If you are afraid of failing – you’re not alone. When we do something new; something out of our comfort zone, we get scared. We’re afraid of the unknown. We’re afraid of rejection. It’s human nature. But if you let that fear paralyse you, it will imprison you with invisible chains and stop you from realising your goals. So how do you overcome that fear? How do you get rid of those chains and turn self-doubt into personal success? Let’s not kid ourselves; it’s not easy. It needs training, commitment and positive thinking. Here are some strategies to help you unlock the chains that prevent you from living the life you want:
Accept Your Fears
Self-doubt prevents some people taking the first step to achieve their dream, while other stumble along the way. Barbara Streisand, Meryl Streep, Sir Laurence Olivier and Elvis Presley are among the many famous people who have battled with stage fright, but they learned to control their anxiety and use it as fuel to turbo-charge achievement. The first step is to recognise that your fears are holding you back and be willing to do something about it.
Identify Your Fears
It’s important to identify what is holding you back. Is it lack of money? Fear of failure? Not enough knowledge? Concern about what others will say? Understanding the root cause of your fears will help you work out if they are real and manageable or imaginative. Once you assess and confront the causes, then they become more manageable and you can start to make decisions on how to work through them.
Visualise Your Obstacles
To tackle uncertainties, you need to think positively. Using creative visualisation can help you do this. Think about what is holding you back. What are you afraid of? Are you scared of making a mistake? Do you think you are not good enough? Visualise the obstacles in your path. Feel the self-doubt they bring. Now create a mental picture of how you can overcome those challenges. Draw up a plan to help you succeed and visualise yourself following and completing that plan. You may need to learn a new skill. If you are launching a business, you may not know your potential market. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Instead of thinking, “What if I fail?” think, “How can I overcome this obstacle?” You can correct mistakes during visualisation, so you don’t make them in real life. This mental rehearsal helps programme your mind to avoid problems and overcome challenges.
Take Baby Steps
It takes time to build your confidence and work through your fears. Don’t rush it. Take baby steps. After each step, look at what you have achieved. If it isn’t what you had hoped for, don’t brand yourself a failure. It may mean you have to take a different direction. Think of it as a learning experience. Ask yourself what positive things came out of it. If you need help, don’t be shy about asking for it or for feedback. And if you have achieved success, give yourself a pat on the back and go on to the next step. You need to retrain your brain to think positively and keep moving forward. With practice, you will become less fearful.
Tips To Calm Your Inner Struggles
* Daily exercise can improve your mood, decision-making, problem-solving, creativity and reduce anxiety.
* Stress-reducing activities, such as yoga, meditation and breathing exercises, can help you think clearer.
* If fear strikes, sit quietly for a few minutes and just breathe. Take deep breaths until you feel the tension leave your body and your head start to clear. Do this regularly and like a catnap, it will energise you and help calm you.
* Don’t get over-focused on your plan. Give yourself some “Me Time” to top up your fuel tank. Each day, do something that relaxes you. It might be reading, going for a walk, listening to music or having a bubble bath.
* Experts say our brain can only focus intently in short bursts. It varies from person to person with about 90 minutes being about the maximum. So give yourself regular breaks to work with less anxiety and more focus.
* Create routine in your life so your mind can concentrate on your plan. This could be working at the same time each day, having your work environment set up a certain way, eating at the same time or showering at the same time.
* Make a list of your proudest achievements. Read them morning and night to keep you motivated.
* Reading or watching biographies about how successful people have overcome their fears and built their confidence can be inspiring.