Ruby Tuesday No. 3

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I think today it’ll going to be NO FEAR.

Ruby 8

Ruby literally has no fear. I wish I had taken a photo of her last night in the park. I could hardly see her (being black) and she was playing around with every dog she could see. There were a couple of really massive scary looking dogs and she just bounded right up to them. Even when one of them was growling and getting a bit annoyed with Ruby’s puppy-ness, she just kept playing. She does take stock and see where we are and then goes back in for more, so she has good radar, but by and large she loves it all no matter how huge and scary the dog looks. My instincts are to go rescue her but she’s quite happy to get mauled and chewed. Another dog walker even said – wow your puppy’s brave. ( I felt quite proud actually…)

I could definitely learn a thing or two from that. I can totally feel the fear when faced with new and often daunting tasks or goals I have. I’d love to dive head long into things with out a care in the world. Without the voices that sometimes hold me back, like – I don’t have the time, or the money, or what will people think…. – Or when my goal seems too daunting that I may freeze and think how the hell am I going to do that?!

Understanding ‘Kaizen’ steps (or taking tiny steps) has been incredibly helpful for myself and my clients when it comes to moving through fear to achieve a goal. Different from the way Ruby would do it but just as effective – just takes a bit longer!

What was fascinating was learning about the brain and how it can trip us up when we want to make changes in our life. The midbrain or mammalian brain can be most responsible for this as it’s the part of the brain responsible for our flight or fight response and it houses our emotions, amongst other things. It can send of alarm bells whenever we stray from our usual path where we feel safe. So any sort of new challenge or opportunity can trigger some degree of fear. This then shuts down our frontal cortex – the part of the brain where rational thoughts and creativity reside.

To avoid fight of flight response to change – and getting the fear -we have to creep in the back door quietly so to speak. This means taking really small steps on the path so we don’t trigger the mammalian brain. So no fear is detected so we don’t freeze, and our rational thoughts and creative process doesn’t shut down as a result. It makes reaching a goal way more doable. I have found this to be true in myself and with my clients. No, it’s not head long into anything like Ruby seems innately free to do, but it’s like what Martin Luther King said, “ You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

Seriously, magic happens.

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