Twenty years ago, I was flown to UK to attend a training course in business development and sales techniques with a company I used to work for. I will never forget one of the main quotes that has stuck in my head to this very day – “The Only Limit to Your Success is You”.
Isn’t it the absolute truth? How many of us blame our lack of success on society pulling us down or steering us away from our goals? There is no one else to blame but ourselves when we listen to all the monkey stories in our own brain or take notice of the negative jargain that we hear from others or the crazy media out there. How about we change this programming and focus totally on ourself and our belief system? It’s not gonna be easy but I guarantee you, the challenge against yourself is gonna be well worth the fight.
Let’s begin with one of the most common questions: How Do You Overcome Your Biggest Enemy in Life? Fear
It’s been a hindering one for me too. It still is sometimes. Let’s start with something like fear of ridicule from the public speaking fear, since it is still one of the top fears in the world. We are still more scared of speaking than dying. Isn’t that ridiculous!
Let’s say you are invited to speak to a large audience or on national TV and the opportunity has the potential to rocket your career. If you fear public speaking then the overruling thoughts will be around the fear… instead of the ideal results, you want to get.
For the most part, when in fear, instead of thinking“This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for and it’s going to rocket my success” you are more likely to be thinking “Oh my goodness, this is one of biggest opportunity of my life and I’m going to screw it up. I can’t. I won’t speak. Forget me. I opt out”
The fear is so real, it’s tangible. My body aches. It totally shuts my throat, makes me shake, sweat and I struggle to remember the first sentence, let alone an entire speech!
From my personal experience with public speaking, public singing, public anything, the way to overcome it is to go full force in accepting the physicality of it. It relies on you accepting those negative emotions and really experiencing them on a level that causes you to never question them. And that is the key.
To increase your performance success, you have to seriously question your thoughts. Not all fears are obvious. Some can hide out in your subconscious for years and it’s only when you work on them that you become aware of a fear that has been impacting on your success!
4 Ways to Overcome Your Fears
1. Don’t Be Afraid of Looking Stupid
Closely connected to the fear of what people think is the fear that you will make a fool of yourself. So, if you fear what people think about your mistakes and getting it wrong, then fear again gets to overpower you. Think about a time you’ve felt stupid for saying or doing something. What happened next? Then answer, “How did that make you feel?” and then from that ask yourself “Did that result in a feeling or an action?” and then answer, “what happened next?”
In this way of thinking, you can start to build a picture in your head of the automatic path way connected to this fear. How you fall into old patterns that have not served you powerfully, and allowed fear to hold its power of you. (And yes, this process can be used on any fear!!. It is called a negative spiral.) Once you build a picture of what is happening in your old state, you can learn to recognise what thoughts and feelings create what actions! For instance, if you stood up for yourself and spoke up and that led to you feeling inferior, did that then lead to you not taking on the project that was offered to you, because you feared getting it wrong? Understanding the thoughts that create the actions means that you then decide to create a new thought pattern, and that will lead to new actions. But again, this really needs a powerful focus and goal to help you achieve.
Ultimately Fear is allowed to impact our performance because we’ve learnt to trust fear. Fear is useful in that it keeps us safe, however there aren’t too many woolly mammoths on the streets anymore. So when fear is given too much power it damages our success! How I wish I learnt this sooner!! Learn to challenge and stop assuming. And most importantly trust that You Can Do This, you can give yourself all the proof of your successes to tell you this. And I will leave you with this thought: Why do we assume what if we are awesome at something then everyone else can do that too? While if we can’t do something we are idiots because everyone else can do it?
You see, fear really does wish to damage your success. So, it’s time to challenge it.
2. Shift Your Focus
Fear loves us to remind us of the past and it tends to repeat patterns. So, if you have thoughts in your head that say “this won’t work”, or “I’m scared of the end results” — then your brain will do all it can to prove you right.
Therefore, if you can have a stronger new direction to focus your attention on the fear will reduce and eventually dissipate. For instance, let’s go back to the fear of public speaking (You can replace this fear with one of your own!) If you fear public speaking and focus on what you fear, that is what you will get. On the other hand, if you have a clear goal in sight then that is what you are more likely to get. That means you need to work out what you want. What do you want? What is the goal? Where do you want this to lead? By answering these questions with your true passions and desires, your brain has a positive direction to aim for, and not the fear that have come from your patterns of the past.
3. Adjust Your Expectations
What assumptions and expectations are you making and are they good or bad for you? For instance, if you assume that mistakes are opportunities to learn, then you will go for it with all your heart. You will trust that even failure has its benefits and use them effectively to power up your performance. On the other hand, if you believe that failure is dangerous and damages your reputation and success then you are likely to shy away from the opportunities that can risk failure. With fear, you have to think like the superhero in a movie. Be prepared to step into situations that you fear with trust that you can do this even if you might get killed trying! I prefer dying a hero than live never having tried something. How about you?
4. Remember No One Really Cares
A big reason that fear can impact your performance and thus success is because we imagine what people are thinking. Ironically, it’s not usually true. We assume that everyone is thinking about us, and yet they are much more likely to be thinking about themselves — “what’s for tea”, “what they are going to get their Mom for her birthday” or “why did I wear these shoes, they’re far too tight”. However, remember that fear relies on negativity holding us in place and so if you just learn to accept that everyone is thinking their own thoughts and are as obsessed with them as you are yours, you can stop allowing incorrect thoughts into your head. And as one business friend said to me once “Mandie, you have no right to the thoughts in other people’s heads.”
Anxiety from Staying away from our children when at work or away on business
This week I asked on social media ” what you wish me to help you with?” and a common question that surfaced this very week was how I overcome my anxiety and my guilt feelings when I’m out working for long stretches or away on travels without my daughter.
It is a very good question coming from other mothers because that deep feeling is also real and there are times when I have a slight feeling of quitting doing what I do because I feel like a bad mum, not giving all my time to little Luna and she’s growing so fast and what is she thinking of me?
Hold up mums who work! We cannot let our monkey brains dictate what we do! We are working hard to make something purposeful of our lives. We are doing something wonderful and we cannot feel guilty for it for too long. What I do is I relax, I look at pictures of my daughter and I say how grateful I am to have her in her life, and I might even organise a skype or facebook call to comfort myself and her. I also try to remember why I work and I do what I do and all the pain goes away. I know it’s tough sometimes but soon even our kids will realise that all we did was for them too and what they will learn is that we loved ourselves enough to follow our hearts and be ourselves.
Hope this blog has helped some of you today!
Im here for you all.
Much love and light
Artistic Team on this shoot:
Clothes: Dress & Faux Fur coat: GUESS Spain
Jewellery: Diamonds and sappires, GABA Jewellers Malta
Yacht: AZIMUT by Esprit Yachting available for charters
Sunnies: Michael Kors, Vision Opticians
Make Up: Natasha Polidano
Photos: Bernard Polidano