Friday, February 7, 2014

fears I faced with attending LiveBIG

I shared with you my journey and my experience at LiveBIG for Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3.  I shared with you how I opened up and shared part of my journey each day and how I faced my fears in doing so.  I shared why.

I am going to share some more of what I went through to attend this conference so you can understand me, to share what I am working through in my internal belief system and how I am using the tools I am learning in life, both from this conference and other resources, to grow and develop me while I face my fears...not just now as I reflect on my life but what I did while I was in Salt Lake City in the midst of learning some tools first hand.

This post won't be easy for me to write because it makes me feel vulnerable.  Very vulnerable. But...I am determined to move past my fears and face them.  Whether you understand or not.  Whether you mock me or not for writing and sharing more than you think I should.  I am.

When I did my screening call with Gerald Rogers, my LiveBIG Coach, on January 6th, at the end of the call, he said he was going to send me a friend request on Facebook. To you, that might be an everyday thing.  For me, I froze.  My immediate thought was "What does he want?  Why would he do that?".  Gerald posts most of his content in a public format which means you do not have to be his friend to see his posts because of how he has his Facebook settings.  (For those of you that don't know this, Facebook only allows you to have 5000 friends.  If you want more friends than that, you have to have a FAN page, but then its no longer a personal page and people can like or not like your page on their own will, it doesn't require your acceptance or approval.  A personal page requires that you accept their friendship to be "a friend".  I have a personal page and have 3 business pages.  One for my Author Page, one for my Business that I have had 10 years this upcoming June, and one for my LLC, the company I am creating into something more than what I have now. If your posts are not public, people who are not your friends cannot see your posts, unless it is a FAN Page.  A little definition so you can understand the importance of this in how it relates to my blog post.)  I didn't feel the need to be his friend.  In fact, I wasn't sure I wanted to be his friend because of how popular he has become this last year, I can hear someone saying "You are friends with Gerald Rogers?  How do you rate?".  I don't rate.  I am just me.  A chic living her life on a courageous journey, desiring to improve some things that need to go.  I am nobody special.  So all that to say, I didn't feel the need to connect with him.  And, I just didn't like the feeling it gave me when he said that.  Yes, I was going to be doing Coaching with him, which in and of itself take vulnerability to let someone into your world, and though I am not afraid of what my Facebook profile shows or what I post, you all know that, this raised a new question, did I want to be Facebook friends with my coach?  I was left with the feeling of being on guard, fear of and wondering over his true intentions. It made me want to run.  It made me build a wall.  It even made me contemplate backing out of attending the conference.  

I know you are probably thinking how lame.  Really because some guy sent you a friend request on Facebook?  That's okay.  For you, that might not be a trigger point.  For you, it might be an easy thing to move through.  Not for me.  I had to talk myself through my thoughts and feelings and face my fears:

My inner dialogue:  It doesn't matter why Gerald sent you a friend request.  He has a 5000 friends and he wanted to connect with you, just as he told you so.  If he means more than that, you can deal with that when it happens just as you have any other guy that has approached you and had an ulterior motive.  Don't assume just because he sent you a friend request that it automatically means something by it anymore than you would want any other guy to assume you meant something you didn't mean by sending them a friend request.  And even if he does, let him have his reasons, if that's the meaning it has for him, that is his option.  It doesn't matter, you have your own reasons for being you.  You can still be you.  Don't let someone stop you from being you.

Awwwhhhhh.  True. Very true.

I got teased about going to the single Mormon Boys Conference.  Though I knew the teasing was in jest, and this person is someone I am very, very, very close to (and this friend will probably cringe that I am writing this on my blog...and cringe even further when they realize I had difficulty with the comment because I promise you, this was not their heart), even knowing they know me well and that they understand me more than you probably do, I questioned the teasing.  What were they really trying to say?  Don't they know I am happy being single?  Don't they know I am not looking for a man and the last thing on earth I am going to do is chase one down?  Darn why do I care what other people think?  Why can't I just go to this conference to learn more, grow me, develop my business and if someone thinks it for a different reason, let them???  I know my heart, the truth, my purpose, and more than that, I know that God has a plan for my life and that he planted this in my path now...three months after professional counseling, the perfect time in God's plan for me to learn more tools to work on my belief system.  Regardless what someone else is thinking, I can't change them.  Nor should I worry about what someone else thinks.  I know this.  People will think what they think, regardless of what I think.  Let God handle the naysayers.  The questioners.  The negative thinkers.  The people who don't understand what I deal with.  Let God do the work in me that needs to happen.  I got some determination to change me and am going to make it happen!

Awwwhhhhh.  True.  Very true.

Then I messaged Gerald to get a copy of my receipt for the cost I had paid for the event.  He said he would send it to me and remind him next week if I didn't get it.  I didn't get it.  I waited a week and reached out and messaged him again.  I waited 3 more days and then sent another message.  This time I said I hated to ask again and make him hate me before he even met me.  {If you have followed what I learned at this LiveBIG Conference you will see that this is a self sabotaging trait that I didn't know I was doing...why should he hate me?  He asked me to remind him. If it took two reminders, what's wrong with that?  Why would someone hate someone who was trying to be helpful?  Who said he would hate me?  See, its a meaning I put on it, but not a meaning that is true.}  He finally sent it.  I went to the conference wondering what he would say about this Persistent Texas Girl that insisted on getting a receipt, with a feeling deep down that I wasn't good enough because I had to "bother him" for a dumb stupid receipt.  {See how its totally ingrained in my thinking?}

The first day of the conference I was utterly exhausted.  Up 21 hours.  3 hours sleep.  Feeling very run down and emotionally drained.  Feelings I have faced before with dealing with my adrenal fatigue symptoms, but had hoped not to be facing at the start of this event, had me frustrated.  I moved past them and forced myself to get in the game and follow through with the event even though some of my Facebook friends suggested I try to sleep in or take time for me.  I didn't.  When I ended up being the first person to open up and share, all this was in my mind and heart as I tried to work through the questions.  It all contributed to my feelings of not being good enough.  It all contributed to the fear I had in holding back.  It was in some ways easy to answer the questions Gerald asked me because I came to the conference with those feelings very much fighting for space in my head.  Very much threaded around my heart.  Very much apart of the story of who I am.  Maybe this is one of the reasons God had me physically drained and emotionally hurting?  So I would see my desperate need to reprogram my belief system?  So I would have first hand experiences in the moment to work with and make me face my junk?

At the end of the day, several people were getting their pictures taken with Tony & Gerald, the two main Coaches, though Marci & Bri were part of the team too.  I snapped pictures of some of my new friends for them.  In my heart, I wished I could be like them and do that, but I flat out couldn't do it.  I hung back.  I resisted what everyone was doing.  Why?  Because I had fear. I had fear of what people would think if I had my picture done with them.  I had fear of what people would say.  I had fear of me.

I gave into the fear. I didn't get my picture taken.  I listened to the negative talk that I am not a celebrity.  I don't deserve my picture taken with the LiveBIG Coaches.

But my challenges were not over.  

Before I left, Gerald gave me a high five and pulled me into a hug.  This was hard.  Not because I don't like to give hugs or because of the fact that he wanted to give me one.  Not because I don't like to be hugged but because of the voice in my head.  The voice that says you are not worthy of being loved.  You are not good enough.  The voice that was sending me negative vibes.  The voice that questions everyone's motives because of things I have experienced in the past.  The voice that has created my negative belief system.  Sure I can be courageous and shove my feelings aside, smile bigger to not let you see what's going on inside...I have learned to do this well. I have learned to mask my own feelings and fears because I have been told they don't matter, be courageous, pain is inevitable, and hide the inner feelings and dialogue going on.  Nobody cares anyways.  And when they say they do care, they walk away because they can't handle what you expose to them.  But my heart knows the truth and my mind knows why.  I held back, sure I hugged him, but not as I would have if I had not listened to fear, if I had felt comfortable to be me, if he was one of my married guy friends that wouldn't be worried about the fact that I was single.  Why?  Out of fear of being able to be me.  Out of fear that he might take it to mean something I didn't mean.  Out of fear that someone would think something that wasn't true.  Out of fear of being attacked.  Fear of my fears being known.  I don't want you to see my fear.  Yet. I held back because of fear.

When I woke up the second day with a prayer in my heart for the day, I put it on Facebook and texted it to my Buddy, Brandee.  I considered tagging Gerald in the post and then decided I shouldn't.  Then I asked myself why I was going to let fear again hold me back?  I opted to face my fear and so I sent it to Gerald via text.  I decided I didn't care what he thought.  I didn't have Tony's number or I would have sent it to him too.  I then went back and tagged him in the post on Facebook.  I was going to move past my fear.  Period.  Let him think what he wanted to think.

Dang guys.  You aren't gonna run my life as you have for 37 years.  Done with that.  So done.

When I got to the hotel where the conference was being held, I was talking to my Buddy about how she wasn't feeling well and how she didn't sleep good.  While we were talking Gerald walked up.  The negative thoughts immediately started creeping in and took over the conversation in my head.  The..."I wonder what he is thinking about my prayer?"  ...the "see I told you so" stuff..."who do you think you are?"..."what are you trying to prove?"..."you think you are good enough, really do you now?"...etc.  He told me to give him a hug.  I felt the air get sucked out of me.  I talked back to myself and fought the inner dialogue.  Face it Misty. I had been kneeling and talking to Brandee, I got up and hugged him, but this time, I squeezed him tight.  Though he didn't say thanks for the text, he communicated that in his smile.  I consciously fought off my negative thoughts, calmed the noise inside and gave myself a pep talk about being me, the courageous, generous, loving woman I am, and interacting as I would with anyone who was one of my friends in my inner circle and launched into the conversation by asking him how he slept and how we were looking forward to day two, thankful for all he had brought to us so far, engaging him in the conversation we already had going on about how Brandee and I had slept and what we had gotten out of the conference this far...conversation just as I would have had with anyone I knew and someone who was one of my close friends or anyone else who had been apart of our conversation before he arrived.  

I was going to conquer my fear.  If it killed me.  I was going to push past this junk I face all the time.

Throughout this second day, when I did "The Greatness I see in You..." exercise, there were times that I was paired up with some of the guys at the event.  If this had been me when I was 20, moving out from California to Texas, it would have been a hard process no matter who it was.  Girl or Guy.  Young or Old.  However, as I have grown and developed my communication skills and relationships, I have been able to move past my shyness and reserved demeanor and move forward embracing my new life.  To being me.  Through this, I have even developed some really cool guy friends, married and single.  However, it still is always a bit easier for me to engage with guys that I know are married though being married doesn't mean it is always comfortable for me (and if you were to look at the details of past experiences that have created my baggage, these guys were not single guys so their is no truth in this lie that has become a way of just a pretense of being more comfortable).  The guys that are single seem to automatically make me feel boxed in a corner and it causes me to clam up, makes it harder for me to feel I can be me with them, and I automatically feel I am on display.  I am sure the relationships that I have had and the way those guys have interacted with me have only fed this feeling (insisting on the fact that I have a relationship with them, telling me I was "their girl" before they knew me, and more), however even though I have tried to figure out why I am like this, move past this barrier, and at times I am able to do so, other times I feel inadequate and it holds me back and I end up being reserved.  In this exercise where you were interacting one on one, you didn't have time to worry about whether they were single or married.  The exercise didn't matter if they were or weren't and there were lots of guys there with their wives and so it was easy to assume they were.  We also were all there for the same purpose and we all were to do the same process.  This created a comrade that made the playing field equal.  The greatness I saw in them didn't matter whether they were single or married.  I would take their hands and look into their eyes, connect and share, being me.  The experience was different with each of them, and the ones that had fear in their heart, this came out through their eyes, married or not.  

One of the interesting lessons and nuggets I took away with me from doing this process is that your fear cannot be hid, no matter how much you try to hide, it will be uncovered by someone.  To move past the fear, you have to be willing to be open.  The more open you are willing to be, the more connected you feel.  When you truly look into someones eyes to find the greatness that is there, you will see more than you ever imagined because each life is unique and each life has meaning.

After our lunch break, when we came back into the room, all the LiveBIG team were there to greet us and give us hugs.  Having been even more vulnerable that morning with sharing and interacting with Tony, I desperately needed the hugs, but did I allow myself to accept them from each of the team?  No.  I kept walking.  Later in reflecting on my actions, I realized that once again, this was out of fear and in some ways self sabotaging myself.  My inner dialogue was telling myself that I didn't deserve to be loved, hugged or accepted by them.  They weren't in my league and so I should just keep moving and take my seat instead. I didn't deserve their friendship, I was just a student.  Looking on you might have said I was just in a hurry to get a seat on the second row where I had sat the entire time.  It might have looked like I was confident and didn't need a hug.  It might have looked like I was at peace with the situation when in my heart, the truth is I was hiding.  The truth was I was afraid to let myself be hugged.  Why?  Because what you would say to me would be hard for me to accept as truth.  And because in my core, I don't feel I am worthy of your love.

As you interacted with various individuals they would always ask if I was married and I would hold up my left hand, explain the ring I wear is fake and I was single.  I have written blog posts about this before.  The subject has always provided some sort of comic relief to the question, I have accepted why I wear it and that it is a way to make me feel more comfortable.  But now I had to explain, to strangers who wanted to know more. Genuinely wanted to know.  Who wanted to know if I wanted to be married.  Who wanted to know truly why I wasn't married.  In some ways, I think I have never answered this question.  In some ways, I am not sure I know how to answer this question.  In reflecting on this too, I now ask myself, is my ring truly a comfort or just something that has become familiar to me?  By wearing it does it eliminate the feelings I feel inside me when a guy is looking me over?  {NO.}  By wearing it have I only built more of a wall around my heart or less?  For now, I still wear it, but it was interesting how this was one of the pieces of my junk that came up.  

All these little things were lessons to me.  Live lessons coming up during LiveBIG.  Lessons to help me look at my reactions.  Look at the triggers and how I was reacting.  Face the definitions and meaning I had given something to create the triggers.  Look at the definitions and meaning to understand the experiences that had led me to define life the way I have.

Fear because of messages my Mom put on me about men.  About relationships.  About hugs.  About what it means to be a forward girl.  About being too bold.  About being a slut.  About never being wanted because of...(a long list of reasons she had why a man would never want me...but would want my sister).  About being beautiful but not being beautiful because I was used.  About flirting.  About how to position or not position your body when you gave a man a hug.  About how long to allow someone's body to touch your body, even in passing or a high five.  About how long to hold a man's gaze.  All these unwritten rules my Mom had and instilled in me and definitions she had placed on relationships.  They created fears.  Fears that have inhibited me from moving past these blocks in my mind and heart.  Fears of not feeling good enough no matter what I did.  Fears that somehow I would make a mistake.  

Fear about getting close to men because of the relationship I never had with my Dad.  Dad never told us I love you, never told us we were pretty, never told us we were beautiful, never told us we were never wanted, in fact we were told we were not wanted and the only reason he had kids and been a Father was because Mom wanted them.  We didn't feel loved or wanted.  That alone made me feel men truly don't love you or want you.  That alone made me feel every man had a cold heart.  That alone made me feel I couldn't accept a friendship with a man.  That the only thing men every want was sex if they did want you.  The meaning to these fears became defined for me as I worked through my junk.

But are these things true?  Or are they lies that have formed my belief system?  It became clear to me, really clear to me how much they are a negative belief system stuck in the core of my heart.  When will I see them for the truth and work to rewrite my beliefs? 

Later or now???

I got to have many one on one conversations with various guys at the conference.  Guys that have made an impact on my world.  These guys include: Jay, Tony, Kent, Nathanial, Rob, Jeremy, Chad, Tanner, Christion, and Bret.  Each of these guys are apart of my courageous journey to learning to love me.  To learning to rewrite my story.  To learning to face my fears.  To learning to have guy friends and not worry about if they are single or married or what their motive is. Guys that were kind, loving and patient as I worked through my junk.  Guys that are interested in being friends.  Guys that want to see you succeed.  Guys that have a heart.  These guys are my friends.  These guys are helping me define new concepts of guy girl relationships and to accept me.  To love me.

But it wasn't just the was girls I got to connect to too!  

If I had not faced my fears and shared as I did, would I have met Jana and connected with her on the level I did, both of us having like Mom's?  Would she have shared with her husband who then felt drawn to talk to me? I pretty much can assure you the answer is NO.  Would Deonne have opened up and shared that we experienced a life changing situation at the same age if I had not opened up first?  NO.  There would have been no reason to.  If I had not, would I have gotten all I got out of the conference?  Would I have come away feeling like I played a Level 10?  Would I have regretted not playing a Level 10?

I realized through the things I faced at this event, the situations that were uncovered through the exercises the LiveBIG Team did with us, the things they taught us, the information they shared that I have a butt load of work yet ahead of me to learn to love me.  But I am determined to work with my accountability buddies and do the hard work, deep into the core belief system of Misty.  

Through the 3 days I was apart of this group, Gerald reminded me to accept the love that was being shown to me.  The first time he said that, I truly was not comprehending that I didn't love me.  I even dismissed it like, I love me, its not like I hate me...Geez, what a crazy thought.  As I worked through trying to accept the love being shown to me, I realized that I truly wasn't sure that I knew how to love me, beyond the surface.  Then part of me felt I did as I worked through listening and accepting what was told to me. But it was only part.  I hadn't given myself credit to love me.  Was I really closed off to this concept, or had I just not allowed myself to feel and receive it fully?  As I worked through my thoughts, my feelings, my reaction and my junk, I realized how keen he was on this.  That I wasn't allowing myself to be loved and consequently this is why I abuse myself with work life balance issues.  This is why I put everyone else first and me last.  This is why I don't feel I matter because I don't make myself matter to me.  Let alone allowing myself to love me.  I could easily love others, but loving me, that was oh so very, very hard because of the lies I believed about being lovable.  Never being wanted.  Never being enough. 

At the end of the very last night, I asked Bri if I could get a picture with her and her husband Tony and she said sure.  As the guys did the entire time, they make things fun.  Tony shoved me on this side of him, the other side of him, behind him, in front of him, stuck his head between me and Bri and finally put me in the middle and the two of them had their arms around me.  He truly is a mess!  Another continual lesson in learning to have fun in life, something I don't do very well.  Life has been all about being serious and productive 100% of the time that I don't know how to legitimately have some fun.

The final moment of learning how much I need to accept love that is shown to me was when I got my picture taken with Tony & Gerald.  Gerald took the picture of Tony, Bri & I.  I told him when we were done I wanted my picture with him and Tony.  Fighting the internal negative thoughts, that I was going to live down my fear and do what I didn't feel I could do.  Tony & Gerald are very tall,and even though I was wearing black boots with a 4" heel, I still wasn't as tall as them, and only reached their shoulders.  Tony and Gerald looked at each other and winked, I barely caught the exchange.  They opened their arms and both came at me, made a circle around me, squeezing me closely and very tightly between them, and here I was stuck in the middle of the two of them like little kids fighting over who could hug someone first.  It was not something I saw coming and initially I felt myself freeze.  Again.  Bri was trying to raise my phone to get a picture of this exchange, but didn't catch it on camera.  We laughed and then they got into position with me in the middle for a real picture, both of them putting their arms around my shoulders pulling me close.  Part of me felt this lump in my throat.  I wanted to cry, not because I was sad, but because they had no clue what I was working through to do this and what lessons they were teaching me...let alone how accepting they were of me made it easier for me to face my fears.  These guys clearly conveyed to me their appreciation for my participation in the LiveBIG Conference and their love for me.  It was a small gesture that left a meaningful impact on my world.  Gerald thanked me for coming all the way from Texas to play with them, how grateful he was for me being authentic, being open in facing my fears and doing the hard work I did during the event, and that he couldn't wait to see the things God was going to do in my life.  He and Tony have no clue how I had to face my fears.  They never will, and that's okay...they don't need to.  I did the work and I agree...God is doing a BIG work in my life the last two years and he has big plans for me and this year is going to be huge in me learning to love me because I am committed to it.  Me learning to have work life balance.  Me learning to take care of me.  Me learning to rewrite My Story.  Me learning to create new belief systems.  ...I thanked him for everything, for being so amazing and sharing his gifts with us.

I then had to decide whether to post the picture on Facebook or leave it off.  Again, out of fear.  Fear that someone would read into it something it wasn't.  I didn't leave it out, I posted it with all the other pictures I had done with my new friends.

By facing my fear of getting my picture taken with these two guys, I allowed myself to receive a blessing and their expression of love.  I got to experience their love and appreciation for me coming.  If I hadn't opened up and faced my fears, I would still be stuck in them.  The only thing it would have left me with was regret.  

Tony commented on the picture I put on Facebook of me with my Coaches, Way to play big Misty!!  His comment truly does state what I did.  I went in and played a Level 10...and I have no regrets.

I don't consider my battles with this over, but I am truly going to look at my triggers and face my fears to create different results.  By doing that I will be rewriting My Story and creating new beliefs based on truth, not lies.  I will fight through my fears.  

I will never, ever, ever forget the lessons my Coaches, Tony & Gerald, have taught me.

I will not forget the impact my LiveBIG friends have made on my life.  

I challenge you to go and #LiveBIG!!!


  1. Misty, I am SO proud of you and your vulnerability in this post! I really relate! You are encouraging me to face some things! So glad we are getting acquainted! Love yoi!

    1. Aunt Rachel, Thank YOU for your comment, for supporting me on this journey, and for being apart of my life! Thankful you are being inspired to LiveBIG and work through your own junk. Life is meant to live fully. May God give you the courage, strength, and wisdom as you work through this process. eHugs.

  2. I find it so amazing how crippling our fears can be. And yet the fears seem so "small", "harmless", "legitimate", etc. I'm so excited to see you working through your junk and fears. I know it's hard. I know this because we all have fears...they just look different. But, ah....the freedom we have when we move past those fears! Keep on! More freedom and growth in the future! Keep up the journey.

    1. My friend Sherri...Thank You for reading, for commenting, for sharing in my Courageous Journey. Thank You for encouraging me to keep on. I am excited and afraid at the same time because I see the growth already from the work the last 2 years and I can't imagine what its going to be like in the future, but I promise you, I welcome the FREEDOM! <3 you friend.