The biggest challenge we have, when it comes to reaching our goals, is opposition that comes in the form of resistance. Recently, I shared a tactic that provides an easy way to get out a rut. But what should you do if your resistance is fear-driven?
Fear & resistance go hand in hand. You want to step into a new direction, but all of these limiting thoughts pour in, causing you to remain stuck. I’ve coached quite a few people over the years and the biggest factor (I found) that keeps people from taking action is focusing on what could go wrong.
It’s perfectly healthy to mentally review the pros and cons of venturing into a new direction. But most people tend to amplify all of the possible pitfalls. It’s great to have a balanced discussion about what could go right or wrong in any given situation. Unfortunately, most of our internal conversations aren’t very balanced.
In the days of old, we had to rely on our healthy fear responses to protect us from external threats that actually threatened our lives. Today, our environment is much safer but our primitive survival instincts still remain. Instead of trying to keep us alive, it tends to focus on keeping us from “harms way.” But not physical harm…we’re more afraid of emotional harm.
A little bit of fear is healthy. It helps us think logically through our impending decisions. The problem arises when we lean too much on the side of fear. Suddenly we come up with every single scenario of what could go wrong. We don’t just think about them, we amplify them. And, if we’re honest with ourselves, we don’t notice how irrational most of our fears actually sound.
One thing we aren’t very good at is actually challenging our so-called fears. An inaudible voice tells us why this idea–that you were very excited about–won’t work and we instantly believe it.
Those who are able to consistently reach their goals are the ones who challenge that inaudible voice. I want you to question its motives. Realize that it’s sole purpose is to keep you locked firmly in place. If you actually could experience harm from this scenario, then you probably shouldn’t move forward. But if deep down you realize that the voice is just afraid, you’ll have to take a different approach.
What do you do when someone’s afraid of something that can’t actually hurt them?
You calm them down by assuring them that everything’s going to be ok.
We have to take the same approach.
You must counteract your negative, fearful thinking by focusing on everything that could go right.
If your initial idea was inspired by something you are truly aligned with, there are lots of things that could go right. We have to nurture our belief in what is possible. Most of us don’t spend adequate amounts of time playing out scenarios of things actually working out in our favor.
Instead of spending too much time on what could go wrong, ask yourself “what if?”
“What if I dedicate a few hours a day on this goal?”
“What if I invested $XX from every paycheck towards making this happen?”
“What if instead of binge watching shows all weekend, I did XXX?”
These are the types of questions that create new outcomes. From there, you come up with strategies on how to fulfill your vision instead of running away from it. Bottom line is that we can allow those fears to stop us or we can look at look at it from a different perspective.
I would have never experienced this entrepreneurial journey if I only focused on what could go wrong. I’m convinced that my journey to freedom was delayed because of all the time wasted on focusing on what would go wrong. I painted vivid mental pictures of me on failing financially, losing my home, and living on the street. I’m approaching 3 years now and none of those fears have manifested.
Because I started asking myself powerful questions. I identified the risks, then spent a ton of time working to eliminate or minimize them. The process wasn’t fear based. My motivation was to overcome the obstacles, not be threatened by them. I realize that there are areas where resistance still exists. But I have to fight against that.
Our default way of thinking is to focus on the worst possible outcome so we have to make a conscious effort to reflect on all the positive experiences that await us if we moved forward in the right direction.