I saw a meme last week that said, “If you want to fail, just keep doubting yourself.”
Kind of harsh I guess, but after becoming more aware of how we talk to ourselves.
It’s natural to feel anxiety whenever we’re trying something new, but the combination of Impostor Syndrome + fear of failure + worry over how others see us can be a mind twister.
So twisting that we continue not taking the action on the things we say we want.
I don’t know about you, but after a while, not making progress on the things I say I want gets old!
So how to overcome these fears?
Today I want to talk with you on the 3 tools I’ve used to start engaging with that mentally scary stuff, even when I am not 100% sure (which is basically all the time!) and when I’m worried I’m doing it all wrong ;)
1) Normalize insecurity and fear.
One mental reframe that has helped me tremendously is realizing that we are all very similar.
It's been said throughout history that there are no new stories under the sun. With that being said: the “story” of insecurity is universal. There are people all over the confidence spectrum, and typically, the most confident ones have simply had the most experiences in a specific area, or they’ve just been doing it longer so they can understand and read the ups and downs.
When starting something new—a new career, new business venture, leaving a job, starting a new relationship, mourning a loss, beginning on a new health regimen, etc.—no one is 100% secure. How could any one be, we all start in the kindergarten of whatever the new thing is?
Insecurities and fears are normal. We all have them, it puts all of us on an even playing field. It helps to realize, “Why not me?” Someone else has been here, and they were able to make it work, so why couldn’t I?
We are all the same. And just like our insecurities are a coomon themre, our potential is, too. I can see someone else killing and use it as a reaffirmation of what’s possible. There's no need to feel threatened by those doing well, feel inspired. We all start somewhere. Fears and insecurities are universal.
And the way to move through them is to …
2) Take action even when you are scared out of your mind.
Easier said than done, right?
Confidence is area-specific. Makes sense, right? I can feel confident as a coach after training clients for 6 years, but these blogs are something I have to rise too. I wonder if i'm doing a good job at getting a message across, and if any one of you actually take the time to read them as I press the button to publish… am I a good enough writer? Do I even have anything worthwhile to say? Who am I to do this? Will people judge my style?
It’s a whole new game to play.
There's only one way we get comfortable and confident doing anything new is by playing the game. It’s funny now to even remember the heavy thoughts I had when I started blogging many year ago. I'll admit that it's been a very up and down journey with a lot of inconsistency.
Action begets action. Which means that the hardest thing to do when you are doubting yourself is the thing that you must do to become un-scared.
Confidence builds as you gain experience with something and you get better at it. You actually see yourself doing it more, accumulate more wins and over time, your confidence grows to the point that you begin taking even more action. Your competency grows.
Don’t feel like you have to start with huge leaps and bounds. Begin with one small change, and work on becoming 1% better each time.
For me, in 2010, it was deciding to go out on my own and start Sweat Nation. With very little experience in the field at the time, and just as little sense in running a business. I was taking a ####, Know what I mean! What if I couldn’t do it? What if I become more broke? What if I failed?
I managed to take action in the face of it all. After that action step, I took the next one. I've worked on building Sweat Nation by saying yes one opportunity at a time. I said yes to staying up until 1am reading new information on writing meal plans and workout programs, I said yes to overloading myself in the name of building my confidence as a coach.
You don’t have to take all the action steps right now, but you definitely have to take the first one. You don’t get to step #2 without going through step #1.
3) Ask, what’s the worst that can happen?
In my experience, most people avoid picturing the worst case scenario. It either makes them feel like they’re being pessimistic, or their OCD tendencies are so strong that the idea of not succeeding is too scary to even consider.
Over the last 6 years with Sweat Nation, one of the most useful truths I’ve discovered is that failures are inevitable. Not final failures, but certainly tech mishaps, painful struggles, embarrassing mistakes in ideas and directions.
I learned that challenges are inevitable, there will always be a string of them so long as I am moving. The key has been removing attachment to it meaning that It doesn't somehow have to be “bad” or “wrong” or “not good enough.”
When scared to take action on something new, always mentally picture the version where you fall flat on your face. Use this energy to inspire to take greater and more well-informed action. When able to see all angles and get a hold on what to do if any of it transpired.
If the worst case came to pass, how would you deal? Would you be okay? What’s one thing you could do to get back to zero?
When you know the answers to these questions, feel free to take more action because it's time to trust yourself enough to handle whatever happens.
Outcomes are not controllable, but effort certainly is.
I try my best and then detach from the outcomes. I feel good knowing I did my best and then I let the chips fall. I will learn from all of it, grow as a result and try again. Resiliency is being perfected struggle after struggle.
What is one move that you want to make in your life soon?
Track of the week - Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds - Save Me(Live)