Updated: Aug 26, 2020
“Stop it You are embarrassing yourself! My God! I just want to run away from here. This is scary! I don’t want to feel pathetic!” We all hear these strong noises in our heads day in and day out.
Today Lets learn to say I don’t have to be afraid! Lets train our minds to accept our strengths and make it remember that “ I don’t have to be afraid”
Go grab for yourself a cup of coffee or any hot beverage and sit in your most comfortable place because this is a heart to heart talk. It needs both your and my attention equally. Let us pause the deadly dragon that we all fight in our heads everyday called FEARS! This dragon is capable of anything from making us feel low, panicked to hopeless and worthlessness.
I hope you are with me till here. I know this topic can be slightly overwhelming but trust me we will feel good when we face these demons and understand our strengths. So lets get started
Fear is not something new to man kind. When we feel fearful it increases our heart beat to a pace of a runners. It shortens our breathe and reduce our digestive actions to save all the energies and not consume it for any other activity than survival. We would have sweaty hands and the only thing our mind would tell us is RUN.
Over the years specially during the times we were hunter gatherers it has always been something that has helped us survive. Its put us on the fight and flight mode when we have seen any potential danger. Lets say “ there is a lion around the corner” or we felt the rains were raising the water levels at our dens then the fight flight mode got activated.
Now has mankind evolved the fears evolved too. It was not only about physical danger or about the survival of the fittest, we started seeing danger in other ways. It took form of shame, embarrassment, fear of not being enough and what not. The physical experience of the fear and flight mode remained with addition to mental drain of self esteem, perfectionism and feelings like that of Impostor syndrome.
Today lets talk about one of the forms of this fear that exists in all of us! The fear of Failure
tell me this while we were kids and were learning to walk, we fell a lot of times. Never did we hear voices in our mind saying “STOP IT! You are embarrassing yourself” We dint give up every time we fell either because our focus was on wanting to walk! Before we deep dive any further, I want you to remember this one thing every time you feel overwhelmed. We were not born with fear of failure and it did not matter to us. We let it grow into us and today we are ready to let it go!
Avoiding failure happened sometime later in life and probably due to fact that we wanted to avoid and not face failure which mostly disguised itself to something like shame of embarrassment. Now, think about this. Lets say you want to quit your job and start something new/ you want to take that opportunity of putting up a recording of your singing/dancing. The first thing that our mind shows us is Oh my god! What will the world say? It will be so embarrassing if someone says something bad and all the physical responses of fear starts kicking in with this mental drain
Failure is defined differently by different people in each of our heads. It is based on experience, belief systems and values. You might have someday heard of a story of someone failing after following their dream or you might have witnessed someones failure and everytime you think about taking that brave step towards your dream you corelate yourself to that story and say “oh my god ! If I do this and it turns out bad it’s a disaster” Its not wrong for your brain to show you this shame story pulling it out from your memory. That’s the job of your brain and fear. It needs to keep you safe. This doubtful moments everyone goes through. Whats important is what you do after feeling this way.How do you reach the mode of I don’t have to be afraid. If this fear of failure is coming in between you and your growth then its time to take action. No one in this world is safe from struggles and making mistakes. Infact the problem we have in hand is mostly about how it feels to fail than the outcome of the end result itself (emotions of self sabotaging, unworthiness, shame and embarrassment, impostor feeling)
Here are a few ways that you can tackle fears and handle your emotions and retune your mind to saying I don’t have to be afraid
1. Remember when your shown images of shame and embarrassment these moments might 99% of the times really not happen at all. Its only happening in your head.
2. When you are scared to take the next step analyse all potential outcomes and look at everything that can follow. It is possible that the worst case scenario is not even close to the dreadful story playing in your head. Then you are good to go. Also when you do this analysis prepare for a contingency plan on the worst outcome. This is your safety net which will boost your confidence to take the brave step
3. Now, if the worst case scenario has no contingency plan and you are not satisfied with it then be thankful to your fear for keeping you safe.
4. However hard it may sound, Remember the world is not waiting to embarrass you and you are not the only thing the world is worried about
5. Whatever you do, never look for external validation. Either a good or a bad act. Do not look towards the world to tell you how good or bad you are. Do your job 100% and let go of the rest.
6. You can only control things that you have a hold on such as your emotions, reactions, your character and your actions. What you can never control is the past or how the world behaves. There is very little you can do. Learn to let go of things that’s not under your control
7. There is no one who is perfect in this world and has not failed. All of us have. Whats more important is what do we do of those failures. Do we let them pull us down or make them medals of failure which drove us towards success.
8. Please practice positive self talk and do also work on visualization techniques. Knowingly or unknowingly, all that you have saved in your mind are fearful memories. Start adding good images and good stories to connect.
a. The next time you hear something that’s not going to serve you well stop being a part of such discussions and read and learn from people who have failed and gotten successful Replace stories in your head
Always Repeat to yourself I don’t have to be afraid! Because you really don’t have to be. You are smart enough to figure it out. You don’t have to let fears pull you down, Hold on to your strengths, do the contingency plan and fly away!
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