It’s been so cold in Sydney these last few days – I have been busy creating content for you and I thought I would lead off by talking about fear.
There are different types of fear that are hardwired into our brains – there is the natural / rational fear (“ooh, spiders!” or “maybe I won’t quit my job to become an astronaut” type fears) and there is the irrational fear that we let build up in our own heads over time. The later becomes ingrained in us and affects many big decisions we need to make. I’ve learned that fear can be useful, it can motivate you to do great things, or it can stop you from doing dumb and dangerous things. Trust that you’ve put the work in and push irrational fear from your mind.
I am not sure if you remember, but late last year I was lucky enough to go to Germany to meet with adidas HQ. It was one of those “pinch me moments”, and even looking back now, I can’t believe I was lucky enough to experience something like that. I’m not saying that in a bragging way at all – I more mean, I can’t believe a) I had the confidence to go all that way, b) that adidas even approached me for something like that c) that I faced my fear of feeling good enough.
Going to a new city on the other side of the world is exciting, but when you’re meeting with new people and a large team it is somewhat daunting. While I was there I had to style the photo shoot in this blog post and I was so worried my styling skills weren’t going to measure up or translate to the images adidas wanted – to say I was second guessing myself was an understatement.
Jonathan came with me to Germany and was my little support system. He helped me keep calm and kept me from over analyzing situations (I am notorious for over-thinking). He told me to not be nervous and embrace the opportunity – what is the worse thing that could happen, right? And now, as I look back at the images I really like how I styled things and I feel accomplished that I was able to come out the other side of a “scary”, “daunting” situation.
Fear–based decision making (when you let your fears or worries dictate your actions) could have ruined an amazing opportunity for me – but I learned to face my fears head on. Tackling this fear head on was the beginning of a new way of thinking for me and I’d like to help you today if you have been feeling somewhat similar.
You have a choice. You can expect the best or the worst. Why wouldn’t you choose the best?
Fear is a pain. Fear of something bad happening is one of the things that make us human. We all have that little voice in our head which appears occasionally or regularly, saying things like: a) What if I’m not good enough b) What if no one likes what I produce c) What if they don’t like me? c) What if I make an idiot of myself? d) What if I fail?
After asking my friends on Facebook “what holds you back”, the most common answer was self belief and fear of failure – followed closely by lack of money.
I have come to realise lately that fear is completely unnecessary. We’re not fearing something that is happening, we’re fearing something that may happen and in doing so, we’re basically betting against ourselves. We need to stop holding ourselves back from achieving something.
How are we meant to show the rest of the world what we’re capable of when we can’t even believe we can achieve things ourselves?
Fear has held me back well and truly over the years. But late last year I turned a corner. It returns every now and again (this week to be exact) – but I wouldn’t be human if it didn’t. I have slowly learned to embrace believing in myself and now I think that I am good enough. I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but who is?
The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure
The fear of failure, worthiness and rejection may have held you back in the past but there are some great things you can do to change your way of thinking / overcome your fear and trust me, if it’s worked for me, it’ll work for you!
1. Don’t pick goals where the stakes are low.
If you set a goal within your comfort zone and fail, then you’re not really failing are you? Go for a bigger fail. I know that may seem strange, but if you’re not uncomfortable, then you’re never really trying anything new.
In other words, failing in your comfort zone is holding you back, so fail at something that scares you so you learn and know how to do it differently next time.
Also, when I say fail I really don’t mean fail. I don’t think anyone fails at things. It’s all just a learning experience.
2. Ask yourself: what’s the worst thing that can happen?
Nothing is EVER as bad as you think.
Do you fear that your boyfriend will break up with you? What would happen if he does? Chances are you’ll end up meeting someone more suited to you. Life will go on.
Do you fear you may lose your job when the company you work for does a reshuffle? What would happen if you did? You’ll find a new job. Chances are a new (better) role is just around the corner. Life will go on.
Do you fear a start up business may fail? What will you do if it does? Chances are you’ll have another idea and you’ll move on to doing something else. Life will go on.
Do you fear you won’t fit in with the popular kids at your new school? What will happen if you don’t? You’ll find a lovely bunch of friends who are more what you’re about anyway. Life will go on.
Do you fear you won’t get good grades in you HSC (or whatever it is called these days)? If you don’t, does it really matter? There is more to life than school marks.
3. The only real failure is not taking any action in the first place.
“I’d love to go to yoga class, but I can’t because I don’t know the poses and I will look silly in class”.
“I’d love to make some clothes, I know how to draw, but I don’t know how to sew yet”.
“I really want to start a blog, but I don’t think anyone will read it”.
Here’s the thing guys, you don’t have to be great at what you do, you just need to be the one person who actually decides to do it.
Learn to put your negative thoughts into perspective. There are always so many variables in any situation, so the outcome is always impossible to predict. Chances are you’re making a big deal out of nothing.
5. Release Control
I am a control freak and I like to know what I am doing all the damn time. I love controlling outcomes to, but I have recently learned that by trying to control an outcome you’ll send yourself crazy. You will never have full control of any outcome in life, so take some weight off your shoulders and learn to relax and just go with what feels right.
6. Write down what you want to achieve
I have learned that writing down goals helps me achieve things. Writing down ways you can get rid of the fear in your life helps to, such as: daily affirmations, quotes
7. Realise everyone is on their own journey
One of our biggest fears is failing or not being good enough – but no one else you meet or work with or know in life is thinking about what you’re doing in the way you think they are. Everyone is too busy on their own journey to realise if you’re succeeding or failing.
The world is a big place with a lot of opportunities, embrace that and realise you are good enough!
8. Print out and use quotes / affirmations
Pinterest and IG are filled with them – but instead of just posting them start to believe them.
I hope this has helped you feel like you are worth it. Own your greatness. And remember you deserve to get ahead in your life, no one else can do it for you.
Big thanks to the adidas Global team for pushing me and believing in me!