You tell yourself that things will be different now. You won’t let your anxieties and fears and self-doubts get in the way or hold you back. And there are times when you succeed–and other times when you feel yourself slipping back into familiar patterns and beat yourself up for not being able to overcome it or act despite it. There is no solution that will work for all people at all times, but there are many strategies you can use to help make your dreams stronger than your fears. Here are five examples:
- Get very clear on what you want and why you want it. Take some quiet time to reflect on why it matters to you. Whatever your profession, what inspires you to keep going and do your best? Is it the pleasure you get out of doing your life’s work? The flexibility it allows you to bring to your life? The money you earn that helps you sustain your family and support a cause that is near to your heart? Whatever the reason, journal it, draw it, create a collage about it so that you can look to it for inspiration when you are feeling down or in a rut.
- Find a friend, mentor or coach who can help you both challenge and face down your fears so that they don’t stop you. Make sure this person is full of the loving, positive, no excuses energy you need to keep you moving forward, even when you are tempted to give up.
- Treat yourself to small rewards along the way to celebrate small victories. Remember, these don’t have to be the big, everyone will see them in bright, flashing lights kind of victories. You’re hesitant to make cold calls? Reward yourself with 30 minutes of reading your favourite novel tonight if you make 5 calls to help grow your business, regardless of the results. Feeling disorganized? Reward yourself with colourful binders or filing bins when you take 30 minutes to organize your paperwork.
- Find a way to make what you’re anxious about work for you, tapping into your strengths, interests and passions. For example, for many people (myself included!), networking can be a bit of a nerve-wracking and challenging activity. Walking into a room full of people you don’t know and forcing yourself to talk to them can bring up issues of self-doubt for many people. Be yourself, and view it as an opportunity to meet and connect with some wonderful new people. Changing the way you look at the situation can help turn the events that scare you into activities you can enjoy.
- Don’t beat yourself up when you do let your anxieties hold you back. There is no quick fix or solution that will work in all situations. Expect and accept that there will be setbacks and that this will likely be a two steps forward, one step back kind of process. Don’t give your fears more power by giving them more weight than the successes and accomplishments you’ve been able to achieve.