If we are willing to live a bold and authentic life, then without a doubt we are simply going to need to take risks. We can’t wait for life to happen to us! We must go out there and actively pursue those things that are truly important to us.
You might be thinking of forging a new career or perhaps re-invigorating a stale one. Maybe you’re considering starting or ending a relationship, or you’ve been wanting to start a new business for some time but haven’t made the bold leap. Whatever the situation, all these things require a degree of risk, and with risk comes the possibility of failure, embarrassment, humiliation, and of course, let’s not forget possible financial setbacks. Not to mention the negative feelings that no one really likes to experience, and because we don’t like the possibility of experiencing those negative feelings, we have the propensity to avoid doing what seems out of reach, hence, we end up leading lives of wishing and wanting.
You have been given this beautiful thing called your brain, and one of the roles of your brain is to keep you safe. It’s our brains that kept us safe from hungry lions when we lived in caves a long, long time ago. Today we might not have to worry so much about lions, but we still do have other hurdles, challenges, obstacles, fears, doubt and problems that we need to encounter and overcome on a daily basis in this competitive world.
So, what does your clever brain do to keep you safe? It starts to imagine all the things that could possibly go wrong, making you think about your past failures, projecting them out into the future and before you know it, you’re paralysed by your own thoughts, fears, doubts, and insecurities. This is clearly not good!
So, what’s the antidote to this? Well, simply put, we need to take more risks. We need to be willing to be that little bit bolder and braver and learn to overcome our problems and challenges and trust in our own way of dealing with life’s hurdles and setbacks. You’re way more resilient than you realise.
Now, granted, risks don’t always pay off and we sometimes experience those feelings and setbacks I mentioned earlier. Sometimes, we also take risks and nothing happens.
Like writing this blog, I’m sitting here writing this blog and not even sure if anyone will read it, which in some ways is worse than someone actually reading it and not liking it. At least then someone will have read it!
But regardless of who does or doesn’t read my blog (A.K.A my mad ramblings), it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I’m doing it. I’ve been ‘thinking’ about writing one for a long time. Clearly, it was time to stop thinking and start doing.
If you’re procrastinating, it’s more than likely that it’s because you’re afraid of something – afraid of failing, looking stupid, being judged, criticized, etc. Procrastination is a symptom of fear.
So, what are some of the things you can do to overcome fear and procrastination?
1. Name your fear.
When you tell someone what you’re afraid of, that fear no longer has any power over you. Write down what you afraid of and then share it with someone. You’ll soon discover that other people have the same fears or concerns as you and have had to overcome similar fears.
2. Stop thinking and start doing!
We can’t solve our problems and face our fears by constantly thinking about them. At some point in time, we need to start doing. Fear cannot reside where action lives!
3. Develop the habit of practicing courage.
In order to take more risks, you need to become courageous. Courage is a habit. Habits are learnt. The more courage you take, the more courageous you’ll become, and the more your life will expand.
4. Focus on what you’ll gain and not what you’ll lose.
Most people, when trying something new, they focus on the potential losses. Will you have to let go of certain things? Absolutely! But rather than focusing on what you’re about to lose why not focus on what you will gain instead.
5. Enrol others.
Trying to overcome our fears on our own is hard. We all need a little support, a little someone to give us a nudge in the right direction, to be there to catch us when we fall (and you will fall), but falling can be the biggest lessons of all. I’d rather fall and figure out how to pick myself up again than never to have fallen at all.
Remember the important thing is to take the risk! As Theodore Roosevelt said:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Until next time. BE BOLD BE BRAVE BE YOU!
Want to know more about how you can maximize your performance and start living a life on your own terms? Join international speaker Johnnie Cass at his 1-day live event Life By Design: Create the business and life you truly love.