Fear can be crippling and is the Achilles heel of many would be success stories, if only they could just submit to their abilities. Unfortunately for many, the overwhelming feeling of stepping outside their comfort zone is just too much to bear.
The truth is we all have 24 hours in the day, and we all have opportunities. I am not going to say outside factors cannot affect your chances in life, because collectively research shows if you grow up with negative role models, in a negative environment, you are a lot less likely to be successful.
However just because you are 5 feet tall doesn’t mean you can’t play basketball (this is the true story of the smallest basketball player ever, Tyrone Bogues)
If you can get comfortable with being uncomfortable then half the battle is won!
Here are 5 tips for facing your fears:
1. Do it anyway
I am going to let you in on a little secret, we are all scared. It’s fight or flight in many situations. Some choose to run away and stay in comfort, while others choose to feel the fear and keep on moving forward.
Some of the most historic moments in history are a result of scared men, women and children with their hearts racing, their palms sweating and their adrenaline pumping saying “I’m going to do it anyway.”
Sometimes it’s better to fail at something big, than to never try. So next time you are faced with a challenge, think of your biggest role model and their biggest accomplishment and tell yourself that they felt like this when they accomplished it. The difference; they just did it anyway!
“He who is not every day conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
2. Weigh up the options
In all honesty, sometimes facing your fears will not serve you. Weigh up the options at hand and see if you should proceed.
If you are scared of snakes, but live in London, maybe it wouldn’t make much sense to seek out a 12 foot anaconda just so you can process your irrational fear that you have had since childhood.
However that is only a decision you can make, so weigh up your options and face the fears that are going to wield the best results for your life!
3. Process your fears
Are your fears rational or irrational?
If you are scared of leaving your job and life and investing your savings into living on a desert island, with no future income, no previous survival skills and you will be surrounded by pit vipers and panthers. You can probably file that in the rational fears section.
On the other hand if you are scared of balloons you can put that in the irrational fears section.
If you want success in your life you have to be able to put things into perspective. Examples of irrational fears could be like making trivial phone calls, connecting with people who have similar interests or putting yourself out there in your business. These types of things need to be turned into a habit and just become part of your day to day routine.
Some of the more complex decisions which bring up perfectly normal rational fears that need to be thought through a little more, but make sure you don’t put them off just because you are afraid!
4. Visualise accomplishing your fears
Different things produce different feelings in different people. Even if it’s just little irrational things that fill you with anxiety. Don’t worry you can face it!
One great way to overcome fear is to visualise. Imagine yourself doing it before you do it, and make a deal with yourself that after you have visualised it, you will actually make it happen.
There is a reason why successful people visualise; IT WORKS! so next time you are stuck, take 5 minutes, shut your eyes and imagine yourself completing your task successfully. Then do it!
“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
5. Go on a fear facing spree
This one is not for the faint hearted and only the true personal development bad asses can live up to this challenge, it really comes down to if you are man, woman or child enough to do it!
You need to make 2 lists- Irrational fears and rational fears. You get your list of irrational fears and you tick them off one by one until the whole list is complete.
Your rational fears, you think them through and the ones that make sense to do you go right ahead and do them!
Take as long as you need to do this, but don’t drag it out and take longer than is needed. Get your momentum going and get ticking and soon you will have faced your list of fears!
Life is scary at times, but sometimes you just need to macho up and get yourself back on track! So face a fear today even if it is a small one to get your momentum going!
Which fears are you facing today? Please let me know in the comment section below! If you think any of your friends or social media followers can benefit from this article, please share it!
How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals
Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.
What is Motivation?
The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.
Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).
Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.
However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals.
How to Get Motivated
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.
This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.
4 Ways to Make Starting Easier
1. Schedule it
One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it.
When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.
An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”
2. Measure something
It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.
3. Extrinsic motivation
This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.
4. Make it public
Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.
How to Stay Motivated Long Term
When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.
These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:
1. Stay in your goldilocks zone
The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging.
The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.
2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals
Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within.
For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.
3. Use “chunking”
Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.
Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.
For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.
4. Be flexible
We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.
5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion
Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.
This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.
Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.
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