What a Gem

Thoughts to Contemplate by Dr. Luann Robinson Hull

Courage! A Labor of Love


In my last message, Taking Back Our Emotional Wellbeing, I talked about proven ways to interrupt the brain’s conditioned mechanism to “emotionally hi-jack” us, when we get triggered–a coping mechanism which has actually been dialed into our programming to keep us alive throughout our evolutionary development.

As we continue to learn, some of our conditioned fears and the responses caused by these are no longer useful—at least when they cause more harm than good—like running around your back hand in tennis—or, consider this: Suppose you have had a life-long fear of heights for whatever reason (like me). And, for the last 11 years, you have been living in an alpine town, filled with hiking trails, cliffs, ski-mountains, and a multitude of exceedingly high places. What are your choices? You could most definitely avoid direct contact and just enjoy viewing the scenery—certainly a valid and understandable choice. Or, you could make a decision to use the proximity of these mountains as an opportunity to break through some of your fears.

What I have found is that the more I am willing to approach something that scares me (within reason–I mean–no need to test out the theory on a bear or mountain lion)—the more I am able to release the grip of fear’s hold on me. Hiking in the mountains of Colorado has definitely changed me on many levels—no doubt about it. When I came here over a decade ago, I was terrified to go up even the most benign of trails. Nine years in, my son took me on an amazing adventure—the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, where I was the first in our group to summit a peak of 13,900 feet (maybe not a big deal for macho hiker dudes/dudettes, but for me, a true accomplishment!). As far as I am concerned, the going up isn’t really scary anymore—it’s the coming down that I still dread (there is more work to do on that one). And though I continue to be uncomfortable on the south-bound journey (even on a pair of skis) the level of fear I experience now has significantly diminished.

I am certain that having the courage to overcome some of my fears on the mountains of Colorado has transferred to other areas of my life.

I believe that each time you “walk yourself through a fear” you are strengthening (even training) that “courage” pathway in the brain, which will eventually provide you with a more balanced choice when you are triggered (this process is called neuroplasticty http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroplasticity).

The “happily team” wants to support you in having more peace, more fulfillment, more freedom, and just generally more happiness in your life.  We want to help you upgrade into your most full and optimal potential—right now! And so here’s the rest of this week’s message filmed in my little vlog on “walking down the mountain” (maybe you will be able to sense the fear in the beginning and the victory at the end—stronger “courage” pathway in progress here!).



Let’s celebrate courage—a personal labor of love…

Believing in us!



9 thoughts on “Courage! A Labor of Love

  1. I completely agree with you that when you confront a fear you’re teaching your brain something new. Now, if you can get me to jump out of a plane…. maybe I’ll just start with something smaller, like holding a rat or a spider for an extended period of time! 🙂

    • Oh LORD Elyse! LOL! DO NOT HOLD A SPIDER OR A RAT! I think you can be SMART!!! LOL!!! I can’t stand them either, and I’m pretty happy to remain in healthy fear of them… maybe that’s it… I need to move to a place of HEALTHY fear of them, rather than darting across the room when I see one a quarter inch in diameter… LOL

      Great post Luann! I love these tips to changing our brains… I need to retrain my brain to remember basic stuff though. Can you help me there? LOL

  2. Love the focus, never let fear dictate your actions…..although I still haven’t jumped out of that plane. LOL

  3. Wow. Just wow. An awesome post. Love the concept of training your brain to overcome fear by facing it. So simple, yet not the first thing you’d think of. Brilliant!

    • Thanks, James. I find this technique works for me every time (I started using it in overcoming my fear of piano recitals when I was five). I am sure if you look back on your life, you will be able to cite many examples where you have used your courage to successfully overcome a fear…good job! Luann

  4. I had a fear of flying so I asked my daughter to fly with me on a short flight to surprise my mother on Mother’s Day. I was scared but survived. As I was met by a family member their first question was an anxious are you OK? It turns out another flight of the same airiine leaving Florida had crashed in the Everglades. They thought I would be freaked out. I was thankful! The next evening I had to fly home. Getting on that plane was REALLY hard. I think I will stick with overcoming less life threatening fears in the future.

    • Well, yes, you can use the technique on something less frightening, although if your fear causes you to “run around your back hand” as discussed in our blog, it can be useful to see what you can do to take the next step in overcoming it. GOOD JOB in getting back on that plane. It may not be quite as scary the next time! Best of luck to you! Luann

  5. The Inca Trail has been something I have dreamed about for years. What an amazing accomplishment for you!

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