Fear Journey: I am at peace with Joe Staples

For Kyle Lacy faith is a loaded word, bringing up negative thoughts and memories. Why is it such a trigger? As Kyle continues on his fear journey, he invites Joe Staples to help him talk through his fear of faith.

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“The next step would be understanding what values are important to me — and I don't think I've spent a lot of time mapping that out.” —Kyle

For Kyle Lacy faith is a loaded word, bringing up negative thoughts and memories. Why is it such a trigger? As Kyle continues on his fear journey, he invites Joe Staples to help him talk through his fear of faith.

After You Listen:

  • Join the journey with Kyle, text Tiffany to download a copy of the self-guided Fear Interview. Text the word FEAR to Tiffany at 317-350-8921.

I am at peace with Joe Staples

Joe: I think we all need to find out what do we believe and that we can internalize those beliefs. And then we live by those beliefs because then there's no conflict. There's no internal conflict. The conflict comes when we try and live one way and we believe something else differently.

Kyle: I'm Kyle Lacy and this is Scared Confident. I have my friend, Joe Staples. The reason why I asked you. Outside of the fact that I have a ton of respect. Yeah. Forum is because I believe that he is the one person that I could think of that truly lives out his faith and is, is constantly living it and showing it through his actions. Part of the reason why I wanted to talk to Joe is that word, faith is a trigger.

If somebody asks me, do you have faith or. Puts faith in any type of question towards me, there's a negative response. I ultimately go to fear and fear is telling me you don't want to talk about it. You don't want to talk about it. You don't have anything to say about this. You hate it, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

And when I was talking to Nathaniel in his office, he asked me about faith and there was this, he's got this picture of a scripture. I don't remember the scripture. And it was just staring at me and it just triggered me. And you can actually hear my voice change when he asked me about. So isn't there a essence of Kyle that actually has faith, faith, and it goes straight to fear and it goes straight to negative and I shut down.

And so I wanted to talk to Joe because he lives his faith out and I see it and people see it and people notice it. And I wanted to try to get over that trigger because of how Joe lives.

Joe: I think one of the other interesting things in my faith journey is it didn't happen until I graduated from high school. So early on, and I had some, some religious background from my grandmother going to church with my grandmother, but it was really after high school that I was introduced to a church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints.

And I joined that church. Ended up serving up a full-time two year mission to Brazil to teach people about that faith and then have used it really to absolutely shape. I think every decision I've ever made in my life,

Kyle: what fascinates me about this is that you decided to do it. And then you go off to Brazil and lived two years in a new and a new place.

Talk about that, the fear that you had going to Brazil,

Joe: that mission just was a profound impact just because every single day, that's really what you're thinking of. And I think for people of faith, it becomes, it just gets threaded into their life in a profound way, you know, fear going to Brazil. Admitted to tire.

I don't know,

Kyle: maybe not going there, but you making an impact there. Right? Cause that's why you were going like, think about the first week you were there. No,

Joe: th there, there definitely was language fear. So for our missionaries, you always have a companion. So you're two by two. Mine was a Brazilian who didn't speak a word of English.

And so, you know, my study of Portuguese and trying to learn it, I'm petrified. Anytime I had to interact with anybody. One big turning point for me was my Brazilian companion. And I were in the tiny little grocery store of, or assigned to, to serve in a town that didn't have a stoplight. I mean, it was tiny little town and he said, At least this is what I pretty much thought he said was, I want you to go over and get the bread and I'll go over to this side of the store and I'll get the milk.

And in broken Portuguese, I looked at him and I said, no, I have a better idea. You and I will go over here and get them. Bread. And then you and I will go over there and get the milk because I did not want to be separated from him because some stranger might say something to me in Portuguese that I don't understand.

And I can remember him physically turning me around and pushing me toward the bread. And that was an overcoming moment of, you know, It worked out. I got the breath and I didn't die. Thanks for okay. And that kind of changed my trajectory. As far as the language go, culture was completely different from a faith standpoint.

I knew what I knew.

Kyle: You didn't have any doubt. There was no doubt.

Joe: The faith part of it, not in the belief of. The, the tenants, the core beliefs that I had spiritually, all those other fears were fear of the language, fear of the culture, fear of what, what would happen to us on the streets of this whole town?

All those kinds

Kyle: of this is why I wanted to talk to you. You haven't had much doubt at the very beginning your entire life,

Joe: correct? At Kyle. I think that the distinction is how many people. They're striving and they're working and they're trying to exercise faith, but they've never really tried to find out for themselves.

Are these things true? Do I have this inner conviction that these things are true? Because I think without that, Think of all the doors that I knocked on in Brazil, where people slammed upon me told me we were wrong, got the Bible out and tried to disprove us all those things. If I didn't believe that they were true, I would have.


Kyle: I had the opposite experience. I spent time trying to understand what I believed and realize internal. I didn't believe it. And that was my journey. And through this process, I've realized that I am fearful. I think it's very much has to do with raising a family. I think I am fearful that without the upbringing that I was put in, even though I think a lot of it was more negative when it came to.

Evangelical Christianity the way I was raised, but there were a lot of positives, right? There's a lot of positives. My fear is that by not raising my kids in that environment, they are going to turn out, man. I don't even, I have no idea. Like it's completely unfounded. The fear is completely unfounded because my kids they're probably going to turn out great.

Their parents love them. We're trying to put them in a community, but it's this constant nagging that if I don't have them being raised with the 10 commandments that they're going to turn into serial killers, I'm afraid that I'm not giving them the guidance that I need to as a parent, because that's not there.

And I think through this, it's realizing that you can show love and you can live some of the tenants that all faiths to you. You don't necessarily need to be involved in the religious side of all this stuff. But talk to me about the family aspect of this and why it's so important.

Joe: I think one other really important part of that is you definitely went through part of your journey, which was you're raised in a Christian evangelical home.

You then get to the point where you say. I don't know if I believe these things or I don't believe these things. And I think the, the next step really becomes, so what do you believe? What are those things that you think? Okay. If I don't believe. Something, there's a lot of things we don't believe, but what do we believe?

And I think that is a really important part of the journey. You make a great point. Every religion teaches wonderful things about the way you treat people. And so. When it comes to that whole family dynamic and family relationship, I think those are really impactful on young people. I think it also shapes how we parent as adults are we modeling after.

The savior, who we love and we're using him as a mentor to our parenting skills, or are we dismissing him and saying, no, I'm going to model after, after something else for our kids. And they were raised in this faith and they've stayed close and true to it. And I think a lot of that goes back to what we talked about earlier, which is they.

At some point, quit relying on what my wife and I believe and had to go find out for themselves. What are they

Kyle: buying? Did you have any fear that they wouldn't believe? Oh yeah,

Joe: but that was probably top of my list of things that I worried about just because I believed in it so deeply. And I just like you, I don't want him to grow up to be serial killers.

And I looked at this and thought, no, this is where. Because one of the things that I believe is following that faith journey, I believe brings the greatest level of happiness in this life and the life after. And so clearly as a parent, that's your ultimate goal that you want for your kids? You want them it'd be, be happy.

So that was super important to me, but I still worry about it. They're adults and have their own kids. And I still wake up every day going you're all right. You're okay. But going back to your point, as you think about your kids, there's three roles in that family, right? You're the dad. So you're. About your kids and what kind of a foundation are you creating for them?

You're also worried about your wife and how that relationship works relative to faith. Then you're worried about yourself at some point, you're going to stand before God. I'm going to stand before God and you have this accounting of how did I do? And we want to not cower. We want to be able to stand there without fear and go, boy, I worked really hard.

Took all the things that I learned, and I just really tried to, to follow those teachings and do what you'd want me

Kyle: to do. And maybe it's just that when you're raised evangelical Christian it's fire and brimstone, it's, don't send, you're going to burn in hell. You need to burn your secular CDs in the parking lot, because it's just, there's probably a customer on that.

For me, it's a fear of not understanding how to live my life because I am so triggered by this idea. I don't want to be seen as religious. I don't want to be seen because I've so much animosity towards judgmental Christians, but a lot of people actually, I just, I guess I just have an animosity towards judgmental people in general.

And the fear is that I'll never quite figure out what my values are without having that, even though scientifically, I just don't believe in it. I just don't. I think that's probably where I'm, I'm struggling the most.

Joe: I listened to your fear journey. And you talked a lot about your fear of what those people around you think.

Yeah. And there certainly could be some root in that of being, being judged relative to how you live your life versus I'm gonna live my life. The way I think is the best way to live my life.

Kyle: Ultimately, it's the fear that I'm not living at the way. I think. Because of some, cause the fear telling me something or some just absolute bullshit reason that actually has no truth to it.

Joe: Yeah, I think, I think we all need to find out what do we believe and that we can internalize those beliefs. And then we live by those beliefs because then there's no conflict. There's no internal conflict. The conflict comes when we. Try and live one way and we believe something else differently, or we're not even sure what we believe differently.

The real emotion that works really well is when, what I believe internally and what I do externally are in line. If you can align those values and be deliberate about finding out what do I believe, what is faith to me and whatever that is. And it doesn't have to align with a religion. What are those beliefs?

And then that's how I live my life. Now. I really don't care what anybody else thinks about it. You know, I'm sure I know. And have met more people that disagree with what I believe that agree with what I believe, but it doesn't change what I believe or I haven't let it change whatever.

Kyle: What are some of the places where fear, fear has told you something that you knew wasn't true and you consciously ignored it, or you realized that it was telling you something that was false?

Joe: Yeah. I th I think fear, certainly just like everybody else has played a role in my life and it's been, it's just helped me back. It's caused me not to do things because I was afraid of them. Right. I can't do that. Or similar to what you said, what will happen if I try this? Crash and burn. There were plenty of times that I pushed past that.

I said, I'm not going to let that stop me. And it was painful to push through. And then once you get to the other side, you're like that wasn't so bad at all. You know, one of the things that I've taught our kids is when it comes to some fearful moments. If you can just get 15 seconds of courage, that's all you need to break through and accomplish something.

So think of. Times when you've had to fire somebody or you've had to have a really serious talk with somebody or when you've quit a job, which is always hard as well. And if you can just muster 15 seconds. Then you can talk for the next hour and it's all good. And you know, everybody's nice. And it's just bursting through that first obstacle.

That seems to be so hard.

Kyle: Well, that kind of fits with how you're supposed to have a fierce statement. Mine was a little bit more crass, but let's at 15 seconds of telling fear. I'm not going to listen to you. I'm going to have courage to move forward. Did you have any reoccurring fears that you had to bring up the courage multiple times?


Joe: through it of people and I never, I have never wanted me to be the source of somebody going home and go. That show staples, you know, to me, and, you know, they complained to their wife or their husband, and I never wanted to be that person. One of the mistakes that I know I made, I have let people kind of stay in jobs much longer than they should have.

And it would have been better for them. If I would have stepped up and said, you know what, this isn't working, you should probably move on and let me help you out. So that fear. And, and I still haven't gotten over it. Like I, I'm not good at it today. So

Kyle: the fear who's telling you, this person's gonna hate you for the rest of their life.

They're going to think you're a terrible person. If you do this, when in reality, probably not going to be the case, they're probably going to be upset, but they're not going to hate you. Right.

Joe: It's probably still something that needed to happen, even if they chose to say, man, I, if I saw your parking lot, I'd run you over.

Even if it gets to that, it's still, might've been the right thing to do. And I. Struggled to do it. I was afraid to

Kyle: do it. Yeah. I think from a leadership perspective, you want to be seen as empathetic. You and I do. I know like we, the, they, there are some that don't, but I think empathy plays a huge role in being a good leader.

And when fear is telling me. You're not empathetic. If you do something that hurts somebody else. When in reality, sometimes it's good for somebody. Sometimes it's a character building scenario, situation. I think about that all the time. I probably think about that daily. Honestly, like if I'm going to say something to somebody, is it going to offend that?

And this goes back to the judgment thing where I don't spend a lot of time going deep or trying to dig in with somebody because I'm afraid that judgment will come back on. Especially through this process. I don't want to, I don't want to live that way. And why I have so much respect for you is that you, you understand the values you believe in they're the values and you have lived them and you're steadfast.

And despite fear you, at least from outside, looking in, you've had the ability to create that 15, second courage that's needed to push back.

Joe: I will tell you one other thing you broached the subject of leadership that you talked about in, in your initial conversation, is this inability or fear of kind of taking.

Taking the credit that is, do you let people would say to you, Hey, this turned out great and you were really quick to deflect and know it's the team and these other things. And I counsel you not to change that. I think one of the great attributes that you have and that some wonderful. Leaders have, is when there's modesty in leadership in Jim Collins.

Good to great. He called out the fact that companies that are led by modest leaders do so much better than companies that are led by egotistical leaders. And I think that's a, a great attribute that you have. I've seen it in every case that you and I have interacted. Right. Though it may be a fear. It is one of the things that I think endears you to the team members that follow you

Kyle: faith in general, the word faith is definitely a trigger word for me. It triggers me because I, I don't want to have faith in anything other than myself, Ultima. And I think that gets to the root of what we've been talking about on believing in yourself as an individual and understanding your gifts and owning who you are and believing in who you are and living the life that you, you, the true you actually believes is correct.

And so I think faith is a trigger word for me because it has connotation with the belief system that. 90% do not agree with. So it's ultimately, it's about faith in myself. And when somebody says, do you have faith? It usually triggers this idea that I have to have faith in something other than me.

Joe: So Kyle, when it comes to faith, do you stay where you are or is there some best next action

Kyle: for you? I think my next best action. It's just to continuously work on being able to have these type of conversations with people without shutting down. I think that's probably the biggest thing is that if this is what I choose to believe, and this is how I choose to live my life and next step would be that understanding when I get triggered, which I think I pretty much understand, but also understanding what values are important to me.

I don't think I've spent a lot of time. Mapping that out for me personally, not what Matthew, mark, Luke and John told me, but me, but Kyle, right. And that's probably the next step. Cause that, because what I keyed in for what you said was, if you understand deeply what values are important to you, that's when the change happens.

That's when you can fully understand the way you want to live. And the way you want to go about growing a family and work and all that stuff, is that when you truly understand that, and I don't, I'm not sure that I do personally. I'd

Joe: love that because I think what you're saying is you're going to be deliberate about it.

And I think where people. Run into trouble is kind of let life run them or the people that they interact with run them. And that's very different than saying no, I'm, I'm going to decide and be very deliberate about what my values are, what I believe, how I'm going to live and having a, to I'm going to teach my kids.

Tiffany: Were you aware that you had fear around the word faith before you heard yourself talk? 

Kyle: I was aware that I, I had a reaction to faith. I wasn't aware that it was that visceral, like where my, my actual voice changed. And you could feel just listening to it. You could feel the shutdown happening that I was not aware of that.

That talk with Nathaniel and then Joe and Joe, it wasn't as visceral a joke, but I definitely wouldn't have made it. How is fear of faith creating fear for you in parents? Cause there was a connection there for you. So I was raised in the church, right? I mean, we were, you know, it's evangelical Christians.

You go to church three days a week. Right. And my best friends were in the church growing up. And a lot of my identity social identity was built in the church. It's not necessarily a bad thing. You know, there's a lot of value there, but for me not taking my kids to church, that thing that I was taught as a way to build a family does not exist in my current life.

And there's a lot of fear there because I don't have, I don't have a playbook necessarily to how you're, how you're supposed to raise kids. You know, when you have. When you're in the church and you have a Bible handed to you and you've got the 10 commandments pretty straight forward, right? Like don't kill people and all that stuff, but getting a little bit deeper than that, you don't really have that if you, if you grew up in it and you're not doing it now.

So that's probably my biggest fear is that my kids will grow up to not be as loving or accepting because they weren't raised with some of those values that the church. At least has. I don't think they do it very well, but they at least talk about it.

Tiffany:Do you think you'd be sorting through it as hard if you weren't apparent, do you think you'd be paying attention to it as much?

No, I don't think so. When I became a parent it's, um, it's no longer you or your spouse, like you can no longer be selfish. Like it forces you out of this. I idea that you want. The center of the universe. And if I was still the center of the universe of my own mind, I wouldn't be thinking about it. Wow. I observed more openness, even in your conversation with Joe than in the interview, on the topic, where have you sort of felt your mind go as you've reflected on this

Kyle: before the fear interview, I never stepped past.

The fear. It was always like, well, I don't know what to do, so I'm going to ignore it. And I'm fearful that I have to like dive in to trying to figure it out. So I've been thinking about that quite a bit. And then with one thing that Joe touched on, which really it has nothing to do with his religion or his belief.

It's just the fact that he had a value set that he lives by. It was a. Interesting for me because I also have a value set and I just need to spend more time thinking about what that value set is. Joe just happened to discover it when he was 19 years old and he's never strayed from it, which I think, I think is very admirable because he believes it.

But that's me ignoring fear and realizing that I do have that those values statements. And it doesn't necessarily have to be built in any type of religion in order for me to live it. And Joe said that, and that's what I respect the most about him at

Tiffany: Do you think you're afraid of your values being informed by religion at all?

Not anymore. The conversation with Joe was just, um, it was settling for me. It was, it was almost like a, a, a peace settled over me. You know, I have this highly devout guy from the church of latter day saints saying it doesn't matter. As long as you follow what you believe is true. And so who cares if it comes from some church of God or who cares?

If it comes from some book I read that has nothing to do with religion, like who cares as long as it's a value statements that I believe in that I believe my kid should follow. And who cares? What anybody else thinks about? You know how I choose to live and, you know, Nathaniel in the fear interview, he pointed out just the judgment thing.

Like I'm afraid of to being judged. And I'm also judging the people that I'm afraid to be judged by. And I just don't like it's, it's it's I can't pinpoint when it happened, but I just don't. I just don't care anymore. I just don't and I wasn't quite expecting that type of shift because it was pretty quick and it was right.

It was right after that Joe interview, I think what was so empowering with Joe is that I was trying to find something about him, doubting what he believes in and he does it.

And I think there was the realization that it doesn't matter what you believe in, as long as you believe in it and you live it

because I was trying to find a good fear soundbite and he was just, okay. You know, he was more, we talked, he had more to talk about for fear on the leadership side, which is great. But from the, from the faith standpoint, He's been pretty steadfast. And I have a lot of respect for that. The thing that may be attractive to you is the fact that he's steadfast in his values.

And you having permission to say like, my job is to fill my basket because I didn't want to pick up the ones from religion. It's spin empty. I mean, intuitively it hasn't been, but it sort of felt that way.

Tiffany: And do you feel like you've got permission to kind of fill the blanks in now?


Kyle: Hearing it from somebody I respect that has lived life and the way that I respect giving me permission to figure it out on my own.

I think that was probably the turning point there. After talking to Joe, somebody that I respect both from a professional standpoint, as well as the way that he has lived and raised his family, the fact that he gave me permission to. Figure it out on my own with no my past experiences and create a value, create value statements that appeal to me as an individual, the fact that he gave me permission to do that gave me a lot of peace.

And I don't think I was feeling peace when it came to values. And that's probably why I had such a visceral reaction to the word faith, because the word faith to me is very much ingrained in a value set. I kind of agree more with, but not all of it.

Tiffany: So Kyle, as we look at the context of your fear journey, what's next what's going to happen in the next episode.

Kyle: This is going to be the more difficult one for me. I'm going to call that out right now. Uh, I'm going to talk to my two cousins, uh, Spencer and Stuart Ramsey about their mom who recently passed away in may from leukemia.

And we're going to talk about a fear of death. And a fear of kids not being raised with somebody that was central to our identity as a family, while I hope this project continues to expand so that lots of people can experience the fear interview. Right now, we want to make available to you a guide so that you can lead yourself through the process.

So it's a self guided fear interview. What I'd like you to do is text I'm in like I'm in raising. 2 3 1 7 3 5 0 8 9 2 1. I'm in 3 1 7 3 5 0 8 9 2 1. If you want to take yourself through the self guided fear interview so that we can all once and frog understand and get on the other side of fear.

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