Television producer and screenwriter Carlton Cuse said of lightning; “The creative process is not like a situation where you get struck by a single lightning bolt. You have ongoing discoveries, and there's ongoing creative” What I believe Carlton meant by that is our environment has way more to do with our productivity than we realize. When we think back on lightning as a kid some of us were frightened by its animus presence. But as we grew we learned it was simply a part of life. Storms come and sometimes they bring thunder and lightning right?
I was looking through the paper and read that in 2007 the third largest phobia American’s suffered from was astraphobia, or the fear of lightning. This goes beyond an uncomfortable feeling driving or sleeping through a storm. This was a full blown paralyzing fear that somehow they would be adversely affected by it. It got me to thinking about life, innovation and the people we choose to associate with.
In my field as a coach, I quickly found that most issues could be resolved in our lives by two easy steps. First, address our internal belief systems that may be leading to our dysfunctional behavior. And next, address the circle of influences we subject ourselves to. The latter seems to take the longest to correct. Often we unknowingly are connected to friends and family that suffer from astraphobia. Deep within they have a fear that the crazy ideas, innovations or lofty dreams you have will one day strike in your behalf. They see a storm brewing in your finances, your career and even relationships and they are just not comfortable with the awesome glow happening for you! Sufferers of astraphobia will exhibit symptoms like anxiety, panicked responses, nausea and a feeling of dread. Now think about some of the toxic people you’ve allowed into your circle. How many of them are literally anxious or concerned about how well you’re doing. I’m not talking about people who bring balance and accountability into your life. I am speaking of the ‘dream thieves’ that hitched to your wagon and attempted to discourage you. I would submit that these folks were struck with astraphobia.
Take a look at some really cool facts about lightning and see the similarities to your journey:
They say lightning never strikes the same place twice. But day in and day out you shine. That’s not a coincidence. That is a direct result of your efforts to be a better person and live a life that influences. After reading this hopefully it will become easier to spot those with you suffering from astraphobia. Once they’re removed from your circle, you will have room to fill it with people who celebrate you, not agitate you. I’m not saying they’re necessarily bad people. They are just not comfortable around a lightning rod like you!
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