Whether it's a fear of failure, fear of being successful or fear of change it may sometimes seem easier to give into our fears and turn AWAY from our goals rather than making a choice which could have the potential to change things for the better. Life can push us into making difficult decisions but if we continuously hand over our power to our fears, it's likely that we'll end up on a path of missed opportunities, regret and disappointment.
Whether it’s a fear of failure, fear of being successful or fear of change it may sometimes seem easier to give into our fears and turn AWAY from our goals rather than making a choice which could have the potential to change things for the better.
Life can push us into making difficult decisions but if we continuously hand over our power to our fears, it’s likely that we’ll end up on a path of missed opportunities, regret and disappointment.
With research now showing that 80 percent of our choices are fear-based, it’s clear that many of us can default into making decisions that could move us away from our goals simply because we’d prefer to avoid the temporary discomfort of uncertainty rather than investing our efforts into heading towards the unknown.
If you want to avoid making fear based decisions, below are my top ways to feel the fear and do it anyway:
1) Let go of your ‘story’
Often many of us can hold ourselves back from going after what we want simply because we’re looping back to a previous event in our life that didn’t go to plan. Maybe we failed an exam at school so we’re afraid of studying as an adult, maybe a relationship didn’t work out the way we’d hoped and so we’re afraid of allowing love back into our lives or maybe we set up a business that didn’t quite take off. Often our negative past experiences can cause us to make decisions that hold us back from taking action. Accepting that each experience has been valuable and making a note of what each event in our lives has taught us and what we’d do differently the next time around can stop us from getting stuck in fearful thoughts, take the lesson and break free from the past. Often our failures aren’t a sign that we should stop, they are usually just a lesson in what didn’t work.
2) Get clear on what you really want
Many of us can make fear based decisions because we may not be crystal clear on what we want. Making a list of what you want to achieve and what your values are can help you to gain clarity on your goals which can help you to determine whether your decisions are moving you towards or away from your vision. If your goal is to lose weight are you investing your time into exercise and healthy eating? If your goal is to have a laptop lifestyle what skills or training are you investing into to make that happen? Getting clarity on your goals can help you to quickly determine whether you’re making a growth based decision or a fear based choice. If you are struggling to get clarity, working with a life coach can be a great start in helping you to determine the best steps forwards.
3) Review your attitudes and behaviours
It can be easy for us to get lost in the day to day responsibilities of our lives without taking notice of our progress or reviewing our skills. Occasionally taking some time out to take stock of which skills are driving us forward and what behaviours could be holding us back is a great way for us to get a better insight into understanding our core fears and what we could be doing to sabotage our progress.
Some questions that can help are:
What do I need to START doing?
Make a plan? Seek advice? Smarten up?
What do I need to STOP doing?
Procrastinating? Living in the past? Having regrets? Blaming others? Putting myself down?
What do I need to do LESS of?
Watching TV? Eating junk food? Putting everyone else’s needs ahead of my own?
What do I need to do MORE of?
Networking? Socialising? Planning? Taking action?
Sometimes we can allow our fears to seem scarier than the reality which can lead us to talk ourselves out of doing something. What if things weren’t as challenging as you imagine? Doing some research and getting information from others who have already done what you aspire to can help you to feel more confident in taking action and provide you with peace of mind. Writing a list of questions that could help you to feel more confident in making your decision and finding the answers to these questions is a great way for you to eliminate your worries and take a positive stride forwards.
5) Stay away from naysayers
It can be a natural instinct for many of us to want to discuss our goals and dreams with our loved ones but it’s also worth keeping in mind they may not always agree with what we want to hear which can cause us to doubt our decisions. Taking time to understand where they are coming from and distinguishing between whether they have a valid point or they are simply projecting their own fears or ‘stories’ onto you can help you to make a decision from a space of neutrality. Often our loved ones may have the best of intentions however making a positive choice for you can also bring up their own fears.
Maybe they’ve never had the courage to do what you’re trying to do, maybe they are scared you’ll succeed or that you’ll change or maybe you taking action is making them feel bad for not doing the same. Learning to be aware of others behaviours and choosing to spend more time around people who have a similar passion and commitment to yourself can help you to make decisions based on faith rather than fear.
Every day we’re confronted with choices that determine where our lives will lead. A year from now our lives can be better or worse than the positions we may currently find ourselves in and whether we have chosen to make progress or remain standing still will be a result of the choices that we’ll make between now and then. Will you make decisions that move you towards your goals or away from them?
I’d love to know which tip you found most valuable, let me know in the comments below.
Have you ever had a vision for yourself perhaps it was about being more confident or courageous, or having a better lifestyle? Maybe it was a vision about finding the work you were born to do. And you found yourself feeling overwhelmed and almost frightened by this vision. Negative thoughts started to flood your mind. It's not for people like me. It's not for people who come from where I do. I'm not good at... How could I make it...? I have no idea, skills...? For whatever reasons, beliefs, convictions, limitations, negative words you abandoned your vision of better tomorrow's.
'Oh no! What now?' It was May 2015 and after a year of uncertainty, I could almost hear the fear in my own words! It had taken that long to actually sign on the dotted line. I had a settlement agreement from my employer and would be leaving my post as a Childcare Development and Business Officer after 14 years; the longest period I had ever held in any one job. A totally voluntary decision on my part; they had agreed to 'let me go!'.