When faced with anything risky, periods of uncertainty, something new or a change it’s completely natural to feel scared or even a little bit (or a lot) anxious.
I know I do! Sweaty palms, increased heart rate, dry mouth, scattered thoughts and sleepless nights, nausea, butterflies or even an upset stomach. When I’m at my worst I suffer the lot.
And I can’t tell you the number of times my fear of failure has held me back, preventing me from taking that awesome opportunity, trying something new, or stepping out of my comfort zone.
This is what psychiatrists call the fight or flight response;
The fight-or-flight response, also known as the acute stress response, refers to a physiological reaction that occurs in the presence of something that is terrifying, either mentally or physically. The response is triggered by the release of hormones that prepare your body to either stay and deal with a threat or to run away to safety. – Psychology.about.com
The fight or flight response is your bodies natural response to the unknown and is meant to help you but more times than not we’re not caught up in a life-threatening situation. More times than not we’re simply just scared of something that might not happen!
Take the fear of failure.
The most successful people in the world will tell you that at some point in their lives they thought they were going to fail and that they may even have been afraid of failure.
They will also tell you that it took persistence, hard work, a lot of lessons learned and perhaps a dash of stubbornness to get them to where they are today.
Just look at J. K. Rowling, whom at one stage was a broke single mother on welfare who suffered from depression and was rejected by 12 publishers before finally breaking through with the Harry Potter book series, and what a book series that was! She persisted when she could have easily thrown in the town and given up but instead she persevered:
I was set free because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
– J. K. Rowling
Your subconscious is a powerful tool.
By simply visualising success, by flicking the switch to a more positive mindset, and by continuing to push through the fear you will unlock new ideas, thoughts and ways of doing things. You will also discover that you will attract new opportunities and people into your life as well as an untapped source of energy and motivation! And if all else fails simply feel the fear and do it anyway.
By accepting that stepping outside of your comfort zone will always feel a little scary you will reclaim power over fear, over anxiety, and you will learn so much by being brave enough to put yourself out there, by taking a chance, and by giving it a go!
That is what living is all about.
Now, think of something you have been putting off or something that scares you. Now visualise yourself being successful.
Go on, really picture it!
What do you see? What do you see yourself doing? If it helps, even picture what you are wearing and where you are.
Okay, now tune in to your senses.
What does success taste like?
What does it feel like?
What are people saying about you? What are you saying?
And what about you. What are you thinking? About what you are doing and about yourself?
What have you achieved?
And what else can you do?
Now take that feeling and move one step in that direction, followed by another, and another.
Just remember; anyone who has ever achieved greatness has gone through some kind of struggle, pain or hardship. The reason they have become a success is because they have pushed through and come out the other side on top!
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you fail by default.
– J. K. Rowling
Oh and remember to breathe…breathing is a really good thing!
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