"Right now she seems more negative than ever," said Karen's sister. After a divorce in the mid-2000s and losing the job she loved at a bookstore she held close to her heart, Karen admits that she just isn't where she thought she would be.
"Everything that might allow me to take a chance and do something that I love, I find a reason to not do it," said Karen.
Luckily, two weeks away from her 50th birthday with an attitude her sister described as "why bother," Karen finally set out to discover what has been holding her back and banish it. Cue Gabrielle Bernstein. Gabrielle has just put out her third book, May Cause Miracles, which speaks from experience about what it's like to tackle the fear that holds you back in life.
"I cry every day," admits Karen who previously used laughing as a coping mechanism. "I had a job that I loved and I lost it. I had a home that I loved and I lost it and a marriage that I lost. Lately, I don't feel like joking."
Anderson chimed in sympathizing with Karen, "I tend not to look on the bright side of things. I tend to plan for the worst. I look at what is the worst that may happen and I like to prepare."
So, here's how Gabrielle cleansed Karen's negativity and how you can do yourself the same favor.
"Fear is the operative word here because underneath all of the stuff that's coming up — the 'I feel I can't get a relationship' or 'I can't get the job that I want' — all of those limiting beliefs are really backed with fear. Fear is blocking you. It's holding you back and it's creating more negativity in your life."
Now, write or type down your fears. With ink. On paper. Yes, print it out. "It's really imperative that we get honest, that we witness our fear-based behavior, because if we're unwilling to look at it, we can't change it.
This will probably be easier said than done because you have to accept the snowball effect that will be allowing yourself to admit what you're afraid of and say it out loud. One thought will lead to another and you may discover more than you expected. As Karen says, "It was painful to type those things and acknowledge them... but it helped and I learned about myself."
You write it down for a reason, and that's to destroy it. As Gabrielle says, you can burn it, you can put it in your toilet, just get rid of it. "That's the commitment."
Anderson added, "There is nobody who does not have fears. It's a question of whether you're able to move forward in spite of the fears you have."
On facing fear: "I do think fear is such a crippling thing and I'm a believer in plunging head first into the things that scare us most."
On New Year's resolutions: "If you can't figure out what you do want to do, figuring out what you don't want to do is the next best thing."
On health: Get a flu shot! "Nobody told me I needed a flu shot!" So, he's telling us.
Gabrielle reminds us, "When we focus on what we do have, you create more of a want. Whereas when we're focusing on the fear, the lack and the negativity, we are creating more fear and more lack and negativity."
So, just like you created a list of your fears, create a gratitude list and keep it in your phone. Don't rip this one up. "These simple shifts can create radical, radical change," said Bernstein.
Take your gratitude list a step further by turning to Pinterest to create a vision board filled with images that represent what you want to achieve. Visualize it.
"I love seeing all these things that I pinned about books and about art and about love," said Karen.
Believe it or not, Pinterest helped save Karen.
And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .
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