Overcome Fear and Unleash Your Inspired Dreams
How many times have you set a goal and failed to achieve it? Do you know why? If you are like me, you will know what I am talking about. We have all at least once fallen short in completing a given objective. This might be due to many reasons, but one thing is certain: fear of failure and rejection is a big wall that prevents us from reaching our desired dreams. My experiences in life have taught me how to overcome fear, and you can do so too by learning how to overcome it.
Fear is a label that you impose on yourself every time you set a goal or expect something outside of your value system. The feeling of fear is conceived in your mind. Once there, it gets projected into the future through your senses or imagination, with the assumption that you will receive more negative than positive outcomes. This self-defeating attitude will hold you back from achieving your goals, and will permanently consume you with frustration and disappointment.
The solution to eliminating your fear is to ask yourself one key question: ''What benefit(s) am I getting if I face this fear or this challenge?". If you can identify a benefit resulting from facing your fear and linking it to the top of your value structure, then you will find the necessary fuel and courage to get across that wall.
In my case, for example, it took me about a year from the moment I decided to write my first article, to the time it was actually posted. During that year, I doubted myself and had two major fears. First, will people like my message; and second, how am I going to find something to write about regularly? In other words, I constantly thought that my potential audience would not like my messages. In my own mind, I was subordinate to others while minimizing my self-worth. For the longest time, I sabotaged my capacity to do what inspired me the most, which was on the top of my value structure: to write about my life experiences and make a positive impact on people. Basically, my biggest barrier was me, and only me.
I was really convinced that this is what I wanted to do – that it was my calling. So, I put an action plan in place and made the decision to publish my first article and share my authentic message with the world. I decided not to continue living in constant fear of what others may think of my work and whether it would meet their expectations. I overcame fear by believing that I would benefit from anything that came my way. I would consider any feedback as important lessons that would guide me in developing better articles, and enable me to become a better coach and author.
Another example of a real-life situation is that of Diana, whom I met recently in Ottawa. A beautiful woman in her late forties, she works in a professional office environment where men have more power than women do. After three pregnancies, she was struggling to lose weight and get her shape as well as her confidence. Diana tried many weight loss tools, but nothing helped. When we spoke, I realized that her weight challenge was affecting every other aspect of her professional and family life. This is a difficult position to be in for anyone, not just Diana. When we lose our self-esteem and confidence, our vitality and drive in life fade away.
It was clear to me that for Diana, as for many other women, confidence and physical appearance are important, and are often at the top of their core values. So, I asked her ''Diana, what is the benefit for you to keep the weight on?''. She was very surprised at the question and could not answer right away. I repeated the question a few times. I explained that we never do anything in life for which we don't receive more benefits than drawbacks, otherwise, we would not do it. After a few minutes of deep reflection, she started to speak with tears in her eyes. To her surprise, one of the benefits of keeping the weight on was to distance herself from the men at work who could become attracted to her. It might sound ridiculous to some but, for Diana, the possibility of being harassed in the workplace gave her a sense of fear which was bigger than anything else. She wanted to be recognized for her abilities and hard work, not for her looks. Basically, Diana was consciously trying to lose weight, but subconsciously her fear was immobilizing her actions and preventing positive results.
At the end of my conversation with Diana, I suggested that she decide what her top priority is: her health and well-being or her professional career. I made her realize that she was delusional in setting a goal that she cannot live by. As long as she feels defeated by the injection of other people’s values and standards, she will never achieve what she really wants. I tried to help her to be real and grateful for who she is so that she can see the possibilities and benefits of her situation. Lastly, I strongly recommended that she put in motion some actions aligned with what inspires her the most and that she starts today.
Life is like a magnet: it always presents us with two poles – positive and negative. If we always seek to receive from the universe more advantages than disadvantages, more happiness than sadness and more love than hate, then we set ourselves up for a fantasy life that will create frustration, despair, and fear.
And what about you? How do you perceive and construct fear in your mind? How do you let it run your actions and feelings? And why do you sacrifice your dreams out of fear?
This is my advice to you today:
start honoring yourself for who you are,
be real and align your goals with your highest values,
find benefits in your situation,
set an action plan and stick to it,
accept failure and rise stronger,
continue to move forward and never stop.
This is what worked for me, and I am convinced that if you believe in this approach you will start feeling great about yourself. That’s a key step toward leading an amazing life!