A big welcome to our guest today, Jana Flaig! Jana's got an impressive list of credentials in TV, broadcasting, and comedy, but we're talking to her today because Jana is an ovarian cancer survivor, who later founded the BEEN THERE – GOT THE WIG!® Breakfast Club & Ministry. Today we'll ask her to share about her battle with fear using humor, a positive attitude and faith to inspire others to never give up!
1. Tell a little about your background in battling fear.
I was misdiagnosed for a year, went into hospital for hysterectomy and when I awoke two days later I was told they found ovarian cancer which had spread to stage 3c. I was cut from the pelvic bone all the way up to my ribs and has over 80 staples. I spent 1 month in rented hospital bed at home before starting 5-months of chemotherapy, followed by a 2nd major operation using the same big cut, and another month in rented hospital bed at home. But greater than my physical challenge, was dealing with my response to the doctor’s words “cancer,” “chemotherapy,” “surgeries,” each one hit me like a sock in the nose. In that moment, to my dismay, decades of faith were chipped away and I was down for the count. My biggest battle was not against cancer, but fear that overwhelmed me, robbed me of hope, and threatened to defeat me.
2. In your book Fight Fear and Foster Faith you provide practical tips to KNOCK OUT FEAR and move forward, what are the 3 most important things someone who’s facing a hardship can do to fight fear?
Adopt a positive attitude, Program your heart/spirit for victory not defeat, Add humor to your life.
3. What can one do to acquire and maintain a positive attitude?
Hang out with positive people because hope is contagious. And avoid negative people, even if they’re related. Avoiding negative people’s comments is key to
fighting fear, which is produced by believing the wrong things. Seemingly innocent remarks, like “There aren’t any jobs out there, nobody’s hiring,” can be as a fiery dart that plants seeds of fear in us. Don’t walk away from negative people . . . run!
4. How can you ignore a comment you’ve already heard?
That can be a battle, but you can win that struggle by not meditating on the negative thought, by not repeating it, and by countering the negative messages with positive statements/thoughts.
5. Why is it important that we counter negative comments with positive statements?
It is important because words not only reflect our attitude, words can shape our attitude. Positive speech promotes positive attitude. Accenting a positive aspect of
a situation can have beneficial results. Even a child can do that.
For example, my 8-year-old granddaughter, Zoe, went to a donut shop for a treat with her mom. She was told she could choose one donut, but instead, she picked up a CUPCAKE and insisted her mother buy it. “We’re not buying CUPCAKES today,” her mom responded, “And besides, it looks like someone licked this one.”
The expression on the 8-year-old’s face betrayed her. Her mom was aghast that she had sampled a snack they hadn’t paid for; and upset that they now had to pay for the damaged CUPCAKE. After being advised she would not be allowed to eat the CUPCAKE, nor any other treat that night, Zoe was pulled from the shop. Those famous words “just wait ‘til your father comes home!” were hanging in the air.
At home, Zoe sat in time-out and meditated on her crime while she waited for her father to arrive. When my stepson walked through his front door, she joyfully jumped to her feet and announced, “GOOD NEWS, DAD! There’s a CUPCAKE for you.”
She knocked out her fear with her positive words, put a positive spin on the situation, and taught us a valuable lesson. That lesson is: don’t lick the frosting unless you’ve paid for the cupcake.
6. What role do our own words play in fighting fear? Why is what we say so important?
What we say is important because “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Those who say they can rise above their circumstance and those who say they can’t are both right. Words are vessels. They convey fear or faith and they produce after their kind. Fear is the reverse of faith. Think of it this way, like a price fighter in training, your own words program your heart/spirit for victory or defeat . . A self-fulfilling prophecy.
Come back tomorrow for this rest of Jana's great interview!
Check out Jana's great book here: Fight Fear and Foster Faith; Gain the Hope & Courage You Need to Overcome Difficult Circumstances