In this months newsletter I spoke about getting to a place where fear of failure wouldn’t be an issue. Wouldn’t it be great to dive into things headfirst without worrying about all the things that could go wrong? Often we can become our own worst enemies. On our journey we create problems that aren’t there and let uncertainty and doubt stop us dead in our tracks.
Those we look up to also have fears. Last year the Queen of US TV Oprah talked of her fear of playing the lead role in ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ It seems strange as she has been on TV most of her life and she had given a brilliant performance in hit film ‘The Colour Purple’. Jimmy Fallon, host of the very popular ‘Late Night Show’ admitted that every night, before the curtains open and the show starts, he thinks “I can’t do this! What am I doing here?” And then he goes out anyway and has a great night interviewing celebrities and putting on a show for his audience.
In life, many of the walls we face that stop us moving forward are built by ourselves. Very often we hold ourselves back. Even when we feel that our friends and families may not be one hundred percent behind our endeavours, it still remains up to us to make the decision to progress or not to. Often we find ourselves not making progress out of fear. Fear that we aren’t good enough, fear that we might get it wrong, fear of what others may think.
It’s not our partner, kids, friends, education levels or anything else that determines whether or not we are able to do something. I bet you couldn’t count the number of times you told yourself you just couldn’t do something. Be it spending money treating yourself, putting yourself first or even trying something new.
At those times there isn’t anyone else whispering in our ears what we are capable of. It’s all us. We are almost always the common denominator. Often we fall victim to the biggest bully we know. Ourselves.
How can we stop this horrible self-sabotage? Like Oprah, you too can put it aside and give the world your best regardless of the fear. In fact, it is often the case that when we act in spite of fear we get the best results. We realise that the whole world hasn’t fallen down around us, we can almost always change our minds and almost nothing is final.
The other thing we can do to stop our self-sabotage is to:
Remember our why.
Why are we thinking about taking a particular action? How does it fit into the bigger picture? Will anyone be negatively impacted by the action or is it just fear acting out? When uncertainty bubbles up and you see those self-imposed walls rising remember why you are doing what you do.
This is good to remember when undertaking any activity, which results in some self-doubt. If you are struggling to get something just right, it could be home or business, you may start telling yourself the outcome is going to be a disaster, that you have no talent, or are unable to do as good a job as so and so. When this happens its good to take a step back. Breathe. Ask yourself: Why am I doing this? Does it matter if it’s not perfect? Will getting it wrong have a dramatic impact? Now if you decided to take up painting as a hobby, for the sake of learning something new, if it wasn’t being judged then why would it matter if you didn’t do the best job? The fact that you were actually brave enough to learn something new is worth giving yourself a pat on the back.
We should never be ashamed of ourselves for trying.
Our children and toddlers never question whether they are good enough to walk, talk or play. They take it as their right and will keep going until they master what it is they want to do and the learning process is always just part of the fun.
Don’t underestimate the power of vision and direction. These two powerful forces can transform what appears to be an unbreakable wall into a pile of bricks.
What matters is doing the best you can right now for that’s all we can ever do. And that is enough!
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