Fear and self-doubt are unquestionably two of the most common roadblocks to success in life. Although a large percentage of the population allows fear and self-doubt to hold them hostage to a reality they don’t love, there are some who courageously set a model of facing fears, taking risks, and playing all out in life. The good news is: If they can do it, so can you!
Fear is nothing more than an internal energy, and every individual has the personal power to choose how that energy is expended. Some individuals allow fear to challenge them to do more, to stretch their thinking, and to chauffer them into new doors of opportunity whereas others don’t. Many of the individuals who become paralyzed by fear have a strong aversion to failing causing them to resist moving forward to achieve their goals.
It is a natural human tendency to shy away from fear since it’s a defense mechanism against things that can harm you. But it is critical that you distinguish the difference between fear that prevents you from harm versus fear that stands in the way of your goals. Think about a time when you experienced fear as you were embarking upon a new venture. Maybe you considered starting your own business, enrolling in school, or applying for a job promotion. Undoubtedly, fear initially made you feel apprehensive and question if you should move forward. Perhaps you thought to yourself, “Can I really do this?” “Is this going to be worth the sacrifice?” “What if I exert a lot of time and energy into this venture and it fails?” “What will others think if I don’t succeed?” If not immobilized, fear and self-doubt can prevent you from the exciting and enlightening possibilities that life has to offer you.
It is important to acknowledge that fear always lingers. It will consistently attempt to try to talk you out of stretching into spaces that are unknown but can lead you down the path to success.
In order to immobilize fear and self-doubt, you must refuse to allow the voice of fear and self-doubt to be louder than the voice of possibility. This will require a mindset shift – what you think, what you believe, the words you use, and the thoughts that permeate your mind. Greatness is waiting for you to show up and it’s up to you to bulldoze over fear in order to get there. You must make an intentional decision to spend more time focused on your ability to achieve the goals you set, to overcome challenges, and persist in the face of unexpected barriers.
In addition to fueling your mind with positivity in order to immobilize fear and self-doubt, you must also:
Remind yourself that you are enough: Do not give self-doubt permission to run your life. Focus more on what you have than what you’re lacking and play up to your strengths.
Face your fears instead of running from them: The more you run from your fears the further you distance yourself from your destiny. Allow yourself to feel the fear but move in the direction of the goal anyway.
Embrace failure as information learned: Fear of failing keeps most people stuck right where they are. Instead of viewing failure as a permanent statement, view it as a temporary status that teaches you a powerful lesson each time.
Upgrade your internal dialogue: Every day, speak positive affirmations over your life. Do not allow negative “head trash” to permeate your words or thoughts.
Connect to a community of like-minded people: There is power in numbers, so connect to a community of other mission-driven individuals who can help to empower you to stay committed to your goals.
Remember that everything in life is a choice. Today, I challenge you to overcome fear and self-doubt and CHOOSE to open the doors of possibility and opportunity.
Cheryl Wood, an entrepreneur and motivational speaker, has had to advocate for herself since growing up in poverty-stricken Baltimore. Grown up, Cheryl found herself trapped in a monotonous job that she needed to help provide for her three children. After years of the same routine, Cheryl realized she was the only person who could change her life, so she did. Today, Cheryl travels around the country teaching women how to motivate themselves to find the life they’ve always dreamed of. While it’s never easy, Cheryl can share finite ways to become the driving force behind your own success story.