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Ep 7 Transcription "What are you Waiting For?"

Leona:

Hi friends. Welcome to the Get Off Your Affirmation podcast. I'm Leona Evans, and I'm here today with my son and co-host Matthew J. Evans.

Matthew:

Hi, how are you?

Matthew:

I'm great. How are you?

Matthew:

I'm really good. I'm excited today. We're talking about one of my favorite topics.

Leona:

Really? One of your favorite topics?

Matthew:

I don't know if it's one of my favorite topics, but it is one that I've had a lot of challenge with and I've had a lot of experience trying to work on.

Leona:

Yes. It's one that we've talked about a lot over the years. The title of our conversation today is What Are We Waiting For? That is such a common phrase. It's become a cliche. "What are you waiting for?" People will ask us "How's this project doing?" Or "How's this aspect of your career going?" Or "How's the painting project in your house going?" And it's like, "Well, you know, I'll get to it when the time is right." And people will say, "What are you waiting for? Just do it. Yeah. Just do it".

Matthew:

And so today I would like to respectfully challenge all of our listeners to get off your affirmation and just do it! Now that's a lot easier said than done. We have a lot of reasons that are valid or reasons that have become comfortable for us, or reasons that mask the real reason. One of the reasons is that we don't feel that we're ready to tackle the task. One of the first things that come to mind when people say they're not ready, is that they haven't taken enough time to study the topic. They haven't taken enough time to really know what they're doing. And so they're frightened and they're waiting for the time when they're no longer frightened in order to just do it. But you see that doesn't work.

Matthew:

No, it doesn't.

Matthew:

It doesn't work because I don't know if there's a time when we're not afraid.

Matthew:

Yeah. If I waited until I wasn't afraid or felt completely knowledgeable and prepared for something, I don't think I would ever do anything. I don't think I would get out of bed because I wouldn't feel prepared. It's very intimidating.

Leona:

Well, it is, you know, and the problem with criticizing that reasoning, " I'm not prepared enough" is that sometimes we're not. But then we have to understand that part of our goal is to get the information we need, and then do it. But very often we don't because we are afraid that even if we do know what we're doing, we won't be able to do it well. We paralyze ourselves. We live in that fear and we make excuses to ourselves and others. This reminds me of an experience you had years ago, as you were growing up, I noticed that you were afraid of heights and you didn't want to jump off the diving board, or climb, or do any of the things that involve heights. And I wanted you to feel more comfortable, so I was constantly exposing you to opportunities that would give you the chance to get over your fear. Well, there was one time, I think you were about seven or eight years old. You were taking swimming classes at the local park. And everyone was asked to jump off the diving board,

Matthew:

the

Matthew:

The high dive, not just the regular diving board.

Leona:

Well, it was high. I mean, it wasn't like the Olympics, but it was higher than the lower one. I felt that in this safe environment where you had teachers and lifeguards and peers your own age that were doing it, that it would give you a sense of victory, and a sense of greater confidence so that you could let go of that pervasive fear that seemed to come up rather often. And so you got up to the diving board, you went to the end of the diving board,

Matthew:

To me it seems like an endless abyss. I could not jump off and I didn't do it. I had to turn around and climb back down. it was really embarrassing. I went up and had to climb back down maybe half a dozen times.

Leona:

I think it was more than once for sure, which I felt was a really hard knock to your self-esteem. You wanted to do it. You had a belief that you could do it, but it wasn't strong enough to actually help you over the danger that you associated with it. So I remember that day. You came back to sit down next to me and I said, "How about if I make a deal with you? If you jump off the higher diving board, I will hold a frog in my hand." And you know why that appealed to you

Matthew:

Because I loved frogs and I knew that you were terrified,

Leona:

Absolutely terrified. An irrational fear that I've had for years, in spite of counseling and other techniques to overcome phobias.There was something about frogs that was so threatening to me that I couldn't even watch the old Budweiser commercials. I couldn't see them on TV. So when I shared with you that I would hold that frog in my hand, I would face one of my worst phobic fears, if you faced one of yours.

Matthew:

Yes, it was a big incentive. We were both going to be doing something scary. Another incentive was that I knew it was going to be really funny to me, watching how nervous and scared you would be by a frog, which to me is so cute and adorable and almost cuddly. So I, I knew I was going to really enjoy that. We're both going to do something scary and I'm going to really get a laugh. So it was two big incentives.

Leona:

And those incentives were stronger than your fear. And then what happened after that?

Matthew:

I jumped off the diving board three times. I don't know why I did it again because I only had to do it once. But I think maybe I thought if I jumped off three times, you'd hold three frogs. I don't know how that works.

Leona:

No, it wasn't a three-frog deal. But I'll tell ya. I was excited because not only did you do it the first time, but you did it the second and third time, because you wanted to, because it was fun.

Matthew:

Yeah. Found the enjoyment. And I found that that fear, that facing that fear and feeling that like, Oh, rush, as you're kind of falling from a diving board is fun. I enjoyed it. You know, I'm always like that. I'm still like that with rollercoaster rides or things like that, you know, I'm terrified I'm sweating, I'm nauseated walking up the stairs and doing, Oh my gosh. And then seeing how high you get, Oh gosh, I'm gonna die. And then the minute it's over, I'm like, Oh, I'd love to do that again. You know?

Leona:

Yes! Do you remember what happened when it was my turn? Now you were in Critter Camp, and you got a chance to examine small creatures and learn about them.

Matthew:

I got to be introduced to a lot of local wildlife and learn a lot about nature and ecosystems. It was fantastic.

Leona:

Well, I went to pick you up on the last day. I had prepared myself as well as

Matthew:

Last day was frog day for us. We had,

Leona:

And so I did everything to prepare myself, knowing that we are one with all that this frog is a, is a creature of God. It's a part of nature. It has its own beauty, even if I can't recognize it. And just to go in there with a totally welcoming attitude. Well, honestly I think that was a little too much to ask of myself because while I was willing, I mean, I wanted to be willing to hold it in my hand. That didn't mean that I had to be happy about it. The teacher placed it in my hand. I couldn't open my eyes because I was too afraid. And I started to cry a little bit and everyone laughed, which was fine. The fact is I did it.

Matthew:

I know, it was great that you did it. We were all super excited and happy that you did.

Leona:

The strength of those irrational fears can be overpowering sometimes. And what I believe is that if we can get 51% of our consciousness to agree to just do it, then we can drag the other 49 along. You know, I mean, if we have 49% that are willing and 51% is overcome with fears and hideous visions of disaster, then we will be fighting what might be a losing battle. But all we have to do is get to 51%. You did it another time. Do you remember? At this point you were about 12.

Matthew:

Yeah. I was older and still not over my fear of heights. I'm still not completely over my fear of heights. This was a program that was being offered for kids through the Screen, Actors Guild these wereprograms for kids that had volunteering opportunities and big group activities.

Leona:

So it was to enhance self esteem and create a sense of community. So what was it that I asked you to promise me that you would participate i?

Matthew:

it was a ropes course. Like an elevated rope course that ended with a zip line, a very high zip line. It was high. and it was one of the last activities of the day.

Leona:

So let me just say this. I dropped you off at the activity. I spoke to one of the trainers, one of the counselors who facilitates, that camp. And I said, "Matthew has promised me that he would do the zip line activity. And I would like to ask if you would encourage him to keep that promise." And so I left, took a book, went to McDonald's and sat there for a few hours reading. When I saw it was time to pick you up, I went back to the campsite. Now you had promised me that you would do it. And so I expected you to have done it. And so please share what happened.

Matthew:

I didn't do it. I started to climb, up the ladder. But when I got about halfway up the ladder I had to go throw up. I got so anxious. It's true .I actually threw up because I was so nervous, so terrified, so anxious at seeing how high I was going. I couldn't do it. So everybody did it. A few people did it twice. And I was like, "You have fun. I'm going to be a nervous wreck on the ground." So I kind of felt bad about it and felt kind of defeated. So when you got there and you said, "So you didn't do it?' I really had to do it again,

Leona:

Well, let me explain what I thought was the most important thing. You gave me your word and your word has to mean something. You have to respect your word and the word of others until they prove that you can't. But I wanted very much, not only for you to take pride in what you did, but to know that you went way out of your way to keep your promise way out of your way. And that would cause you to feel stronger and to feel clear about your, ethics, your values. So when you started up again, I told two of the kids that were standing right near me and the counselor. I said, " Matthew is going to try it again. And he, really wants to do it, but he needs your help." And so they started clapping and saying, "Matthew, Matthew, Matthew. Yeah". And, all eyes were on you.

Matthew:

You almost made it worse. It's bad enough I have to do this. But now I know that everybody's watching me fumble and stuff.

Matthew:

There were other people on the course at that time, cause it was like the last call, "If anybody wants to do it one more time." And I said, "well, I've got to do it the first time." Other people were going along, but I could feel everybody staring at me as I'm climbing,

Leona:

Just giving you the most exciting, positive affirmations ever. And so you got it.

Matthew:

So it got to the end, all the way up, across all the way up the ladder and across these little obstacle courses and up in the air and yeah.

Leona:

Bear in mind that you were strapped strapped, then you had a counselor.

Matthew:

Yeah. And they, their counselor at the different kind of checkpoints. So they can hook you into the next piece of the, of the rope course. So I finally got to the last one, which was getting hooked into the zip-line. So there was the guy, the counselor up there and usually he hooks you into the zip line. You go, it's like, all right. See it, you know, I got up there, he hooks me in and I see cause now, cause when you're on the rest of the rope course, you can kind of be looking up. You can see where you have to grab. I could kind of keep my mind off the fact that I was many feet up in the air in them, but this, with the zip line. it's you and the ground way underneath you. And it was nothing for me to look at besides the ground and imagining myself just falling and splatting on the ground. So I couldn't go, I couldn't. He said, you don't even have to jump. You just have to step. And I said, man, I can't even move my feet. Right.

Leona:

You had that moment of, where the fear really,

Matthew:

It really overtook me paralyzed. And I was standing there for what felt to me like several hours. I'm sure it was just like a minute, maybe even less than a minute. .

Leona:

Oh, I don't know. I think maybe three,

Matthew:

I don't know. It felt like 10,000 years. the counselor who was doing such a great job, being encouraging and helping me along, even his patience was starting to be worn out a little bit. He, he said have you ever seen those Nike commercials, the ones that say, just do it. You should, you should do it. (Laughter)

Matthew:

He was getting a little impatient. So I was like, ah, man. So everybody's watching me. He's waiting. Cause you know, he wants to like be done for the day. You know? So I, I don't know what I did. I think I closed my eyes and I just stepped off and I felt like I was going to die the whole time I was going. But by the time we got on the ground, everybody had come around and they were really flipping out

Leona:

The applause and cheering. And the counselor gave you a special gift certificate for heroism, you know? Cause all of us knew what it took for you to do that. You know, everyone was so proud of you and it was very exciting.

Matthew:

It was nerve wracking, but I'm glad I did it. And, it was encouraging, in subsequent experiences, remembering that and trying to be like, "well I did that so I can do this."

Leona:

Exactly. And that's the whole point, isn't it? No one says you're going to have to spend every weekend zip-lining. There's no point in that. You've already done it. If it isn't fun for you, you don't have to keep doing it. But the important thing is that you overcame your fear. You use that as a step up, it's a foundation for creating a greater sense of self-esteem. So what happens when we put things in our way, we don't feel good about ourselves. We know that we're lying to ourselves, when we believe that something has to happen first, before we can move ahead with our goals, it reminds me of a very poignant situation that happened years ago when I was still in the theater, I was working with a young woman who was a woman of size. She was extremely talented. She was a comedian. And, one day she said to me, after a rehearsal, she said, "you know, Leona, if I looked like you, I would conquer the world."

Leona:

And it was really interesting because I thought, "gee, I wonder what that means exactly. Because I look like me and I haven't conquered the world." I mean, I was a little mixed up as to what point she was trying to make. But I understood that the point she was making was "if I didn't have this weight on myself, I would be out there doing my thing, enjoying my life." But she couldn't take those risks because she wasn't going to lose the weight. Now for me, I thought she was great just the way she was. I mean, things have changed radically over the years. There's still a problem with fat shaming and people thinking there's only one right size to be. But I never thought of her as handicapped in any way, except by her own fear that she would try it and fail. That's another reason why we don't do things. We're so afraid of failure and conversely, we're so afraid of success. Oh my God. If I do it, that means I'll have to do it again.

Matthew:

What if I can't? What if I just get lucky one time and I can't repeat it.

Leona:

I know, it's just, it's just a conundrum. It is really a terrifying thing and something that we really need to look at seriously and understand what is inherent in these opportunities to take a risk. Now, let me make a disclaimer here. I am not talking about pretending you're Superman and jumping off a building. I'm not talking about taking unnecessary risks. I'm not talking about doing things that haven't proven to be as safe as they can be. I'm talking about moving to our next level of unfoldment in whatever area that might be, that will give us joy that will help understand that we are moving forward, that we are taking those risks because we have a passion for what we're doing.

Matthew:

Yeah. As part of our goals that we set and as part of the hero's journey, you know, we have to be facing things that are scary and that's part of that process.

Leona:

I know. And, and to think that we have to wait for when we're not afraid. It's just another reason for not doing forever because there isn't that moment. It's always a risk, but that's not a reason to not do it. It is a reason to kind of embrace that fear and see if there's anything legitimate about it. Is it because I haven't practiced? Well, I'll take this particular period of time and practice are they giving me a date that's too close and I might not be prepared? Okay. Let's set the date for another two weeks or a month, whatever. And I will be prepared, but it won't be an indefinite time of preparation.

Leona:

The fact of the matter is if we don't really want to pursue it, or if we feel we're being pressured to pursue a particular thing, then we need to have the courage to say, it's not something that I really want that much. And choose something else and do that. But you can't just choose something else and say, "well, I'll, I'll get to it." Because what we have is low self esteem that keeps us trapped in a place that is not healthy or happy for us, but it prevents us from moving on. We need to accept the fact that there's always going to be that element of fear. We make the choice to do it because there's something greater. There's at least 51% that says, "I want to experience that victory." That will be a stepping stone to another opportunity. But just because we're afraid to fail, because there's a whole other series of programs we can do on people that are just monumental failures, but those things became their success. We know those things. And yet we don't internalize them, which is really what this program is all about. Let's just get off our affirmation and do it without feeling reckless, without feeling unprepared, without feeling that, there's too much at stake, let's just move that 49, 50% to 51 and say, the universe is supporting me. I would not have this desire if I didn't really know that it was part of my greater growth and unfoldment. I no longer choose to live in fear. I choose to take the steps, rationally, intelligently, lovingly, to the best of my ability, and take that risk, knowing that the outcome will only give me a greater opportunity to try again.

Matthew:

Yeah, that's fantastic. I love that. And maintaining that self knowledge, so that the things that we are taking the risk on and, and facing our fears about are beneficial to us, are really what we need to be doing, to get further along on our goals and on our, on our hero's journey.

Leona:

And again, we have to be completely honest with ourselves. If we say, no, I really don't want to do it. And one of the reasons I've been procrastinating is I just don't want to disappoint people who really need to see me do it. If that's the case, we need to be honest with ourselves. And we've got to remember that if we do let go of pursuing that, that we're going to find something that we're willing to pursue, not be all surprised when we're scared again, but this time understand it and continue to work on expanding our consciousness until we have the courage to know that real strength, real courage is in feeling the fear and doing it anyway. I believe that's a quote of Frank L Baum from the Wizard of Oz to the cowardly lion, who was never really cowardly. He just made himself miserable, believing he was, and it took another voice, a voice of an observer to tell him "you wouldn't have been able to do those things. If you hadn't had the courage. So you don't need a medal, you just need to understand that you have what it takes to do, what it is that you need to do. And for you to realize that you are being supported every step of the way. Number one, and number two, that so-called failures need to be interpreted in the light of an ongoing process. And number three, that we need to continue to develop our sense of self-worth by proving that we will not let these fears keep us down on a continual basis.

Matthew:

I love it. That's fantastic. And something to always keep working on,

Leona:

Always something to keep working on. So thank you for listening to this program. Thank you for internalizing these ideas. We would love to hear from you. Please keep tuning in and let us know what you like and how we can support you.

Matthew:

Thanks so much for listening to the, get off your affirmation podcast. Please find us on Facebook and connect with us at getoffyouraffirmation.com. We look forward to hearing feedback.

Speaker 4:

Have a wonderful week. You deserve it. [inaudible].

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