In my experience as a coach the number one stumbling-block of anyone seeking to move in the direction of their dreams is fear.
Fear of failure, or of not being good enough, resourceful enough, knowledgeable enough, qualified enough, and the list goes on.
These fears can almost paralyse a person to a standstill in their life, holding them captive in a pattern of ‘waiting’ or ‘stasis’ which is very difficult to move out of, and can erode at self-worth and confidence.
This is the very thing that can keep people stuck on the proverbial hamster wheel of life, too afraid to take a chance or a risk on their dreams, often comparing themselves to others who have succeeded in attaining their goals and seem to have their S#%t together!
However, what the person who is stuck in their fears often doesn’t realise though is that the goal driven, successful person that has come out the other side usually has MORE fear than those who are at a standstill, but their fear is around what their life would be like if they DON’T follow through and go after what it is that they want!
This is a very useful thing for the person who feels paralysed by their fears to know.
Fear is normal, fear is natural. It can galvanise us into action and give us some momentum. We don’t necessarily have to get ‘rid’ of our fear. We just need to put on our dancing shoes and learn to do a good three step with it.
So how do we do we dance with the fear?
Step 1 - Sit with the fear. That’s right…sit with it. Introduce yourself to it and have dialogues with it, find out what stories or tapes are playing around your fears and write them down.
Step 2 – Go through your list one by one and ask yourself if this is true for you. Be honest with yourself, and really challenge your beliefs on this stuff. Some of it could be true, but there may also be alternatives that you haven’t yet explored because of your fears creating what I like to call ‘analysis paralysis’. A state of mind where overanalysing creates a narrow rather than expansive focus.
To give you an example; In 2010 I knew I wanted to simplify my life and leave my busy corporate career, but I didn’t know how too because I was caught up in the ‘affluenza’ trap of trying to service a sizable mortgage. My own life coach after listening to my fears and list of reasons as to why I couldn’t realistically (or so I thought) leave my job, challenged me with the question ‘so why don’t you sell your house?’ The question floored me at the time because I hadn’t even factored that idea in to the equation. I was too busy grappling for other alternatives. It was the turning point for me, and two weeks later I put my house on the market and have never looked back.
Now I am not saying that any measures must be that drastic, but I am saying that often our fears create limiting beliefs that prevent us from seeing the whole picture and possible alternatives.
If you need some support, find a good life coach specialised in your area of concern that can really help you unpack this and ask the difficult and sometimes challenging questions. A good coach will never try to ‘fix’ the situation by telling you what to do, but they will challenge and inspire you to self-direct to your new goals in a way that is realistic and achievable for you. All you need is a willingness to make a change in your life.
Step 3 – Take the first step no matter how small! To attain a sense of happiness and fulfillment, most people generally want progress not necessarily the goal or end-result. Understanding this puts you in your power. The goal is fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but often it is simply the movement forward that lightens how we feel, puts the flow back in our lives, and a spring in our step. If you have already taken the first two steps above then congratulations, you already have some idea here of what I am talking about.
I wish you well on your journey
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