I confess I’m not like the average person afraid of public speaking. I do that for a living and teach kids to be courageous as well. I’m not afraid of death, either. These two phobias are either first or second on the list of top fears.
However, I am afraid of swimming in deep ocean water. I dislike the feeling of ungroundedness and bobbing up and down in the unpredictable waves.
Our guest this week (the show is now on Thursdays) writes volumes in books about fear. Up until about 8 years ago fear was her constant friend.
Lynda Sunshine West reports her fear began when she was 5 years old. She “ran away from home” to the neighbor’s house. Neither of her parents came to take her back home, nor did they make any attempt to reach out after an entire week.
Of course, Lynda’s parents knew where she was and that she was safe. Perhaps they thought they were giving Lynda space, or maybe they liked the break of one less kid to worry about in the large family.
Lynda didn’t know that her parents knew where she was, and her negative self-talk was borne.
“They don’t love me.”
“They don’t want me around.”
Lynda grew up in a volatile, abusive, alcoholic household. Although she can’t pinpoint the exact reason she left that day, she attributes a sense of strength in her five-year-old self.
“I stood up for myself and decided I would no longer live in a toxic environment. We don’t often give kids enough credit at five years old, but I knew I didn’t want to be there.”Lynda Sunshine West
Lynda believed for many decades she was unlovable. This caused tremendous fear.
“I became a people pleaser. I just wanted people to love me.”Lynda Sunshine West
Almost 50 years later, 36 years in the corporate world, and employment at 49 different jobs, Lynda had an epiphany driving to work one morning.
“I found myself stuck in the same traffic I’d been stuck in for 36 years, and I thought to myself Why am I here? I have no value, no purpose. There is no reason for me to be here. All I do is push papers around.
I was filled with anger, hate, and extreme judgment. I would talk about people behind their backs like backstabbing women we all know.”Lynda Sunshine West
When Lynda got to work that day, there was a Facebook post inside of a group she belonged to, and it said “I’m a life coach. I’m looking for 5 women who want to change their life.”
That’s exactly what Lynda wanted, so she hired the coach, quit her job, and embarked on a journey as an entrepreneur not fully realizing what that meant.
“I didn’t know what I wanted, but I did know what I didn’t want.”
Lynda’s coach helped her discover some fears, who she is, and started her on a new path.
“I did my homework every single week. I was doing a lot of inner, deep, soul work. On January first I woke up and asked myself, ‘what scares me?’ Then I thought, ‘I’m gonna break through fear every day this year.’”Lynda Sunshine West
Lynda learned throughout the year that fear of judgement was an overarching theme. Since she’d wake up each morning open to the fear she needed to break through that day, judgement kept coming up.
“One morning the thought was, ‘go talk to a stranger at Starbucks’. I almost threw up because I was so scared to talk to people.”
During our interview Lynda shared an entertaining story about her adventure at Starbucks that day. It didn’t go as planned, but she was able to talk to a man sitting by himself.
“Excuse me, sir. I’m breaking through a fear every day this year, and today’s fear is to talk to a stranger in the Starbucks. Do you mind if I have a seat?
We had a 5-minute conversation, I thanked him for his time, and I walked out. I was so sick to my stomach. Fear is debilitating and will stop us from doing so many things, because we don’t allow ourselves to just go through it.”Lynda Sunshine West
In the last 8 years, Lynda has gained an exorbitant amount of confidence. She’s on a mission to empower 5 million women and men to write their stories and make a greater impact on the planet.
She is the founder and CEO of Action Takers Publishing. She’s a speaker, and a 23 time #1 International, Best-selling Author, contributing writer to Entrepreneur Magazine and Brainz Magazine.
Lynda is an executive film producer of the Movie Wish Man and a red carpet interviewer. Since that fearful moment in Starbucks, Lynda has interviewed A-list celebrities, movie stars, award-winning singers, government leaders, etc.
This is Lynda’s mantra, and what has allowed her to overcome so much fear to realize so much success.
“The results have been absolutely incredible. Why are we depriving ourselves of what’s incredible on the other side?”Lynda Sunshine West
Do it because you’re scared.
At this writing, tomorrow Lynda is hosting the Finding Your Purpose Summit (May 13-15th) Attendance is free, and your humble blog writer will be speaking on the summit!
There will soon be a book featuring all the speakers and nuggets of the summit. So don’t miss either one. Step forward with faith and don’t let fear hold you back.
I’m still afraid of deep ocean water. However, I now use a floatation device when I snorkel. The fear subsides to almost nothing. I never miss the beauty of the ocean because I don’t let fear stop me.