F.A.I.L. No More (Part 1 of 4) -Fear

  • By Shawn Sommerkamp
  • 18 Sep, 2017

Psalm 94:19  When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, your consolations delight my soul.

In the previous blog (posted Feb 13th titled "Remove the Blockers") I revealed the four types of Internal Blocks that hold us back from experiencing profound career growth.  These are Fear, Assumptions, Interpretations and Limiting Beliefs, referenced as the acronym F.A.I.L. I also asked you to practice self-awareness by writing down those times you felt a little “off” then taking a moment to identify your self-talk that day.

Fear Holds us Back

We are now going to look at the first internal blocker, one of the most prevalent and pervasive blockers and one nearly every client I’ve ever had struggles with from time to time, the F in F.A.I.L. - Fear.

When our internal dialogue is influenced by Fear, it tends to come from past experiences. We were bit by a dog and now we are fearful around dogs. We were yelled at by an aggressive manager and now we get uncomfortable in the presence of all management.

As an executive coach I focus my clients on moving forward. We don’t spend time thinking on the past. This is of utmost importance for your own professional maturity. What happened yesterday or last year simply doesn’t matter. It’s all about what you want for your career today.

Luke 9:62  Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Jesus Calls Out Fear

Jesus addresses three would-be followers. In the first, Jesus knew what would make the man unfit and addressed it outright. In the last two, they had an excuse for not being ready to take immediate action. In each, Fear was the blocker.

"I can’t do it right now Jesus because…"

…it would be way too uncomfortable physically and emotionally

…I have a depressing situation that I’m involved in and can’t muster the energy

…I will really miss all the great time with my family

Why would a loving Jesus disqualify someone from kingdom service just because he wanted to say goodbye to his wife and kids? If that were the real reason, Jesus is heartless. We know He is our loving Savior, so there must have been a deeper reason. The same is true of the man whose father allegedly died. Would a compassionate Christ stop a man from honoring his father with a proper burial? No! These were excuses prompted by fear.

That's what Jesus was addressing in each of these three would-be followers - Fear!

It's Time We Address Our Own Fears

For us to address our own, we will start telling ourselves the truth of who we are in this moment, in this day. How? By using the Thought Tuning™ process. You think through what you are telling yourself in the moment, consider your Core Values as a being created by God, then tell yourself something different about what is happening. Tell yourself something more in line with who you are as a person.

That's how you overcome your fear. Remember your Core Values while actively identifying self-talk, then changing what you tell yourself.

If you haven’t done the Core Values assessment yet, please go back to my website, [here] download the Thought Tuning™ guide from the main page and complete it. Then place your core values on the fridge, on your bathroom mirror, on your work space desk, on your phone; anywhere to constantly remember who you are. You are the person God created.

These Core Values are your very essence. None of them have anything to do with fear! When you feel your anxious thoughts welling up, walk through the Thought Tuning™ process, and you will immediately see the difference.

Explore Other Posts

By Shawn Sommerkamp 16 Oct, 2017
Written by: Dave Mitchell

Have you ever noticed that voice in your head…the inner critic…that quiet but consistent message you hear every time you approach the boarder of your comfort zone looking to do something brave, courageous and out of the norm?

If so, you are not alone – we all have them. What does yours tell you?

Some of the more common ones are: ‘You are not good enough.’ ‘You are not smart enough.’ ‘You don’t have what it takes to be successful.’ ‘You don’t have a voice – they will never listen to you.’ There are more, but I think you get the picture.

Some refer to this voice as your Gremlin . It tells you not to try, never to take a risk, always to play it safe, and to play it small. Their message is clear: ‘ You really don’t have what it takes to get to where - you want to be & even if you got there, you would not last very long.

It likes to whisper and hiss thoughts in you like: ‘It aint gonna happen.’

Recently, I heard a slight noise in my kitchen area. I did not pay much attention to it at first because it was faint, so I played it off like it was just my imagination. Being that denial seldom works, the sound grew louder and louder over a few months to where I had no other choice but to take action.

Finally, after failed attempts to find the hissing noise, I hired a plumber to help me figure out what was going on. We pulled out the dishwasher and there it was – under the black mold on the back wall, a pinhole leak in the hot water pipe.

By Shawn Sommerkamp 15 Oct, 2017

Isaiah 11:3  He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears

Now it’s time to look at the third internal blocker that holds us back. The I in FAIL is Interpretations.

Interpretations come from within our own minds and can often happen so quickly that we think they are only reflexes to some external truth. They are, in fact, only opinions we create about an event or situation or person or experience. We simply believe them to be true.

One of the most well-known and terribly damaging examples of the Interpretation internal blocker is the story of Job. More precisely, the story of how his friends misinterpreted the catastrophic events that befell him. Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar were their names. One of them is quoted as saying, “I have observed those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.”

Their interpretation was very wrong. They believed God sent trouble upon wicked people only. If you are suffering a calamity, then you must be involved in something wicked. Yes, God disciplines us for our own good and He does so out of love. But they jumped to the wrong conclusion. As a result, they missed an opportunity to express deep love and support to a friend who had lost everything.

We can do the same thing with our own career events. If we are passed-over for a promotion, we are convinced the manager hates us, we are not deserving, this is not the right company for us, the other person getting the promotion did something slimy to get it - and the list goes on.

When we think in this way, it only creates in us negative energy, the fight or flight response. And we know by now, making executive decisions while in a state of negative energy won’t benefit anyone, least of all us.

Psalm 112:7  They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.

When an event unfolds, the best way to handle it is to simple remember who you are at the very core. Once again, we come back to our Core Values. It is through Thought Tuning™, the six step internal process that reassess our thinking in terms of our care values, that we will remove this blocker each time it occurs.

We don’t have to look at news as bad or good, it simply is news. How do we choose to respond to it? How do we want to represent ourselves in this new situation? Where do we want to take our career?

Although Interpretations may feel instinctive, they come from what we tell ourselves about what is happening. Make a deliberate choice to turn the event over to God as part of his divine and awesome plan for your life. You could very well make the wrong interpretation and end up hindering growth.

Shawn Sommerkamp is a motivational speaker and Executive Coach with 20+ years of Fortune 100 leadership experience.  He founded Motivationeer™ to coach Christian professionals how to use their career to glorify God and support local church growth.

By Shawn Sommerkamp 15 Oct, 2017

Isaiah 43:18-19  “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

We previously covered Fear as one of the most prevalent internal blockers that keeps us from reaching our true career potential. This is the F in F.A.I.L. Now it’s time to look at the second internal blocker that holds us back, the A in F.A.I.L. - Assumptions.

Assumptions are what we tell ourselves based on incorrect expectations. Just because something happened in the past does not mean that it will happen again today. At one level, assumptions provide the walkway to a functioning planet. We assume the chair will hold us, the brakes will stop the car and the sun will rise in the morning and set in the evening.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with these assumptions. We form them from a lifetime of experience, and our assumptions are usually correct. In some cases, they will always be correct.  When it comes to career ambition, however, assumptions really impede our growth. Here are a few I’ve heard from my clients:

  • finding a new job is going to be dreadful
  • I will never make $200K annual salary (or $500K or $1M etc.)
  • it’s impossible to retire any time soon
  • the CEO is just not going to ever notice me or promote me
  • my manager is displeased with me so I am afraid to meet with him

When we assume, we predict a future that isn’t here. This subtle arrogance is along the depression spectrum. As we wade in its waters, we feel a little sluggish and our progress is greatly slowed. We oftentimes begin to sink.

Scarier still, as we make assumptions, we base our actions on them. We then view the outcome of the accurate prediction of our assumption and we create an entire belief system around this un-truth.

These types of assumptions are almost always false. The only thing that makes them possible is our continual obsessing. Without giving them mind-time, these assumptions fade away and a new reality comes into play. Changing the way we think about current events is like shining a light into a dark room.

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.”

- Isaac Asimov

The way I coach all clients through assumptions is to directly challenge the assumption. This is what you can do as well. Here are a few questions I ask:

  1. What if this assumption was untrue? What would you do different?
  2. How is this assumption making you feel right now?
  3. If you changed your belief about this, what could be possible?

“We make assumptions, and believe we are right about the assumptions; then we defend our assumptions and try to make someone else wrong.”

- Don Miguel Ruiz, Author

As we make a deliberate effort to question our very own thinking, we realize how great it is that we are wrong. Being wrong about our assumptions is absolutely freeing. We are free to respond differently. We are free to be calm before the meeting begins. We are free to enjoy planning for a bold and fulfilling future.

Shawn Sommerkamp is a motivational speaker and Executive Coach with 20+ years of Fortune 100 leadership experience.  He founded Motivationeer™ to coach Christian professionals how to use their career to glorify God and support local church growth.

By Shawn Sommerkamp 15 Oct, 2017

Written by: Joseph Hose

On August 4th my life changed forever.

I was enjoying a relaxing morning off from work when I got a notion to accompany my son Liam on his bicycle ride to school; a bonding ritual that we have done together many time before.

As we departed on the 1.5 mile journey through the jungle of our single family neighborhood our spirits were high.  For me, I have always enjoyed spending quality time with my boys and this time was no exception. The ride was full of encouraging conversation about doing your best, being set apart from the world, and living out the values and principles that God shares with us in his Word.  

After about 15 min of cycling we arrived at my son’s school. I gave him a big hug, told him how much I loved him, and how proud I was of his 5th grade efforts. Within a few seconds he disappeared into the large brick building.  A great beginning of a perfect day…or so I thought.

Seconds later, as I began my return route to the house I felt energized and found myself enjoying the familiar feeling of flight as I bombed downhill on the neighborhood streets. Faster and faster I went until I approached my turn onto Polk St. In a split moment I decided to cut the corner by getting onto the sidewalk and in the flow of instinct I descend off the sidewalk curb onto the street; the bike launched into the air.

As I came in for my landing the bike hit wet pavement and BAAAM… I went down hard on my right shoulder!

A rush of intense pain hit my brain like a semi tuck! The deep burning sting in my upper chest, coupled with the inability to move my right arm, screamed loud and clear saying I was in serious trouble and in need of immediate medical attention.  Within 10 min I was back home (yes, I decided to ride the bike back) and in another 10 min I was in the Emergency Room (thanks to my faithful and loving wife).

The results? Five broken ribs, a shattered collar bone, and a partially collapsed lung!   

 

By Shawn Sommerkamp 18 Sep, 2017

Psalm 94:19  When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, your consolations delight my soul.

In the previous blog (posted Feb 13th titled "Remove the Blockers") I revealed the four types of Internal Blocks that hold us back from experiencing profound career growth.  These are Fear, Assumptions, Interpretations and Limiting Beliefs, referenced as the acronym F.A.I.L. I also asked you to practice self-awareness by writing down those times you felt a little “off” then taking a moment to identify your self-talk that day.

Fear Holds us Back

We are now going to look at the first internal blocker, one of the most prevalent and pervasive blockers and one nearly every client I’ve ever had struggles with from time to time, the F in F.A.I.L. - Fear.

When our internal dialogue is influenced by Fear, it tends to come from past experiences. We were bit by a dog and now we are fearful around dogs. We were yelled at by an aggressive manager and now we get uncomfortable in the presence of all management.

As an executive coach I focus my clients on moving forward. We don’t spend time thinking on the past. This is of utmost importance for your own professional maturity. What happened yesterday or last year simply doesn’t matter. It’s all about what you want for your career today.

Luke 9:62  Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Jesus Calls Out Fear

Jesus addresses three would-be followers. In the first, Jesus knew what would make the man unfit and addressed it outright. In the last two, they had an excuse for not being ready to take immediate action. In each, Fear was the blocker.

"I can’t do it right now Jesus because…"

…it would be way too uncomfortable physically and emotionally

…I have a depressing situation that I’m involved in and can’t muster the energy

…I will really miss all the great time with my family

Why would a loving Jesus disqualify someone from kingdom service just because he wanted to say goodbye to his wife and kids? If that were the real reason, Jesus is heartless. We know He is our loving Savior, so there must have been a deeper reason. The same is true of the man whose father allegedly died. Would a compassionate Christ stop a man from honoring his father with a proper burial? No! These were excuses prompted by fear.

That's what Jesus was addressing in each of these three would-be followers - Fear!

It's Time We Address Our Own Fears

For us to address our own, we will start telling ourselves the truth of who we are in this moment, in this day. How? By using the Thought Tuning™ process. You think through what you are telling yourself in the moment, consider your Core Values as a being created by God, then tell yourself something different about what is happening. Tell yourself something more in line with who you are as a person.

That's how you overcome your fear. Remember your Core Values while actively identifying self-talk, then changing what you tell yourself.

If you haven’t done the Core Values assessment yet, please go back to my website, [here] download the Thought Tuning™ guide from the main page and complete it. Then place your core values on the fridge, on your bathroom mirror, on your work space desk, on your phone; anywhere to constantly remember who you are. You are the person God created.

These Core Values are your very essence. None of them have anything to do with fear! When you feel your anxious thoughts welling up, walk through the Thought Tuning™ process, and you will immediately see the difference.

By Shawn Sommerkamp 18 Sep, 2017

by Dave Mitchell

Hummingbirds are really quite amazing.

They are very small (the hummingbird egg is the size of a jellybean), versatile and fun to watch.   Their wings beat up to eighty times per second. They can rotate in a complete circle, hovering like a helicopter in mid-air, fly forwards, backwards, up, down, sideways and even upside-down.

The laws of physics say it should be impossible for the humming bird to fly.

But, as Steve Chandler says, “Clearly nobody told the hummingbird.” 

I remember traveling to the Philippines years ago.   It is a beautiful country, filled with beautiful people. We traveled to one of the poorest areas to donate supplies from the U.S. HOPE worldwide was there administering dental work and providing simple medical treatments. We (non-medical) were asked to bring a suitcase of the basics - clothes, toothbrushes, soap, socks, etc. to give away to families that were local to that area. It was some of the harshest conditions I had ever seen or been around. 

The Joyful Children

I will never forget the children that day. My wife and I still talk about it. Joyful, happy, grateful, friendly, laughing, playing games, jumping rope, having a good time just being together.

The laws of materialism and comfort say it should be impossible for the people there to be joyful. I learned that day, “Clearly no one told the children.” 

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” - Theodore Roosevelt

Most, if not all of the beautiful children I saw that day, had never left their local area. There was nothing to compare their situation to – therefore there joy remained, it was not ‘stolen’ by the knowledge of a different life with different surroundings – it was all they knew!

How many times have I missed the ‘joy of life’ by comparing myself to others - my situation or ‘stuff’- because I was envious or jealous?   

Convicted and determined, I spent these last 25 years trying to understand how to maintain consistent (although imperfect) joy and peace in my life. After years of research, reflection and development, I found a way to not only practice joy in my own life, but teach it to others. It’s possible. It’s real. 

Is it Really Possible to be Joyful Always?

Maybe you can be tempted to think, “Dave, if you knew, like REALLY knew, my story - you would understand why it is so hard (if not impossible) for me to live the joyful life.”   

I know it can seem hard – maybe because you have been trying so long – to maintain consistent joy. You might even feel like, ‘It’s impossible’. 

Technically, it’s impossible for the humming bird to fly as well. But they can – up to 30 MPH! 

The Bible mentions being joyful and in some cases commands it:

  • ‘Be joyful always….’
  • ‘Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds….’
  • ‘Rejoice always in the Lord always….’

 Imagine with me, for just a moment, a life where your joy is untouched and unaffected by life’s circumstances. A life where your joy was your strength and fueled you through the day regardless of what was going on around you or the results you were achieving. Can you see it? Can you picture this? 

If you can see it, you can reach it. I know, not only because the Bible calls us to have true joy always, but because I know how to change my thinking to achieve it.  And so can you.  It starts by deepening your awareness of those areas affecting your joy. And you can do so by clicking the button below, which will take you to a page to access the Joy Meter Assessment.


More Posts
Share by: