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Author Topic: Banishing Fear vs. Inviting Confidence?  (Read 5688 times)
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« Topic Start: March 15, 2011, 08:05:19 am »

I didn't see another topic about this so I guess I'll ask...

I've had an unreasonable and unwanted insecurity for the past few years. In spell-working, full-moon to new-moon is for banishing and new-moon to full-moon is for inviting (correct?). Is there a reason one is better than the other? What are your thoughts on banishing fear vs. inviting confidence? Would doing both be overkill? This fear is so strong it's causing all sorts of trouble... Any thoughts?
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« Reply #1: March 15, 2011, 08:25:48 am »

What are your thoughts on banishing fear vs. inviting confidence? Would doing both be overkill? This fear is so strong it's causing all sorts of trouble... Any thoughts?

While I don't really have enougfh info about this specific case to say, if the fear is as strong as you say, I'd go for banishing fear. One can be confident and still afraid, after all.
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« Reply #2: March 15, 2011, 09:33:53 am »

While I don't really have enough info about this specific case to say, if the fear is as strong as you say, I'd go for banishing fear. One can be confident and still afraid, after all.

It's just that I have an irrational fear of failure. I'm insecure about my own abilities and talents. My husband is the only one working and I'm so convinced that no one will want to hire me that I don't even bother looking. I'm perfectly healthy and I know I'm capable, but I continue to fear that I won't measure up or be blamed for anything that goes wrong or screw up horribly on my first day and be fired... or whatever. I know nervousness and jitters are normal parts of looking for work, but I've been unemployed for about 2 1/2 years now. I get sick to my stomach when I think about looking for work.  Cry My past work experiences haven't been very positive and my confidence is way low... *sigh* I need to make a change and I know spring energy is good starting fresh, but I'm not sure how to go about it...  Huh
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« Reply #3: March 15, 2011, 10:05:44 am »

It's just that I have an irrational fear of failure. I'm insecure about my own abilities and talents. My husband is the only one working and I'm so convinced that no one will want to hire me that I don't even bother looking. I'm perfectly healthy and I know I'm capable, but I continue to fear that I won't measure up or be blamed for anything that goes wrong or screw up horribly on my first day and be fired... or whatever. I know nervousness and jitters are normal parts of looking for work, but I've been unemployed for about 2 1/2 years now. I get sick to my stomach when I think about looking for work.  Cry My past work experiences haven't been very positive and my confidence is way low... *sigh* I need to make a change and I know spring energy is good starting fresh, but I'm not sure how to go about it...  Huh

My honest advice - go to a doctor and ask about help with anxiety.

That's more than just fear of messing up.  That's crippling - and that's EXACTLY what anti-anxiety medication and therapy is for.  There's no shame in getting help if you need it.  Get it.
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« Reply #4: March 15, 2011, 10:33:34 am »

unreasonable and unwanted insecurity for the past few years. In spell-working, full-moon to new-moon is for banishing and new-moon to full-moon is for inviting (correct?). Is there a reason one is better than the other?

The moon is increasing from new to full and decreasing from full to new so ask for things you want to grow like finances on the waxing (new to full) and things you want to decrease like debts on the waning (full to new) Moon.
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« Reply #5: March 15, 2011, 06:22:04 pm »

I've had an unreasonable and unwanted insecurity for the past few years. In spell-working, full-moon to new-moon is for banishing and new-moon to full-moon is for inviting (correct?). Is there a reason one is better than the other? What are your thoughts on banishing fear vs. inviting confidence? Would doing both be overkill? This fear is so strong it's causing all sorts of trouble... Any thoughts?

I definitely second the advice to check with a doctor - that kind of crippling anxiety is indeed something meds can do a lot to help with. (And from the friends I know who've taken them, they can be either a short-term thing until you can address the anxiety in other ways, or sometimes something you take only before things that make you particularly anxious (like going to an interview.)

To answer your specific question: as Brigid said, just above, generally you banish/decrease/remove as the moon wanes (full going to new), and you add to/increase/add energy to as the moon waxes (new going to full.) Doing both is definitely not overkill, but you may want to look at the best phrasings/focus for you. (And you may want to change them each cycle, a little bit, as different things come up.)

As someone who is also out of work and job hunting (and where the circumstances of leaving my last job did a huge number on my self-confidence, both because health issues shook how my brain works (and my sense of self is very much centered in how I think and create and talk and write), and because I was scared I'd not be able to do the kind of work I love (and was previously good at), a few other thoughts that have helped me, in case they help you....

1) Finding ways to get positive feedback from a neutral observer.

Positive feedback from people who love you is nice, but if you're me, there's a part going "But they already like me: are they really unbiased?" Getting feedback from people who are several steps further away helps a lot.

I've done that in different ways:
- I've been taking Feldenkrais lessons (a kind of body modality) which I started because my body and brain needed some different kind of stimulation while I was healing. What I love about it, though, is that I get feedback on how quickly I'm learning new stuff. Getting that while doing things that make me feel better physically, and help me feel and seem more self-confident is an even better bonus. (Since a lot of Feldenkrais work is about learning how your body works, and exploring alternatives to see if they suit what you want better.)

- I maintain a professional blog as part of my job hunt (librarian, so it's a really clear way to say "I'm up with the profession"). People really like that, and say so, including people I don't know well, and I actually just got kudos from the hiring manager at a job I applied for.

- As I started recovering health-wise, I started working on other projects that helped me recalibrate how I was doing, what I was good at now, what was harder for me, and so on. I've also been working on another massive community project (the upcoming Paganicon) which a) reassures me I really am up for handling big complex tasks again and b) I think is going to be awesome. Volunteering is a really good way to do this in general, I think, and it also means I have an external measure to look at and see what I want to continue to improve. This makes me feel much more confident in job apps.

(Because for a while there, I was looking at all these ads that say things like "Energetic and engaged librarian for..." and going "I'm exhausted, and I can't keep *myself* together, what am I doing applying for this?" I did anyway, because that's the way forward, but it's a lot more pleasant now I can be more confident about what I can do.)

2) And then there's some magical/ritual ways to help with focus on the job hunt:
- First and foremost, it's not the only thing I do. I have a goal of five good-quality applications a week (which in my field take a lot of preparation). Sometimes, I go over that, but mostly I focus on turning out those really good applications, and then go do something else. It keeps me from getting too incredibly frantic about the process, while still feeling like I'm making meaningful steps towards a job. (I have gotten interviews, just nothing that's turned into a job yet - not surprising, entirely, when most of the jobs I'm applying for have about 100 other applicants.)

This means - and this is the bit where the magic comes in - that I'm relatively specific about which things I apply for. (I'm in a position where there aren't many jobs in my field in my current area, but I'm willing and able to move. At the same time, there are a lot of places in the US that are not the place I really want to live, so I am mostly focusing my job hunt on New England, the Upper Midwest, and then jobs that are so neat, and so much what I'm interested in, that I'd be willing to deal with the location.) So, I keep refining my personal list of things that matter most to me in a job, and reinforcing those things with what I do in the next point - so that my magical intentions are in line with my direct actions.

And because it's a relatively small number of apps, it's not totally overwhelming: I can do one and feel I've made a subtantial amount of progress. (Also, I do my best to take weekends totally off, and usually one other day during the week when I focus on errands and household tasks and little fussy things.)

- I also do things that continue to build my professional skills that I enjoy. The professional blog is part of that but so is reading stuff relevant to the field, working on related projects and resource lists, etc. Once Paganicon is over, I'll look for another project that would help build skills in another direction. I do free workshops/online seminars in the field when I can, too. I like this part a lot more than writing apps (and it doesn't kick off the same frustration problems), but it's also a great way to stand out from the crowd of applicants.

This ties into the magical concept I learned as 'act as if'. On the lousy days, I do occasionally go back to bed and curl up with a good book, but mostly I kick myself into "What would my ideal concept of myself as an Awesome Librarian do? What would she know more about?" And then I go do something that gets me closer to that. Doesn't need to be a huge thing (some days it is, most days it isn't) but I figure learning's never wasted.

If you're not sure what your version of Awesome You should be doing, I recommend "What Color Is Your Parachute", which has lots of great advice on figuring out strengths to play to in figuring out the next career step, and talks a lot about how to develop them in general.

- I try to set off both of these with some simple ritual acts - dotting on appropriate ritual oils, spending a minute in front of my shrine which has both a prosperity statue and a statue of Hypatia (of Alexandria, who I honor as an ancestor-of-profession), etc. I have pieces of jewelry I put on when I'm working on job apps, and have specific music I listen to.

- I do other stuff that makes me feel like I'm making progress on *something*. Right now, that's knitting: it's really obvious when I have done it, because there is more scarf.  I've been doing a lot of low-key but real-food cooking, too, because that's all about transformation and nourishing myself for the future.

3) I do my best to listen to the people who love me
when they tell me I'm an awesome person who will find an amazing job, and that they're wanting the best for me. (This largely works: I have nifty friends.) And I took the advice of my brother to go have occasional plans for fun, not to mire down in the job hunt. Because once you get stuck, getting unstuck is really hard.
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« Reply #6: March 16, 2011, 06:51:07 am »

To answer your specific question:

Thanks Jenett, your advice really resonates with me. I love books and have considered becoming a librarian. I knit too.  Smiley

Meds can be great... I'm not putting them down... BUT I don't trust a lot of people who prescribe them. I was put on anti-depressants and amphetamines. The amphetamines were prescribed in a much too high dose that I was supposed to take far too frequently and I was told I must not stop them on my own because my body would be addicted and bad things would happen. Same with the anti-depressants... I would become addicted and must not stop on my own. I believe that far too often drugs are prescribed to addict first and foremost, then help the person. Plus they're expensive! Long story short, I'm trying to avoid the drugs by looking into holistic health and spirituality. If I can't find help these ways, then I'll consider going for drugs.

I have just decided to try volunteering recently (don't know why I didn't think of it before) as a way of reintegrating myself into a social setting without the pressure of having to prove myself (like I would competing for a job). I was really happy to see you suggest it! Yay! A step in the right direction!

I suppose a goal would be helpful. Usually I just try to find as many people who are hiring as possible and send in a bunch of applications at once. I can see how that would make me burned out and stop and start and stop and start... It is definitely hard not be frantic about job hunting, especially in America's economy...

Ok... relax about it. Job hunting is just another job. Like every job, have goals... have some time off... stay current... listen to loved ones... learn...

You know? My problem is that I probably just need to do mediation or something so I can teach myself to chill out  Roll Eyes . I get so wound up about "We need the money now" or "I'm no better than anyone else, why should they hire me" or whatever. Just take deep breaths and try. All I can do is try. Center myself.

Thanks again Jenett for your advice. I really appreciate all the time you took in answering my questions. You pointed out some very simple things that I had overlooked and introduced me to new concepts that should prove helpful.  Smiley
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« Reply #7: March 16, 2011, 02:28:39 pm »

Meds can be great... I'm not putting them down... BUT I don't trust a lot of people who prescribe them. I was put on anti-depressants and amphetamines. The amphetamines were prescribed in a much too high dose that I was supposed to take far too frequently and I was told I must not stop them on my own because my body would be addicted and bad things would happen. Same with the anti-depressants... I would become addicted and must not stop on my own. I believe that far too often drugs are prescribed to addict first and foremost, then help the person. Plus they're expensive! Long story short, I'm trying to avoid the drugs by looking into holistic health and spirituality. If I can't find help these ways, then I'll consider going for drugs.

That's definitely a good way to go about it. (I'm with you on preferring other options instead, too) Just that, as said, if it's so crippling that other stuff you've tried hasn't helped, meds can be a great solution to help get you to a point where you can use other tools more effectively. (Also, not a doctor or pharmacist, but my understanding is that various classes of anti-anxiety meds don't have the same addictive effect: like I said, there are some people who use them short term while doing other things - therapy techniques, getting their life sorted out, etc. and go off them, and I know people who use them only as needed for particularly stressful events - there was a recent discussion on one of my music lists about anti-anxiety meds for performance anxiety for example.)

Anyway, if you're looking at herbal options, I've had very good luck with skullcap for anxiety. Susun Weed has a great page of options at http://www.susunweed.com/An_Article_Fear_AW1.htm with a number of other options (and some useful warning advice: skullcap, for example, is something some people find sedating, so taking it at night can be good.)

Quote
I have just decided to try volunteering recently (don't know why I didn't think of it before) as a way of reintegrating myself into a social setting without the pressure of having to prove myself (like I would competing for a job). I was really happy to see you suggest it! Yay! A step in the right direction!

Yay! Volunteering's also a great way to get references (since you've been out of the job market for a while) and to build skills. As you get more confident, you could also try volunteering in the kinds of places you'd like to find a job: it's a great networking opportunity.

Quote
I suppose a goal would be helpful. Usually I just try to find as many people who are hiring as possible and send in a bunch of applications at once. I can see how that would make me burned out and stop and start and stop and start... It is definitely hard not be frantic about job hunting, especially in America's economy...

Isn't it, though? The way I see it is that I want to apply to places I *want* to work at, and where I can do a good job - otherwise, I'm going to be back in the same place, or even worse off, not too far down the road. Being really clear about what I'm looking for and why helps me a lot in figuring out where I can best put my energy in applications.

(I've got to go out and do a bunch of errands, and I've got a commitment tonight, but sometime today or tomorrow, I'll see about posting how I've looked at narrowing down the job hunt, and what I focus on, including magical work, since I know there's a bunch of people on the board looking.)
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« Reply #8: March 16, 2011, 03:56:55 pm »

I have just decided to try volunteering recently (don't know why I didn't think of it before) as a way of reintegrating myself into a social setting without the pressure of having to prove myself (like I would competing for a job). I was really happy to see you suggest it! Yay! A step in the right direction!

I suppose a goal would be helpful. Usually I just try to find as many people who are hiring as possible and send in a bunch of applications at once. I can see how that would make me burned out and stop and start and stop and start... It is definitely hard not be frantic about job hunting, especially in America's economy...

Volunteering is a fabulous idea! Have you also considered finding a mentor in your field of choice? Finding a professional who's willing to chat openly and honestly about what it is they do is a great way to understand the job requirements, new developments, learn skills, and so much more. I've even had mentors write reference letters for me! You wouldn't believe how many doors open when you connect with someone this way. I know it's not magic, but these relationships can make job hunting easier on the soul (and can help you see just how great an asset to the job market you are!) Smiley
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« Reply #9: March 16, 2011, 08:57:59 pm »

Volunteering is a fabulous idea! Have you also considered finding a mentor in your field of choice? Finding a professional who's willing to chat openly and honestly about what it is they do is a great way to understand the job requirements, new developments, learn skills, and so much more. I've even had mentors write reference letters for me! You wouldn't believe how many doors open when you connect with someone this way. I know it's not magic, but these relationships can make job hunting easier on the soul (and can help you see just how great an asset to the job market you are!) Smiley

How would I go about finding a mentor? Right now my preferred career choice would be preschool/daycare worker. I love kids, watch a lot of disney movies  Grin , and did some babysitting in high school so I know I'll connect. However I'm concerned that going to school for this will kill any joy I have about it (always hated school). A mentor would be a blessing in helping me figure out if I want to start this as my career. Any volunteer ideas that work with young kids? Most things I've looked at either don't involve kids or you need a certain amount of schooling or work experience...  Cry which I don't have.
 
Smiley Relationships can be just as magical as any other spell work  Smiley
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« Reply #10: March 16, 2011, 11:21:17 pm »

How would I go about finding a mentor? Right now my preferred career choice would be preschool/daycare worker. I love kids, watch a lot of disney movies  Grin , and did some babysitting in high school so I know I'll connect. However I'm concerned that going to school for this will kill any joy I have about it (always hated school). A mentor would be a blessing in helping me figure out if I want to start this as my career. Any volunteer ideas that work with young kids? Most things I've looked at either don't involve kids or you need a certain amount of schooling or work experience...  Cry which I don't have.

Some things that spring to mind - for most of them you probably need a background check, but those are relatively cheap.

- Is there a church or community near you that offers childcare (that's reasonably compatible with your beliefs, obviously)? You could volunteer to help with that.

- You might also see if there's something like a crisis nursery in your area (that's a place that takes in infants and toddlers during domestic violence in the home, single mother who needs to be in the hospital, that kind of thing: the one locally has high school students volunteering, so they must have duties that don't require specific experience/training.) Women's shelters in general, actually.

- If you're open to slightly older kids, you could look at scouting groups, or 4-H groups, or whatever other activity-focused group made sense for you.

I bet your local librarian could figure out some options in your area to try.
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« Reply #11: March 17, 2011, 12:33:18 am »

How would I go about finding a mentor? Right now my preferred career choice would be preschool/daycare worker.


If you want to work in daycare then I would recommend calling your local daycare centre and talking to the director about it. While I am not from the US and so unsure of the current requirements over there I suspect that someone with no qualifications would at least be able to volunteer if not work as an aide or assisstent. This may also vary form state to state too. They would also be able to let you know about what study you might need to do. As a volunteer you would get a feel for what the job is actually like which can be totally different to some people's expectations. If you have any sort of skill or interest you might also be able to use it as a "hook" to start volunteering on a regular basis. , for example if you play the guitar or are good at gardening.

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« Reply #12: March 17, 2011, 01:28:50 am »

I didn't see another topic about this so I guess I'll ask...

I've had an unreasonable and unwanted insecurity for the past few years. In spell-working, full-moon to new-moon is for banishing and new-moon to full-moon is for inviting (correct?). Is there a reason one is better than the other? What are your thoughts on banishing fear vs. inviting confidence? Would doing both be overkill? This fear is so strong it's causing all sorts of trouble... Any thoughts?

This reply is not to diminish or detract from the previous responses, because they all have value.

I am replying because I am also experiencing a LOT of anxiety about things in my life right now. So much so that I have considered, for the first time, seeking professional help.  I do not rule this out as an option as others in my family have profited from this avenue.

I guess I am still just stubborn enough, or still reacting from the precepts of former paths (Chiefly, the admonition, that "God helps those, who help themselves") that I am not ready to go for the medical avenue.  But at the same time I do not decry the validity of the avenue of medical help.

I'm just not that desperate.

I just completed a cycle of rituals, self researched, self designed, focused on the energies of the waning/new moon, and now, the waxing moon.

I conducted a ritual during the three days that preceded the new moon, aimed at banishing/eliminating negative thought patterns.  The day of the new moon I did nothing - but rest.  The day after that I did a ritual symbolizing new growth, new beginnings, positive intentions.

There is a sense of power (in a good sense) when you do rituals like this.  Banishing fear, worry doubt, is a real effort.  I think its akin to banishing the devil.

Doing these ritual myself gave me positive energy and self confidence.  I am hoping to carry this forward.  hope this helps...
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« Reply #13: March 17, 2011, 05:55:49 am »

I guess I am still just stubborn enough, or still reacting from the precepts of former paths (Chiefly, the admonition, that "God helps those, who help themselves") that I am not ready to go for the medical avenue. 

Two things here...

First, it's not a solely Christian thing.  I mean, my gods don't hold my hand every step and do everything for me either.  I'm expected to do things for myself, not just wait for the Gods to provide.

Second, helping yourself does not necessarily mean fixing your own problems without any outside assistance.  It means not waiting on God(s) to provide some miraculous solution.  The medical profession is not a deity, nor are the doctors who practice it.  Sometimes helping yourself means knowing when to ask other people for help because you're out of your depth, when to seek medical attention for a problem, etc.

I don't say that to try to convince you to seek treatment.  I'm not in your head, after all; if you don't feel you need it at this time, then that's up to you.  But trying to fix it all alone is not necessarily the same as "helping yourself".
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« Reply #14: March 17, 2011, 10:39:48 am »

I guess I am still just stubborn enough, or still reacting from the precepts of former paths (Chiefly, the admonition, that "God helps those, who help themselves") that I am not ready to go for the medical avenue.  But at the same time I do not decry the validity of the avenue of medical help.

I'm just not that desperate.

One of the things I've been thinking about in my own health journey this past year+plus has been about urgency. Like you, I've got a strong preference for trying other methods first (and did: I'm pretty convinced that the other stuff I was doing, including a strong sense of self-care, work with a skilled herbalist, etc. actually held off the massive physical crash for quite a while: I kept getting responses from doctors when that crash happened of "Oh, erm, you're already doing all the stuff we'd suggest *except* medication, and then some.") And I think about how the anxiety response affects the adrenal system in all sorts of ways.

I also think about the fact that some kinds of health issues mess with how clearly we can think. And about how doing the same thing over and over again (when it isn't working) doesn't get us closer to a goal of having the life we want.

There isn't a simple answer here. I definitely think trying a range of things to see what happens makes a lot of sense. And I definitely think that starting with the solutions with the least drastic change or unwanted consequence is really sensible. (I like Susun Weed's Seven Rivers of Healing model a whole lot for that: http://www.susunweed.com/herbal_ezine/December08/healingwise.htm has a summary.)

But at the same time, I recognise that there are time constraints that mean that we can't always take the options we'd like - or that we try options for a bit, and then need to move on, even if it's the more invasive option. And jobs and money are, realistically, sometimes one of those times. There's also the cost of anxiety on our system: those anxiety responses drain us, drain our reserves, and have other consequences that some people handle longer than others, but that can eventually lead to other significant issues.

None of this is simple - but it does lead to me generally suggesting people look at a variety of options (especially if they've already tried a bunch of things, and it's not helping enough.) For you, it sounds like what you're doing is helping enough that it's worth giving it more time, for which, yay. For some people, that's not true. It's not about stubborn, or shouldn't be, as much as 'is it actually helping make things better'.
Logged

Blog: Thoughts from a threshold: http://gleewood.org/threshold
Info for seekers: http://gleewood.org/seeking
Pagan books and resources: http://gleewood.org/books

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