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Change The Way You See Fear And Change Your Life

Change The Way You See Fear And Change Your Life

Courage

    When was the last time you took a risk? Not something major and life-threatening, but something that represented a step outside your comfort zone. Can you recall a time recently when you did something that felt uncomfortable for you? If not, get ready to take a major step forward.

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    Frequently, in business and in life, we get too comfortable. We find solid ground – a place that feels safe – we get comfortable, and we settle in. We’re programmed to do it. It’s how we operate. Look for safety and stay there. But these days, it’s imperative that we act against our programming to truly succeed and find our own greatness.

    What’s holding us back? Ultimately, it’s fear. It’s almost always fear. Fear is the number one reason why people stay in their safety zones. It’s why people don’t start new businesses. It’s why people stop looking for love. But what are we afraid of? After studying fear for several years and working with countless clients who were letting fear hold them back, I’ve become convinced that when it comes down to stepping outside one’s comfort zone, there are really two things at work for most people: fear of success and fear of failure.

    Fear of Success

    Many people say they have a fear of success. What does this mean? It means that when these folks envision their success, they see the ways in which they’ll disappoint people, the ways they won’t be able to handle the success, the ways they’ll mess up their success… ultimately, I actually believe that a fear of success is a fear of failure in disguise. In my experience, most people aren’t actually afraid of success, but rather of failing after the success. They’re afraid they can’t handle it and they’ll fall much farther than if they’d never tried at all. It’s much more painful to fall from, say, a 20-story building, than it is to fall from a sidewalk curb. It’s the fall from the height of success that we fear, not the success itself.

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    Fear of Failure

    Let’s look at fear of failure, since that’s at the core of what’s holding people back. I’ve recently updated my thoughts about fear of failure. I’ve been reading Seth Godin’s book, Tribes, and Godin has some absolutely profound and brilliant thoughts on the fear that keeps us in our comfort zones. In Tribes, Godin says that there’s a common misconception about a fear of failure. He says that the fear of failure isn’t actually fear of failure at all – it’s a fear of criticism. We’re more afraid of being judged for our failures than anything else.

    So now that we’ve isolated this fear of criticism, what does one do about it? How do you conquer the one thing that  gets in the way more than anything else- more than lack of skills, more than lack of knowledge, more than bad luck or anything else you might think of – how do you conquer fear?

    How Do You Conquer Fear?

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    It would be easy for me to say that you just shouldn’t care what others think about you. What they say doesn’t matter, doesn’t define you, has nothing to do with you. I could easily say that. But the problem is that we’re not just subject to the criticism of others when we fail. We still have to face our harshest critic: ourselves.

    But here’s the secret most people don’t know. It’s a secret that most successful people know. You don’t actually have to “conquer” fear. You have to master it. Mark Twain once said, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” Successful people aren’t people who conquered fear, they’re people who faced fear. They’re people who were afraid and did it anyway.

    For example, one of the most prevalent, persistent fears people have is public speaking. It’s something most of us don’t do very often and it’s something most of us don’t particularly care for. I’m one of the oddities – I actually love speaking to groups. But like many others I know who enjoy public speaking, I get nervous before I go on stage. My palms sweat, I think about how I wish I’d never agreed to do the gig, and I think of all the ways I can get out of doing it. And then I step on stage anyway, and within a few moments, I’m actually having so much fun connecting to the crowd that I forget all the fear and just live in that moment. That’s mastering fear, folks. That’s what it’s all about.

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    A part of it is doing something over and over and showing yourself that you can do that thing. That builds confidence and confidence is a formidable tool against fear. Usually we’re afraid of the stuff we’re not very good at. What are you afraid of?  Think about that for a minute and then when you have the answer, ask yourself how often you do that thing.  If you’re not very good at something, you tend to fear it.  If you make a decision to face the fear and forge ahead with courage, you’ll eventually make courage a habit- and you’ll master that fear.

    So what’s holding you back right now?  What are you afraid of, and how can you face that fear with courage? Here’s an exercise I give to my clients to help them face their fears:

    Take out a piece of paper and a pen and turn the paper on its side so you’re writing across the long side.  Make five columns on your paper.  In the first column, make a list of the things that scare you the most.  Then in the second column, for each of those fears, write down what is the absolute worst thing that could happen if your fears came true.  In the third column, write down how likely the worst thing is to happen.  Then in the fourth column, write down how that fear is holding you back.  In the last column, for at least one of the fears you’ve listed, write down how you are going to face that fear. Make it tangible- give yourself an action to take and a date by which you will take that action. And follow through!

    Look, everybody is afraid of something. The most successful people have mastered fear with courage and learned to forge ahead.  Today, make a decision to forge ahead with something in your life or in your business.  Make a decision to face at least one of your fears. Take a risk and get better at something you’re afraid of.  Face a fear with courage and you’ll see payoffs emerging faster than you ever could  have imagined.

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    Last Updated on November 20, 2018

    10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

    10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

    A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

    Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

    1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

    Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

    If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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    2. You put the cart before the horse.

    “Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

    3. You don’t believe in yourself.

    A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

    4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

    The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

    5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

    If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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    6. You don’t enjoy the process.

    Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

    The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

    7. You’re trying too hard.

    Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

    8. You don’t track your progress.

    Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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    9. You have no social support.

    It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

    10. You know your what but not your why.

    The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

    Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

    Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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    Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

    Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

    Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

    • The more specific you can make your goal,
    • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
    • The more encouraged you’ll be,
    • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

    I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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