Are you at a place in your life where you want to take the next step towards achieving a personal or professional goal? Are you afraid your goal is ‘too big’ or that failure might get in the way? It can feel daunting when you want to make an attempt at achieving something great but fear keeps pulling you back.
The first time I ever held a microphone and stood in front of an audience to speak publicly was one of the most terrifying days of my life. I was 17 years old, an introvert and was the youngest person at a seminar full of high-level accomplished professionals learning how to advance their careers. I didn’t even have a job at the time. But I was on a journey of personal growth and was willing to immerse myself in a new world in order to learn from people who were doing what I wanted to learn how to do.
During the seminar, my then mentor gave me a challenge – to deliver a 15-minute speech to a room full of these professionals. Nervous was an understatement, but I took it on and spent a sleepless night preparing to deliver a killer speech at the next seminar.
On a cold Saturday morning, I waited with bated breath to be called up to speak. Shaking inside, I stood in front of my smiling audience and gave it my all. Every time they agreed or laughed at a point from the speech I was both surprised and relieved. The 15-minutes went by quickly and in the end, I was glad I had conquered my fear by standing fully in it. That first speech was my baptism into public speaking and I’m glad I took the challenge because it set me up to learn how to deliver leadership talks and workshops.
Here are six simple things to consider if you’re feeling fearful about your current goal(s):
- Understand That Past Defeat Does Not Equal Future Failure
The battle for success really is in the mind. Whatever we focus on is what we often attract. If you focus on past failure and expect to fail, your chances of success are reduced simply because you are programming your mind to expect defeat. The world is your oyster and you can excel at whatever you choose to do if your outlook, expectations and actions are focused on success.
- Find Yourself a Good Mentor
One of the biggest causes of people failing to follow their dreams is listening to the fears and doubts of those around them. Close friends and family probably care about you but their advice may be based on their own view of the world, not yours. If you need to follow the advice of anyone, find someone who has achieved what you want to achieve, offer to buy them lunch, ask them how they did it, follow their advice, and if they let you, shadow them and learn from them.
- Get Clear About What You Want
What do you want to accomplish? What’s your reason? What are you really good at and what do you enjoy doing? Lack of clarity means going round and round in circles and never really achieving success you can sustain. If you pursue what you love with focus and determination, chances are very high that you will excel at it.
- Improve Your Skill
Having better skills makes you more competitive in the marketplace in any part of the world. Whatever your goal is, up-level your skill set or find a way to do what you do in a more innovative way so you can remain relevant and marketable in your field.
- Ask Yourself Good Quality Questions
The quality of questions we ask ourselves determine the quality of thoughts we produce and the actions we take to improve any situation. Ask yourself questions that bring you clarity, challenge you to be/do better and help you focus on solutions instead of problems. Questions like, “What can I do to excel at this task?” or “Who do I need to become to bring more value here?” are bound to be more productive than statements like, “I don’t know what to do.” or “It’s just not the way I do things.”
- Trust Yourself
Trust that the decision you make, whatever it is, will be the right decision for you. Believe in yourself and your end goal, and focus on it 100%. Nothing worth having comes quickly. Be patient with yourself and your dream. People don’t see the beauty of a house until it is completed. So keep going until you achieve your goal.
- Fear Will Only Stop You If You Let It
Don’t focus too much attention on overcoming fear alone because fear will follow you around for the rest of your life. Instead, focus on your goal and how you will make it happen. Prepare for it and do it with excellence. When you dare boldly to do what you love, you automatically conquer fear by replacing its lies with the truth of your actions.
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