Your Fears are not Facts


I’ve been so inspired by @_lindsaytompkins that I’ve signed up for basically everything she is offering!

Last week I attended her 2021 goal planning webinar and fell off my chair when she put up those words

how much have I been allowing fear to stop me from doing?

Fear of judgement

Fear of vulnerability

Fear of getting it wrong

Fear of failure

I wanted to sign up for Lindsey’s Confidence Club, which is a DANCE CLASS, I immediately felt the fear rise to the surface. Negative voices filled my head. 

I’ve never danced before - will everyone think I suck? Will they all wonder why I am here?

When I fact check my fears, I can identify that they are in fact riddled with assumptions, interpretations and my own judgements about myself and my abilities.

Facts: a lot of women who have never danced before signed up, there is no prerequisite to the class, being a dancer is not a requirement, and it’s virtual, so I can turn off my camera and do this for me - no one NEEDS to see me. I don’t need to do this for anyone but me.

When fact checking you emotions, start small so you can practice and develop your lie detector skills! 

Here is a great tool fit Checking the Facts from the DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, second edition, by Marsha M Linehan

*please note I did attend a 5month therapy program learning these skills*

Questions for Checking the Facts:

 ASK: what is the emotion I want to change

  • example: fear

ASK: what is the event promoting my emotions?

  • describe the facts that you observed
  • Challenge judgements, absolutes, and black and white descriptions

ASK: what are my interpretations, thoughts and assumptions about the event?

  • think of other possible interpretations
  • Practice looking at all sides of the situation, and all points of view
  • Test your interpretations and assumptions and see if they fit the facts

ASK: am I assuming a treat?

  • label the treat (ex: embarrassment)
  • Assess the probability that the threat will actually occur
  • Think of as many possible outcomes as you can

ASK: what’s the catastrophe?

  • imagine it really occurring
  • Imagine coping with the catastrophe (problem solving, coping ahead, or radical acceptance)

ASK: does my emotion and it’s intensity, fit the actual facts?

  • check in with wise mind (see previous work on mindfulness!)

Ask Yourself - what is your fear lying to you about!?