I’m sure most of us can recall a moment in time when we felt we just couldn’t do something, or we couldn’t make up our mind over the right choice to make?
These kinds of situations ‘freeze’ our ability to get on with the task or decision in hand.
Whether it’s a giving presentation in front a large room of people, staying in that safe work role a little too long, worrying about starting a new job, or doubting you’re able to do the role – also known as ‘imposter syndrome’. It could also be fear of saying something ‘stupid’ in a social situation, fear of commitment in a relationship…we’ve all been there at one time or another.
However, sometimes we let this fear rule our lives. When fear and procrastination start to seriously impede our potential, close options down for us and curtail the potential for enjoyment and progression, it is time to do something about it.
Often these fears are groundless and irrational. They can result from a negative experience in our past which, although is probably not that relevant to who we are now, still influences our thoughts about our abilities.
Fear can manifest in different ways and can include:
- Fear of getting it wrong
- Fear of doing something badly
- Fear of the unknown
- Fear of the uncomfortable
- Fear of not being good enough
- Fear of feeling stupid
How to move away from fear…
- Face it – the first step is become aware of what’s going on in your body and mind. Check in with yourself and identify what you’re currently thinking. Writing it down or talking it through with someone can help – but make sure you don’t spend too long doing this as over focusing on it can deepen the feelings.
- Change your state – the question to ask is ‘is this state of (fear)’ going to help me achieve what I want. The answer is almost always NO. The next step is to then shift your state – this is a skill that many of us need to learn, as, although it’s essential for a great life, it isn’t part of standard school education. Watch the video below to see my tips on how to deeply access a state of calm and if you want even more skills then do take our NLP Life Skills course.
- Exercise your resilience muscles – just like any type of physical exercise, you can build up self-belief and resilience over time. There are some steps you can take to build up your confidence and resistance to fear. You can approach a task you may feel is overwhelming by breaking this down into smaller chunks or exercises of 5-10 minutes long, which form part of the bigger task. Use these small wins to build upon and break the cycle. If you succeeded at these tasks, you’ll start to build the belief in succeeding in others.
- Step into your success – putting it simply, if you can’t imagine yourself succeeding, you probably won’t. This technique is adopted by individuals at the top of their game. I’ve worked with many sporting and business professionals over the years, who utilise this as part of their success strategy. Take just 10 minutes away from what you’re doing. Sit calmly, close your eyes and see what you would see as you deliver that presentation confidently and clearly, look at the interview panel feeling confident and calm, feel those feelings of calm confidence as you chat to others at a social gathering. Just by practicing this you will rewire your brain to expect to feel and behave this way in those scenarios.
- Reward yourself – when we know there is a reward at the end we are more likely to start and complete on a goal. So plan a reward whether that’s a foodie treat -going out for dinner or treating yourself to a nice takeaway, or that pair of shoes you’ve been wanting for a while!
My Book, ‘Dû’ – Unlock Your Full Potential With A Word, will help you explore how harnessing the power of language can transform your life. You could also explore our unique Lightning Process to find out how you can start to unlock your full potential.