As the year comes to an end, many of us are contemplating what’s next. What could the following year look like? Perhaps some big ideas involving personal transformation, or professional shifts, are on our radars.
We might even be asking ourselves questions like, “what if I actually took steps towards making these things happen?” And, just as our ideas begin to present themselves as possible realities, something else may happen, too. Our stomachs might suddenly start to drop from nervousness and fear.
At this point, we could find ourselves abandoning our ideas altogether, only to store them in that mental compartment called “wishful thinking.” And, if we are honest with ourselves, this wouldn’t be the first time. The outcome? Fear wins.
So, how might it look if we conquered our fears and pursued our biggest goals? I get it, fear is a real thing – it causes us to second guess ourselves, and doubt everything else. It’s no wonder fear has the power to hold most of us back from pursuing the things we want. Yet, we all have the capacity to overcome our fears – and the most successful people do.
So, in the spirit of movin’ and shakin’ in 2017, here are some tried-and- true steps for overcoming fears by building an invisible mental safety-net.
1. Admit That You Are Scared
Since fear, concern and worry aren’t the most comfortable sensations, many of us would prefer to numb them out, or bury them all together. We numb our feelings by labeling them as “bad,” and then we do whatever it takes to distract ourselves in order to feel “good.” This often causes us to make rash decisions, or take risks without considering the full picture. For instance, we may rationalize a goal to be simpler than it is, which just makes us less prepared to tackle it successfully.
Another tendency is to bury our feelings, altogether, by ignoring their very existence. This turns our attention towards other things, and allows us to pretend our fears aren’t even there. We then avoid the pursuit of anything that stimulates fear, regardless of how much we want it. After all, it just seems so much easier to stay inside of our comfort zones.
In either case, failing to admit we are afraid, just causes us to overlook the valuable clues that our emotions have to offer. Maybe we are scared because we haven’t allowed ourselves to actually think about our backup plans? What would happen if we did? Well, we never will, unless we are willing to admit to our fears in the first place.
2. Ask Yourself What’s The Worst Thing That Could Happen?
When we own our fears, while allowing ourselves to contemplate the worst things that could possibly happen, more often than not, we’ll find that these “worst things,” aren’t really very reasonable. And, even if they are, they certainly aren’t as bad as we trick ourselves into thinking.
In fact, these things are usually perfectly manageable; at least, when we start to consider all of the resources that are actually available to us. Not to mention, the support systems that we could be overlooking. When we consider the full picture, including our back-up plans, our mental safety net begins to form.
On the flip side, sometimes the “worst things” really do seem that awful. Yet, still, there are always options available to us, even when we confront our versions of the worst. We just have to keep our minds open to see the possibilities.
Read the rest of this article at personalgrowth.com.
* This article is based on concepts I learned from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)