Learn to Dance With Fear, With Kirk Wayman
The things we fear the most are the things we want the most. Do you agree? In life, fear is inevitable. Therefore, it’s something we should not eliminate, but something we should accept and dance with. In today’s episode, Kirk Wayman joins us to talk about how to conquer your fears, navigate them, and dance with them!
Kirk Wayman is the founder and principal coach of Ikon Coaching, where he creates environments that allow leaders to become the version of themselves that delivers extraordinary value.
Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:
- The dragon story and how it represents fear
- The boundary between confidence and courage
- How to conquer your fears
- What dancing with fear looks like
- What it means to be simple
- Kirk’s story of how he danced with his fears
- The value of being in a community
- How we are all on this hero’s journey
[08:38] The Boundary Between Confidence and Courage
There’s a boundary between confidence and courage – it’s the line of fear. When we cross from our known world into our unknown world, we feel fear. We all feel that sense of foreboding or nervousness and worry. But fear is there to remind us that we are no longer in the land of the known and we’ve entered the unknown. We haven’t done it before. But that’s okay. It scares us, and so, we will make that switch or possibly decide if a switch is worth making. A dragon is a mythological creature that represents fear. Fear is not fatal. It has a pu. It’s to remind us it’s time to switch to courage.
[11:30] The Known vs. The Unknown
There’s a desperate linkage that we can’t undo between the things that scare us the most and the things we want the most. The things we want the most are scary. It’s a measure of meaning and purpose in life. And we want meaning and purpose more than anything else. So the goal is to switch from confidence in the known to the courage that it takes to be out in the “sort of” known by learning how to dance with our fears.
[17:21] Dancing With Your Fears
To dance with fear is to get to a spot where we’re no longer seeking to be fearless. We’re not trying to kill fear, eliminate fear, or use fear as a metric for whether we’re doing the right or wrong thing. Instead, expect fear and each experience is a compass we can use to navigate fear.
there’s a desperate linkage that we can’t undo between the things that scare us the most and things we want the mostin fact I would suggest to you the things we want the most are by their very definition scaryand what I mean by scary is that’s how much they mean it’s a measure of meaning and purpose in life and we want meaningand purpose more than anything else I think wow so the goal is to switch fromconfidence in the known to the courage that it takes to be out in the sort of known and go after our Gold by learning how todance with our dragons hello everyone and welcome to the flowover fear podcast where it is our mission to help you to rise above fear and realize your ultimate potential inleadership and life I’m your host Adam Hill and it is my goal to share with youthe human side of high performance my guests share their experience with fearanxiety struggle Challenge and most importantly despite all of it how theyRose above it to achieve incredible results so if you’re ready to rise uplet’s get started but welcome to flow over fear everyone thanks for joining us I have a great guest today it’s a guestthat I talk to every two weeks or so because this is my this is my business coach this is the my my coach more sothan business you know he he digs in a lot more than just that this is you know how to live life and run a business andand I’m really grateful to have him on his name is Kirk Wayman and he runs icon coaching and I’m going to read the veryfirst sentence that he sent me in his bio because it’s just so so great in how it explains it I’m just going to read itverbatim he raised in the idyllic forests of Northern California where the stoic redwoods Tower silently over thePacific Ocean I found this Lost Coast forged much of my identity I learned thevalue of pursuing a simple meaningful and deep existence and that just youknow that’s why he’s my coach Kirk Wayman is the founder and principal coach of Icon coaching where he createsenvironments where leaders can become the version of themselves that delivers extraordinary value with more than adecade of experience in a bevy of past clients with meaningful results he opensthe space to to allow you to find your highest good for the benefit of those that you serve before coaching he was abusiness leader an entrepreneur working in business building materials easy for me to say construct production and LandDevelopment and spent many formative years as a non-profit executive co-founding of family co-founding afamily of businesses using social entrepreneurial model he has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administrationwith an emphasis in management and an M.A in leadership from Quaker Seminary when not in the office he loves to spendtime Outdoors fly fishing practicing photography and golfing andit says it cleanses his brain and allows him more time to be the best coach possible for his clients so thanks forjoining us Kirk what a wonderful intro that was thanks for having me Adam that is a testament to the value of hiring acopywriter so true so true but uh um well I I’m very grateful you’re herebecause I’ve I’ve truly gotten a lot of value from you over the last couple years that we’ve worked together and I’mreally grateful that you’re able to share some value today and like any good talk or like any good conversation agood conversations start with a story and one of the stories that you’ve been known for and one of the stories you’veintroduced to me is is that is the Dragon Story can you kind of share some of that and give us some context intowhat we’re going to talk about today yeah I’d be happy to umI like to remind people that this story is not true but I think it could beum a long time ago in what we often call the Middle Ages that time period in northern Europewhere things weren’t going particularly well um do things for surefirst they knew that there was a Known World and an unknown worldand they could map their Known World pretty effectively they could get around they they knew where the edges of it wasand then they’d have to do a little bit of guessing it get a little fuzzy and then there was something beyond that they didn’t know what it wasand so their cartographers would build these maps and they would they were actually brilliant works of art they’re beautifuland they get all of Northern Europe right in Italy and down in the South and and then they get over the Mediterraneanand then it they didn’t know it was beyond that they knew that there was a Known World and there was an unknownworld the second thing that they knew for sure is that Dragons Were Realnobody questioned that but what was weird is nobody had ever actually seen one eitherand it’s important to know where your dragons are that’s not a thing you want to miss and so the map makers had aproblem like where do we put the dragons and so they would just put them out in the unknown worldso you can actually find some of these old maps that show all the known world and then out in the far reaches whereit’s just blank or empty or they were just guessing they would draw dragons and on the oceans they’d put sea monsterswell over time they kept sending explorers out and they would explore more and more of the unknown worldthey’d come back and tell the map makers what they found and so they could draw bigger and bigger worlds and they woulddo this over and over but every time they came back they would never talk about dragons theynever ran into them so they learned a third thing there’s a known and unknown worlddragons are real and they live in the unknown worldand so the map makers would just keep moving them they just kept moving them further and further out well eventuallythey discovered and we discovered the whole world they’d gone everywhere and they never ran into a dragonand so we don’t believe in dragons anymore now we believe in aliens which isprobably the same concept but some of the psychologists in the last century began to play with this idea and theybegan to describe it as we’ve internalized our dragons we’ve taken them in internal to usbecause we have a similar idea in our own minds in our minds we have a mental map ormind map and it’s mapped to describe our Known World and our unknown world and we all have onewe all have places that we can navigate well relationships cultures business practiceaccomplishments failures all these things that we can navigate around and there’s a map in our mind and then ofcourse there’s places we’ve never been before they are beyond our imagination even we can’t even guess at what theyare and we have internalized our dragons and they live in the unknown worldnow let me pause for a minute and just describe what is this Dragon thingwe think dragons represent five things that humans are terrified offour apex predators and then one natural disaster dragons tend to havefour legs and claws that run in a particular way and those are the the Lions the big catsthey have long necks and long tails the snakesthey have scales and big toothy Jaws that’s the crocodiles and the alligatorsand they have huge Wings which is the birds of prey and they breathe fireand we’re terrified of fire when it gets out of control so we think dragons are nothing morethan a mythological creation of our fear we don’t believe in dragons in factanymore we believe in them in myth and those are the kinds of places thatwe store deepest truths the difference between confidence andcourage is simply the map in our Known World we get to beconfident we’ve done it before we know if we do this this happens atleast that’s a high probability it will happen we’re confident it’s a nice feelingbut when we navigate beyond our world when we walk off the mapthat is a different experience we can’t be confident out there because the dragons start to Roar it’s where theylive now the thing is that line between the knownand the unknown world there’s a boundary there and it’s the boundary between confidence and courageand it’s the line of fear when we cross from our known world into our unknown world we feel fear we all dowe all feel that sense of foreboding or nervousness and worry and the question is what is that fear forand what the fear is for is to remind us that we are no longer in the land of the known that we’ve entered the unknown andthat we cannot be confident out here we haven’t done it before but that’s okayso what the dragon is there to do is to remind us of that it Roars it scares usso that we will make that switch or possibly decide if it’s a switch worth making not everythingthere are many things we are scared of that we are supposed to be square scared of we’re not supposed to go out there orat least not yet so the dragon roars it’s this mythological creature thatrepresents fear and the fear is not fatal it’s for something it’s to remind us it’s time to switch tocourage but what we’re actually doing is entering this murky land between the known and the unknown that’s what wemight call the sort of known and the goal of of high performance thegoal of development the goal of leadership the goal of the entrepreneur is to actually cross that line and makethe sort of known known for the benefit of others and then the dragons move becausedragons always live in the unknown once the world becomes known the dragon moves because it’s not needed anymore and thenwe do it again and again and again and again and over time we grow our map andour Dragon just keeps moving hmm now there’s one more piece to the Met tothe myth that I think is the most fascinating and it kind of it’s kind of revealing thatwe don’t even notice it many of us just watched the movie a number of years ago um The Hobbit and in The Hobbit It’s aclassic Dragon Story there’s smog the dragon and he’s all the scary things oh yeahbut what’s interesting is smog and most dragons hoard goldbut why in the world does a dragon need gold forwe don’t ask that question when we go watch these stories it doesn’t even dawn us it is self-evident to us at leastsubconsciously why dragons hoard gold and it’s because the thing that scares us the most in the world is alwaysguarding the thing we want the most those two ideas are generally connectedwhen we’re going after something that we haven’t done before something we say we really really wantit’s always got a dragon sitting on top of it because we can’t go get it withoutcourage and the dragon’s There To Remind us this journey is probably going to be hardbut worth it so dragons hold gold because there’s adesperate linkage that we can’t undo between the things that scare us the most and things we want the most in factI would suggest to you the things we want the most are by their very definition scaryum and what I mean by scary is that’s how much they mean it’s a measure of meaning and purpose in life and we wantmeaning and purpose more than anything else I think wow so the goal is to switch fromconfidence in the known to the courage that it takes to be out in the sort of known and go after our Gold by learning how todance with our dragons and they will move and in time I think we learn how to leadthat dance and I think that might be a way of describing how I have experienced theword flow it’s that the dance is now I know these steps to thisand there’s a way in which I think you might even be able to achieve a confidence in our ability to make theUnknown Known even though we can never have confidence in the unknown itselfso lady and I love how you say leading the dance there and that’s that’s why I want to introduce it with the dragonstory because it’s such a perfect description of our fears and how how they’re represented it it it outlinesand and you know the the drag and you point out that the dragon moves yeah butyou never say that the dragon leaves that’s right right so you I don’t think we conquer dragons I don’t think we slaydragons I don’t think we um I don’t think we eliminate them Ithink we move them and I think if you can identify Your Dragon you’ll discover that that Dragon showsup over and over and over I don’t think we Face new dragons I think we just moved them in fact I think it’simportant to build a relationship with that dragon he’s there for somethingit often has something very important to teach us yeah that’s um yeah no it’s it’s it’s apowerful story and and how did you so where did you hear this story or is thisa story that you’ve kind of come up with or or is it something that you’ve heard somewhere or where’s it from it’s anamalgamation of a variety of pieces that I’ve heard different places um it starts in a book it’s a littlecomment in a book uh by a guy named Brian Mclaren years and years ago and he just uses the phrase there be dragonsand it turns out that phrase was initially engraved in Latin on some of the first globes that were ever madebecause it was the transition from the map makers into globemakers and they were copper Globes you had to engraveand it’s just too hard to engrave a full Dragon so they just put in Latin therapy dragons yeah that line has emerged andthere’s movies and books that have used that line before inside of jungian psychology you’ll getthe idea of the monsters that have moved inside of us um Jordan Peterson has done work arounddragons he has a bit that he does about it um and there’s there’s actually some books that havebeen written about the mythology of dragons throughout the globe because you find dragons in most cultures they’re not always precisely the same mythologybut they they have the same characteristics and so in culture after culture after culture there’s dragonsand it’s largely thought or at least supposed that it’s around this idea ofthe mythology of fear and it’s very necessary for societies for cultures tounderstand how fear works and how to dance with it and what it’s for and where it lives and so we build we buildmythological truths to store our our highest and our highest truths are heldin our mythologies yeah and it’s it’s fascinating to me how how a lot of these ideas I mean in even talking aboutdragons they’re not new I mean dragons no have existed in in folklore from theyou know from ancient China to you know well that’s as far back as I canremember but that’s that is a long way back it’s a long way back yeah but you know a lot of these things that we’retalking about like Rising above or or going Beyond or dancing with our fears they’re not new Concepts but they’rethings that we’ve we’ve wrestled with are in in through generations and so Ilove how you put it that we we eventually we learn you know as we’re as the dragons continue to move we learn todance with them so can you kind of expand on what dancing with fear might look like yeahI think a lot of um I think it’s first held in this and and what it’s not likeand that is the brand Fearless or the notion that you could become Fearless right there’s um Taylor Swifthas a song called fearless and and if you listen to it it’s just darling wouldn’t that be nice if she wasright about that um there’s and there’s a variety of other kinds of Brands and books and things that’ll capture this idea offearlessness because I think we desperately want to be Fearless and there’s a season of our life when maybewe even feel a bit invincible and so it resonates and that’s fine over time though I think it’s incredibly valuableto get past that um that is is largely the hope that wecan live a life um free of failure I would say and failures are many deathsand death is the ultimate fear I think I think that’s a driving fear the Death Drive ideasum and so we’re trying to deal with that so in time I think we come to a spot where we have to come to terms with fearum and I think for some people it creates the the um the slowing down or possibly the endof growth we have grown enough we have faced enough fear and we get to this place where we’re like this is good andthe truth is this often is good it’s fine um to dance with fear I think of that asbeing to lead that dance is to get to a spot where we’re no longer seeking to be Fearless we’re not trying to kill fearwe’re not trying to eliminate fear we’re not using fear as a metric for uh if I’m doing the right thing or the wrong thingit’s that we expect it it becomes a norm an experience that wehave of um that might even be like a compass even Ithink you can actually navigate by fear uh the question to turn fear into a compassI think you have to ask another question is this thing I’m moving towards actually scaryum and I think it takes some wisdom to figure that out so I think to build the practice of being able to dance withfear effectively it just takes time because you have to learn is this thing actually scary because if it’s notactually scary and I’m feeling fear I think you can use that and that’soften the invitation to move towards it um if it is actually scaryand wisdom is telling you that I think you can take action and it’s run away and I think there are things where youyou learn get away from that that’s really really dangerous sure um or at least dangerous for nowso to dance with fear I think is to be able to use fear as a tool to understand what it’s for and it actually canmotivate or help us navigate and and teach us what to do nextum yeah so yeah I think and I like thatidea of using it as a tool because we are often times I mean I mean a lot oftimes we’re very either or on this that you know you have to either avoid fear altogether you know just stop being stopbeing afraid we’ve heard that in our vernacular over the course of the last few years or you know or you know riseabove it but there’s never this in between that fear is always can always be useful it can either be telling uswell we need to avoid that bear over there that’s probably not a good idea to go face that fear right now or we couldor we could you know rise above it or or look at it as a signal to where we’re pushing against our comfort zone andactually move the dragon so to speak so I I I I I get a lot from that I resonatea lot with that that using fear is a tool um I I would love to kind of take a stepback and kind of dig in a little bit to your story here too and find out what a what brought you into this worldof of coaching and this world of wanting to help people in business and and that sort of thing because just to toarticulate that first sentence you know where where you’re learning uh to live the uh to and value the the meaning of asimple meaningful uh and deep existence first of all what does that mean to youum simple is a overly used word I thinkit’s a very difficult thing to accomplish and many people who are living very simply are not living without intent orpassion or purpose um but they have de-complicated their livesum they’re living with great intent and they’re often highly productive and umso simple doesn’t mean um I I don’t know a better a better moredescriptive word without going on for hours but it’s it’s it’s more like focusedum meaningful is the I think meaning is probably the thing most people arelooking for in life meaning and purpose that kind of a thing um I think there are things deeper than meaning I think we have we are invitedinto the production of meaning itself um and I’ve been on that Journey for formy whole adult life as many of us have and then as I began to play with those ideas finding a mechanism through whichI could share them right that was a large Drive um the depth idea isif you think about the idea of originality the goal to be original often meansdoing something at The Fringe or boundary of The Human Experience doing something new that’s where the dragonslive right exactly and I think there’s a a way in which that is what’s going onand people are doing things that you could say well that’s original but what’s interesting is in the wordoriginal is the word origin we use that word to mean the exact opposite in other contexts which meansto do something that is from the origin of all things fundamental foundationaland so there’s a way in which to go out and play on the boundaries and to play out in that place of new uh I think it’sbest done if you’re doing it if your Center holds um and I think the center is doingthings that are deep and what I mean by deep is they are the things that humans have always donecan we find the place of origin thoughtum can we find the things that have resonated throughout the Human Experience over all time and then find new and interesting ways to deploy thatand so there’s a depth that I think is super necessary super interesting that I’m fascinated by that then allows us touse the word safe or uh to live on the edges in meaningful waysand so I’m trying to do both simultaneously I don’t know that that’s the goalum but that’s where the depth comes from and I find that when we’re able to do that we end up focusing which I think isa more simple life I think we end up being building more meaning structuresin our life that are more long-term more valuable over time so it requires this idea of playing onthe edges Innovation creativity but from a place of depth I see so it starts withit’s it’s it starts with depth like we have to go deep first before well I think it’s kind of a both and I think inmany other many of the reasons that I’m attempting to find depth is because playing on the edge without it wasn’t safe but if you’re only finding depthwithout ever testing it on the edges maybe that’s boring right you know yeahwell so where at this time in your in your journey are you finding that depth what are you finding that depth inum I’m actually in a in a liminal space between two things for the lastuh probably decade or so um I was finding it in a lot of ourcoaching work a lot of our framework is built on three different um fields of study we spent a lot oftime in Psychology philosophy and then theologyum and we kind of mixed those three things together and so the pursuit of depth for me was reading and working inthose fields and or exploring those things so I went to grad school to do that that was part of that journey I dida lot of the Theology and philosophy work there and then have been exploring psychology and reading what people waysmarter than me have said about all these things and then looking for themes throughout time where people keep sayingthe same thing over and over and over and then seeing if I can integrate that umthe so I’ve consumed a lot of content over the last decade um reading books videos just anybody Iget my hands on um at the moment that isn’t feeding me the same way and I’ve been exploringwhat the new version of that will be how to continue to to work out the depth andwhat I think I’m doing right now is exercising those muscles so I think I’min more of a building doing phase um than I have been in the past last 10years I’ve been just sort of I’ve been by myself as a working in a freelance model and just trying to get as deep asI can and there’s a limit to how deep I can go um I think that’s a self-declaration of limits huhright yeah limiting belief right yeah right there um but right now what I’m trying to whatwe’re doing and have been working on the last couple years is we’re building out a team and we’re looking at ways of of going more broadum and so I’m spinning it’s interesting as we’re talking about this I’m realizing I’m actually spendingless time in the depth and more time at the edges of what I’ve done so far soI see yeah and and I see a lot of of content that you put out too because you’ve got a very active YouTube channelyeah uh which I I uh I have here I can promote it’s uh YouTube uh at Iconcoaching on YouTube and uh that’s with a K by the way um and yeah a lot of great content a lotof great shorts if you if you want to look at some great content that’s that’s the place to go is that kind of whereyou’re operating on the fringes right now and getting a little more deeper there yeah a little bit we’re learninghow to take our framework and deliver it in uh content kind of trying to becomecontent creators I’ve spent zero time over the last couple decades building platform and all that stuff um it wasn’tI just wasn’t concerned with that yeah so that’s a that’s more of a long-termplay over over ideas I have for the next three to five years of workum right now what we’re doing is we’re I’ve got a team of this team of three of us coaches and one consultant and we’reworking on expanding that in the in the process of doing that what I’m what I’m trying to do is build a teamthat can think with me because there’s the idea of you can only go so far alone and if you want to go a long ways like Icould I could move fast before but now I’m trying to move far and I’m I feel asthough I’ve come to the end of what I can actually accomplish well by myself and so we’re we’re playing together as ateam and it’s been great it’s in this last year it has solidifiedum and we’re able to now we’re actually building products and new deliverables and Consulting packages and and thingslike that that’s great yeah and it’s it’s it’s definitely showing in the years that I’ve been with you you couldsee the Evolution for sure and and especially with the content and you know I’m interested in you know kind of whereyou know that that that element of fear it’s it’s a big uh you know it’s a big part of your message and what you shareis because I mean you know entrepreneurs business people they operate on those fringes where the dragons are that’sright and and so fear is a big part of that and you’ve had that own your own experiences with you know having to dealwith the fear and and kind of learning about that learning how to dance with that through your own experiences I knowyou know you had some early near grief experiences and and Trauma can you kindof share a little bit about that yeah yeah um I did grow up in a in a pretty idyllicplace in the world and nothing really bad had ever happened to me not reallyum it was pretty great I end up getting married um married married a girl I met inseventh and eighth grade and it was it was just wonderful and thenabout six years into marriage we decided to start a family we had our first son um and I had a earth-shattering likemeaning structure shattering experience where he was born and we all havethe image of what that’s supposed to look like and it did not look like that at all and he was uhhe was born and pretty quickly got was born little tiny hospital they couldn’thandle what happened and so they called up UCSF out of San Francisco flew up in airplanes and took him away so six hoursinto his life he’s gone and we don’t know what’s wrong and uh it begins andhe ended up having open heart surgery at three days old um andyou know that by itself was just this um like I still feel those feelings ofthe uncertainty of it all that we were shoved I did not choose to walk across the fear line in that experience I hadno mental map for how to navigate this I had a social worker sit with me thenight he was born and just looked me in the eye and say I need you to know this isn’t normalbecause I didn’t know where I was I’d lost contextum so we didn’t get to hold him for the first 20 something days we finally bringhim home he’s he’s a cardiac kid now we’re in the constant care of a cardiac unit out of San Francisco and at sixmonths old he had another surgery at about four months old and then at six months old he had his second open heart surgery because they discovered he had alung disease too and it’s a disease that is used to be correlated with his heart condition and they’ve pretty muchstopped it they’ve figured it out so it was kind of a big bloat even the doctors that he had this lung problem aswell and it turns out the lung problem is terminal and so we had to sit with our doctorsand have the conversation of your son is going to die from this disease we don’t know how to fix it when it we don’t knowwhat to do well not that they didn’t know what to do but they just it’s Progressive it just keeps getting worseabout the best we can do is slow it down and so at that point we’re going home with a son that’s gonna die in the next10 or 20 years um and we lived with that lots of hospital visitsum for for about 10 years and about 10 years into that Journey wehad a very surprise event which would take too long to describe the whole thing right now butum they called us in after doing a heart catheterization which is where they testeverything um and they call us in and they’re allhis whole team is there the nurse practitioners about four doctors these people we’ve been journeying with foryears and they wanted to be together to deliver good news because they they said we never get to deliver good newsand they told us it’s better he didn’t get worse this time he’s betterand so then another six months later they ran the same test again and he was still better at that point they told ushe’s not terminal anymore this isn’t what’s going to kill him um which I always make the comment thatwhen you go from being terminal all you’ve done is up the upgrade is to mortal like you’re still gonna die we justdon’t know what you’re gonna die from anymore yeah so and it turns out that’s a sizable upgrade yeah right um so thenwe had to make that we had to make this transition out of that and the healing process being able to to sit with thepain of that whole 10-year experience get to the other side of it um it had wreaked um it had been like awrecking that’s too strong of a metaphor it had been it had hurt our marriage our marriage my wife and my marriage hadbeen impacted that’s a better word for it sure buy that whole experience we had some rebuilding to do we our our senseof how the world works and what matters and where meaning comes from and what are we safe and I mean we had had thisbrush with death and we’d lived with a perpetualum it was like having death in your house all the time and but not actually experiencing itum so he’s 22 now and uh doing great he still has the lung condition but it’smanaged it’s under control it’s if you met him today you’d never know any of this that ever happenedbut that became an experience of prolonged trauma deepfear and it it was a shattering experience it was the worst thing that has everhappened to me and I think that’s a special category that’s a special placeand until it’s happened there’s nothing there right rightum it’s what we call suffering and my wife and I together suffered thatJourney and suffering is something that either suffering is something that either makesyou or breaks you and it takes time quite a bit of time to figure out whichum but I learned in that process I wouldn’t say I learned I began to askdifferent kinds of questions and I began to have to deal with fear primarily the fear of deathI began to Ponder those kinds of questions and did my current understanding of how the world workedwhere where the good was could it could it sustain me throughthat experience um did it work and in some ways itdidn’t and I had to adjust I had to to go deeper and of myself and begin to thinkabout these ideas and it turns out my brain and who I am loves to think about these ideas so right I went on thejourney and so is that was that Journey alone or did you go on it with your wife or wasit was it something that you had to go through together how did that yeah we we did it differently but we did ittogether we stayed connected through the whole through the experience um her journey is it is different inmeaningful ways from mine but we also did it in community we havepeople around us that were part of that umit’s not something I would want to do alone sure at all we had aum we had some anchor points that I think really served us well as we walkedthrough that but what I learned was it was interesting as as I started to have this experience and I started to havesomething in this sort of room in my mind called the worst thing that’s ever happened to me I began to hear otherpeople’s stories other people started to share their worst thing that’s ever happened to themand these are people I might have known for a while but they had never shared that story with meand I began to ponder the idea that oh they weren’t I wouldn’t have understood it but nowthat I’ve joined this group of suffering right there’s a solidarity amongst those who have suffered and suffered well andwe share stories together and I was like oh I’m being invited into this experience and then strangers sometimeswe for a while we had a baby that was on oxygen and if you have a baby on oxygen everybody knows something terrible hashappened yeah and so people would come up and they would they would share their story with me they wouldn’t lead withpeople say some of the dumbest things sometimes in the face of suffering yeah and that didn’t happen What would happenis they would share their story and I found that incredibly meaningful and Ibegan to understand that everybody eventually has something inthat room and while they well they’re not all objectively the same you can actuallyrank trauma or suffering there are some things that are objectively worse thanother things but once it crossed some kind of threshold into the worst thing that’s ever happened to me they’re subjectively somehow all thesame yeah and we collectively have these experiences where say the universepunches Us in the face or we come to grips with the dread of existence as theexistentialists say and we have to figure out what to do with that and I think great entrepreneurs greatleaders the Elders of our community people of wisdom I think they’ve learned what to do withthat and then they can become guides to help guide others through that processI I just think people that are faster at moving into the unknown and making itknown have a tendency to have significant impact influence in our lives they change theworld yeah but it’s the crossing of that fear boundary that’s actually involvedthe learning to dance with our fear of death with our mortality with allowing our meaning structures tosomewhat crumble in front of us and keep going so it’s it’s a I am thank you forsharing that with with us in the audience because I think there’s a lot of people that can struggle with that and one of the common themes that comesup in all of these conversations I have and all of the interviews that I’ve had with people who have achieved greatthings or overcome things uh difficult things has been the sense of community of finding that tribe of people or orthat Mentor or that group that can you know help them through that way andthat’s you know what you’re saying sounds almost counterintuitive that that other people sharing their versions oftheir suffering with you while you’re suffering it sounds like you know at least if I were to approach somebodywho’s suffering I would feel uh odd about uh saying you know something aboutmy story but um but there’s power in that sharing of that story it sounds like you’re you’resaying so um yeah and and if you don’t mind me asking how um how was your son’s reaction toall this did did he know he was terminal how did how is he working through thisyeah it um his story is very different than ours um we uh the the you know his birth isthe beginning of it for us he came or became aware of it over time and uh wehad a conversation one time where he gets this all these tests and all this stuff and andum he started to ask me very uh different kinds of questions one time we’re down at the hospital together mywife and our other son were at home and and he just looks at me and goes Dad what’s what’s my numberand he I interpreted that as he was asking about lifespan for the first time and we didn’t have anumber for that he didn’t we didn’t have a specific answer so I didn’t have to tell him a specific thing but I watchedhim start to wrestle at that point with this whole concept kind of for the first time and it’s a it’s a age-appropriatetime in his life to do that but it was an awful experience of having to hand him this super ugly thingthis difficult thing you just have to hand it to him and let him start to carry the weight of his of this realityfor him or what seemed to be the reality and it was just about that time that we got the news that they were takingterminal off the table and so we were starting to get the best news of his life so far but he was just starting towrestle with the worst news of his life so far and he had to walk through that whole process took a couple yearsum maybe longer for him to actually go through the whole valley of the experience before he was able to startto rise back into but I’m not terminal anymore so it it hit him I would say verydifferently um but we had ohit’s a great advice from our our doctors there’s pediatric cardiologists that’s this is what they do they walk through this kind of stuff with families sureum they were great they encouraged us to begin to process this with a much younger than I would have wanted toum because you want to protect them right right you don’t want to have to carry this big bowl of ugly yeah that’sa difficult thing to have to you know really you know work through with with your kids I couldn’t even imagine havingto to work through that but uh if if you had a piece of advice for somebodythat’s just starting to go through that process or go through that kind of grief or that longer term fear that theydidn’t ask for what would you what would you say to himum it’s interesting that when we were leaving the hospital for the first time we’d been down there for about threeweeks um as we were it was a center where they do this particular surgery and so they fly people in from all over the placeand so as we were leaving there was another family just arriving it was uncanny we didn’t say anything wedidn’t talk to him but we knew who they were and we walked by them and I sawwhat I had looked like three weeks ago and it was just Ashen face just yeahcompletely decentered and undone and confused and lost and sad andand I didn’t feel that way anymore um I still felt bad but I didn’t feelthat bad I had mapped it a bit and I think that’sone of the things that draws us through this is first of all there is no around these experiencesum you just have to go through it and you just keep movingyou’re not going to move fast necessarily but if you just keep moving and sometimes it doesn’t feel like you’re even movingbut that’s part of the experience um secondly is it’s very very difficultto do these things alone yeah um and you don’t know when they’re gonna happenbut they’re going to happen um I would say that the only thing forcertain that you can guarantee everybody will experience in life is sufferingeverybody will have a moment of some kind where the worst thing thatever happened to you will happen and you don’t want to be aloneum and because you can’t plan it you have to be oh there’s a way in which youalways have to be prepared for it so being in community building relationships that matterum is probably the second thing is that you’ll just it it’s necessary probablyThe Human Experience entirely but certainly for the moments of suffering sure um the third isto do the work consistently which I don’t mean every day but be in the constant process ofevaluating and upgrading upgrading your meaning structuresyour world view the your belief systems from which you operate because all thelittle things that break along the way all the little hardships that we have that are they’re very important and theyteach us but one of the things that we want to do with them is learn what in our belief system is reliable valuableworks and what can be upgraded um but sometimes what we do is we wedevelop a point of view or a way of navigating the world um maybe somewhat early in our life andit might work for a time but then we think we have it figured out and we don’t do the work to consistentlyupgrade it we just camp on that we just stay there and it actually won’t carry us throughsome of these harder things but if you’re constantly doing the workto find the most meaningful things to believe the the things that have workedfor humans over well the whole of The Human Experience if you can find themconstantly be upgrading those finding new mindsets new ways of being in the world new things new core belief systemsthen when you get punched in the face by the universe you’ll have a better chance of having it be an experience you canget through wow so just yeah kind of like the fixed mindset versus the growth mindset kindof attitude Etc that’s that’s uh that’s powerful um and andyou know how would if if you’d say now now given you know there’s been 20 yearssince this experience you’re now you know thriving as a coach You’re Building A Team you’re doing all these greatthings what are what are you know what is one what are one or two of the best experiences you’ve had since that momentlike the greatest experience you’ve had ahprobably huh there’s so many directions I could take thatum that’s why I asked them yeah I know that’s always you know you’ve asked a great question when someone goes that’sa good question um one of them would probably be the transition into my 40s where Ium I felt it actually happened right I was in the construction world and Ilived through the 2008 crash which decimated the construction world I mean everything we were doing just fell apartit was awful wasn’t the worst thing that ever happened to me it was bad and anybody inthat in that field at that time experienced much the same thing oh yeah I was in that field as well yeah no wellyeah it was just everything fell apart yeah just yeah um and I had to figure out what to donext and and that began a journey of me decidingit was time to actually make a a very intentional choice about career Direction until that point I’d kind ofbeen following my nose a bit I’d been following what I was good at what would people pay me for what could I figureout that kind of thing but I’d figured out a bunch of stuff and it was a refining process allowed me to begin todialogue about what is it the thing well I I would ask the question or I was asked it what’s the hill you’re willingto die on right what’s that because I wasn’t quite on it yetum and what I learned is that statement is not a statement of willing it’s actually what hill are you going to dieon um and I I engaged that about that time andI went back to grad school which is something I’d wanted to do for quite a while I tried a couple times but it justeither didn’t work or the timing wasn’t right but I did that and that experience um doing a I did a master’s inleadership at a Quaker Seminary up in Portland Oregon it was just transformational it wasfabulous it was well timed in my life um and I got to I got to sit with myselffor about four years and just really go as deep as I could and I would call that a verytransformational experience um I used that time to actually develop theframework from which I coach now and that’s when I launched the coaching business umso I found that as a very significant high point that hassurprisingly it surprised me how meaningful that was it felt like a huge risk at the time in retrospect it nowseems obvious yeah that’s one another one isum my childhood was organized around a particular River in a particular place in the worldum my my dad mom would take us up there and it became one of thoseOrigins stories to my existence and those those years are so impactful someaningful to me that I actually had to not go there for about 15 years toto somewhat separate myself from it I didn’t know I was doing thatbut I just couldn’t be there I didn’t know who I was without it right something like that and I needed to insome way transcend it I guess and one day it’s on the coast of Northern California and one day my family and Iwere driving down the coast and I happened to pull into this road that has an Overlook of it I say hey let’s gocheck it out and so we drove up there first time in maybe 15 years and I stared at it for a minute and I wasshocked it was still there like it wasn’t there in my heart anymorebut it had been there the whole time I could have come back at any time but I wouldn’tand uh that year I started to come back and now we make I make multiple trips over there a year and I’m back at thisfavorite place um again so both the having a a childhoodexperience there walking away from it and then being able to come back it’s a return home but I’m a very differentperson um but in some way when I’m standing on that beach I’m the same person I alwayswas there’s an interplay there that I’ve just found incredible in the last five years as I’ve been returning to thisplace that’s incredible yeah so yeah it’s it’s just a realization of your transformation like in this when youbring yourself back to that environment of childhood um that’s a that’s a powerful uh way andmaybe that’s something that the listeners can take from that is if if you have a place where you can bringyour new self to your old self right just show your old self what you become there may be some power in thatit is uh it’s my little mini version of another mythological story called thehero’s journey and we all probably know about that but it’s the it’s theOdysseus in Homer’s The Odyssey tells that’s one of the classic stories that is this archetype and Odysseus has toleave home and go face all the challenges of the world go face all the monsters in the Cyclops and the sirensand all that stuff but eventually returns home and that’s how the hero’s journey works is there’s a way andthere’s a way in which we are all on that hero’s journey that’s why it resonates so well with us and that’s whyso many stories all the movies we go see there it’s just a hero’s journey being told over and over and over and it resonates with us because we’reall on that journey and that was my version of it and I didn’t even know I was doing it but this this idyllicorigin story in my mind um I had to leave it and I went out andhad to face building a career and the hardships and Trauma Trials of getting married and working out of marriage andthen this whole story with my son and and then one day I was able to return homebut until then I couldn’t I wasn’t ready and suddenly I was it was weird and whenI come back people don’t know me there I’m not recognized umbut it’s it’s home yeah and in the midst of that it’s it’s uhyeah and in the midst of that you’re building successful businesses and all those trails and all those kinds of things you’re just doing all of thesegreat things and yeah and and now the value that you’re adding to the world isin you know one leader at a time you know you’re offering this you’recoaching people to bring out that you know go deep and and uh and and bringthat life to them as well and you’ve done that with me and I’m very grateful for that because we’ve walked through alot of of these kinds of trials in my business and and my career and and allof these kinds of things so uh so with icon coaching what are you uh what’syou’ve talked about what you’re working through next you know you’re kind of building some more platforms and things like that uh how can people get in touchwith you how can you how can people start to work with icon yeah that’s greatum there’s a couple ways to do it you can go to iconcoaching.com it’s ikoncoaching.com although I will tellyou that website’s under construction and so while it’s still functional it’s it’s uh in Declineum you can check us out at YouTube um just search icon coaching um or you can email me my email is Kirkiconcoaching.com um and we’ll get you connected to our framework and our systemum so that’s how you get a hold of us the um the work we do isit’s I’ve spent 10 or 12 years um not well leadership development successliterature the coaching Frameworks are um they’re not that complicated they’reum I don’t think they’re that complicated they we’ve kind of worked out how this process works and and allthe different coaching systems in the world are basically structured around similar questionsum the the problem though is while it’s not complicated to understand it’s reallydifficult to implement it’s really difficult to do it and so a lot of what coaching is a lot of what we do is justwalk with people through the process of doing it so we have a framework that we’re operating from and and aa position or a point of view on the coaching work itself what I’m super proud of is the depth atwhich we’re able to navigate these complex systems that people create intheir lives and help them navigate through those in a way where they can really bring meaning and purpose back towork so that’s largely and and the ability tonow do that um through a team is actually exciting to me I’ve been at capacity for years and so for the forthe first time in a number of years we actually have capacity again yeah and actually we’re actually taking new clients and uh so we’re excited aboutthat that’s great well that that’s some good news for the listeners here is that you have some capacity to take on somenew clients because I speak from experience it’s been a great experience you’ve walked through me through some significant trials and transformationsin and uh challenges in my business that you know about very well yeah and um andI’m grateful for it and uh so uh so we’ll put the email the website all thatgood stuff in the show notes Kirk I’m very grateful that you joined us today um thank you for sharing your wisdomyour story and uh and some of uh some of the things that uh our listeners can getvalue from and I look forward to seeing you soon and everybody out there thanks for joining us and we’ll catch you nexttime thanks hey everyone Thanks for tuning in to the flow over fear podcast if you’d like tolearn more about getting into flow and learn the foundations of flow I have a free video series on my website atwww.adamcliffordill.com called the foundations of flow feel free to gothere and download it and start your journey to Rising above fear and achieving greater flow in your life ifyou like this episode and I’m guessing you did if you stuck around for this long then please do me a favor and hitthe Subscribe button and you will receive notifications when I have new interviews new Recaps and new trainingsthat pop up on YouTube thanks again for joining us [Music]thank you