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Reframing Fear as Highly Sensitive People
Episode 62nd November 2022 • Sensitivity Rising • Tonya Rothe
00:00:00 00:58:50

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In this episode Daphnie and I chat about reframing our thought processes around fear as HSPs. We have the power to shift our perspective in how we interpret our fear, and how we deal with our emotions around the unknowns of really around everyday life.

We explore the ways we can learn to pause and begin to develop self awareness so our fears have less control over us.

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Tonya Rothe 0:03

Welcome to the sensitivity rising podcast where sensitive people learn how to turn down the noise, and tune into their inner guidance systems.

Hello, friends, and welcome to the sensitivity rising Podcast. I'm Tonya.

Daphnie Leigh 0:23

And I'm Daphnie. And today's episode is all about how we can avoid being controlled by our fears.

Tonya Rothe 0:33

But first, if you're a fan of the show, you can subscribe for free wherever you listen to podcasts, or you can join us on YouTube. You'll find all the information in the show notes. So in the episode why we fear change, I spoke briefly about how we can begin to experiment with leaning into curiosity when making changes, and also setting clear intentions when we want to make changes. So it's a really quick episode, if you haven't had a chance to listen to that, you can go back and have a listen or watch if you're with us on YouTube. So today, Daphne and I are going to dig deeper into the idea of turning our fear into curiosity. And it's really just about reframing our thought process about how we interpret our fear, and how we deal with our emotions around the unknowns of really around everyday life. Because even if our lives, maybe feel predictable, we truly have very little control, right, of what goes on outside of our thoughts. And this is where the stories we tell ourselves and the fears we attach to them can become really important, especially as sensitive people.

Daphnie Leigh 1:57

Definitely. So we can start by just considering what is fear exactly, because we all know when we feel it. But oftentimes we can experience fear. And we aren't exactly sure why, because it doesn't always make logical sense. So fear is defined as a response to physical and emotional dangers. And it's part of our evolution, it's a really important part of our survival mechanism that has been passed down to us from our ancestors, who often had to face true life and death situations on a regular basis. So their fears help them to survive. And that has allowed us to be here. Now. If we didn't feel fear, we wouldn't be able to protect ourselves from legitimate threats. So it's a very important feeling for us to have. The issue is is that these days in our modern lives, the threats to our actual survival, tend to be a whole lot lower for most of us than they were for our ancestors. But even with that being the case, we can still end up developing even extreme fight flight or freeze responses to specific objects or to specific scenarios in our lives. And do you know, just as an example, how many of us have, you know, like, an extreme fear of spiders or snakes, or have that extreme reaction if we have to, say speak in public. So sometimes, things like that can can actually bring up almost paralyzing fear in us. And, and we can also just have fears that are holding us back from doing things that we genuinely want to be able to do in our lives. So today, we're not really going to be focusing on legitimate phobias or fears that are a result of trauma that we have experienced, or threats due to real violence or conflict in the world. But instead, we're going to be speaking about the fears that can hold us back from living the life that we want to live and that we all deserve to live.

Tonya Rothe 4:47

Yeah, you know, definitely when I think about most of the fears that I have, I always think of that story reminds me of the story of the snake and the rope. I'm not sure if you familiar with that story you probably are. For those of you listening and watching, the story is about a man who was walking at night when he saw a poisonous snake in the middle of his path. So he turned and ran because he was afraid of this poisonous snake eternium ran as fast as he could in the opposite direction. The next morning, he still needed to go where he was starting off last night. So he walked the same path in the daylight. And when he was walking in the daylight, he saw that the snake he ran from that he was so afraid of was actually just a coiled rope lying in the middle of his path. So what he thought was a legitimate threat, right? That he couldn't see clearly. And something to fear was really only something that he was conjuring up in his imagination, because his mind was trying to protect him, right? Protect him from a perceived threat. And in that moment, the night before if he'd been able to, instead of running away, right, instead of being so afraid, if he would just able to pause and look closer, to be curious, right about what he saw on the path, instead of being fearful, then he would have seen that nothing dangerous was actually preventing him from moving forward. What do you think about that? Daphne? How do you feel about that?

Daphnie Leigh 6:26

I think that is such an important point. Because I know for myself, I have learned time and time again, that we can not always believe our thoughts. And you know, and I think in a case like that, that, you know, maybe it isn't the worst thing in the world, and we think that there is a legitimate threat to our safety. Like maybe it's okay that he waited until morning when he discovered that it was a rope. But oftentimes, there are things that we're afraid of that, that feel like they're a threat to our safety when when it really isn't. There's a well known psychologist, and I think I think there's quite a few people that you we could attribute this statement to, but I know that Rick Hansen, the psychologist, has been really fond of saying that the brain is like Velcro, for negative experiences or, and negative thoughts, and Teflon, for positive ones. And that's because the brain has an inherent negativity bias. And that again, goes back to the need for our ancestors to literally be able to survive day to day, from the perils that they faced, you know, they had to be alert for the true snakes and the true tigers and, you know, lions and tigers and bears. So, the other side of that is that it's important for us to understand that we have the capacity for self directed neuroplasticity. And that is, you know, just a fancy way of saying we can change the way that we think if we put our mind to it, you know, and, and it takes work and to change our minds. Yes, yeah. Right. And we and we have to pay attention. Tanya, you've probably heard, I'm sure you've heard this, but there's a great acronym for fear. That is false evidence appearing real Ah, yes. A are and that it's such a good thing for us to remind ourselves false evidence appearing real and your story about the snake in the path is a perfect example of that. Now, it's not always this simple. But we do often experience fear because our minds are generating a false reality about what might happen, you know, something that we fear could happen to us or could happen to a loved one, you know, that our minds can dream up, you know, what would happen if we fail at something that we care about? Or if we take a risk on something new and our minds, you know, we tend to sometimes kind of time travel into the future and generate stories about all of the worst case scenarios that could happen. And even though it's a fear about something that hasn't actually happened, our mind will still act as if it's real, you know, that we'll still have the same A chemical release in our body that makes us sometimes start to spiral into even stronger feelings that can kind of paralyze us or get us to stop, even if it's something we want to do. So, if we take a moment, like if, you know, if we were all to stop right now, and you don't have to do this, but if you if you took a moment to focus on something that, you know, brings up fear in you, we can actually feel that energy rising up and changing us through all the layers of our body, we can feel how it affects us physically, emotionally, and mentally. And so we can see that fear can really start to very easily at times consume us in just a matter of seconds.

Tonya Rothe:

I know this very, very well, I was probably what you might call a professional spiral or for for a long time. Um, yeah, and just a lot of it based on, you know, fear of fear of losing something fear of losing, you know, a relationship, all of that some of the things that we've talked about before for sure. And, you know, like you were saying, I think, you know, sometimes fear is definitely from real threats. But it's also learned to behaviors, right? So how we grew up. For me, you know, growing up in a very unstable, chaotic childhood, right, I know a lot of it. Now I can see how a lot of my current fears that I have now can relate back to that. So it's a lot of distinguishing maybe between that and then some of the imagined dangers, like you were saying, and our nervous system goes into that fight, flight freeze mode, because it doesn't know the difference, like you were saying, so I totally get that. And also, knowing that it's an automatic response, right? That's crucial to our survival. But everyone's response is going to be different. And I feel like that's also something that we need to think about, especially if you feel like, your fears maybe aren't being validated. You know, so we have to distinguish for ourselves. And to know that, you know, it is highly personal, and it's not going to be the same for everyone, we can have those physical and emotional symptoms, and we can't always know how it's going to affect us. And we just have to be prepared for it when it starts to rise up for us, because it can really sneak up on us and surprise us.

Daphnie Leigh:

Absolutely. And, you know, we what we don't want to do is, you know, or what we do want to do is to be able to you know not not just ignore our fear when it comes up. So, you know, we're out and about in the world, and we get a gut instinct that something is wrong, better to be safe, and get ourselves into a safe location or whatever. And to, you know, it's not that we should ignore those senses that come up those gut instincts. And at the same time, I think you know, what you were speaking to you especially, you know, when we've experienced trauma in the past, or we've had, you know, chaos in our in our lives, that, that we start to notice sometimes patterns around our fear, where, you know, maybe it's some something that a loved one says or does that triggers us and brings up that fear reaction that can sometimes feel like anger or, you know, different ways, like you were saying it can feel different ways at different times, our reactions can be different. And it's being able to start to distinguish between those kinds of situations where we're not actually in danger, and that maybe we can start to get a little more curious rather than just reacting to that those kind of sneak attacks that that come up.

Tonya Rothe:

And that's where pausing and really developing that self awareness is so important, I think.

Daphnie Leigh:

Absolutely. You know, so I'll, I want to share this example because when When we talk about things that can come up, sort of in a repetitive way, for us, one thing that I started to notice in my own life was that oftentimes, whenever I had a family member that had to travel, and be driving on the highways that I would get fearful, and this really started being highlighted for me, as my kids hit driving age. And so now as my son makes the drive between college and home each season, which is just a few hours away, but I noticed that fearful thoughts arise in me of the potential of him getting into an accident. And, you know, as the first time it happened, I, you know, I felt myself like, kind of start to spin into that, oh, my gosh, thinking of all the worst case, things that could happen and, and, you know, and I'm not going to be, you know, what, I didn't even tell myself, like, I'm not going to be able to relax until I know that he safely arrived. And then it's helpful to stop and ask, like, is that beneficial? Because this is something that's going to happen over and over again, and how many hours of my life am I willing to trade, you know, and to, to give up or be in a really charged state? Just because I'm dreaming up the worst case scenarios. And, you know, I know for myself, like, I have a history of some bad highway accidents, going back to when I was a small child. So I thought about that. And I realized, of course, these fears are going to come up. And I have a choice, you know, I can do you know, yes, I can choose to sit there and worry for three hours until I get confirmation that my son is safe. But I'm giving up a lot of pressures hours, and I'm causing myself unnecessary worry for something that probably isn't going to happen. Right? And, and even if it did happen, it would have benefited no one for me to sit there and worry that hard, that long. But you know, energy, yes, it is a lot of energy. And because I would notice, you know, what would, it would come up, my pulse would start to kick in, I would get that real buzzing kind of tense feeling throughout my whole body, I would feel nervous in my stomach and upset like, Oh, now I can't, I won't be able to eat if I need to eat. And then as those uncomfortable feelings would come up, it would basically trigger for me to think that something must be truly wrong. And then it just becomes a self perpetuating cycle. Because then again, I'm thinking of, oh, my gosh, what, what's wrong? Why do I feel this way? And, you know, and something must be wrong. And now I'm kind of spinning into this state of worry, where I can't focus really on anything else. Until, until it's resolved. Can you? Does that make sense to you on your

Tonya Rothe:

perfect sense to me? Um, I, yeah, I've had many, many of those experiences myself. And I think that really highlights how all the layers of our body are so obviously connected, right? It's that one, it's that memory that's triggered for you. And it puts that thought and then it starts affecting your nervous system, your body is changing all of these things. And it can be really hard to pull ourselves out of that. And it does take a lot of it can take a lot of time awareness and practice for sure. For me, I think probably the best way to describe it is my fear lives in my digestive system. So any, any fears, I have stress I experience all of it happens in that energy center of my body. And when I struggle with my self worth my self esteem, I feel everything a lot more intensely, in that part of my body. I have a story so years ago when my first marriage ended when I was in my early to mid 20s. We've been together since we were young teenagers. And so it was a big it was a big life. changed in so many ways. And I completely stopped eating, I couldn't keep any food down at all. For a few months, it was and I lost so much weight that my boss at the time he bought me the cans of ensure meal replacement and because so he was so worried about my health, that you know, I was kind of disintegrating right before everyone's eyes. And since then my digestion has never been the same. And now, when I start to feel anxious, or a big change happens, that's really stressful for me, or I have a loss of a loved one or my husband has to travel for work or something like that. I feel it right away in my stomach. And I really have to pay close attention to what's really going on and what's causing it. So I don't start that spiral. Because it can really, you know, it really affects my overall health right long term, too. And so that's something we have to think about as well. And just really kind of what's triggering that, when I feel that fear rising up. And just taking care of my mind my body, in the most nourishing ways I can, you know, paying attention to my breath, getting outside of the house, you know, or the office for some fresh air. Anything that I can do to kind of bring myself into the present moment, as much as possible, I've learned has really helped me to kind of calm myself down in the moment so I can start to get curious, instead of letting the fear overtake me.

Daphnie Leigh:

Yeah. I don't know if I've, if I've talked to you about this before, but I remember coming across this interesting study that was done on where they looked at kind of the overall population of adults in the US, and how many had anxiety and it was a, you know, it was a decent number. But then they looked at just people who have IBS, you know, who have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, which is kind of a catch all that they often get, you know, diagnosed that, that, that that is given when they don't know exactly what's going on with someone's digestion and, and, and the percentage of people with IBS who experiences anxiety was exponentially higher. Oh, I believe it that that link between, you know, our body, our mind, our nervous system, it is so intricately connected, and such. And that's why this, this kind of consideration is so important for us, since it's so important for us to learn how to pause, how to get curious about what's really going on, when we feel ourselves becoming triggered by anxiety by fear. And again, of course, the exception would be if we're in an actual threatening situation or a potentially threatening situation that requires immediate action. We don't want to just stop and go Well, let me just, you know, if I'm in a dark alleyway, and I get a feeling, you know what, just go ahead and get out of there. Yes. If you're not in a dark alley, and you're not walking down a trail where there could be a bear around the corner, then then maybe, you know, stopping and pausing and checking in and, and getting curious can be so helpful. You know, Mark Twain has a great quote that I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened. That's one of my favorites. Yep. And so, you know, here's is, maybe we want to consider how can we start to shift our mindset out of fear, so that we don't cause ourselves unnecessary stress and suffering. You know, because again, that if we, I think if we, if we just allow it to be a knee jerk reaction, and we just allow ourselves to become consumed by it, then it can start to have negative impacts on our overall health and well being and like we're talking about today. One really great way to approach Ah, this is to just start to have a sense of curiosity, you know, so that when I feel fear come up in my body, which, you know, sometimes is, you know, sometimes it'll feel more like anger than fear for me at times, if I'm having a reaction to, you know, a trigger from a loved one or something that I will ask myself, you know, am I actually in danger? Or I will, you know, ask, you know, what, what thought did I have right before that feeling came up? And is that thought true. And sometimes we will find that our fearful thoughts can be a little bit like an old friend, maybe an old, annoying friend that we've held on

Tonya Rothe:

to me,

Daphnie Leigh:

years, comes to visit us over and over again, you know, if I go back to that example of my son, going back and forth to college, instead of feeling the fear, and then just getting caught up in my thoughts, and allowing myself to imagine all the bad things that could happen. Instead, I can get curious and be like, ah, what was that thought that I had right before I was flooded with those feelings of fear. And then I can take a moment and just get grounded. You know, I love the practices of simply bringing my attention back to the present moment, by feeling my body like feeling my feet against the floor, by starting to scan the room around me. So that I can literally see that there is no proverbial Tiger waiting to pounce on me, there's something like, literally, if we move our head, and take in the details of our surroundings, we are signaling to our more primitive brain, you know, we're showing it, there is no immediate threat, you know, we can, we can start to even start to purposefully manipulate our breathing a little bit. So for example, when we experience fear, it's really normal for our breathing to become more shallow, will often start to breathe a little bit faster and breathe into like our heart and upper chest. And so instead, maybe we take a moment just to exhale completely. If we're already feeling stressed, it can be hard to say like, I'm just gonna take a deep breath in because it's, it can be hard to do that when we're already in fear. But we can just use that little bit of effort to exhale slowly. And if we do that a few times, will usually find that our breathing will naturally slow, and it will naturally deepen, and that signals to our nervous system, that it can start to chill out on sending out those stress. So I also like to, to practice having some compassion for myself for having the fear in the first place. And to remind myself, you know, it's okay, it's normal. This is, you know, it's, it's a survival response. And I don't have to spend my time worrying about things that aren't actually true. Because, you know, if we start to move through life, and we are making our decisions from a place of fear, we will not only like you said, like, it takes a lot of energy to be in that space. So we're not only, you know, conserving our energy, but we're, we're not we're not closing ourselves off from being able to maybe try new things, or to just be present, you know, with the people that are here right now, are the things that we can do in this moment, rather than just stressing out.

Sure. So, you know, I think Another another way that we can start to develop, like the courage. So when I think about fears, there are those things that just trigger us. And then there's the fears that come up. Because maybe we want to try something new. But we don't know, we're worried about what's going to happen. Right? We were worried about what if it doesn't work? What if I fail? What if, you know, what if? What if, what if there's all kinds of things that can come up? And one way that we can start to develop more courage in those in those areas, is just to think of taking on a beginner's mindset, you know, we can start to approach a situation, or to approach a goal that we have, as I'm a beginner, and then our expectations maybe don't have to be so high, and they can be a little bit more imbalance. You know, we don't have to paint like Van Gogh the first time we pick up a paintbrush, I will never be like, tried a few times. Yep. But you know, I was actually, art was something that I was actually really intimidated by. And that did bring up fear in me because it wasn't something that came naturally to me. And I decided when I was in college, like I, I wanted to push myself outside of my comfort zone. And I took a watercolor class. Now Little did I know that watercolor is

like the hardest?

I've been to. So it still brought up stress artists be I ever worked for. But But I took that I'm a beginner, and it's okay that I'm in here with people who aren't. But I'm willing to try something new, even if I fail at it, or even if I make mistakes along the way.

Tonya Rothe:

Yeah, you know, and like, like we were saying before, you know, we all experience fear for different things at different times. And it's never the same for any of us. And that's where a lot of the compassion has to come in, not just for ourselves, but for others. And no one outside of us, even with the best intentions is ever really going to know how we experience fear, just like we'll never fully fully understand, or truly know, their experience, right. And I feel like a lot of times the idea of perfectionism can definitely be another word for fear, especially if we're beginning at something, perfectionism, at least for me, really is a form of fear. So keep tweaking something, keep working on something, because it's just not quite right. And, you know, instead of just putting it out there, whatever that thing might be, whether it's your watercolor painting, or, you know, creating another kind of creative project, or writing a book, or even a blog post or something like that, you know, something that you're really passionate about, but you're afraid to put out there. But instead of labeling and as fear, you can label it as perfectionism. And so this is the one of the reasons why I love that beginner mindset. I think it's so important because we can easily get caught up in that comparison spiral. And if we can take that pause, and really take that moment to think about it. It's impossible for us to make comparisons to anybody else, even though we all do it. Everything is so different the way everyone approaches, everything is so different. We really can't make comparisons. And this is why normalizing fear perfectionism whatever we want to we want to call it is so important because we can get embarrassed, right? Or we feel shame. Because we're afraid, and that's so disempowering for us, especially as sensitive people. And this is something I definitely struggle with. But then if we're able to take that pause and remind ourselves that, you know, everyone experiences fear, even the people who are out there and seem to have it all together, right. And that we're not efficient, and we're not too sensitive because we have fears that it's really one of the most human things about us, then we can start to reframe it, rename it, and start to change our perspective about taking those chances and risks about things that we care about, and putting ourselves out there a little bit more and living our lives to the fullest in the within the ways that are best for us. Because we deserve it.

Daphnie Leigh:

Yeah. You know, I don't remember when I first came across it, but I've always really love this thing. And that courage is not a lack of fear, but it's, you know, action in the face of fear. And that that's been a really helpful one for me that I've kind of held on to for a long time in my life, because I realized that, you know, fear comes up very easily for me, and worry, and, and sometimes the truth is, is that we don't want to feel the uncomfortable feelings, you know, the emotions that come up that it's, it's hard, you know, it's hard for us to, like, want to dive into that stuff. And so as a result, we will often withdraw ourselves from experiences, or from other people in order to protect ourselves. And again, I think this is especially true as highly sensitive people and, and there's nothing wrong. I mean, as highly sensitive people, there are times when we need to retreat, and we need to give our selves time to recover. However, there's also that that thing, where sometimes we can end up engaging in behaviors, that end up being self sabotaging, or we distract ourselves from feeling what we feel, because sometimes it can feel safer to withdraw, to isolate ourselves or to, you know, eat for comfort, or, you know, whatever, or to pick up our phones and start scrolling, rather than to try to distract ourselves rather than to allow ourselves to feel the uncomfortable things that are coming up. But that's not what we're here to do as human beings, you know, that at least I don't think so. I think that our, our purpose, you know, specially as highly sensitive people, I feel any way is so much greater than just ourselves, and that we're not meant to always be comfortable, and it's okay, to be uncomfortable and to feel uncomfortable things. Like you said, we all feel things differently. And we all have to judge for ourselves. How much of that is okay? And there are times you know, as much as I work on trying to be present and to feel what I feel there are times when I consciously choose to withdraw or distract myself, because I know like, nope, I've had enough, I've reached my limit. And I can't take any more discomfort today. And I'm going to go withdrawal and just distract myself and so I can feel good for a little while. Yep. But out, you know, I think that the world needs the voices of the highly sensitive people, the world needs, the perspective that we can share as highly sensitive people. And, you know, and this can be a hard thing for us to reconcile, because we feel things very strongly, and sometimes very, very intensely. I know, I know, I've struggled with it for the longest time. And I keep finding ways to gently push myself to step outside of my own comfort zone. Like being here and having these conversations with you is an example of that. Because, you know, it's it's uncomfortable sometimes. And, you know, I'm so happy that we're here and sharing the experiences that we have and that we hear from the other highly sensitive people that we work with. So that we can start to normalize these things.

Yeah, so, you know, we can ask ourselves at times, you know, am I scared of feeling a certain way or afraid of experiencing certain emotions because the feelings sometimes feel overwhelming, and how can I allow myself to feel whatever it is that's coming up? In, you know, in a way that feels safe to me. So maybe we have to consider like, what what plan can I put into place like, one thing that I like to do is that when uncomfortable stuff comes up for me, I will tell myself that I'm literally going to give myself a night, 90 seconds, and I will literally say, I'm going to take my phone out, I'm going to set the timer, and I only have to allow myself to feel whatever I'm feeling for 90 seconds. And during that time, I just get curious, I asked myself, you know, what, what is coming up? What am I feeling? Where is that showing up in my body right now? How is it showing up in my body right now? And, and can I just hold space for myself for a few seconds? Before I, you know, allow myself to distract myself or, you know, whatever, so that I don't just automatically jump into the scrolling through social media or reaching for comfort food, and you know, those things. So, you know, we can we can, you know, consider like, what questions you know, for those of you listening, you know, what question, can you ask yourself when fear comes up, or uncomfortable feelings come up? Or who can you turn to for support, when you are experiencing something intense where you have a friend or a loved one that you can just say, Hey, I'm feeling this right now? And I don't know exactly what to do with it? How can we move through those overwhelming feelings and knowing that all of our feelings are going to pass because none of our feelings are permanent? You know, they come in waves. And and sometimes those waves get really high, and they kind of crashes down and throw us around. But you know, curiosity, it does come with an awareness, you know, we have to first be aware, what what is it that we're feeling? Curiosity, when we, when we approach ourselves with curiosity, it has the power to shift our mindset from that place of fear and resistance into having more of a sense of possibility of growth of change of recognizing, yeah, this is a trigger that comes up for me over and over again. And I can choose how I'm going to respond to that. It can, it can allow us to explore different halves in our lives, you know, being willing to try something new, like you said, where we don't have to be perfectionistic that we can start to know ourselves on deeply on deeper levels. And really, as highly sensitive people who think a lot like we know that highly sensitive people, we have a lot of thoughts. We can also regularly experience the fear of being judged by others, you know, we can really get caught up in worrying about how will we be perceived? How will our ideas be received by the people around us? Because maybe we've heard, oh, you're, you're, you're too sensitive. You're overreacting, you're you're this your that, you know, and, and that so those are legitimate that, that there's reasons why we feel judged by others. But instead of maybe getting caught up in those thoughts, those those fears about judgment, we can ask ourselves, like, even if a person has a negative opinion of me, or even if they don't understand because they can't relate, what impact will that actually have? On? You know, does that really matter? In this moment, in my day to day life?

Tonya Rothe:

Yeah, I'm sure that we have all heard that I know I have heard it countless times and depending on who it's coming from, right. It's going to mean more right from from a certain person. You know, if it's from a co worker you don't really care for it might be easy, you know, it's probably easier to let go than if it comes from your life partner, you know, I mean, or your you know, your parent or something like that. And, you know, that comes with a also, I think a real fear of being invalidated or dismissed especially as As HSPs, right? Because we can so I don't know about so easily, but we will we do allow others impressions perception of us to define our value. And that's not just for sensitive people, that's for everyone, it's kind of part of how we're made up, right. But it's if we choose to kind of bow to their expectations of us is where it really starts to affect us. Or if we really can see that they're, they have a very limited ability, even the people with the best intentions, they can have a really limited ability to recognize our worth, especially as sensitive people, if we're introverted, or we don't express ourselves in the ways that others expect us to, we can get overlooked and pushed to the side, you know, I know I've had this happen to me countless times, not being able to use my voice, which thankfully, is slowly changing with a lot of work. A lot of work one of the reasons why I'm here talking to you. Yeah. And so, you know, when I, I still feel this way, you know, it's just how I, how I approach it now is changing. And so I do try to ask myself, you know, is my sense of worth my is who I am, you know, at stake in this moment? Or is it really dependent? Like you were saying, on this person's idea of who they think I am? Right? Not necessarily who I am, but who they believe me to be? And if it is dependent on that, why, and where's it coming from? Yeah, and you know, I've also heard people say, and this kind of goes back to what we were talking about before, especially your some of the fear that you have around your son driving to college right is, just ask yourself, well, what's the worst that can happen? And I really don't I really don't like that question. I don't like the idea of asking myself, what's the worst that can happen? Because, depending on what our state of mind is, right? I don't think that's necessarily a great road travel down because we can start to spiral. Instead, I like to ask myself, I wonder what might happen if I wonder what might happen if, you know, I do decide to take that vacation, I wonder what might happen if, you know, my husband takes a business trip. And when he gets home, you know, what things what we do together to, you know, reconnect, you know, just different things like that, what might happen if, you know, I decided to teach that class, but I've been afraid to teach or something like that. And just to be in that state of curiosity can really be a powerful shift in our mindset. And we lived, a lot of us lived in this state. When we were kids, right? Because everything was new, we wanted to know how things worked, why things happened the way they did. And as we get older, we start to lose a lot of that our lives seem to get smaller and smaller. And our, the way we think can get narrower and narrower. But when we're kids, you know, we wanted to know all these things. And along the way, we started to lose that. So I think it really helps to think of curiosity in that way that we're not. Sometimes always trying to learn something new. We're just actually making

a trip a transformation back to our kind of more natural state of seeing everything as new, especially ourselves, with an open mind and an open heart and a sense of compassion. And then, you know, when we're curious, we get excited to write we want to know what happens next. If we're, you know, watching a movie that we really like, or a TV show or something, right, we get excited and we want to know what's going to happen next to the story. And so we can really learn from those types of experiences. We want to try more new things and learn and experiment and just kind of go back to once again that beginner's mindset.

Daphnie Leigh:

Yeah, I've always felt like if I am going to and I completely agree about the you that that thing about asking, you know, what's the worst thing that can happen like, sometimes that's a dangerous road to travel

Tonya Rothe:


Daphnie Leigh:

And for myself, like, something that I've like, that I've done before, when I did need to, when I did feel the need to explore something a little, like a fear a little bit deeper, was that I would tell myself that if I'm going to that I'm going to first of all, if I'm going to consider, what's the worst thing that can happen, I'm going to set a time limit for myself, so that I can't spiral on and on and on about it. And I'm going to give myself at least an equal amount of time to consider what's the best case scenario? Good. And and I follow up with that part of it. And you know, and sometimes it will be like, Okay, well, you know, and ask myself, well, and, and so what, like, what's the worst case scenario? And so what were and then what? And then what, you know, what would be what would be the next step what you know, so that you can start to imagine? So I think what sometimes a thoughtful question that we can ask ourselves, but can be difficult is what am I actually afraid of. And this can go really deep for a lot of us, depending on our personal history. And that gets into that same kind of territory, of what's the worst case scenario of what am I actually afraid of? But again, if we can then follow it up with, and then what, like if that if we imagined that were to happen? And then what, what would come next? Where what would it what? And so what what would I do, if that happened, and then following up with and what's and what's the best thing that could happen. And, and this is really important that I want to say that if we choose to go down that road, if we choose to ask ourselves, what am I really afraid of, it's really important that we take our time with it, and that we seek support, if we're struggling, or maybe we seek support before we even go there. So that so that we know that we're going to have the support that we need. And, you know, if we aren't exactly sure of what's driving our fear, then it can be difficult to move through our fears sometimes, and trying to just shift into a mindset of curiosity isn't necessarily as helpful if we aren't willing to kind of address and look at what's the source of the fear in the first place. But again, depending on our history and our past experiences, sometimes we need to make sure that we have a proper support system in place like maybe we have a good therapist that can help us with this before we dive into it. So you know, one thing I would say is that for anyone out there listening is that if you do struggle with worry, fear or anxiety, and you are interested in going deeper into this kind of work, you are welcome to check out my freedom from anxiety program. You can book a complimentary call with me. You'll find the link to the program information in the show notes. But you just go to my website Yogi And check out my course freedom from anxiety.

Tonya Rothe:

Yes, that is such a a beautiful offering. Definitely I'm so glad that you that you mentioned that and that you're sharing that information. And I totally agree with you about seeking support, because it's a tough. It can be a really tough and scary thing, especially if you don't know exactly what you're dealing with. Right, especially depending on our histories. And we don't want to start opening doors and windows if we don't have that support system in place, and I'll also put another link in the show notes. For for a hotline that I've I've shared in the past on my other podcast, highly sensitive healing. I'll make sure that that's in the show notes as well just so everyone has something that they can that they can look into and turn to good Sure. So yeah, so and Dafina, I would just like to invite you to, you know, if you feel like you're ready, maybe just think back to a time that fear held you back from taking a risk, something that you something that you were drawn to maybe taking that art class, maybe writing that book, you know, a creative process, just something that called out to you. But maybe you weren't able to follow through, because you had anxiety or fear around it. And maybe just the next time that you start to feel that fear rise up, and you just try to take a pause and really think about how you might normally react to that fear holding you back. And instead, try to reframe it into asking yourself, maybe what can I do differently, just in this one moment? What can I do differently, just this one time, something small, to start forward and move from there. And it's going to be different. For all of us the answers that come up in different times, I love this quote from Yoko Ono, that really just kind of brings everything kind of full circle. And this quote really resonates with me a lot. And she said, bless you, for your fear, bless you for your fear. It's a sign of wisdom. But don't hold yourself in fear, transform that energy, into flexibility. And you will be free from what you fear. So transforming that energy of fear into something else. And so, you know, to close this episode, I think we really can think about renaming our fear into whatever we want. And just playing with it. So calling it flexibility, calling it curiosity, calling it inquiry, whatever words you know, work for you. It's just about reframing and ream renaming it and then moving that energy into a positive action.

Daphnie Leigh:

I love that.

Tonya Rothe:

Daphnie, and I want to thank you so much for listening. We're so grateful that you've chosen to spend your time with us here on the podcast. We're always here if you'd like to reach out and ask us questions. Or if you just want to say hi, we'd love to hear from you. If you're enjoying the podcast, please share it with a friend and leave us a quick review wherever you listen. Pod chaser iTunes, Spotify, it really helps us to reach more sensitive people like you. And don't forget to Subscribe on YouTube or wherever you listen so you don't miss any of the good stuff. And we'll see you next time. Bye, everybody. Thank you for spending time with us on the sensitivity rising podcast. Please feel free to reach out to us with questions or topic ideas you'd like to learn more about. New episodes are now released every other Wednesday on a bi weekly schedule. And if you're enjoying the podcast, please take a moment to leave a review and share it with others. You can subscribe for free wherever you listen to podcasts. And you can also join us on YouTube. You'll find all the info and links in the show notes and we'll see you next time.