What would you say you’re truly afraid of?
The dark? Being alone? Public speaking?
We all experience fear in our lives in some form or fashion. Whether first hand or vicariously through any kind of medium, we’ve felt our heart in our throats or the feverish heart pound that make you feel like you look like a cartoon character.
Throughout my life in talking with people trying to overcome one issue or the next, failure is always a common fear. What if I try _____ and it doesn’t work? What if it happens in my next relationship? Oh, I couldn’t possibly try to learn that.
Think about it: fear in this case guarantees failure as it derails the concept of attempt. I should know, I’ve lived it.
I learned and started adapting these steps when setting up my goals:
- What’s the ideal end game
- What’re the steps I need to take to get there (write these down!)
- What type of support or resource would help me along the way?
By identifying these in any situation (work, weight, hobby, relationships) you can develop a clearer path to where you want to be. Isn’t it more empowering to visualize looking down a clear path (with a few twists and turns no doubt) but knowing where you’re going rather than having an idea but it’s so lofty and distant that you feel like there’s a dense forest in between you?
It’s also critical to understand where you stand right here, right now. I always say it’s a lot easier to plan a trip on a map if you know exactly where you’re starting from and know exactly where you want to go.
Be honest with yourself, write down your areas of improvement, your self-created roadblocks, your weaknesses and distractions. Make a plan to rid yourself of them or come up with a plan to deal with them when they arise.
For years, I’ve been terrified of branching out and going bigger with ideas. New business concepts, writing music, even starting EnRich Your Soul. What if no one liked it? What if no one even listened or read it to like it? I couldn’t possibly imagine doing this, it’s unrealistic. There are people who are better than me at it.
All of those thoughts have gone through my head a number of times. All of them crippling any potential for effort at all. Rather than pursue what started in my mind as a great idea, I’d stop dead in my tracks and concede the dream to fear. You win fear, I won’t even try.
That was a consistent and predictable behavior of mine. Come up with a stellar idea, only to not do anything about it…..until I started seeing smaller successes.
I have historically swung for the fence with my ideas. They’d start big and through brainstorming and daydreaming, they grew into nationwide, critically acclaimed success! That heightened expectation of myself, even before the first pen was picked up, scared the hell out of me.
I’m not saying all of my ideas would’ve even worked had I tried them (although the idea of opening a restaurant on a college campus that served cereal seemed pretty destined for amazing profits) but I never DID try any of them.
We do this to ourselves with lots of things: heartbreak, new ideas at your job, bringing up a touchy topic with friends, etc. Fear is the selfish bastard at a fork in the road that shows up when you’re trying to chase your dreams telling you to just stay put before something bad happens; that neither route is the right one.
I’m here today to tell you, choosing a path, ignoring that fear, and chasing a dream is one of the most liberating and intoxicating feelings you can have. Even if it ends up failing or falling short of your expectations, wouldn't you rather say you gave it your all than not have tried at all? Do you think anyone who comes in 2nd place in any event thinks "Yeah, I shouldn't have shown up at all today." I know you can do it because I’ve been where you are right now. If I can push past my army of doubt and reasons to not, so can you.
Our next steps are this:
- Write down where you are (as a person, not your address) and where you want to go
- Identify your potential roadblocks (self-imposed or otherwise)
- Remind yourself that nothing worth attaining comes easy
- Reassure your heart every day that the path you’re on is where you truly want to be
- Start today