Fear can be a major obstacle to achieving success in both your personal and professional lives.
Many people become paralyzed by fear, allowing it to prevent them from moving forward with their hopes and dreams. The following purposeful action steps will reduce your fears and give you enough confidence to move forward.
What if I don’t succeed? What if I can’t find customers? What if they laugh at my idea? These are many of the things people say to themselves on a daily basis. If these negative thoughts go unchecked and are allowed to remain in our minds they will create enough fear to prevent us from taking the necessary steps that will propel our dreams from thought to reality.
Most people would be amazed at the actual number of negative thoughts that creep into their minds on a daily basis. Being conscious of these thoughts is the first step to defeating them. Develop a method of tracking your negative thoughts and use a pattern interrupt to turn those negative thoughts into ones that are positive and promote growth. Some individuals pinch themselves whenever they have a negative thought and immediately replace it with a positive one. Others simply write down their negative thoughts throughout the day and immediately replace them with positive thoughts.
Here are a few examples:
• What if I don’t succeed? (Pattern Interrupt) What if I achieve massive success?
• What if I can’t find customers? (Pattern Interrupt) What if I become so busy I have to hire employees?
• What if they laugh at my idea? (Pattern Interrupt) What if this idea changes lives?
Avoid Fire Starters
When it comes to moving past your fears and achieving your dreams, there will never be a shortage of fire starters and scare tactic commandos. These are individuals that point out every possible stumbling block when you share your ideas with them and they seldom offer encouragement or advice. Instead they ask questions like, “Did you know 50% of all restaurants fail?” “Did you know that they've never promoted a woman to that position before?” or “Joe scored higher than you and he didn't even get in!”
These are individuals that have not yet found the courage to face their own fears and envy those that have. They will thrust their own fears and negative thoughts about themselves onto you in the blink of an eye. This will leave you questioning your own qualifications, intelligence, and readiness.
It is not wise to share your ideas with everyone. The fire starter will create the spark that will ignite enough fear to keep you paralyzed and stuck. The scare tactic commando will tell you every story they know about someone else that failed miserably, attempting to do the same thing you’re setting out to achieve. Once you identify these people, steer clear!
It is important that you share new ideas with close friend and family members that you trust. Friends that have been able move past their own personal fear and can offer you assistance based on their experience. Form a mini-mastermind group. A small, tight group of trusted individuals that you know you can meet with, call or contact to openly discuss concerns or bounce ideas around. Taking this purposeful action will minimize your contact with individuals that are not invested in your success.
Embrace Your F.E.A.R.
For most people, the road to success intersects with fear. What is fear? It’s defined as a distressing negative sensation induced by a perceived threat. It is an emotion that we are both blessed and cursed to have. It is a blessing because it prevents us from doing things we are sure to regret later, like sticking our hand in an open fire, or waking a sleeping grizzly bear by hitting it in the head with a stick. These are healthy fears that will save lives.
It is a curse because many times this emotion causes us to fear things that are not a threat to us. For example: The fear of speaking in front of a group of people, the fear of failure, or the fear of starting a new business. None of these things will cause you physical pain, yet many people fear them to the point that their lives suffer. Consequently, they are unable to move forward to greater things in their lives.
Below you will find four ways that will allow you to embrace your fears while moving forward in your life.
F. Focus on the endgame.
By focusing on the fear and allowing it to consume your thoughts, it takes your focus and energy away from the one thing that really matters, the endgame! When fear begins to creep into your mind ask yourself these questions.
1. What will moving past my fear afford me?
2. How will my life and the lives of my loved ones be different if I put all of my positive energy into moving forward in spite of my fears?
3. Will I have regrets later in life if I allow my fears to prevent me from moving forward?
E. Embrace your mistakes.
If your fear is based on your past mistakes, it is important that you also embrace those mistake and move past them. Know that mistakes are a necessary part of achieving success. Make the mistake, learn from it and move on.
A. Ask for help.
If there is anything you should never be afraid to do, it’s asking for help. Know that you are not the only person that has been afraid to take action. Seek out someone in your mini-mastermind group or someone that you personally know and trust and discuss your fears with this person. Don’t be afraid to put it all on the table. What you are really afraid of, why are you afraid, are your fears based on a past experience? By gaining a better understanding of where your fears originate you can use this knowledge to create solutions that build confidence.
R. Recognize and Redirect.
Learn to recognize fear early and redirect it. The earlier you can recognize fear the sooner you can take action to prevent it from consuming you. Redirect your thoughts by reading a book, exercising or other activities that you find relaxing.
Prepare yourself for common roadblocks
By researching and preparing yourself for common roadblocks, you can greatly reduce your fear and anxiety. Below you will find a four step process to accomplish this.
Step One: On a piece of paper write down what you are attempting to accomplish.
Example: START A BUSINESS
Step Two: Research, identify, and write down the 5 most common roadblocks that people face when starting a business.
Example: Lacking clear articulated goals
Step Three: Underneath each roadblock write down the reason you believe this is an obstacle.
Example: Not having a clear articulated goal can cause confusion, which can lead to fear.
Step Four: Write down tips that will enable you to move past the roadblock.
1. Develop and write down a clear business plan
2. Identify short term, mid, and long term goals
3. Visualize the success of these goals.
* Repeat this process for each of the 5 top roadblocks
Taking purposeful action is imperative to helping you move past your fears and closer to the success you deserve.
About the Author:
Ian J. Humphrey is an award winning motivational speaker. He speaks to corporations, educators, and youth about his own fears of failure and how he overcame them to become successful.
Click the following link to learn more about: Ian Humphrey