Tag Archives: fear

Lesson 3: Ask for Help


Lately, my life has been overwhelming, dissolving, renewing and reshaping – and above all, chock full of learning. This series of posts is all about sharing that learning with you, and in return, I hope you share your life learning with me. (click here to read the intro post)

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Last fall, my life was feeling out of control. I had just returned from Ethiopia, was trying to run my coaching business and workshops, starting a new graduate school program and a new part-time job, trying to pay the bills and take care of my friend.

I felt like all of these things had dropped in my lap at one time, and that somehow I should be able to juggle them all. And somehow, I was responsible for them all too.

“God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” people say.

Why do people say that?

So I kept trying to handle it.

I prayed.  I did my homework. I went to classes, and I went to work. I smiled and participated and encouraged others. I was doing all of the things that make me feel purposeful, successful, and make me feel like a good person.

But inside I was a mess. I cried a lot. I tried letting go of the things I couldn’t control, but I wanted to be able to control EVERYTHING. I felt moments of peace, but then the worries and fears would come crashing back in waves. I didn’t know what to do to handle it all or to help my bestie, and I felt powerless.

And alone.

I didn’t want to burden anyone with what was going on. Everyone else has their own worries and troubles to deal with – why would I burden them with mine?

I delight helping others, but can't ask for help myself

Was it pride that was keeping me from asking for help? Or did I see myself as a burden because somewhere inside I don’t see myself worthy of help? And even more perplexing – if the roles were reversed, wouldn’t I want to be there for those I love?

Regardless of the root of the issues, I wasn’t asking. I was trying to carry everything alone, and I KNOW BETTER.

So I started doing a little self-coaching,

and I realized the root was fear.

It was fear of being out of control.
It was a fear of being judged.
It was fear of being vulnerable.
It was fear of being needy.
And really…
it was a fear of asking for help, and maybe not getting it.

I decided long ago that fear would not be the decision maker in my life. And this situation could be no exception – I needed to step OVER that fear and let people in. I had to ask for help.

Lesson 3: Don’t be afraid to ask for help

I like to think I have things all together.  I like to think I can handle just about anything.  But we aren’t meant to live that way.  We are built for connection and interdependence, and it’s ok to ask for help.

pin ask for help2

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Lesson 2: Be Careful What You Say to God

Lesson 2: Be careful what you say to God

Lately, my life has been overwhelming, dissolving, renewing and reshaping – and above all, chock full of learning. This series of posts is all about sharing that learning with you, and in return, I hope you share your life learning with me. (click here to read the intro post)

The trip to Ethiopia was set; I was going.  I listened to the Spirit and followed the call.  I had no idea why I was going, or how God would use me.

I felt peaceful and open to learning. I wasn’t worried, or needing to control anything.  It felt like I had achieved a transcendence about it all – and was able to just sit in a place of faith.  I liked that space.  I soaked in it like a warm lavender-scented bath.

And then I said, “God, I just want to trust you.”

Um, wait. God, can I take that back?I meant I would trust God in Ethiopia.  I would trust that my path would unfold, and that I would be useful, I would learn, and I would be a light while I was there.

I had everything at home taken care of, thank you very much. My coaching business was coming together, I had a great place to live with my best friend, I was going back to school again to build my skills – I had everything mapped out and planned.

Right on my desktop calendar.

only in EthiopiaBut then when life at home started falling apart, I started to fall apart too.  I started to get overwhelmed at everything crumbling down around me. I tried to hold things together, make more plans, figure out more solutions. Why was all of this happening?

And then I realized – I had told God that I would trust, but I wasn’t trusting. Not with everything. Not with my future, my plans, my best friend.  I wanted to be the one in control of those pieces of my life.

Lesson 2: Be careful what I say to God

When I tell God that I want to just trust, to just listen and follow His lead, that means in everything.  I can’t just pick and choose what I will trust God with in my life.

When you tell God that you want to trust Him, be prepared.

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Why We Struggle Saying No

noSaying No seems like it should be easy.  It’s just 2 little letters after all.  We learned it so well when we were toddlers!

The little word “no” can be one of the toughest words to get out. And I’ve started thinking about why.

Is it about avoiding conflict? Or maybe it’s all about timing, or not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings?  Or could an inability to say “No” be tied to underlying fears or insecurities?

5 reasons we might have trouble saying no:

1.  We have been trained.

Remember that 2-year old whose first words included Dada, Doodoo, and… No?  Oh dear, that wasn’t acceptable!  We train our children to stop saying no, and heaven forbid they say it to a teacher.  We have been trained to be compliant, and that makes speaking up for ourselves and our needs a little difficult.

2. We want to be liked.

It feels BAD to disappoint someone.  To see their face drop, or to get a sad-face emoticon response. We want people to like us, and we often internalize their disappointment into messages of our own worth and likability. That makes it hard to say no.

3. We want to be “good.”

This goes along with the compliant learning, but I think there is something in us that often tells us that “good” people are always helpful and always social.  We don’t stop to think about how always being that way would make a person burn out or become resentful (uh – opposite of good).

4. We feel rushed.

Because of our ingrained training, we often don’t take time to think about our answer, and the automatic “Sure!” comes right on out.  In our instant gratification society, taking a little time to think about an answer can be frowned upon (and that takes us back to #2 – no frowns desired).

5. We fear rejection.

I think this is the bottom line. When we tell someone “no,” they have the opportunity to dislike us, form an unflattering opinion of us, or dismiss us completely.  We fear isolation, disconnection, and disapproval.

These desires and fears are real.  They are powerful.  And fear can keep us in a really unhappy place if we let it.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

It is possible to say No to others and still be liked, still be good, AND take care of yourself too.  We’ve had a lot of practice at being compliant – now it’s time to incorporate a little self-care into the our lives, and stop saying yes when we really mean no.

It will be OK if you do.

Need help saying no? Free Webinar!Click the image to learn more about my free webinar June 24th!

doing some training and always laughing!

Christine Morgan is a Professional Life Coach, Counselor, and Teacher. She began her career empowering others through Social Work and Education, yet her personal journey is a muddier road than any resumé implies. She knows the effort it takes to cope, to believe in yourself, and to let go of what other people think or expect. If you are tired of feeling stuck or overwhelmed, and would like new skills and support on your journey, contact her today!


Finding your Safe Spaces

When you were a kid, where was your secret space?

Safe space hidden in the treesDid you hide in your closet, or under your bed?  Did you have a tree house or fort, filled with adventure and spiders?  Did you take a flashlight under your covers, and set sail on your bed/boat across the vast ocean of carpet?

Finding secret and safe spaces seemed easier as a child.  The requirements weren’t rigid; only the rules we created applied.

As a child, maybe the monsters were more obvious; perhaps we were just less aware of the dangers.  Maybe we just didn’t worry as much; maybe we just didn’t take things so seriously.

What made a space safe wasn’t due to solid craftsmanship, immaculate cleanliness, or the construction budget.  Only a few things were required to make a space safe:


A space that feels warm and cozy, to our skin and our soul – be it tucked under blankets or soaking up the sun and fresh air. A safe space brings us comfort and security.


No idiots allowed - safe space from brothers!A cruelty-free zone, filled only with love and acceptance, laughter, imagination, and delight. Not many people are allowed here, nor are thoughts of negativity or comparison.

Free from Fear

Monsters and worries are not permitted in this space.  There is nothing to fear in this space, and nothing is allowed to harm you.

As adults, it might be a little harder to find them, but we still need to make efforts to find those safe space – to create those safe spaces.

And what makes a space safe is the same for us now as it was for us then.  Do you have somewhere comfortable and friendly? Do you have a place to sit with freedom from fear?  Do you know how to create such a place when you need one?

I encourage you today to create your space. To take things a little less seriously.  To let go of the monsters.  Because we need those spaces of safety, we need those times of comfort, and we need those moments of healing freedom.


Take a blanket out into the sun. Listen to nature sing of freedom and joy. Climb under the blankets with a flashlight. Sail your bed-boat across those vast oceans, so when the monsters rise up out of murky waters, you have strength and energy to defeat them.

And a coach makes an excellent first mate! :)


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Overcome Limiting Beliefs

So, by now, you are in the middle of it, right?

Charging ahead, working on those “New Year, New You” resolutions.  Headed to the gym before work, reading a new book each week…


Oh wait.. no?
Are you feeling defeated?
Are you losing some steam?
Feeling discouraged or overwhelmed?

Psst – it’s totally normal.

Have you heard of limiting beliefs? It’s a concept we talk a lot about in coaching.  Limiting beliefs, simply put, are lies we tell ourselves that stop us from succeeding, that stop us from even moving. We’ve picked them up over the years, through watching our parents figure out their own place in the world, from crabby teachers who don’t like children, from bossy friends telling us how to fit in – even from society at large giving us “information” on what women and men “should” be like.

Limiting beliefs tell us when we “can’t” do something. Falsely.  These lies create little stories in our head and attach emotions such as fear, doubt, or shame.  Powerful, paralyzing emotions.  And those thoughts, paired with emotion, over time, become habits.  It becomes normal to sabotage our dreams, to believe we can’t achieve goals we set.

Samples of limiting beliefs:

  • I can’t quit, addiction is too powerful.meLpMPsa
  • I’m never going to be as good as she is, so why try?
  • I don’t deserve it anyway.
  • No one even cares what I do anyway, so why try?
  • It doesn’t matter what I do.
  • No one will like me that way.
  • Being rejected is too painful to risk it.
  • I’m just going to embarrass myself by trying.
  • I’m not good enough.

Lies. All of them.

What if … we stopped believing the lies?

Does it seem possible to stop believing the lies?

I will admit, it’s not easy.  It takes time, it takes practice, and it takes a real desire for change. And sometimes, a new wave comes up and you have to start over again. (Another thing that’s normal!)

But the good news? These thought patterns ARE YOURS.  You are the only one who has the power to change them, and you can overcome!

How to begin to overcome your limiting beliefs:

limiting beliefs1. Make the choice.  First you have to want to, really want to, let go of those old thinking patterns.  It’s hard – even when they are unpleasant, they are still comfortable. They are known. So the first step is to set your mind, set your will, choose to step out of this dirty comfort.

2. Get some help. Because these thoughts are habits, they are quite comfortable. So it’s hard to recognize when we are falling into these old traps. Get a friend or a coach who will hold you accountable. Someone who will gently remind you of what is truth, what is possible, and what you can really do!

3. Replace the lies.  You need new truth to fill the thought space of your old thinking.  And you need to remind yourself constantly of this new truth!  Put post-it notes on your computer screen, your bathroom mirror. Change your passwords, your screen-savers, your lock screen on your phone to phrases that will remind you of all that you can do.

4. Practice, Practice, Practice.  It takes time to train your brain. Just like learning to play the piano, it takes time to learn a new skill. So be kind to yourself  while you learn to make new statements and let go of the old.

Samples of overcoming statements:

  • I am more powerful than addiction.
  • With God’s help, I can do anything.
  • I am doing what I am meant to do.
  • I am meant to fully live this life.
  • Through my work, I can help others.
  • Everything I do is a learning experience.
  • I am enough.

Your statements will be yours.  They will lift you up, remind you of who you truly are and all you meant to be.

So play with this idea. Talk with a friend about what holds you back and what would get you going again.

Because we have to recognize it in order to conquer it.
And we can.