Let’s revisit an oldie but goodie. Well, two oldies but goodies. Fear and self-doubt.
I asked myself a question the other day, which is worse, fear or self-doubt? Usually, they both go hand in hand. I believe we can work around fear. It’s the self-doubt that’s killing our dreams. It’s the self-doubt that lies to us about our self-worth.
And the reason most of us are stuck in this loop of fear and self-doubt it’s because we’re anxious about the future. Since we can never receive the reassurance we need, it creates enormous anxiety. You’re more than capable of working through some of these angst feelings. But here are a few ways you can start, so you can stop waiting on the sidelines. So you can stop doubting yourself. You can deceive fear and finally feel secure enough to get going.
Reframe how you view fear and self-doubt. Tell yourself, fear is okay. Remember, fear back in the olden days of lions, tigers, and bears (and cavemen), fear did its job in protecting us and alerting us of danger. Tim Ferriss has a fantastic Ted talk about how you can defy your fears by defining them. Lay them all out on the table and imagine the worst-case scenario. He calls it fear setting. Create three columns: define, prevent, repair.
Define your fears by stripping them down to their core. Be specific. Ask yourself what is the worst that could happen? Then rate the impact on a scale of 1-10.
After you define your fears until you can no longer define them, ask yourself what you can do to prevent this fear from happening. Think of all actions from the smallest to the biggest. Anything, that will interrupt your hesitation.
Once you complete that portion, take some time to think about how you could repair the situation if your worst nightmare does come true. Ask yourself, how can you get yourself back on track, and what are the different ways that you can solve the situation. Here’s an example of mine from a recent situation.
|My job is ending soon, what if I can’t find another job soon enough.||I could ask my job if there is another position available for me to stay.||Ask my job. Apply to multiple jobs.|
|I want to travel a bit before a new position, but what if I burn a hole through my savings?||I don’t travel and save my money.||I could travel on a tight budget. Instead of traveling for a few months, only do one month.|
Sometimes, when we write things down on paper, it doesn’t seem as scary in our bodies. Practice taking the emotion out of the decisions you’re trying to make and use pure logic. These emotions fog our practical minds, and we find ourselves answering to them. And then we lead with these emotions instead of leading with faith and logic.
Once you do this for your fears, I want you to imagine what the benefits are when you do take action.
My benefits: I can replenish my soul to prevent burnout so I can be the best clinician that I can be. When I take care of me first, everyone else benefits.
Then ask yourself what are the consequences of inaction?
My consequences: I’ll be resentful and I’ll burnout. I’ll go against the very values I’ve created for myself.
The worst-case scenario is being in limbo. Being in limbo is a terrible feeling. It’s worse than actually making the decision. At least with the decision, you’ll receive immediate feedback. And that’s what we want. We want feedback so we can continue with forward motion.
But what are the elements of fear? Fear is never based on truth because fear is usually exaggerated. It prevents us from focusing on the positives because we are focusing only on negative thinking. Try to focus on the positives of taking action.
When you focus on the fear, you also spend less time thinking about the consequences of inaction. Thinking about the consequences is a great way to use negative thinking to your advantage, so don’t ignore what happens in your life when you don’t take action. Because this is critical feedback that will light the fire under you to propel forward.
Let’s recap. I provided you with some useful tools that you can begin to use now to work through your fears. Your fears are indicators that a change needs to happen in your life. Can you imagine if you never felt fear? Make friends with your fear by recognizing that it’s only trying to protect you. Once you say thank you to your fear(s), you can sit quietly and begin this fear setting activity. This will remove you from limbo.
Check back soon for the article about how you can move through self-doubt.
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