Until recently, fear was not a word I associated with myself…

But truly, looking back, I did not have a good understanding of fear, especially my own!

Coming from a veeerrrrryyyyy small town, I did not let anything hold me back.  While most kids were doing what all kids did growing up, I traveled alone – went from rural small town to large city for school – sang and traveled with a musical group.  I really just wanted to get out of town and experience other things.  People were really amazed when I went back home to hear what I had done.

fearHowever, my fear did not come from being alone, trying new things, going places that I did not speak the language.  My fear came from being judged. I was afraid that someone would see my weaknesses – that I would see my  imperfections.

Perfectly dressed, educated, driven to succeed, the best employee, and later I added the perfect wife, mother, worker, friend, volunteer.  I surrounded myself with people that needed me, that way maybe they wouldn’t see my weaknesses.  I know this sounds harsh.  Even writing it makes me feel very uncomfortable.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I also had friends that were trying to live up to that perfection game as well.  As a whole, we were unfulfilled, felt unloved, felt we were not enough and judged ourselves more severely than anyone one else ever could.

At the end of the day, I was just not enough….

Then I heard Brené Brown describe perfectionism like this:

“When perfectionism is the in the driver’s seat, shame is riding shot gun and fear is in the back seat!”

WOW, did this resonate with me.  Now, to get to why I used this perfectionism as my shield, I was going to have to spend some time looking at the shame and fear.

Over the last three years, I have come to understand how fear and shame shaped me.  I had to get real with it and then allow myself to let it go. When I finally acknowledged my own fear and shame, it seemed rather silly and unrealistic.

Today when I hear the nasty voices of fear and shame, I remind myself of who I am today.  Not the person shame and fear want me to be.  I still struggle, but when it starts I make sure that I tell myself the same kind words I would say to a friend.

Do you struggle with fear?  Shame?

Creating a buzz……¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

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Can you ask for help? 

Can you ask for help? I can’t.  And sometimes I really need it.  But if I ask for help someone will see my weakness.  Weakness is the very thing people are looking for so that they can move in for the kill. Right?

ask for helpHow many times have I been faced with a problem or situation and not had the answers.  Goodness knows I would not admit that to anyone.  I spend hours and hours analyzing, researching until I knew what I thought I needed to do.  I would feel confident that I could move past this obstacle.

Many times I solved my issue…… But there was something that was missing.   When you ask for help many times you also get comfort, empathy, compassion.  These were the things I missed by not reaching out to others. Someone to hear your fears, listen to how you were already working it out and reach across to  let you move into your fear with someone to see where you were standing without judgement.

Who is this person in your life?  Do you need this?

Creating a buzz……..

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Why do we need conflict?

Why do we need conflict?  I hate it. I avoid it. I want everyone to be happy. It makes me anxious. I lose sleep when I know I have to face it.

For 51 years I avoided conflict.  I would agree just to keep the peace.  What I thought really was not that big of a deal, right?  Until I exploded!  It wasn’t pretty and I can’t believe that I was that angry.  People that knew me were in shock.  I was shocked as well.

ConflictThat was my wake up call.  I knew I had to stand up for myself for what I wanted or thought was important.  The happiness of others was not my job. But ultimately, by avoiding conflict, my relationships were superficial.

Then, for work, I read the book, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” by Patrick Lencioni.  It helped me see that conflict needs to happen and that when it is honest and respectful, the outcome can create a more harmonious relationship.  And while this was set in the work environment, it works perfectly well in my personal life as well.

When faced with conflict, I tell myself that the outcome will be good.  Be honest! Be respectful! Listen to other person! Keep an open mind!  I have tried it twice with good results.  This gives me the courage to do it again.  I still get anxious about the process but with the good outcomes, I know that I can push through!

creating a buzz……

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What is standing in your way?

What excuse do you tell yourself?  I don’t have a degree. I am not smart enough. I don’t deserve it. I don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough money. My kids need me. What IS standing in your way?

Kimberly Brust Standing in Your WayI am sure the list could go on forever.  There could be as many road blocks as there are people.  We can always find a reason to  stop us from doing what we would love to be doing.  However,  what is really stopping us is fear.

This is the fear that could keep us from living our passion, creating our dream and doing what makes us truly happy.

What excuse are you making? NOW, what can you do about it?  Don’t be looking for the quick fix but rather a small step you can take today, tomorrow and the day after that will lead you down the road to your passion. As you progress, you will find the next small step and the next.

It is the smallest step that can lead to the biggest rewards. Don’t give up.  Just keep pushing through.

“You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way.”

Creating a buzz……

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What is the Definition of “Sexy”?

Remember when you were little and you could laugh with abandon? Play all day and then eat like you were starving? The quote from Courtney E. Martin says so much about what we have given up as women:

Kim Brust You Know what's really powerfully sexy

Over the last two years I have started dating. Believe me, this is not what I thought I would be doing at 52 years old. But I love the companion of men. I love how they are able to have fun and be a boy once in a while. Look for adventure in life. They want to find a woman that is willing to take their sense of humor, laugh at their jokes and give them a smart come back.

Not all men are looking for that model type. A common thread in the men I have met is a women that is confident and happy. Unable to see what she doesn’t have but loves what she does.   A very special man, who is significantly younger than I am, said to me regarding our age difference, “if it doesn’t bother me, why should it bother you?”

I realized I needed to stop talking about my insecurities. If it was a problem for him, he would not be there. That would include my insecurity about my weight, my hair, the lines around my eyes, etc., etc., etc…….

Creating a buzz….

*picture found on Pinterest

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Don’t Be Afraid……

What do we fear?  Many times it is just the unknown… Will they like me?  Will I be able to complete the project on time? Will I be good enough? Will I be able to compete?

Picture5Over the last 15 years, I have learned a lot about anxiety and fear. My daughter suffers with anxiety daily.  In order to look at what is happening and deal with it, we were told to make a coping statement when faced with an attack.  I asked my daughter to tell me how many times she was worried about something and then that actually happened.  We really had to think about this for a while.

WE COULD NOT THINK OF ONE TIME!

I advised her, that most times we worry about the worst case scenario and that hardly ever happens. Much like the warnings on a drug label. The chances of the worst case might be 1 in a million…. Normally, we get something in between the best and worst outcome.  So, if we know that the worst case is most likely not going to happen and we can deal with any of the other outcomes, we should just move forward and let our fear move back.

The more times we are able to push our fear back, the more confident we become.  It is not that the fear is not there, we just don’t let it stop us from moving forward. The more we practice this, the easier it gets.

I have living proof.

Creating a buzz….

*picture found on Pinterest

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