Raise your hand if you’ve ever tortured yourself by imagining everything that could possibly go wrong with a situation.
Yep, join the club. Most of us have at some point. The difference between those seemingly fearless go-getters and those who let fear run their life isn’t that the fearless don’t have fears – it’s that they don’t let it stop them.
Stepping up to stand in your own light and play amongst the ‘big kids’ is scary – and if you listen to your fear you will never try.
What has fear stopped you doing?
Take a moment to consider what the fear of failure has stopped you doing. Speaking up in a team meeting? Asking for a raise? Setting boundaries? Asking that hottie out on a date? Starting your own business? Writing the book that’s inside of you?
How would your life be different if you absolutely knew nobody would laugh at you, nobody would call you stupid, nobody would think you unreasonable or pushy?
What would it be like to act as if you were fearless?
“Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.” - Jack Canfield
If you allow it, fear will grow into a three-headed monster and run your life. Here are seven tips to stop letting fear ruin the movie of your life:
Focus on the boosts - one way to keep fear in perspective and in manageable chunks is to focus on your wins – no matter how insignificant you think they are. We have a terrible habit of magnifying what we perceive as mistakes and shrinking our successes.
I know you’ve had successes – whether it’s in everyday smaller tasks that you barely even recognize or the larger, “Holy-cow, did I just do that?” variety. Focus on the boosts rather than the stumbles. Focus on what you have done rather than what you fear you cannot do.
Check your imagination – being creative and imaginative is a good thing – except when you’re using your own imagination against you. When the imagined fear of what others will think becomes your focus, it's much more likely to stop you living in your own power.
Next time you start running fears and ‘what ifs’ in your head, check if you’re predicting a known response or imagining. You’ll often hear this referred to as a real v imagined fears.
Baby steps – I’m a huge fan of baby steps. Rome wasn’t built in a day and sometimes the best way to build the castle is one brick at a time. Ask yourself what the next small step in the right direction would be and just by doing that you’ll be one step closer.
If you let fear stop you speaking up in a team meeting, start small with a general ‘safe’ comment to get comfortable and realize that the world didn’t stop spinning because you stepped into your fear and did it anyway.
Recognize the stumbles – when you stumble, recognize what just happened but don’t dramatize or exaggerate the situation in your head. Make sure the story you’re telling yourself focuses on what really happened rather than allowing the voices in your head to say, ‘See, I told you so.’ You can learn a lot from the stumbles and after all, completely ignoring them is denial.
If nothing else, you now know that you need to find another way. If something goes wrong analyze it logically (not emotionally), see the lesson and then focus on doing it better next time. Accept that sometimes life works the way we want and sometimes it doesn’t. Sure, there’ll be setbacks. That’s life and that’s how we learn. But don’t let the setback stop you. Find another way, adjust your course and move on.
Give up the need for perfect – life is rarely perfect and if you hide behind the ‘I’ll do it when I can make it perfect,’ excuse then you’ll never start anything. When we are trying to change things for the better we don’t need to be perfect, we just need to be better than yesterday.
Trust your abilities – if you don’t believe in yourself how can you expect others to? Trusting your abilities isn’t about pretending you are perfect at everything – it’s about knowing where your strengths are, recognizing what you need to work on and knowing that you’ll figure it out somehow. To paraphrase Marie Forleo – act before you are ready and everything is figure-out-able.
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Until next time, honey and blessings.
Gain the Knowledge, Take the Action, Live the Results.