‘Moving From Fear Into The Functioning State’ by Edwina Pettiford published in Great Health Guide (Aug 2015). In Edwina’s previous article, she discusses about the three states of mind – fear, functioning & freedom. This article explains how you can change your mindset from fear to functioning.
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MINDSET: Moving From Fear into The Functioning State
written by Edwina Pettiford
I knew I had to do something different. The outcome that I wanted was clear – I didn’t want to be fearful or worried anymore but I didn’t know how I was going to get there. Instead of becoming overwhelmed and disappointed about not knowing what to do, I told myself that I had to change one thing. Nothing was going to change if I didn’t change something…
In the last issue of Great Health Guide, I wrote about finding a sense of freedom through healthy eating. In that article I spoke about the three different states, (Fear, Functioning and Freedom) that we can live in and touched on how I had experienced life in all three states at one time or another. These really are a state of mind from which we perceive the world and the things that happen around us.
The different states of minds that I identified are Fear, Functioning and Freedom and in this article, I’d like to talk about living in the state of Fear and provide some useful tips on how to move from Fear into the Functioning State.
After having my first child, I had become overweight and unhappy with how I looked and started to withdraw from the outside world. Venturing out to socialise had become difficult as I was embarrassed about how I looked. This made me feel trapped and desperate and I was obsessing about what other people thought of me. Most of the time I would create this ludicrous story in my head about what other people were saying about me, when the reality was, the people that I was obsessing over probably weren’t even thinking about me at all.
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Nearly every decision I made was difficult. Not because I didn’t know what I wanted but because I was worried about what other people would think or say. I remember thinking so many times, ‘Oh I can’t do that, what will people think’. So I continued on; unhappy with where life was taking me, all because I was fearful. I remember very clearly the day that I knew I had to change. The exact moment sticks in my mind and I remember thinking to myself ‘I’m not going to look and feel like this anymore’.
To start with, I had no idea what I needed to do, or how I was going to make a change, but I knew I had to do something different. The outcome that I wanted was clear – I didn’t want to be fearful or worried anymore but I didn’t know how I was going to get there.
Instead of becoming overwhelmed and disappointed about not knowing what to do, I told myself that I had to change one thing. Nothing was going to change if I didn’t change something. So the next day I put on my joggers, put my baby in the pram and walked around the block. Looking back, this one thing was so simple and easy but this turned out to be what started the change in my life.
I didn’t know yet what else I was going to do to make myself feel better but I had realised that if I wanted to change from being fearful, I would have to keep doing something different and begin to function. So I put on my joggers every day and walked. As the days went on, I found this walking time cleared my head, it gave me time to think and getting out of the house into the sunshine started to improve my mood. People waved, I waved back. People said ‘Hi’ as we walked past and I said ‘Hi’ back. I was starting to become sociable again without being stressed and anxious.
If you feel like you’re trapped and alone and living in a state of fear and worry, I would encourage you to change just one simple thing. If you’re not exercising, put your shoes on and step outside. You may already be walking or exercising and this is fantastic, so in that case change something else. Maybe you don’t get out and socialise as much as you would like to, so in that situation you could call a friend and meet up for coffee or reach out to a mothers’ or women’s group and get involved.
Changing the way you feel starts by doing something differently, so to overcome the fears you have, start with the first small step outside of your comfort zone and begin to function.