Put away your doubts and your fears and stand up for yourself. Stand up for the life you want to live, not the life you have settled for.
Last week, I felt as vulnerable as I ever had. I felt exposed. Vulnerable, exposed and successful. Contrasting feelings to what success usually feels like, but that’s how it was. I had achieved a level of success that I had worked hard for. The successful first stage of a long-term project. And I felt vulnerable and exposed and wanted to withdraw the project. I had battled through the fear of failure to get started and now I faced other fears. Maybe the fear of success, certainly the fear of criticism. New fears swirled around and threatened to curtail me again.
Last week I released my very first published book, “Seriously Simple Stuff to Get You Unstuck”. When you are writing a book, you are continually confronted by fears, the fears that stop you getting started, the continually create doubt on who would read and benefit from the book but you set them aside as you build your “masterpiece”. The fear that you didn’t find the perfect copy editor. The day your release the book fills you with pride, only to see again fear take a shot at you when you see your book listed for sale online. All around the world, my book is listed for sale and that created those feelings of vulnerability. It is no longer simply available for my friends and followers; it is now open to everyone. I had doubt whether the book would actually sell, and if it did it was now open to criticism.
I sat with this feeling and cleared it from my mind soon after. Firstly, because I realized how difficult it is for a book to stand out for people to purchase. Listing was a great first achievement, creating sales was another. If I want sales, I have to work to create them. So let’s get working. Let’s get some sales happening and appreciate every one of them. I would appreciate the ones that find the gold, and celebrate them. And choosing not to worry about the ones that don’t. Take constructive feedback onboard, and ignore the personal stuff.
Dealing with my feelings and creating a plan helped my overcome the fear that enveloped me on seeing my book listed. It was frightening, but it was good.
Have Courage to Fail if You Want to Succeed.
I have always said many people will not start a new endeavour for fear of failure. You need courage to start because you need to have courage enough to fail, to fall flat on your face, to lose something precious, to lose what you have. But without starting you will not succeed. So, be brave enough to fail, because only then can you succeed.
Yet here I was standing on the first step of success, and fears were overtaking me again.
Fears are strange bedfellows. They keep us safe in times of genuine need. But they also keep us stuck. They keep us bound. They keep us from reaching too far, they keep us from reaching our potential. And when we start achieving some level of success they come again and try to confound us again.
Dealing with Fear?
The first step is always to know what you want. Being very clear on this enables us to create a desire that builds commitment and creates drive. Desire brings action and helps get us moving.
Desire and commitment are the first stages of fighting our fears in my eyes, closely followed by awareness. We cover our inability to drive change with lies, excuses and our amazing capacity to keep ourselves busy. Often at the very expense of what we really want to be doing. And often we do this because our doubts have been fed by our fears.
Taking those first steps always takes courage. A courage that comes from a bravery you may never knew you have. It’s bravery fueled by desire and commitment to achieve what you want. I wanted to write a book, so I started writing. But that simple step took courage. But I am glad I took it.
Awareness helps us keep abreast of our fears and behaviours that keep us bound. Awareness comes from honest self-reflections and our own internal reviews. Being honest with yourself is not one of our favourite pastimes, but it is critical if we want to deal with our fears. Dealing with our own BS gets easier if we are honest with ourselves.
Finally, we need a review process that holds us steady in the face of other fears. Analyzing your actions and making the required changes are all part of holding our fears and doubts at bay. Honest review comes from honest reflection. Honest reflection drives corrected actions driving the right results.
To deal with my fears, I:
* Create desire by knowing what I want
* Build commitment from that desire
* Have courage to take that first step.
* Using awareness to deal with myself.
* Review to keep monitoring progress.
Having the courage to fail helps us to succeed. Put away your doubts and your fears and stand up for yourself. Stand up for the life you want to live, not the life you have settled for. We have fear for valid reasons. It keeps us safe when we are under genuine threat, but when it keeps you bound, fix it.