By John Thurman, M.Div., M.A., LPCC
“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me will follow me all the days of my life…” Psalms 23:6. David, the psalmist, reminds us of God’s ever present help, support and encouragement.
On Sundays, we love to believe this, the challenge is living it the rest of the week.
“Yeah, right," replied Bobbi. She was a client I was coaching who was in direct sales. She’d told me of the great start in her home-based business, but that she was not sure that she wanted to continue in it. She talked for several minutes about how nervous she was about her business and how she did not feel like she wanted to do much with it. After a few minutes, I asked, “Who shook you up, who is trying to steal your dream of building a business?” She replied, “The voices in my head!” I knew she did not have any mental issues, but that she was talking about the voices that most of us have in our heads.
The little voices that whisper things like, “You cannot do that.” What would your parents or friends say?” “You are going to FAIL!” “You are a failure!”
Bobbi and laughed as she realized that I struggle with the voices also. She smiled and said, “So this is normal for people?” I replied, “Yes.” Everybody had these little voices; the key is to realize they come from fear and that how you manage them will, to a large degree determine your success in anything that you do. Would you like to know some practical ways to push back fear and self-doubt?
Here is what I shared with her.
Fear – Based Decision Making
Fear – based decision making is when you let the voices, your concerns and worries determine your actions (or, in most cases, you lack action)
“I want to write a book, but what if people hate it? Maybe I should read more.
“I want to share this new idea I have with my co-workers, but they would probably laugh me off.”
“I’d like my girlfriends to understand my home-based business and become a part of my team, but they probably won’t.
The result is that you do not do the things that you say are important to you.
I’ve known these voices myself. In fact, for years I refused to write because of an event that happened in the 10th grade. I had a teacher tell me that I would never be a good writer, and I allowed that thought to take root, and for years I allowed it to hold be back. I do not blame the teacher, after all she planted the idea. I chose to water it and nurture it.
So catch your breath and let it out slowly. These are common issues that all of us face. However, that does not mean that we should continue to do it.
5 Ideas on Pushing Back Fear and Self-Doubt
After all of my mistakes, here are a few things I have learned, and continue to learn about managing the voices.
Don’t pick goals where the stakes are small.
When you stay inside the safety of your comfort zone, by listening to and obeying the little voices, it is a way of self-sabotage. It is not so much failure as it is a clever way of holding you back.
If you fail inside your comfort zone, it is not a failure, it is just maintaining the status quo. If that is all that you want to do, then you will never try anything new, and the voices will have won.
Nobody it rooting for you to fail.
Maybe you will succeed. Maybe you will fall flat on your face. For the most part, nobody cares one way or the other.
This is a good thing! The world in front of you is massive, and you and I are small, and that means you can pursue your dreams with little worry of what people think.
Just because you do not like where you have to start from doesn’t mean you should not get started.
I wish I were a better writer when I started writing. I wish I were smarter about money and business when I first started out. I wish I were a better photographer when I picked up a camera. However, more than anything, I am glad that I chose to start even though it was not very pretty in the beginning.
Here is a hard question I had to ask myself. How long will you put off what you are capable of doing just to maintain what you are currently doing?
Stop making uncertain things, certain.
Who says you are going to fail? Just because someone else didn’t do well in that job or business does not mean you will also fail.
You always have a choice, and in America those choices can lead you to a place of self-satisfaction, increased self-esteem, profitability, blessing others, and living intentionally.
Stop acting, believing that failure is a sure thing for you. It is not
The only real failure is not taking any action in the first place.
We all struggle with feelings of fear, uncertainty, and vulnerability. Unfortunately, most of us let those feelings dictate our actions. For this reason, the simple decision to act is often enough to separate you from most people. You do not need to be great at what you do you just need to be the person who decides to do it.
You can experience more blessings and success by doing the things that most people make excuses to avoid.
This article is an adaptation of one written by James Clear. James writes about using behavior science to master habits and improve mental and physical health. His website is JamesClear.com
John Thurman is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Speaker, Writer, and Photographer, who helps people get a grip on their personal lives, relationship, and business by providing proven, practical, principle-based coaching, and training.
John is a Counselor, Author, Speaker and Photographer that helps people "Get a Grip on Life."