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Overcome the fear of putting your ideas out into the world.

Jan
24

Overcome the fear of putting your ideas out into the world.

The fear of judgment from those you trust, love, and hold in high esteem can be daunting. The fear of failure – the fear that your idea won’t yield much fruit; the fear that your business won’t make the profits you need to survive, or the fear that your initiative will not garner the necessary support can be paralyzing, and inhibit your growth. The presence of FEAR is the number one reason why many don’t test their ideas. The reason why an infinity of genius and brilliant ideas stay hidden treasures forever.

Fear cloaks itself in various forms, and the spectrum of fear ranges from Imposter Syndrome, to self-doubt, to procrastination, and Shiny New Object Syndrome. These syndromes and “intellectualized” terminologies, used as descriptors of fear, all share the rooting notion that fear is engrained in deep-seated emotion, and deep-seated emotion is governed, in turn, by fear. For some, fear might manifest itself as a lack of confidence, and for some, past traumatic experiences may create coping mechanisms and/or behaviors controlled by fear.

It is an innate human quality. We have needed fear for our entire existence. It Has kept us alive as a species, so it’s safe to say that we’re all fearful beings; which is not such a bad thing. You are not alone in experiencing fear.

There is, however, some good news: in addition to being genetically innate, fear also forms part of our subconscious protection system (read more). Although there is really no way to avoid fear, we are all fully capable of managing our fears and “putting a lid on them”.

 “Feel your fear, and do it anyway” Susan Jeffers

Hidden Secrets of Success!

What separates fulfilled, blissful, content, wealthy and free people, from the mass of  “conformed”, “structured”, 9 to 5, multiple credit-card using people –  is not their IQ or social strata, it is their ability to accept and acknowledge failure. Not just accepting failure a few times, accepting it always.

If you sincerely desire to become self-actualized, you need to shock your entire ecosystem and step out of your comfort zone. You will inevitably fall, trip, get bruised on your journey, but you MUST embrace failure as a process of learning. Sadly our foundational and our advanced educational curricula focus the idea of knowledge development solely on recollection and results and pay no attention to learning through “the process”.

When conformity creates fear – and why overcoming fear can be difficult.

Uniqueness is not rewarded in our foundational schools where, instead, we have been programmed to conform by constantly being rewarded for compliance. The more you ‘fit in’, the better you perform. The programming message being communicated to our subconscious is that conventionality, orthodoxy, traditionalism, and conformism are the traits which are rewarded with the experience of positive feelings. And this plays along closely with the inherent need to seek to belong and have the feeling of affirmation. It’s who we are; it’s our nature. 

Most boys and men have, at least, been exposed to the experience of failure through, for instance, their participation in sports. On the other hand, girls and women have always been expected to comply and live up to societal expectations; “be kind, care for others, work with each other, you don’t always have to be right…”

And of course, gender stigmatization also has its negative effects on how men perceive and identify through hegemonic masculinity. But at least they experience the feeling of failure from time to time and many, as a result, learn to persevere through it anyway!

Steps Towards Feeling Comfortable With Failure!

The best way to overcome the fear of failure is by failing.

To systematically desensitize from the fear of failure, you need to fail in “safe”, controlled environments. Do something you’re either a beginner at, like maybe cooking or something you’re absolutely crappy at, like DIY.  The probability of you actually completing your task successfully is little to none, but you do it anyway.  You’ll be surprised how fulfilling just trying will actually motivate, push and drive you to utilize the very best of your ability—learning and improvising in the moment. 

Sure, you’re most likely going to “fail”, but your journey to failure will teach you valuable lessons. The process will invariably diminish the anxiety levels you feel towards failure. And you’ll find that you quite like the experience, and realize that it’s necessary for growth and confidence. This technique allows you to focus on the process. Enjoy it and transform your failure into a fun activity. 

This approach will soon start to record, in your brain, as a fun learning experience, therefore developing a new relationship with failure. Try baking if you can’t bake, or try a new sport. Play a game that you are not good at, or try something new like painting or pottery. But don’t forget to focus on the process and the celebration afterwards. 

How to Overcome the Fear of “Putting Yourself Out There”

Putting yourself out there and getting rejected absolutely sucks. It’s no wonder why it’s one of the most significant fears that many of my clients are struggling with. However, fear of rejection can easily be extinguished: one just needs to take baby steps. Tackle the task of overcoming your fear of rejection in bite sizes.  

I’ll give you an example of what to do. Let’s say you’re a professional speaker. You’re actively seeking an opportunity to impart your knowledge and experience on a particular topic. Still, you are terrified to the core at the prospect of your story, opinion or expert view not resonating with your audience. Consider sharing in front of a small, trusted circle of people. Women empowerment groups and other associations, school parent bodies and other bespoke social institutions are always looking for inspirational stories. Test your might in those cushion spaces before applying to be a keynote speaker at a TED Conference.

Do not be overzealous. Don’t set unattainable, unachievable, unrealistic steps, milestones or objectives. Of course, one of your Transformative Dreams may be to own that TED Conference stage and completely captivate your audience in say five years. Dreams can never be unattainable, unachievable, unrealistic. Too big.  The journey to greatness is what requires multiple micro-steps with many SMART, targeted milestones and objectives. Breaking down required processes to tackle your inhibiting fears will help you achieve and build your self-belief and confidence – accelerating your desensitization to all your fears.  

The Right Mindset

One’s mindset is elemental in identifying fear: naming it, feeling it,  and deciding what to do with it. As I said earlier, fear is a primal, basic human emotion. Fear is programmed into the sympathetic nervous system. From the time we’re infants, we are equipped with the survival instincts necessary to respond with fear when we sense danger or feel unsafe. Fear helps protect us. There is very little we can do to control the autonomic physical response and physiological experience of fear. 

If your subconscious emits and communicates danger to your active mind, your physical self will definitely experience discomfort. HERE’S THE TRICK; Allow yourself to be inside these feelings. Recognize what’s happening and experience, explore and feel the emotions. However, DO NOT allow being in your ‘feels’ to hinder the longer-term attainment of your heart’s desires and dreams, (unless, of course, that desire to purposefully jump out of a plane without a parachute). 

Recognize your fear, but remember, what you are experiencing is coming up because you are about to enter a new unknown adventure. As long as your brain can not “place” this novel experience/adventure or closely “like it” to something similar and familiar, it will raise an alarm, and you will experience some resistance from your own self. This is when you have to deploy the mental, even spiritual ninja in you. Playback and visualize, taste, feel, smell and relive those victorious mini moments in your life when you overcame a fear or moved a step closer towards controlling and managing fear. Remember the times you achieved, the times you were successful, when you were most joyous and genuinely happy. This self-positive affirmation allows you to continuously build on your foundation for taking the next steps (read more on positive mindset here).

The World Needs Your Talent

Younique!

If a spiritual Guru were to tell us that each of us had our purpose “ordainly” crafted before we were even conceived, we would lean towards enthusiastically believing him.  We need to search for our purpose and enjoy the many bumps and fender benders along the way. We can only become better navigators if we gain more experience navigating. We need to clock our personal life journey hours. We’ve all got something substantial and truly meaningful to contribute. SO, DON’T HOLD BACK. Putting yourself out there is petrifying, but ask yourself how your life will look and feel like if you never try? Regret sucks! I have looked back, reminisced on opportunities passed. I hate that feeling more than the feeling of fearing the unknown.

I’ve seen too many people struggle to “DARE TO LIVE”. One needs to be truly confident and comfortable in their own skin to live life fearlessly. Fearless doesn’t mean reckless and inconsiderate. It means living in your truth; Your purpose; Your own journey; Your own style; Your own speech pattern; Your own swang…

Having the Confidence to PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE!

You need to believe in yourself. Ask yourself what’s holding you back. Identify it. Tackle it bit by bit. Celebrate small milestones and start building your confidence.

PS: Some words to think about:

“You will not regret the things that you have done in life, but you will regret the things that you haven’t done” Many older people have claimed this quote as their own. I guess we’ll know who said it first.

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