WDS 2013 Theatre Shot

Casting Out Fear (WDS 2013 Retrospective)

WDS 2013 Theatre Shot

Photo credit: Armosa Studios

All over my Facebook timeline and my Twitter feed, there are dozens of people – new friends, old friends – posting about their experiences at the World Domination Summit. Sharing their “top things learned”, their weekend recaps, their favorite speakers.

One thing that not a lot of people are talking about, though, is the “now that it’s over.”

The weekend, of course, was inspiring. Motivational. Exceptional.

It was like spending a few days with thousands of your closest friends, even if you didn’t know each other – never met, may never meet. A feeling of being safe, of being secure, of being able to be open and transparent with people you were just introduced to, simply because of the love and connectedness in the air.

In other words, it was like one big hug. As I said to Jonathan Fields after his workshop, “I’m not really a hugger, but as I sat and listened to you tell your story, I knew just needed to come give you a hug.” And so I did.

But now, I’m home.

The rush of euphoria has passed.

The inspirational high is waning.

I woke up this morning, excited to begin the work. Excited to start my project. To write blog posts, redesign my site, send emails to people I’d met, and ride the wave that was WDS 2013.

And then the old patterns started to reassert themselves. When we get home, back to our families and friends, colleagues and clients, it’s all so easy to let the covering of our personality start to reassert itself and obscure the true self (hat-tip Don Miller). The fears, which were forced out by all the love felt this weekend, are starting to reappear:

  • What did I commit to?
  • Am I actually going to change the things I said I was?
  • Do I actually want this?
  • Is this really who I am going to be? Who I want to be?

The truth, of course, we’re all the same “true selves” we were before the Summit. The more important truth is that the same “true selves” are the ones that were at the Summit. And they’re the same “true selves” that we sit with, right now, as I write this and you read it.

The fear.

The fear is real. And it’s trying to grip me, even now. To stop me from claiming publicly, where the people who “know me” can see it and hear it – my family, my friends – what it is that I learned.

  • I am a course designer, and going forward, I will be focusing my efforts on that. I do, and will continue, to help purpose-driven onlinetrepreneurs (bloggers, authors, speakers) to design and create amazing online courses. I consult with them, teaching them how people learn and showing them how to leverage that in their business, so that their incredible ideas will actually spread. I do this, because I love unusual and unconventional ideas. I do this, because I think education is broken (Chase Jarvis, you have no idea how hard I was cheering you on). I do this, because I want to be recognized by and connected with my people. My tribe.
  • I envy those that live in a place of love. Love of family. Love of friends. Love of pure strangers. Love of self. It makes me feel ugly to say it; it makes me feel as if it diminishes the love I do have. But when Gretchen Rubin said we have to look at who we envy, and why, I knew it to be so.
  • I crave external affirmation. I know (*know*) that I am valued, but I don’t feel it. I know (*know*) that, for example, Chris Guillebeau values what I am doing for him in helping him revise his Adventure Capital course. But when I look back and recognize that one of the highlights of my weekend was hearing his wife, Jolie, tell me that she’s so glad I’m doing what I’m doing … It feels ugly to me, that I need that affirmation; to not be so settled in myself that I can do without. But I do.
  • I do have dreams. And they’re bigger than I admit to myself. When Pam Slim challenged us to go deep and come up with our “why” for our “big idea” – “why do we want to do this thing we want to do” – what came to my mind immediately was, “I want to kill schools – because I hate the idea of anyone, anywhere ever being put into boxes and labels.” Now, the phrasing “I want to kill schools” may be inflammatory, and I’m not 100% convinced that it’s accurate (though it came from a place deep inside that was definitely not my conscious, self-editing mind!) – but the core of it is true: I do want to change the way the world learns, and I want to see the day where no one is forced to live under a label.
  • I care, more deeply, than I know. I’ve locked away a lot of parts of myself – and yet, as I walked through the Oregon Zoo, it just drew my attention back to the Calgary Zoo, which immediately brought my mind back to my cousin and her family, who suffered great loss in their home as a result of the Calgary-area flooding just a few weeks ago. I’ve spent so long cutting myself off from the people around me, trying to stand on my own, to just make my own way. But the truth is, when I let myself feel it, I’m distraught by the pain of others. I’m so grateful, Karen, Dan and kids, that you are healthy and safe. And I mourn your loss, and I’m so, so sorry. There are no words but to say, “I love you”.
  • I’m afraid to claim my power. I cried listening to Tess Vigeland talk about jumping without a net, about wondering “what the hell are you thinking” – because I’ve told myself that, so many times. I wept, singing along with Steve Schalchin, “Time to come out // Lazarus come out // Into the light // Into the light of day” because fear keeps me in the dark. Fear of the light – my own light, my own power, my own self.

Perfect love.

I think I understand now what the Biblical writer John meant when he says “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” Because for 48 hours this weekend, I was surrounded by perfect love. And I wasn’t afraid.

And I think if I had to sum up my lesson from WDS, it would be simply that:

You can talk all you want about stepping into the fear. About facing it head on. About challenging it. About “doing it anyway.”

But the truth is, it doesn’t need to be a struggle.

You – I – don’t have to fight fear; you – I – just have to allow love. Love of others. Love of what we do. Love of our dreams. Love of our family.

Love of ourselves. Our true selves, our true minds.

Next time.

In the next post (because this one is already far too emotional), I’ll talk a little bit more about the specific, actionable things that are coming up for me. The specific, actionable steps that I want to take as a result of WDS. The ways I will build my business. The ways I will reach out and help others. What I will *do*. The things that I committed to, in private, to a handful of people I met at WDS. Am I’m scared to do so publicly? Yes. And in some ways, I feel like I’m copping out by pushing it to a future post. But, with your help, I will write it.

So until then, I need to ask you to stand beside me. To uphold me. To strengthen me with your perfect love.

To cast out all fear.


You guys rock! Here’s the promised post: Creating Amazing Courses – Help Me Help You!


Photo credit: Armosa Studios