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Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Interview with author KRISTEN ULMER
The Art of Fear: Why Conquering Fear Won’t
Work and What to do Instead
Kristen Ulmer is thought leader, fear specialist and
former professional extreme athlete who radically challenges existing norms
about fear. Named the best woman extreme skier in the world for 12 years and
voted the North American most extreme woman athlete in all disciplines, Ulmer
has spent a lifetime facing fear. She spent 15 years being labeled “fearless”
by the outdoor industry, a designation she now realizes is not only impossible,
but undesirable. Recognizing the deep misunderstanding we all have when it
comes to the emotion of fear, Ulmer seeks to end our humanity-wide war against
it, which will not only resolve many common, epidemic problems we face, but
allow us the greatest chance to achieve our whole-mind potential. Her work has
been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York
Times, Forbes, NPR, More, Outside,and USA
Today, to name but a few. Her book, The Art of Fear:
Why Conquering Fear Won’t Work and What to Do Instead, will be
released on June 13, 2017. Ulmer lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband
Kirk Jellum and their two savannah cats. For more info, please see: www.kristenulmer.com
1. What really inspired you to write your
book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a
What inspired me to
write this book is this: as a mindset facilitator, I noticed most of my clients
problems were being resolved once they healed their relationship with fear-
meaning they took fear out of the basement and welcomed it into their lives as
an honored and natural part of who they are. Yet everywhere I looked, were
other facilitators, teachers, doctors and more, only seeking to help their
clients put fear further and further in the basement. That action, while well
intended, was harming a lot of folks. So I realized I needed to speak up about
what I had learned, and speak up in a big way.
2. What is it about and whom do you believe is
your targeted reader?
The Art of Fear
addresses the cause of our fear and anxiety based problems- the cause being the
current way we view and deal with fear. At this time, there exists a humanity
wide belief that fear is a hindrance which must be fought, overcome, or
rationalized away-- and that emotional intelligence is our ability to
understand our emotions, and ultimately control them. Weaving in my own
personal story as someone who was celebrated in the media for being great at
doing exactly that, I outline how my successful "conquering of fear"
ability had unfortunate side effects, and caused alarming, long term problems
for me. I found out the hard way, that that effort is entirely the wrong
approach for dealing with this strong, and wildly misunderstood emotion. Today
however, I realize "emotional intelligence" could instead be our
ability to feel and express our emotions in a mature and creative way. That
shift simply changes, everything. I give very specific, and fun advice on
how to make this transformation, and why that effort can solve many of our fear
and anxiety based problems. I also write about how forging a healthy
relationship with fear is also a path to living your most magnificent life.
My audience is anyone who struggles with under-performing, burn out,
indecisiveness, insomnia, depression, excessive anxiety, excessive anger,
excessive fear, reoccurring injury or injury that won't heal, illness that
makes no sense, and more.
3. What do you hope will be the everlasting
thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long
after putting it down?
That the way to deal
with fear is the exact opposite of what they've ever been taught. And that if
you start a fear practice, meaning you find a way to feel and honor your fear,
that action is one of the best things you will ever do toward solving your problems,
coming alive, expanding who you are, and going all the way with your time here
4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have
for fellow writers?
Once you get started
writing your book, if it was really meant to be (meaning you've figured out the
right book to write) and you are on the right path, the process of writing it
will become magical. And in my experience, easy. For me, writing The Art
of Fear became one of the best, most natural experiences of my life. Right up there
with marrying my amazing husband. I even think it was better than the process
of becoming a professional extreme skier. I wonder, too, if it feels about the
same as growing, giving birth to, and raising a baby?
5. What trends in the book world do you see
and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
There seems to be
great support for authors who are seeking to challenge existing norms, or are
willing to break up existing patterns. In today's rapidly changing world,
thought leaders who are willing to step way outside of current belief systems,
seem to be getting book contracts. But perhaps, has that always been the case?
6. What great challenges did you have in
writing your book?
I am computer
illiterate. There's that. Oh and I wrote the book while on the road. I wrote in
Cuba, Hawaii, Mexico, Alaska, the Caribbean, at Burning Man. While that sounds
ideal, I assure, it was not. I'm used to being a lady of leisure, so when all
my friends were off having a blast I stayed in my hotel (or RV) typing away
furiously with two fingers. While visiting Cuba even, I wrote 6 hours a day.
Who does that?
7. If people can only buy one book this month,
why should it be yours?
Here's the deal: Your
relationship with fear... is the most important relationship of your life. If
you don't have a healthy, conscious, considerate relationship with it, you
don't have one with yourself. If you are at war with fear, you are at war with
yourself. But if you end that war, a war mind you that is unwinnable and
being carried out in your unconscious mind and messing up your life in covert
ways you often can't see, not only do so many of your problems become very
manageable, and your life will start to make complete sense, but you will rise to
a new level of whole mind potential. Oh, and I tell some great stories
too. It will be a crazy ride for you on at least four levels: a big picture
understanding of why fear is showing up for humanity the way it is, my
ridiculous, thought provoking, personal story of what it was like to be a
professional extreme athlete, major ah ha moments about your own life, and wild
analogies that drive everything home. Layers, baby, layers…
DON”T MISS THESE!!!
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