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Stop fearing the future

Dec 20, 2015

Fear is a very powerful emotion that prevents us from doing, having, and being what we want. When your head is full of “what-if” and “If-only” thoughts you are holding yourself back. Fear stops you doing things.
 
What if I fail? What will they think of me? “If only I had….then”. What if it does not work?”
 
These and similar thoughts are the ones holding us back. We are so focussed on what could go wrong that we forget what might as well go right.
 
There will always be an element of fear of the unknown or fear of failure. That’s OK as long as it is only there to sense check and prevent recklessness and stupidity.
 
If you want to achieve or do something – big or small – there is always a chance that it won’t work. This is quite natural because until you have actually tried something you will not know if it is right or if it works etc.
 
To save ourselves the sense of failure or embarrassment we can walk straight into the trap of thinking about it a bit more, do some more research, wait for a better time of year and so on and so on. Procrastinating like that only postpones the achievement of your dreams, aspirations, and goals and makes you feel disappointed in yourself.
 
Here comes the difficult part: Take action! Do something – anything! Then see what happens. What happens is the feedback you need to check if you are on the right track. I know from personal experience that the feedback is not always what you have hoped for and that can be quite disappointing and demoralising. However, it is only a signal to try something different next time or try the same approach again, but in a different context. Also from personal experience, I know how good it feels when the feedback is positive. It can be quite overwhelming in a good way and certainly a motivator to go and do more.
 
When you want something - go for it! One step at a time. Send a job application, pick up the phone and ask a question, send a few emails, change your hair style…… the list goes on and anything goes as long as it is working towards achieving your goal.
 
Set a deadline. A goal without a deadline is just a dream. A deadline puts you under a bit of pressure and focusses the mind.
 
Write it down. Research shows that the simple act of writing down your goal and deadline increases your chances of achieving it by about 10%.
 
Talk about it. When you mention your goals to your friends and family, your chances of success increase enormously. This is because they will ask how you are getting on and you do not want to be seen as being all talk and no action.
 
Start small. If you have a list of things you want to start doing, stop doing, do more of, or do less of pick an easy one first. Having achieved that you will get the confidence to tackle the bigger and more complicated items on your list. In case it does not work, you have gained valuable experience that you can use next time.
 
What will they think? Well, what will you think? Unless you hang out with the wrong crowd, you will receive acknowledgement and respect for simply having a go, regardless of the outcome. What is far more important is what you think about your efforts. Be kind to yourself. Stop the negative internal dialogue and congratulate yourself on what you have done.
 
Ask yourself one important question. If you fail, if it does not work, or if it never happened – what would you prefer? To look back and say, “at least I tried” or to look back and say “I wonder what would have happened if only I had tried”.
 
If fear is holding you back and you want to move on, get in touch and let us discuss how I can support you. Making that phone call or sending that email to me could be your first action towards achieving your goals.

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"I could always rely on Peter to ask a thought provoking question that stimulated my own reasoning and thought process. Coaching has been a very positive experience and I feel I am better equipped to manage my work environment and myself." LC