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Why You Shouldn’t Judge Something that You Do it Once Only

Why You Shouldn’t Judge Something that You Do it Once Only

Meet Harry. He has just bought a smart phone and he is enthusiastic about it. He has read so many great reviews on the Internet about it that he wanted to get one too.

He goes home, unwraps the product box and starts to charge his phone’s battery. After a couple of hours, Harry is ready to start using the phone and get rid of his old one.

Except…there is a problem.

Harry turns the phone on, but after testing it for 30 minutes, he has already made an opinion of his new phone: it’s the worst phone he has ever had and it’s very difficult to use.

In fact, he decides to take his old phone back to use, and to go to the phone store and return his new phone where he bought it from.

Yes, he has made his opinion about the new phone and he is not going to touch the piece of junk anymore.

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Also, he decides to call his friends and warn about that particular phone model – that it’s faulty and they shouldn’t buy it either.

Harry feels upset and annoyed because of this phone episode.

Superficial and too quick

The situation that Harry faced wasn’t anything unique – it happens every day. And no, I’m not just talking about returning a smartphone back to where it was purchased from – I’m talking about the bigger picture.

The big picture is that people tend to judge something too fast – by testing or experiencing something only once.

Unfortunately, even this brief experience gives people enough confidence to claim that they know what they are talking about, even though they have only scratched the surface of the matter.

Testing and doing something only once is only going to give you a superficial experience at best, so shouting and complaining (or in the opposite, endorsing something) is not a reasonable strategy to follow.

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Why we don’t have the patience of experiencing the thing thoroughly – and only then telling others our opinions about it?

Should Harry take an attitude check?

I’d start finding answers to Harry’s behaviour from his attitude.

He expects that everything should work smoothly from the get-go. When thing aren’t going like he wants, he decides to blame the situation – instead of looking at himself in the mirror.

Also, he should understand that in order to form a thorough experience of something, doing something only once is not enough. It takes more time to get the proper experiences and only after that is it  reasonable to form an opinion about it.

Finally, the internal resistance is preventing him from testing the device any further. Once the opinion of that phone is formed, there isn’t any way to change his opinion.

Surely the phone isn’t getting going to get any better, no matter how much it’s tested. At least this is how Harry thinks.

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Give enough time to see how things turn out

When you are facing a situation like Harry did (with a phone or with anything else), take a different route than what he did.

Make sure to test the new thing/thought/concept long enough, so that you can have a comprehensive experience about it – before judging or endorsing it. Don’t just do it once and say that a thing did or didn’t work.

When you have a proper experience of something, only then do you really know what you are talking about.

It’s also worth remembering that even if the thing doesn’t work for you, it can work well for someone else. The way you experience something can be totally different from someone else’s situation.

Finally, when testing and experiencing the new thing/concept, measure the benefits and disadvantages in your daily life. This way you can give an honest view to yourself (and other people) about the matter – instead of forming an opinion too fast.

My “Don’t Judge Too Fast” blueprint for Harry and the rest of us”

Remember these key points until making your final opinion about the matter:

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  1. Take time. Don’t just try something only once in 30 minutes like Harry did. Instead, spend more time with a thing – on a continuous basis – and then form your opinion. The time spent in testing the thing/concept depends naturally on what you are testing, but it could be anything from a couple of days to weeks, sometimes to even months.
  2. Be patient and persistent. Understand that forming a comprehensive enough experience about something takes time. That’s why you need patience and must be persistent, until you can finally form your opinion.
  3. Measure the results. Do you know how this new idea/thing/concept has improved your life? Or did it decrease the quality of your life? After some testing, you start to see the benefits and disadvantages. Only after that can you weigh both sides and decide what you feel about the thing.
  4. It’s only your experience. When telling others about the matter, make sure to let them know this was just your experience of it. We are all individuals and our requirements differ. What might not work for your, can work for someone else.
  5. It gets easier every time. The more you spend time with the thing/concept, the more familiar and comfortable you’ll become with it. This means that the negative opinions you had in the beginning might be already forgotten, since you see things differently now.
  6. Share your feedback. If you form a negative view on the matter – even after extensive testing – let the source know about it, so that further improvements can be made.

For instance, if there is an issue with your laptop, let the manufacturer know about it so that it can be fixed. Or, if you think that a certain piece of software would be easier to use after a small tweak, send the developer some e-mail and explain the situation.

Too many times we tend to judge something too fast. Sometimes we might test the thing only once and we are ready to form an opinion about it.

Unfortunately, this is not a proper strategy to follow and instead, you should be willing to spend more time with the thing or idea, until you can objectively say if it’s good or bad.

Take some time to experience the thing thoroughly. Only after that, let others know what you think about it. And even then, emphasize the fact that this is only your experience about the topic.

Over to you: How do you make sure you aren’t judging something too fast?

Featured photo credit: American football on field via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on February 18, 2019

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

Why is this so critically important to you?

The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

  • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
  • The man facing the judge.
  • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
  • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
  • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
  • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

2. Accept Your Fear

Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

And here’s what can be done.

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3. Get Some Perspective

I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

  • Are you really at risk?
  • Will this kill you?
  • Which leads us on to..
  • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

4. Hold a Hand

As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

Ask yourself:

  • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
  • Could that really happen?
  • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
  • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

8. Assume the Worse

If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

  • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
  • Think about how they feel about champagne?
  • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

11. Go with Fear

When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

13. Own Your Fear

Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

More Resources About Fighting Fear

Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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