Excerpt from Dr. Jo Anne Bishop’s upcoming new book,
“You Can Do It: Transform Fear Into Creativity

We all experience fear in some form every day, whether we want that fear or not. Fear is an ancient body sensation that compels and drives us toward survival through a fight or flight response. This response floods the body with chemicals that promote action. Fear is generated from what is called the old brain or the limbic brain system. This system is experienced by the right side of our brains. If the fear chemicals floods us, and we don’t take action, we will become immobilized or stunned into inaction.

Gary Sherwood in his book, The Survivor’s Club, states that in an emergency situation ten percent of the population would take positive action to address the situation. Eighty percent of the population would be immobilized and the last ten percent would act badly or demonstrate self-sabotaging or destructive behavior. That is a whopping ninety percent of us who would not act with self-preserving behavior. How then are those ten percent that would take positive action different from the rest of us? He found that these people are the ones in life who strategize or have a plan of action for most situations before they happen. They would get on an airplane and immediately create an exit plan in their minds. This strategic plan creates a structure that allows them to use and overcome the fear they will experience in an emergency by having a plan of action thought through before they need it. Although every day situations are not emergency based, it does point out the need to be responsive instead of reactive in our daily life. We need to make a conscious choice to strategize our actions to overcome the fear that leads many of us down the path of inaction. It also teaches us to use our personal power when confronted by fear in our careers and relationships instead of being at the effect of brain’s chemical flood. If we identify that we are afraid of confronting an issue, it is more likely that we will be able to problem solve before we become overwhelmed and stick our heads in the sand.

Fear can take the form of anxiety, nervousness, fright, panic, dread, dismay, worry, apprehension or agitation. Fear can be felt as butterflies, phobias, aversions, procrastination, immobilization, overwhelm, powerlessness or heaviness. These feelings are experienced
at one time or another by all of us. Periods of change increase
stressful responses in our bodies. What can we do to use these
powerful body sensations in a way that promotes our success instead
of stops us from moving ahead?

You can transform this fear by identifying it as I talked about
earlier in this article. It then can be used as a power that will be harnessed to promote your success. This is a learned process and a skill that you will be able to utilize with practice. There are components of this process that include affirmation, visualization, self-reflection, faith and action. Listed in the paragraph below are the tools that will lead to success and creativity through harnessing your fear to empower your life.

Affirmations allow the fear to be directed toward a positive outcome through the use of words that help clarify your intentions. Timelines with affirmations gives us the ability to do what Brian Tracy, a top level
motivator, calls this his three “R”s. Timelines promote our ability to “re-evaluate, re-consider and re-commit” to our plan of action. He believes these three action verbs are vital to everyday success. In my own work with high achievers and top producers, I have seen the success of using this plan of action. Through consistently using a
structure that enables us to solve problems, we gain faith in ourselves.
We begin to trust our abilities which empowers us in times of distress. As we give ourselves permission to reflect on our decision making, the
idea of having the perfect plan the first time out doesn’t make sense
anymore. It allows us to change a plan that really doesn’t work and recommitted to one that does. An affirmation is a positive statement that can be utilized to transform the fear chemicals that flood the brain as a result of a trigger event. A trigger event can be as little as thinking that we will not have enough income. This thought triggers a fear reaction in the body and may results in negative self-talk. This flood of chemicals originates in the right brain hemisphere and the limbic brain system that is also considered the “old brain”. It is driven by instinct
for our survival as a species and creates a reaction called a fight or flight response. It is also part of the autonomic body functions that regulates breathing, blinking, swallowing and other body functions that support our life.

An affirmation originates through the left side of the brain that oversees language or words. By using an affirmation, we are choosing to utilize the chemicals of fear and transform them into action by using what I call the “creativity bridge”. A bridge between the right and left cerebral hemispheres already exists and is called the corpus callosum. This bridge connects the two hemispheres and allows us to talk and chew gum at the same time. The ability to increase the connection between the two hemispheres through conscious decision-making can bring support and balance in our lives. Integration increases our options. By increasing your knowledge of how the brain works, you increase your options further by accessing the power that lies within you. This creativity bridge activates by using an affirmation to direct the fear toward a desired result. The more we utilize this bridge, the stronger it becomes in helping us to choose a response to a fearful thought or situation instead of reacting to it. An affirmation can be written, stated out loud or stated silently. Affirmations allow us to use the chemicals activated by the trigger event and transform the fear into creativity by giving the fear chemicals a channel to direct the fear in a action oriented, goal directed manner. This helps us to clarify our intentions to manifest goals and take action.

Example – I won’t have enough income to meet by bills.

Transform fear into creativity:

Example – “I will create my income goal and allow opportunities to support me. I release all limitations in my behavior, thoughts and actions and embrace abundance which moves me toward my highest good.”

Visualization is directed thought made into positive images that allow us
to move towards goals. Visualization allows you to imagine success, as your are moving towards it. Visualizations are from the right-brain hemisphere and program the subconscious. The subconscious mind dwells in the ever-present now and is not restricted by timeframes. If you affirm and visualize your success now, you are utilizing both the right and left brain hemispheres as an integrated structure for your success, increasing the power of the creativity bridge. The subconscious reside in every cell of our bodies and is a powerful genie that allows us to access unknown and unlimited creativity. If you tell the subconscious
that you are successful now, the subconscious programs the brain through that suggestion.

The gateway to the subconscious is through the right brain where imagination and visualization reside. When you consciously choose to use the creativity bridge, you are taking action to change your life.

Example – “Imagine that you are looking back at the end of the month seeing how successful you were. Imagine that you are a magnet and drawing unlimited opportunities to you moment by moment. Imagine your checking account with the dollar amount that you desire.”

Negative self-talk occurs in most everyone and is the result of a challenging event or as simple as a thought about your security that is fear-based. In order to be effective, we must become self-reflective when fear triggers negative self-talk. Through self-reflection, we begin to understand that negative self-talk is like a computer loop that never stops unless we take action to stop it. Through practice and self-reflection, we can develop strategies that will transform our negative self-talk into positive affirmations, visualizations and action.

Example – “The market is bad and I’ll never be able to make my goal.”

Reframed - “I affirm that opportunity comes to me in miraculous ways. I reach my goal.

Affirm and visualize the outcome that you desire. This activates many options that are available to us to secure our future.

Change creates fear. When we declare a goal, we are initiating change. The unknown generates fear. Fear is experienced even if change is desired. We need the discipline to choose to direct our fear instead of our fear directing us.

In order to increase the probability of success, I believe that there is a need to use a consistent process or structure to channel fear into creative action. Goal, Action, Timeline and Execution (GATETM) is an acronym I have created to simplify the plan of action. When this is integrated with affirmation, visualization, and an intention to succeed a dynamic combination for our future is in place. The creativity bridge utilizes responsiveness to fear instead of a reaction that would lead to immobilization. This process empowers the transformation of the fear chemicals that affect the brain prompting us to take responsive action. Any decisive action shakes us out of inaction. It helps wake us up into awareness and out of immobilizing behavior. Do a little each day and before you know it you will have a significant change in the way you do your life and the results will be amazing.

Affirmation and visualization are two tools that empower the transformational process within us which positively alters the chemicals in our brains. They allows us to channel fear as a creative force and prompt us into responsive action and choice.”
Dr. Jo Anne Bishop

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Author's Bio: 

She developed Strategic, Integrated Success Strategies to support people in developing the powerhouse that lies within them through their subconscious and conscious minds. This program is a state-of-the-art, fast paced learning tool that increases her clients ability to access the creativity, innovatiion, widsom, and clarity that is offered by the intuitive gifts within each individual and at the same time anchor this informatiion with the crystal clear, linear skills of the rational mind. New brain research is finally catching up with what ancient spiritual teachers have taught for centuries:


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