The fear factor and how to use it

In daily life we all have tasks or situations that are scary or out of our comfort zones. We have matters we know we should get round to, but don’t because we get that nervous feeling in our stomachs so we put them off.

Do you remember a time when you overcame your fear? When you sent a terrifying email or asked a risky question and produced a fantastic result? Sometimes the thought is far worse than the actual action and the feeling of accomplishment can be amazing, to the point where you wish you had done it sooner.

Life is short, so why not be bold and push yourself that little bit extra…..what do you have to lose?

Here are five ways to help you overcome your fears.

1.Identify

Identify what it is you want to achieve. 'I would like………' Be very specific and describe every detail. Do not restrict yourself at this stage or get stuck on how you are going to do. Use step 1 to gain clarity.

2. Visualise  

Now close your eyes and fast forward to the day where you have achieved what you wanted in step 1. A stone lighter, become an entrepreneur, be debt free. Get into that mind set and start to visualize how that feels. How do you feel in your body? What advantages do you now have? What are people saying to you? What can you now do that you couldn’t before.

3. Scribble

Next grab a piece of paper and begin to write down your journey to work….. 1) Walk to the bus stop. 2) Take the x bus to the tube. 3) Take the Victoria Line southbound……..

Then take another piece of paper and write down the journey from where you are now to achieving the goal. Write down every single stage. The first may be sorting your desk so you can get in a clear frame of mind to send that first email.

4. Be kind to yourself

Start to acknowledge the negative thoughts you say to yourself on a daily basis. The word ‘can’t’ may heavily factor so start to try using different phrases. If ‘I can’ sounds little too far away, start to experiment with ‘I could’ I could try’ ‘Perhaps’ ‘Maybe’ and see how that changes matters.

5.Take the first step today

The aim of this exercise is not be scared by the list and feel overwhelmed but to feel empowered and take the fear out of it. Tomorrow is the beginning of November, so see if you can complete the first action before then. You may find you pick up the momentum to need.

The pros and cons of planning ahead

Benjamin Franklin said ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ but isn’t life about spontaneity and ‘going with the flow’? I think there can definitely be a mixture of both. The key is variety.

As we know a plan can keep us on track and guide us along the journey. It can keep us focused and present. However life can throw some unexpected circumstances.

Sometimes, we do need to put tasks on hold and come back to them after reflection and recuperation and that is ok! Plus if someone offers you a great opportunity; some last minute tickets, a surprise date, or random trip to the beach you don’t want to say, ‘Sorry, I can’t, I am staying at home working on my goals’ as this defeats the point.

When we talk about change, our body usually starts to react and shows us what we really think. Sweaty palms, shortness of breath, a hint of sickness. Our bodies are reacting to shifting gear. But this shouldn’t stop us. Have you ever been to the gym after a long rest and woken up the next day aching? The temptation is to leave it and not go again but this is exactly when the good work begins to happen.

How many mornings have you woken up this and dreaded going to work? How many times have you caught yourself being stuck in a rut and going through the motions? Do you ever feel like you are counting down the hours until Friday night as you live for the weekend?

I would like to challenge you to mix it up a little. Take the plunge, get the sickly feeling in your stomach but do it anyway. Take action and start to plan what would like. When you get clear about what makes you feel happy and exhilarated the spontaneity will begin to follow.

If you are stuck in a 9-5 with a miserable attitude, going with the flow can usually result in a quiet weekend sleeping off the week. However introducing new activities and opportunities mid week can actually invigorate us. We start to get more energy, more zest for life, new friendships start to form and we break the cycle.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1.Write

Write down a success list. Name every success, however small. All the day trips you enjoyed, holidays, new experiences etc. Plus moments with loved ones, great conversations, amazing food etc.

2. Scan

Start to scan your list and highlight any successes that you didn’t think were possible. So if someone asked you at the beginning of the year ‘could you do x?’ it would have been greeted with that sickly feeling and thought of ‘I could never do that’. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back and give yourself the praise you deserve.

3.Fast Forward

Now fast forward to the end of the year. I want you to write down your ideal success list. Be bold and surpass your expectations. Don’t be practical. Focus on the ‘what’ not the ‘how’. The how will follow. Think about all the brilliant things you would like to have achieved.

4. Select

Take one item from your goal list and write down every action you need to take in order to achieve it. Consider all the steps, resources, people who might to be able to help you.

5.Schedule

Schedule your month ahead. Start to transfer your actions into your diary and schedule them as appointments. E.g If an exercise goal, add the work out sessions into your diary so they are non negotiable. This way you are increasing the likelihood that will achieve what you are setting out to do.