Don’t Let Fear Sabotage Your Dream

worry less nowDo you have a dream or goal,  but you just can’t get yourself to pursue it? Every time you think about working on it, you find tons of reasons to put it off, or tell yourself you just can’t do it.

In short, you sabotage your dream in spite of your passion for it. It’s a horrible feeling: you’re inspired to do something but too afraid to actually do it.

I’ve been there.  In 2011, I suddenly had a desire to write a book to help people overcome negative thinking. As I wove together my personal stories, techniques, and exercises, I hit more than a few blocks. Fortunately, I was able to complete a first draft with support from other authors and an energy therapist.

After an editor and some other readers suggested major changes to my first draft, fear almost sabotaged my dream by whispering, What if the changes ruin it? How could I possibly do that much rewriting?  Would it ever be “good enough?” What will happen when I share so many personal details about me and my family?

Recently, I ran across a journal entry from that time in 2015. My writing had come to a halt and I was seeking a way forward.

Providence Moves

W.H. Murray wrote, “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.”

Providence moved when I found four questions that freed me up to pursue my dream (the questions may be from The War of Art by Steven Pressfield). Here are the answers I wrote to those questions.

What painful ideas are keeping me from finishing my book?

– I’ll miss out on lots of fun

– I hate the idea of marketing after I finish

– It might not be good enough

– I dread the publishing process

What pleasure can be gained from finishing it?

– Doing what I’m probably here for: teaching kindness and love

– Finding out that the ideas I’ve presented have helped others

– Holding it in my hands, beautiful and complete!

– Knowing that I accomplished this monumental task

What will it cost me if I do not do this?

– I’ll feel embarassed because a lot of people know about it

– I would let down the part of me that’s inspiring me to do this

– Ego would have a victory

– I would feel self-hatred and shame

– I would continue to be jealous of other successful authors

Why is completing my book so important?

– I want others to be able to use the many concepts, tools, and actions I’ve learned so they can be free of worry/fear, and be more loving, happy, and content

– It shares who I am with readers so they can see my difficult times and be inspired to grow past theirs

– It is a useful resource-book–a compendium of many helpful tools

– I want to show myself that I can do this really challenging thing

Worry Less Now by Gigi LangerThe answers to these questions proved to be very powerful motivators. Within a year, I had completed chapters 5-7, and by 2017 I had an advance copy ready for reviewers. Then in February 2018, I released the completed book,

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the great reviews and the national award “50 Ways to Worry Less Now” won. It just goes to show that fear can NOT sabotage our dreams when we have enough tools to break through it!

For specific tools to overcome negativity and worry, check out my book “50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection.” 

worry less nowGigi Langer is the former “Queen of Worry” who  holds an MA in Psychology and PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. She is a popular speaker who has helped thousands of people improve their lives at home and work. Gigi hasn’t had a drug or drink for over 30 years, and lives happily in Michigan with her husband, Peter and her cat, Murphy.

A Stalled Dream: Procrastination Part 2

Have you ever worked to fulfill a dream, only to have it stall? Suddenly, the specter of procrastination sets in. No progress. Just an abandoned to-do list, mocking you from its lonely spot on your desk.

Since releasing 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection six months ago, I’ve enjoyed offering talks/workshops, participating in lots of FB groups, and doing some low-key ads in social media. And the results have amazed me. Not only is the book selling really well, but I’ve connected at the heart-level with so many amazing people. Thank you all for that.

Ever since I took a week off,  however, my dream’s been stalled because I’ve resisted doing more “marketing”—a word I still haven’t embraced. But, as they say, “If you wrote it, you gotta promote it!”

Perhaps I was just tired after all the effort of the past year. So,  I waited, rested,  and practiced self-care by praying, exercising, writing in my journal, meeting with growth partners, and working on some projects with my husband, Peter.

During this time, I discovered a bonus: While procrastinating one one thing, you can get a shitload of other stuff done! Since I didn’t want to do the “big things” on my list, I did the little ones I’d been putting off. For example, that foot doctor appointment (check!) , a call to my neighbor (check!), and the book I’ve been wanting to read (check!).  That all felt pretty good. But I still wasn’t working on marketing.

Here’s the practice that turned things around: the daily use of David-Ji’s meditation “Manifesting All You Desire” (on Insight Timer). As I followed his guiding words, the golden energy of my “agni” chakra dissolved all resistance, and I reclaimed my commitment to my dream: to encourage others’ happiness and growth.

Now I’m ready to go back into action by creating more ads, making a video, recording an audio-book, and scheduling more speaking engagements. Rather than seeing these actions as marketing, I now see them as connecting in care and love with others. Now, that, I can go for!

Even when we’re stuck, growth practices like these can help us gain courage and resolve our challenges in perfect order. Isn’t that great to know? Rock on!

worry less nowGigi Langer is a former “Queen of Worry.” She’s also an educator, speaker, and author of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection, winner of the 2018 Indie Excellence Award. Available through Amazon (5 stars), Barnes and Noble, and e-book sites.

Langer holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education and an MA in Psychology, both from Stanford. As Georgea M. Langer, she has published several books for teachers and school administrators.

Beat the Procrastination Habit! Part 1

procrastination

I’ve struggled far too often with procrastination.

Today I’m telling myself I should get this next promotion up on my website. But it involves some new skills– and I find that a little intimidating; besides, look at all the other things begging for my attention! So, there the promotion reminder sits, day after day, becoming more and more drenched in guilt. I’ll get to it; right after I write this blog!

I’ve had a lot of experience with my procrastination habit, and I’ve found a few techniques that help me get even the most unpleasant tasks done. I hope they work for you, too. Read all the way to the bottom for one of the most powerful tips. Good luck!!

Make a list of the things you both want and need to get done in the near future. Breathe and tell yourself that you do Not have to get it all done today.

Identify today’s tasks. Put a star next to the ones that must be done today. For example, “order ___” or “shop for food” or “write ___ report.” Write these items on a new list so it doesn’t look so long and overwhelming. (Place a “?” next to ones you’re not sure about.)

Identify important, but not urgent, items. On the first big list, circle the ones that will ultimately improve your life or work. For example, “exercise” or “meet with ___ (an emotionally healthy friend)” or “write __proposal.”  Put those important-but-not-urgent items on a different list  and schedule them in your calendar. I sometimes place a “?” next to each one to indicate that if I don’t get to it, I can move it to another day. (But I never delete it!)

Here’s how to get started on today’s list.

1 Pick one easy thing to do first. Do that one thing and pat yourself on the back. Then go get a cup of coffee or tea. Smile!

2 Return to your work space and look at the item you just crossed off. Breathe in and feel good about doing that one thing. Do NOT think about the rest of the list for now.

Select another item and proceed as in steps 1 and 2.,

4 If you get tense, worried, or resistant: Go somewhere private. Take a few belly-inflating breaths and loosen your jaw and shoulders. Get quiet. Tell yourself, “I only need to do one more thing on this list. I can come back to it later. It will all get done.” Then return to the list and select another item.

Here’s another powerful tip: Set a timer for 5–15 minutes and tell yourself you can stop working on the list when it rings. If you feel like continuing when it rings, then set it for another 5–15 minutes. This “takes you off the hook” of thinking that the only success is finishing the entire list, and allows you to congratulate yourself for completing the 5–15 minutes instead.

I hope these tips help you beat the procrastination habit. They sure work for me!

worry less now reviewsGigi Langer is a former “Queen of Worry.” She’s also an educator, speaker, and author of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now, winner of the Indie Excellence Award. Learn to defeat negative thinking, find inner peace, attain clarity, and improve relationships–no matter what is going on in your life! Available through Amazon (5 stars), Barnes and Noble, and e-book sites.

Langer holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education and an MA in Psychology, both from Stanford. As Georgea M. Langer, she’s published several books for teachers and school administrators.