Posts Tagged Nicola Phillips

OQ09: Being with fear

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Episode description:

Why is the assumption that we are supposed to achieve a 50-50 balance between our life and our work is not only unrealistic but also prevents us from being content with our lives? What keeps us stuck in the places we don’t want to be and from moving to where we want to go? What about failing that is so frightening to us?

In this episode Irina talks over Skype with Nicola Phillips. Nicola is an author and management consultant who has worked intimately with fear and the different ways of overcoming it, since 1981. She is the author of a number of book, the latest of which is “Fear Without Loathing: Why Life/Work Balance Doesn’t Matter But You Do”.

Nicola, who works with helping clients to stay with their fear without being panicky, believes that the place we are most fearful of is the place we probably need to be. When we are fearful about a particular situation, a good place to start is to ask oneself, “What stories have I told myself about this situation that make me frightened?”  Learning to deal with our fears is about learning to separate the fear we have from our reactions to it and from the actions we take as the result of it. It is not about doing something (defending against fear) but about being (experiencing fear, staying with it).

Nicola also talks about how our fears drive us towards taking decisions, rather than making choices in our lives. She finishes the conversation by sharing some points on how to deliver bad news in the non-negotiable situations.

Featured music track:

We close the episode with the song The Love Won’t Go Away by Uppsala-based band Automagic, that is quite international: its members come from the USA, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Episode Resources:

Nicola Phillips’ page

“Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: An Updated Guide to Stress, Stress Related Diseases, and Coping”, by Robert M. Sapolsky.


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