last month's. I
immediately feel fear, financial stress, and worry. That's how I face
most problems. Trouble is, those emotions don't solve problems. So I
sit down to a meeting with my fear and stress. This is actually a great
form of meditation. Instead of pushing all thoughts out of my head, as
many ways of meditation instruct, I invite fear, uncertainty, and
stress in. I sit with them, and ask them what they have to contribute.
"If you don't get work soon, you will lose the house," Fear said,
getting right to the bottom line.
"But you only know training and writing and journaling, and that isn't
being used in this economy," said Uncertainty, "and you don't know
anything about wielding a shovel for all those shovel-ready projects,"
"You are too old to get back to school, and that would take too long to
retrain you, so you better stop eating or driving, because you are in
bad trouble," Stress said.
"Thanks for letting me know, " I said, "but once we've established all
that, what comes next? You've told me what isn't working, but what can
I do that will work?"
Fear, Uncertainty and Stress were quiet. Fear spoke up first. "Well, if
you don't do something, you will be in big trouble."
"OK," I said, "But that's the same thing you already said. I want to
hear something I can do, undertake, think about." Again, Fear,
Uncertainty and Stress were quiet. They had not been quiet for a long
time. Every time I sat down to meditate, they would clamor so loudly
that I could not meditate. I spent all my time chasing them out of my
By inviting them in, listening to them, and asking for specifics, they
had exhausted their efforts in the shortest of time. So we sat there,
in silence, until I said, "Well, I teach several courses on journaling.
I could write a workbook on one of them, and that would reach a bigger
audience. And my friend Helen has some really good art ideas, maybe we
could put a class together that neither one of us could teach
Fear, Uncertainty and Stress immediately began to talk over each other,
bringing up reasons why neither of those ideas would work. And I argued
with them, facing each objection, thinking it through, and answering it.
At the end of the hour of meditation, I had a plan. I would spend a
portion of the next month writing the workbook, another part looking
for coaching clients, and another part working with Helen to see if we
could develop an interesting, fun class.
I felt happy and hopeful. Because I sat down with Fear, Uncertainty,
and Stress and listened to them, I saw that they didn't really have
good ideas. They were disruptive and bothersome, but the more I chased
them out of my meditation space, the more time and effort they used.
Inviting them in and facing them reduced their importance and gave me
enough space to come up with ideas that might work. Arguing with them
allowed me to overcome objections and refine the plan, to put a time
limit on my efforts, and to create time to do it.
Meditation is not sitting in perfect inspiration. It's work, and it
doesn't always demand an empty mind. Just a clear one.
Quinn McDonald owns
QuinnCreative, a business that offers coaching, training, and writing
services. She is writing a book on One-Sentence Journaling. Contact her
(c) All rights reserved. 2009.
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