Transcript: Taking Action Despite Fear with Dina Cataldo
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If you are procrastinating on taking action on your dream, whatever it may be. I want you to really listen to this episode, absorb it and sit with what you are feeling when you think about your dream. You may wanna start your own business on top of the law, it may have nothing to do with the law, and your brain is you, “No, that's crazy.” You may want to leave your current position, and start your own thing.
A new law practice maybe, and your brain is in confusion because you can't get out of a feeling of fear in your body and your brain telling you that you are insane for considering this. You may want to just do something like expand your practice into a new practice area and be continually postponing taking action on that because you come up with a hundred reasons why you shouldn't do it. And I want to, in this episode, distinguish for you the difference between fear that is going to preserve your safety, your wellbeing, your survival versus fear that will expand you as a human being because our brain has the same fear response, and they can feel very similar. If you are accustomed to overanalyzing, overthinking to really talk to yourself in a way that is a Pro/Con list, right? Like in the last episode, we talked about how you can have a dozen cons, but one or two pros can outweigh all of those.
But because your brain is hyper focused on the fear, instead of feeling it and understanding whether it is the right move for you to make, to pursue what you want, you use your rational brain to look at the con list and tell you that all of those are reasons why you should not take action. And I wanna share with you that there is a distinction between these two types of fear, and this is what came, came to me when I was sitting down to really, it just was a download to me about what I needed to talk to you today about. And what came to me is that there, the two distinctions between fear are this, okay, there is one fear that our brain is going to give to us, right? We're going to sense in our body, it's gonna be a, a, an innate sense that something is wrong, right?
Like you look at a dark alley and your brain automatically says, Nope, it doesn't even maybe register a thought it's to just an immediate, no, I am not doing that. Keep walking or getting into a car with someone. And I ha I've had this experience when I was in college. When it was really late at night, I was participating in this voter registration thing. And the guys who were in this in the, it wasn't even voter registration. It was actual voting. The guys who were helping me, they all kind of ditched out on me. And they were like, no, you go with this guy. And they all had a felt sense that he was a little creepy <laugh>. And so, so I was a little upset about this, but I went because I didn't have a voice really at that to be like, no, “I am not going with you.”
You're going <laugh> it would've been a very different situation now. But at that time I got in the car and I had this overriding sense that something was not right. And I had my hand on the handle of the door, ready to jump out at any moment. And later I found out that this guy had sexually assaulted someone. So it was like, my body knew it had a sense that something was wrong, right? And so we have that inside of us, this innate sense when something is wrong, right? Jumping out of a plane, we without a parachute <laugh> right. Going down a dark alley, getting into a car with someone like your body has a reaction that immediately takes you into fight or flight or freeze or fine, right. People pleasing. But what I wanna share with you is that our brain generat that same adrenaline that feeds into the fight or flight response.
When we think about doing something new <laugh> and it is not helpful. And so when you are considering doing anything new, it could be creating a new calendar system. It could be going out with somebody new, our brains cannot distinguish between the fear of walking to on a dark alley and starting something new. Even if that new thing you can create with safety. And let me, let me explain it like this. Okay. So about a decade ago, I was checking things off my bucket list. And I went to San Diego to see my parents. And one of the things on my bucket list was paragliding. I had seen it when I was a kid. It just looked like so much fun. These people flying in the air on basically what is a kite, right? Like, so if you've ever seen Batman, he's got like this, these I think they call it the bat glider, whatever it is, right.
Like he glides through the air. That's what paragliding is. And he's jumping off of buildings and, and, you know, just doing crazy things. But I just thought, well, I just wanna glide around Tory Pines and take a look at the ocean and like, really just see, just do it, just experience it. So I set up a, an appointment. I go there and I go to this place that, you know, it didn't really click with me what it would take for me to get in the air and do the thing that I wanted to do. Right. Like I just knew I wanted to do this thing. I wanted to, paraglide kind of like when you're like, okay, I wanna start a business. I'm really sure what I'm supposed to do. I'm just gonna show up and I'm just gonna like, go, right. It's like coaching, right?
Like sometimes you might go into a coaching experience and be like, okay, I know the general result that I want. I don't really know, like, what's gonna be happening here, but I'm just gonna go. Right. And that is what propels us forward and helps us do the thing we wanna do. And maybe you feel a little bit nervous, but you're not in full out fear mode yet. Right. Like, you're just like, okay, I'm kind of curious. Let's kind of see where this goes. Right. Knowing that you will get the result. You're just kind of like, but I don't really see how <laugh>. And I, if I had thought about it, if I had been like, okay, this is what I need to do. I might not have done it. And so I'm really excited. <Laugh> to get to share this with you, if you have that fear that, oh, it's not possible.
Of course it's possible. You just gotta show up for yourself and get the proper guidance. So I go to this place and they give me like a plan, right? Like they tell me, okay, this is what you're gonna do. You're gonna have a tandem guide. He's gonna be on this, this paraglide with you. And I didn't really know what tandem was. I hadn't really done a lot of research. I was just like, let's go. Cause that's the kind of person I am. And so I meet this guy. He's like, okay, well, get on. And you know, he buckles me in and like, I'd seen a little bit of this before. So I was like, okay, but this is what I didn't realize, which may seem really logical if you're listening to this, that in order to get into the air, I, I had to walk off a cliff.
Oh my God. I was like, are you fing kidding me? I'm walking off of a cliff, but I let the guide. Right. Be the guide. I let the guide show me that it was safe. I let the guide be my anchor for the safety that I wanted to create for myself, because I wanted to do this new thing. And I was scared when I was starting to move closer to the cliff and then go off the cliff. Right? Like my fear response was high. Right. My brain was like, are you insane? You're going walk off a cliff. Of course my brain had a fear response, right? So this is the difference here. I wanna share with you is that once we got off that cliff, there was a sense of fear in my body. I could feel the adrenaline pulsating through my blood stream, but I also had a sense of a, An amazement, A feeling of ecstasy mixed in with the fear And Allowing those feelings to be mixed together in my body was a very different experience than the one that I had when I could sense that there was something wrong with this guy and that I needed to watch out for him
Or going down a dark alley or jumping out of a plane without a parachute. Because in the paragliding situation, I had created safety for myself. I had gotten a guide. I trusted that I was going to be okay, no matter what was gonna happen, right. That there was a path for me to take action. Even if my brain was saying like, whoa, you're gonna step off a cliff. I also knew that I was protected. I had this paraglider, I had a guide. I was buckled in. Like I knew that it was gonna be okay. And so even while I was feeling fear, because that's my brain, your brain, everybody's, brain's natural response to anything that's new and different. I also knew that I was gonna be okay. And I allowed myself to just take in what was happening. Like the beautiful mansions on the cliff. Like the, it was just a beautifully landscaped garden in one area. Like the ocean, the sand people walking down the trails. Like I remembered in high school, I had walked down the trails. Like I was able to even while feeling fear and feeling all of the adrenaline in my body, because I did not have control of what was happen. Right. My brain wanted desperately for control. I could say, okay, let's look, let's just look, I'm safe.
I'm here. Let's just take this in. And this experience of walking off a cliff to para was very similar for me when I decided to build a business.
Because when I was building a business, my brain was saying, are you insane? Right. It was creating that con list of all the reasons why this was insane. Like people at the office are gonna judge you they're gonna think X, Y, Z, about you. They're gonna think that, oh, your business is just cute little thing, right? Like they're gonna have all these judgements about like, oh, look at this little business, right. Or you are, I've heard this thought from some people you are not committed to the law is, you know, or you should be only a lawyer, right? You should be a hundred percent in, or you're not even really hear it all. Like why bother? Right? Like all of these different doubts in my brain, it's gonna be too hard. I don't know what I'm doing. All of those thoughts come up and they're natural. They're normal. The key is, is that you create the safety for yourself moving forward. Okay. That's why we don't take action. We don't take action towards what we want. When we think that like, when we feel that fear in our body, because our brain is going haywire us, all the reasons why it's a bad idea,
Instead of focusing on the fact that we are going
Towards a desire that keeps calling to us, right? We're going to a desire. That's going to lead to expansion. Anytime we follow a desire, a true desire. We can't help, but expand. And that's the difference, right? Like true survival fear, the dark alley kind of fear. That's danger. Okay. That's just like, not even overthinking, cuz you're not overthinking. It's just a sense in your body that I need to walk away. Like, no, this is wrong. This is, this is not gonna end. Well, not because you're overthinking things. Not because you have lots of thoughts in your head. It's because your body is telling you, no, you will certainly die. Or there is danger down there. Right? Same thing. Like I didn't have a conscious thought in my head, in, in the car with that guy that, oh, I'm gonna get assaulted. Or I didn have like any thoughts, really.
It was more just like a wish sensation that had all my hairs on my body on alert. Right? Like my spy sense. So I want you to start to differentiate those types of fears because our brain creates similar sensations in our body, but they're not the same. So if you have a desire, writing a book, starting a new practice, whatever it is and the reason you're not follow it is because you're looking at all the reasons not to do it. Then you are allowing fear to rule your body rather than creating safety for yourself. Okay. So like in the example with the paragliding, I created safety for myself. I found someone who had done it <laugh> before <laugh> step one. Right? Step two is like looking at what I need to create. Safety is like, I just wanted the guide. I just wanted someone to tell me like, okay, we can do this.
Let's let's go. Right. I didn't even need to know the step by step because you're not really gonna know the step by step until you just do it. Right. Like you could talk yourself out of doing things all day long, which is that con list. Right? Like I could just talk myself out of, you know, getting up from bed all day long. I could talk myself out of doing all kinds of things all day long, but what is it that I truly desire? And am I willing to take action despite of the fear that my brain is trying to create with all of these thoughts? Right? Because I have a felt sense that this is the right direction for me to go, but I'm allowing the fear to stop me rather than just creating safety for myself. And I didn't even need like somebody to carry me the whole way.
Right. So like in this paragliding experience, I didn't know what he was gonna do. He didn't talk me step by step. Well, first we're gonna put on the pack and then we're gonna buckle you up. And then what we're gonna do is we're gonna start slowly walking over here and then you're gonna like take one step and then two steps and then we're gonna be in the air. And then, then what's happening is that the GLIs are navigating on the air currents and the wind is going this way and the wind is going that way. And this is what I'm doing. No, I didn't need any of that. I was there because I was creating the safety just by being with someone experienced who knew this path. Right. I didn't need to know all the details. And the cool thing was is that once I was in the air, I could ask all the questions I wanted. Right. Like, but I didn't necessarily need to, I, I did. Right. Just cuz I was about it. And I was thinking, well, this is an experience I wanna create for myself again someday, maybe.
And he gave me the reins, right? So like ultimately what we want is we wanna move away from the guide. <Laugh> right. Like we might still go to the guide for help and you know, go to the guide for, you know, tips and like maybe some experiences they've had and all of that. But ultimately we wanna take the reins and he handed the reins over to me and it's not like he just said go. He just said, don't worry. I got you. And then he would say, okay, pull down on the right, pull down on the left. Right. Cuz he could see where I was navigating. He had experience to tell where the air currents were. He could see what direction of travel we were going. And even though I was scared, I was shaking. Okay. I expanded myself in that moment. And there is a great analogy. Like there, like in the cockpit when you're about, about to break the sound barrier, that is when the cockpit shakes the most in that jet When we are experiencing the most expansion, that is when we are who experience the most fear. We are going to experience the shakiness. The doubt, right? The fear is going to come up in us so high just when we are about to make the biggest progress. And so rather than allowing that fear to stop you in your tracks, can you sit with the fear and take action anyway,
Sit with the fear that's mixed in the awe of what is possible. Can you, because it is an amazing sensation and we can let the fear be there. It's a, okay, it's normal. Our brain is gonna do it. No matter what new thing we wanna do, we might as well understand how it feels in our body and how we can differentiate that from the felt sense that something is wrong. There is a difference. So when you are thinking about what it is, you are pulled what you are called to do, right? Something that just feels like, yeah, this would be great. I, I would love to do this. It feels so amazing just to think about it. And then all of your brain gives you all of the cons on that con list telling you why it's a bad idea. Do not let the overthinking stop. You recognize in that moment, right? When your brain wants to come in with all the reasons why it's a bad idea, don't do it. This is, this is not gonna work. It's you know, all these people are gonna judge you, you can't do it. You don't have the experience. You don't know what you're doing. All of those thoughts recognize. They're just thoughts. Sit with that for just a moment and feel what's in your body.
Recognize that fear is not telling you not to move forward, right? It's not telling you this is a dark alley. Your brain is attempting to stop you from doing something new. Not because it's dangerous, but because it's something new, our brain likes predictability. It wants to know exactly what's gonna happen and what is gonna be there for our future. That's why it was so easy for us to take the risk, to go to law school. Right? Cause it didn't really feel like a risk. It didn't feel that scary because we had an ABC plan. Look, you go to a law law school for these three years and then you get a job. It wasn't a guarantee, right? Nobody told us like this is guaranteed. No one said, well, you know, here's the percentage of people who pass the bar. I I'm betting. You didn't even think about that. Cause I didn't, I just went and I, I went to school. I got good grades, not in law school so much, but I, I got amazing grades. And then I got to law school. Right. And I had the experience of that. And I kept pushing through, no matter the doubt, no matter what was going on, because I could see that once I graduated, then I would have the opportunity to be the lawyer.
But when we are doing something new and somebody hasn't given us a rule book, right. Somebody hasn't said, okay, this is how you get an a here's. Here's how you compare yourself to the other people in the class. Right. You're you're like going off, it feels like on your own, unless you create safety for yourself. And of course, if you're not creating safety for yourself, right. Law school was the safety for us. Right. Or you know, coaching would be creating safety. In other ways you can go to a health coach, right? Like someone who's gonna help you guide you through the gym, guide you through your thoughts, out, showing up for yourself in the gym or coaching for your business or time management. Right? Like in cases where lawyers are coming to me and they're creating safety for themselves, like they want help deciding right. In a lot of cases and want to know the, a forward. Right. They want to understand for themselves right. What it is they want. And then they want to know like how to take the reins and go on their own. Right. That's the paragliding, right? It's like, okay, where's the guide find guide. And let's go, knowing that there's gonna be fear that comes up knowing that even if I feel fear, I can still feel the awe of what is possible.
Like as I left the law, I had these sames feelings come up and I had to recognize like the thoughts in my brain. They felt really true to me, right? Like, well, this is how much money you need to make. And this is how much money, like I didn't even have specific thoughts. Right? Like my thoughts were, well, you need to keep your job. And you, you make a lot of money. You've gotta stay here. Like this is, this is crazy. What are you? Right? Like all of these thoughts came up and what I needed to do and I had guidance doing was make my brain get really specific. So I could see my thoughts for what they were, whether they were true or false, right? Like how much money was in my account. <Laugh> like, let's get really specific. And I've talked about this in the podcast before. Right? Let's let's really understand like what my brain is doing here. Let me get some distance from all of those thoughts that I have in my con list and understand that I can feel fear because I've created safety for myself. I decided how much money I wanted in the bank of account. I decided that I wasn't going to leave until a certain time. I made decisions for myself ahead of time.
And I still felt fear, right? Our brain automatically feels the fear, but I could still take action despite of that fear because I had the tools available to me to create safety for myself. And so often what I see is lawyers telling themselves, no, I can't do that because all of this list of reasons, but they're not even good reasons. They think they are right. They feel true, But they don't have the tools yet to understand. They need to create some distance from their thoughts. They haven't done that yet. And they don't know how to create safety for themselves yet because they don't have a guide. They haven't geared out how to create the safety for themselves, that they need to do the big things that they want in this world. That's what a guide us for. Like, I could not have jumped off the cliff by myself. I, I could, even if I had a glider, like I could not have moved past the fear to do any actions. Because once I stepped, looked at the cliff, I would've been like, Nope. And I would've walked away because I had not created safety for myself. I needed the guide. So I wanna offer to you that if you want to do something different in your life, I may be the guide for you.
And if you're listening to this podcast, I probably am. So book a call with me, go to Dena, cataldo.com/strategy session Because you have to create safety for yourself to take action because your brain will always generate fear. There's a difference between those fears. And we don't always have the tools to move past the over analytical fears. And so we don't take any action at all. And instead we allow our brain to just say, no, Even though we could create safety for ourselves Because we just don't see a how yet, we just don't understand how yet. And that's just because we're getting over overly rationalizing in our brain versus the kind of fear where there's no rationalization needed. It's just, it's a dark alley. I'm not walking down there by myself. I hope that this has created like a felt of the difference between the fears that can show up in your body So that you can start deciding to take the actions that are best for you and what you want and honoring the desires that you have rather than shutting them down because your brain is overthinking things
And allowing yourself to believe that yeah, there might be a way I could create safety for myself and starting to take action from that place instead of the place of your brain saying no because, and giving you all the con list. So start looking at possibility and the actions you can take to start creating safety for yourself, because that is what is going to help you take action is recognizing what it is you want and recognizing that your brain, no matter what is going to give you tons of thoughts about out, why it's a bad idea. And knowing that that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be taking action, that it's not possible because it is. And I'm living proof of that. I stepped off a cliff, literally; so I hope my experience with stepping off of a was helpful for you. Book a call with me.
You can go to https://Dinacataldo.com/strategy session. And I look forward to talking to you because those are the best conversations, the ones where I can talk to you, one on one, and really dig into your, in a nonphysical way. And I want to offer to you that when you book a call with me, that it might be uncomfortable <laugh> you might be in that call feeling fear, right? Because that is what our brain does. Whenever we do anything new, even booking the call with me might feel comfortable. I remember my client Aman telling me that she went to the booking page like 12, 15 times or something like that before she booked a call. And the one piece of advice she had when I interviewed her here on the podcast was like, don't wait as long as I did <laugh> to book a call and to get coaching. So I, I will talk to you soon, have a wonderful day and start taking action. Despite your fear. I write my friend. Bye.