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“Live your life like you use your GPS. Set a course for your destination, make sure your vehicle is in good shape, trust you’ll eventually arrive and be content with the next instruction without knowing what’s after.”

Judy Ryan, CEO LifeWork Systems

In my work, a primary function I play is to help people become 100% responsible for their relationships, productivity and engagement in their life and work. That’s because when you are 100% responsible, you are truly free. And, it’s hardest to remember this when you’re assaulted with fear and the fretting that accompany it.


When you become fearful and discouraged, you second-guess yourself, freeze up or get frantic and try everything possible to make things happen. That’s the worst possible thing you can do and the worst possible time to do it. When you’re afraid, you are in ‘critter mind’. Your amygdala (instinctive survival mind) has hijacked your frontal cortex (reasoning and logic) so you are literally out of your right mind!

When functioning from fear, you feel alone, isolated, unsettled, incompetent and unhelpful. You can’t seem to access your inner power and wisdom, you don’t feel likable or connected and you wonder if anything you do matters. You doubt your abilities and label yourself unfavorably.

“That was so stupid of me to…” “Why can’t I be more like…?” Why didn’t I anticipate that?” and “Isn’t this the same mess I was just in…?”

You will also hear yourself using these disempowered phrases and doing counter-productive things from:

“I ought to…”, “I need to…”, “I should…”, “I can’t…”, and “I have to…”

So…how do you move from fear to freedom? Here are several steps:

Get Curious

Assume you make sense and that whatever is happening IS the next right step on your journey. Ask what and how questions:

“What system if put in place would eliminate or reduce this issue?” “What am I feeling and what do I want” “What is being shown to me?” “What can I learn?”, “How can I use my unique strengths to address this?” “How can I grow in leadership because of this?” “How will I access my wisdom?” “How can I encourage myself?” Or “What will help me now to live my highest purpose and values?

 Get Compassionate

The word compassion literally means to be with (com) feelings (passion). When you’re afraid, you’re most likely to adapt coping mechanisms to avoid being with your darker feelings. Instead, stop merely coping and bring empathy and healing through presence. Consider viable perspectives about you; draw on your capacity to be caring, patient, loving and kind. Avoid rushing into your next thought or activity.

Get Inspired

Pay attention and notice when you are thinking of doing, deciding or saying something from fear, then don’t. More than ever, you want to operate your business from purpose, values and vision, which come from inspiration. When you are inspired from within or when something enlivening shows up in front of you, then take that next step. Your business will flourish and so will you!

For curious, compassionate and inspiring support, call me today or start by taking one of my online exploration assessments under Services on my website. I’ll send you a FREE report.


Why People Hire Judy Ryan and LifeWork Systems

Business owners, community leaders, and educators hire Lifework Systems because they want the advantages of an extraordinary workplace and recognize a systems approach ensures consistency and sustainability in the transformation process. They know that conscientious employees grow your business and improve your reputation, giving you competitive advantages. We help organizations instill into every person a common language and toolset for how to participate in a responsibility-based Teal workplace. Visit our website at www.lifeworksystems.com, and click the link at the bottom to complete a culture assessment and schedule your first consult to review a report on your feedback, all at no cost.  You can also contact Judy Ryan at 314.239.4727 or at judy@lifeworksystems.com.


As published in my column The Extraordinary Workplace in St. Louis Small Business Monthly, November 2014