Archive for fear

What’s Your Anthem?

What’s my Anthem? I need an Anthem???

Yes! In fact you may need more than one. An anthem is a song or speech or poem – or whatever it is that works for you – that you want played loudly (over the PA system, through your earphones, or just in your head) as you walk, practically petrified, through the daunting arenas of your life.

I have Arenas? You mean with lions and bulls???

Well, not exactly real lions and bulls, although there are certainly times in the arena when we feel like we’re about to be eaten alive. Sometimes simply showing up as who we really are and saying what we really think, can feel just that dangerous.

I know you’ve experienced this. Maybe your arena is a board room, a sales pitch, a stage, or even being present for a difficult conversation with someone you love. Perhaps you could’ve used an anthem in school when you faced that all-important test or, worse, the principal’s office. Yikes.

There is a way, though, to make stepping into your arena, with your anthems playing, less scary – even rewarding.

It’s the Daring Way™.

Watch for more to come about that. Today I’m here to tell you about  anthems.

The other day I was writing to the members of a Daring Way™ group I’m running. I was elaborating on an assignment, reminding them to come to this week’s session with the names of their anthems.

Originally, the exercise was for them to pick a song by which they feel uplifted, encouraged, and remind them of how brave and magnifecent they are, and what authentic gifts they bring. But since music doesn’t affect everyone the way it does me (or Brené Brown who chose to include this exercise in her Daring Way™ program), I extended the assignment to include anything that empowers them to be themselves out loud.

What about a playlist?

Making a list of examples to send them turned out to be so fun for me, that I didn’t want to stop! And I didn’t want to keep that list all to myself and them either. So, you’re in luck! I’m posting it here for you.

I do have one caveat (and confession): This list is by no means complete. Which is why I didn’t want to stop when I was making the list of examples. There are so many more great candidates! Maybe I’ll get to those in a later post (or posts), but for now, you’ll hane to just enjoy these.

Music:

Poems by:

  • Billy Collins
  • David Whyte
  • Derek Walcott
  • Emily Dickenson
  • Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī (Rumi)
  • John O’Donohue
  • Lucille Clifton
  • Mary Oliver
  • Maya Angelou
  • Naomi Shihab Nye
  • Oriah Mountain Dreamer
  • Pablo Neruda
  • Richard Gilbert
  • Shamseddin Mohammad (Hafiz or Hafez)
  • Shel Silverstein

Books by:

  • Alice Walker
  • Anne Lamott
  • Bill Wilson
  • Brené Brown
  • Charlotte Kasl
  • Christiane Northrup
  • Dale Carnegie
  • Daniel Gilbert
  • David Schwartz
  • Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Julia Cameron
  • Hermann Hesse
  • Laura Overstreet Biering! 🙂
  • Louise Hay
  • Marianne Williamson
  • Nancy Blair
  • Napoleon Hill
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Pema Chödrön
  • Randy Pausch
  • Rick Tamlyn
  • SARK
  • Sonia Choquette
  • Sue Monk Kidd
  • Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Viktor Frankl, or maybe even

Quotes from:

  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Albert Einstein
  • Anne Frank
  • Ben Franklin
  • Betty Friedan
  • Beverly Sills
  • Billy Jean King
  • Eleanor, Franklin, or Theodore Roosevelt
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  • Elizabeth Kübler-Ross
  • Erica Jong
  • Gloria Steinem
  • Helen Keller
  • Henry Ford
  • Indira or Mahatma Gandhi
  • Jimmy Carter
  • John or Robert Kennedy
  • Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  • Malala Yousafza
  • Martha Graham
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Mother Teresa
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Ovid
  • Richard Branson
  • Rosa Parks
  • Steve Jobs
  • Susan B. Anthony
  • Vince Lombardi
  • Walt Disney
  • Warren Buffett
  • William James

Also… there are some inspiring Academy Awards Acceptance Speeches (see my March 13th blog post to get you started with these), and there are some awesome TED talks (get the top 1o here) and TEDx talks (get the top 10 here)…

OK. Since I have other things to do today, and I’m sure you do, too, I’ll stop here.

Now it’s your turn.

Pleeeeeease, even if it’s only one a day, take these like vitamins – try them out, take them in, and decide which ones make you feel the best. Then make your own list. You can start by “cheating off of my paper.” Then, before you know it, you’ll be choosing anthems seemingly written for you.

And please check back in with me here so I can “cheat off of your paper, too.” I hope you have fun perusing my anthems and then picking yours. Why?

Because it’s time to march confidently into your arenas, head held high ( even if you’re quaking in your boot), with your anthems turned up to 11!

 

PS I apologize for not providing you links to every single item above, but that would have surely gotten me in trouble with the Google police. And “ain’t nobody got time for that!”

Laura Spills It

Hey – remember me? It’s been a while, I know. Why? Because I was afraid  of what you’d think of me if I came clean.

That’s right! I, Laura Biering – the RiskADay Coach, the one who works with people on their courage, self-esteem, and confidence, the one who leads and teaches using the Brené Brown texts, “The Gifts of Imperfection” and “Daring Greatly,” and the one who is soon to be a Certified Daring Way Facilitator – was afraid. And, instead of using the fear to propel me forward, I reverted back to an old, bad habit, and I let the fear stop me from engaging in one of the things I most believe in – authentic communication and connection.

This habit, by the way, the one we have of letting fear stop us, isn’t one I recommend cultivating.

When I look back on the fact that not writing you on a regular basis is a way of not walking my talk, a way of not honoring my values of authenticity, connection, contribution, creativity, vulnerability, and integrity (to name a few), the feeling I get is just this side of excruciating…

… except for when I “protected” myself from those feelings. I put the word protected in quotation marks because, I assure you,  any reprieve I got from choosing not to think about my fear and the associated inaction was always short-lived. And the agony was always worse when the period of attempting to protect myself was over.

(Note: My translation of “protection” here roughly like this: engaging in some form self-distancing, self-destructive behavior such as isolating, overeating, hiding my real feelings, judging myself unkindly, playing too many computer games, and otherwise procrastinating on doing important tasks or having important conversations.)

Again, as much fun as all of that sounds, it’s still not recommended.

You see, I’m super excited about the work I’m doing with Brené Brown and her team – working on, and getting closer to, becoming fully certified to deliver her program, The Daring Way™, by the end of the year (fingers crossed).

And, I’m super excited about offering this amazing work, which is somehow simultaneously deeply powerful and user-friendly. I’m looking forward to sharing it with more of my individual clients, as well as with groups (both in-person and via webinar) and retreat participants at my farm in Southeast Georgia. And who knows where else!

So what’s the catch???

Well, in the midst of all this super excitement, there’s something I’m not excited about. That is the fact that that in order to actually do any of this work, and for there to be actual people with me while I’m doing it, those people have to know about it. And this means I have to promote it.

Ugh.

Here’s the thing, though. This challenge affords me the opportunity to apply for myself what I’ll be facilitating others to do for themselves.

And isn’t that what we want in our teachers, leaders, and mentors? To have been there, to have survived, and to have found their way back to share with us what they learned while on the other side, the side of the muck and confusion, of desperation and fear?

It’s what I want. It’s who I want to be.

What about you? Is there a way you know you want to be, but haven’t yet been able to muster the courage? I’ll bet you won’t have to look too far to find at least one thing that falls in that category. I know I didn’t.

So, I forge ahead, writing this blog post, and committing to you to write even more – and more consistently – in the future.

And now, for another reason why writing this post was so scary to me  (drum roll, please…): I am posting a *picture of me with Brené. Why is this so scary? When you see it, you’ll know. It’s a darling picture of her, and a, well, let’s just say less than darling picture of me. And, I’m posting the picture here anyway.

Laura_and_Brene_during_the_hottest_summer_in_Houston_ever_Sept._2011_optimized-001Laura Biering and Brené Brown, in September of 2011, at the National Connections Training in Houston Texas, during one of the hottest summers on record there – the hottest since 1892!

Hey – you’re still here – that picture didn’t run you off.  Thank you!

Thanks, in fact, for being a part of my world – no matter what part of our world you live in. And thanks for being someone I can be honest with, which includes “spilling it” about the fact that I, too, get afraid, and sometimes I let that fear hold me back.

I’m grateful there are also times when I use the fear to propel me forward. May we all have more of those moments.

Amen.

PS Speaking of being propelled forward, here’s another risk: Please check out the cool groups and retreats I have coming up. All the details are at this link: – Creating a Wholehearted Life – The Daring Way™ – and of course. you can call me to can chat about it, if you have questions.

The bottom line is that if any of what I’ve said here or what I say on the Creating a Wholehearted Life – The Daring Way™ web page resonates with you, it would be my honor to have you join me and others like us on The Daring Way™ journey (and for you to get a bargain by bringing a friend, too).

Sure, stepping more fulling into being your authentic self more of the time, in more places, and with more people may be scary, but, at least for me, it’s a heck of a lot less scary than living in the aforementioned muck and confusion, desperation and fear.

So, won’t you join me?

*My sincere thanks goes out to Indrani Goradia for taking this photo.

Lean In or Lean Back?

Which is right for you? Take a look at this HuffPost video and decide for yourself.

And in case the hyperlink above doesn’t work, copy and paste this into your browse – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/30/lean-in_n_5419559.html.

Can’t wait to hear what you think!
Laura

(International Day of) Happiness – Our Right and Responsibility

Laura_B_IMG-1952_optimized verticalIn an effort to acknowledge and promote happiness as a universal desire, the United Nations proclaimed yesterday, March 20, to be the International Day of Happiness.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “The pursuit of happiness lies at the core of human endeavors. People around the world aspire to lead happy and fulfilling lives free from fear and want, and in harmony with nature. Let us reinforce our commitment to inclusive and sustainable human development and renew our pledge to help others. When we contribute to the common good, we ourselves are enriched. Compassion promotes happiness and will help build the future we want.”

And to every word of that, I say amen! In fact… What if we all reinforced our commitments “to inclusive and sustainable human development” and our pledges “to help others?” What might happen then? Oooh – just the thought of that makes me happy! So, even though it’s the day after, or month after, or years later, depending on when you are reading this post, let’s join together in remembering that happiness is among our inalienable rights. and that it is our right and responsibility to foster that in ourselves and the lives of others.

Thanks for reading… and stay tuned for the next post, which is about what the UN says the face of happiness looks like!

 

PS This picture of me was taken by the talented Cindy Brown!

Three, Three, Three Cs in One Post!

For the last several days, I’ve been at the farm – walking, writing, dreaming, and planning. A large part of my work here has been creating content in preparation for delivering discussions, workshops, and retreats on the ground-breaking work of Dr. Brené Brown. As you probably know, I’ve been studying with her and her team since September of 2011. I’m currently authorized to offer her work, and soon, I’ll be Certified!

You may know of Dr. Brown from her best-selling books, I Thought It Was Just Me, The Gifts of Imperfection, and Daring Greatly, or from seeing her TED talks from 2010 and 2012. Or maybe you’ve come to know her more recently, perhaps from seeing her two appearances on SuperSoulSunday with Oprah Winfrey.

What does all of this have to do with the AB…Zs of Self-Care series? Well, because of this immersion into her work, I’ve decided that in this blog post, I’ll have not one word inspired by the letter C, but three! And these three are… Courage, Compassion, and Connection.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that these words were already of huge importance to me, even before I started working with Brené.  That’s one reason I’m so excited about delivering offerings based on her research for a long time to come.

Today, I’m  excited about simply sharing with you one of the many powerful tidbits from Brené; one that includes the three Cs. I think it’s probably meaty enough for us to ponder a good while. Brené says,

“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”

Barking As An Act Of Self-Care?

Welcome to the letter B in the series, the AB…Zs of Self-Care!

It was a gorgeous Autumn afternoon here in Atlanta. I was sitting on the deck with my partner, and the dogs were playing in the yard. They were running and romping, and seemingly involuntarily barking with glee. It was then and there that I decided that Barking (or making noise of any kind) had to be one of the Bs in the AB…Zs of Self-Care!

Too many of us go through life being quiet. Maybe this is because we don’t believe that what we have to say is valuable. Perhaps we don’t want to cause trouble or be a burden to anyone.  Maybe we don’t feel safe to make noise or call attention to ourselves in any way.

But finding a safe place where we can bark, speak gibberish, cry, and/or speak our truths, can be liberating. We  can gain access to emotions and opinions we didn’t even know were in there. And once they’re out in the open, we can start to understand them and decide how we want to act on them.

It’s also quite healing to make these noises; for us to give voice to parts of ourselves that are rarely if ever heard, whether or not anyone else ever hears them.

So let’s take a risk and take a lesson from Little Bit and Dogberry, shall we?  Let’s give ourselves the gift of full self-expression, regardless of what others might think. After all, it’s what we think that matters most!

 

Other Bs in the AB…Zs of Self-Care:

  • Bathing
  • Beauty
  • Being
  • Books
  • Bowling
  • Bragging

Resolutions are Only Half the Equation: Enter… Risking!

Why, oh why, do we continue to torture ourselves by making New Year’s resolutions, year after year, even when we know they don’t work?

What? You don’t make them anymore?

Oh, come on – you know you do. Even if you don’t call them resolutions, there’s a little part of you (or maybe it’s not so little) that still thinks, “This year will be different,” “This year, I’m going to take better care of myself,” or “This year, I’m going to make more money, and finally take a vacation.”

Don’t worry, it’s only natural.

And our instincts are right on target. We say these things because we want something – something important – like being more present during family time, getting healthier by getting back to the gym, or making our marks on the world.

Julia Cameron, author of the now classic, The Artist’s Way, said,
“I believe that we make resolutions because we deeply desire to fulfill our potential.”

It’s tempting to think that starting a habit on the first day of a brand new year will give us extra momentum, a fresher start than if we started on another day. It’s tempting to think that joining much of the rest of the world in starting this shiny new year with a bang will make all the difference. And finally, it’s tempting to make resolutions because they seem like such a good idea. So we make them.

Oh, if only they worked.

And why don’t they work? Because the whole resolutions rigmarole is a set up for failure. Because resolutions are only half of the equation!

Ralph Waldo Emerson said,
“If you have put castles in the air, your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

In other words, in order to honor our instincts that tell us to go for our heart’s desires, we must put a system in place. Otherwise, when our resolve dissolves, it takes our momentum with it, and our self-esteem. Yuck. We certainly don’t want to let that happen… again.

So, in true coach fashion, I’m going to give you an assignment. Find a system that will help you put a “foundation” under your “castles in the sky.” Perhaps you already know of one that suits you well. If not, you could design one with an accountability partner, or you could find one in the wealth of books on the subject.

Or… you could take the RiskADay approach. It keeps me energized and in action, moving in the in the direction of my heart’s desires on a daily basis.

A brief overview of the RiskADay system here:

1.     What are the components that make up a risk?

– A desire (the deeper the desire, the greater the risk),
– An unknown outcome, and
– Some fear.

2.     Taking one, intentional risk per day, large or very small, will do the following:
– Move you closer to reaching your goals and dreams,
– Increase your confidence,
– Raise your level of self-esteem,
– Allow you to take more charge of creating the life you desire, and
– Build your courage muscle (your heart) for future risking opportunities.

3.     When you set your intention to take a risk and then take that risk, you can expect the following:
·        You will always receive the rewards of having taken it,
·        You will achieve a result, usually the one you wanted or something better, and
·        You will eventually arrive at a resolution due to the fact that you took the risk.

So, what we waiting for? Let’s go write our resolutions! And then, let’s get clear about what risks we will take to maintain our resolve and make our heart’s desires a reality.

 

PS  A little shameless self-promotion here…

For a lovely place to record your risks, rewards, results, and more, check out The RiskADay Journal Page. If you’d like the support of a group to get your year into RiskADay gear, you may want to join the 2013 RiskAThon, starting on January 14th. Click on this 2013 RiskAThon link for all the scoop about that.

 

Be Afraid

 

Really – it’s ok. We’re built for it. Facing up to fear takes courage, and most of us probably have more than we think.  The word courage comes from the French “coeur” or the Latin “cor,” meaning heart.  So there it is – our heart is our “courage muscle.”  We all have it and to make it stronger, we need to exercise it.

Just like putting in regular time at the gym keeps many of our other muscles strong, we can build our courage muscle too – by taking risks.  This doesn’t mean you have to climb a mountain or jump from an airplane (but if you’re moved to do so, by all means, do).  Risks can be large or small, and what might be a risk for me isn’t necessarily one for you.  But deciding and planning to take “risks of the heart” and then taking note of the outcome can help you to Learn about yourself, Love who and what you find in the learning, Live the life that only you can live, and then Lead the world, by joyful example, to do the same. Read more about how others are doing this at my RiskADay blog.

Notice that I didn’t say that you have to be “successful.”  In taking risks, we don’t always get the result that we want.  But trust me, rewards do come regardless of the outcome of taking the risk.  If we truly follow our hearts, there’s value simply in that.  “Cor” is also the root of the English word core.  Isn’t that fitting?  The desires of our heart are truly at the core of who we are.  Perhaps that’s why this can be difficult.

We live in an extremely risk-averse society, and we don’t like disappointment.  Making the conscious decision to take a risk isn’t easy.  We worry:  What if I fail?  What if I look foolish? What if I do get the result I want, and then find I don’t really want it?  This is where a strong courage muscle makes the difference.  The practice of risk-taking helps us to recognize that there will always be reward, rather than allowing ourselves to be stalled in worry and regret.  If we are open to the lesson to be learned simply from taking the risk, we learn more about ourselves, our desires, our limits, our dreams.  We exercise our courage muscle and it grows stronger.  We grow stronger.  The world grows stronger.  But that’s for another post, so stay tuned!

Courage is simply the willingness to be afraid and act anyway. – Robert Anthony