Fear and Failure go hand in hand. They run through our mind like:
- Am I going to fail and look like a complete idiot?
- Am I going to waste all my money & hear everyone say “told you so”.
- Today, I am going to say in bed because I don’t know what I’m doing in life.
- I could never do something like that. I’m not brave or cool like them.
- Do they actually like me or do they just fake it to be nice?
These are the thoughts that use to run through my mind from time to time. It’s rooted from fear and self-doubt and we all experience it. How I got through this stage in my life was meditation and listening to positive psychology podcasts. I learned the inner truth about who I was and I learned the power of our brains. I retrained my brain, through time, to resist any negative thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations. I repeated this every morning and eventually my brain got use to rooting for me, instead of against me with the negative, fearful thoughts that use to fill my day. It’s not easy, but everything worth it takes time, patience and some hard work.
There is another problem with fear and self-doubt though..
The other problem is that society has trained us to deal with these emotions in the worst way possible: to ignore it, some people treat others so these self-doubt feelings feel reinforced, or worst of all… we are determined to be weak for experiencing it in the first place. They’re wrong. We all experience these feelings, it’s normal. In fact,
the truth is that you are the real MVP because you are putting yourself out there; whether you’re afraid to fail or not. You’re taking a chance to be better than you were yesterday. You have it within you to learn instead of staying stagnant in life. How many times do we fail, but learn lessons? We fall and it’s only so we can get back up again and try harder, become stronger. We fail until we get it right and develop the courage to conquer our next journey.
We also experience failure and loss, guilt, self-doubt and pain, but these raw and hard emotions can become our greatest teacher, if we let them. They teach us to let go of what we can’t control. Loss teaches us to never take everyday and everyone for granted, becoming more grateful than we were before. Self-doubt and pain causes us to dig deep into ourselves. It gives us a chance to reflect and by doing so we can become more aware of what we’re feeling, what we want and those challenges that caused us self-doubt and pain will begin to transition us onto a journey of becoming better than we were before. Emotions can be our worst enemy, but if we change our perspective about them they teach us humility, compassion and allows us to grow deeper to our authentic self.
I hope I never come off like I know everything. I love writing about personal experiences and I love letting people know they’re not alone because I have struggled in many areas, emotions included. Fun fact: I study psychology intensely, both during my personal time and for school. I am going to College to help those with mental disorders because the stigma that “the mentally ill aren’t normal” kills me. It’s okay to not be okay sometimes and I have learned from personal experiences and from self-help books (and psychology studies) how to help myself and others when the world around us doesn’t want to acknowledge these emotions or face the fact that absolutely nothing is wrong with people who struggle with mental illnesses. Fear is a normal emotion and so is self-doubt, but no more do they have to run our lives.
The last few things I learned from a psychology and self-help book. I wanted to share them with you before I end this post:
Feel the Fear—But Do It Anyway
The ego creates fear to keep you small. For example, fear of losing it all, fear of humiliation, fear of rejection, fear of overwhelm, fear of making mistakes, fear of losing it all, fear of the unknown, fear of being judged, fear of not being good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, and on and on it goes. The list is huge.
All entrepreneurs, celebrities, politics and everyday people experience fear. What separates those who are successful and those who allow fear to hold them back is the willingness to act in spite of the fear. The best way to get over fear is to walk directly into it. It takes courage but you know what? Walking into fear is never as bad as you think it’s going to be. Instead, you’ll find it liberating. You’ll find talents you didn’t know was in you. You’ll build your courage and become proud that you conquered it. Sometimes our emotions overwhelm us and the anxiety exaggerates the situation to make it seem more fearful than it is. Try to stop the negative self talk, instead remind yourself the great things you’ve accomplished and the greatness you have inside of you to conquer whatever it is you are fearing. It just might work.
Here is one of my favorite inspirational videos, it’s a must watch. It talks about fear and so much more.
DON’T LET FEAR KILL YOUR DREAMS
Last, but not least:
Fear or Intuition? How do we know when we are just afraid to do something or if our gut also known as intuition is telling us it’s a bad decision. I learned how to distinguish between the two in a fascinating book I read called Brainstorm by Dr. Dan Siegel. He said it perfectly by describing the difference as, “Intuition integrates the neural networks from different parts of the brain”. He goes on to explain that these linkages in the brain lead to that unique inner wisdom we refer to as intuition that also helps us make informed decisions or sense when something or someone doesn’t feel right or good. Fear does none of that. “It activates the amygdala as a neural shortcut that also leads to a racing heart and a catastrophizing mind”. This book taught me more about how to analyze the situation to see if we are comfortable with it (intuition) or does it make it anxious and immediately lead us to say no (fear). Developing more awareness and developing your subconscious with meditation helped me increase my intuition to push through the fear. I’ve been able to public speak when that use to be at the top of my “no can do” list. The concept of intuition is fascinating and better yet, getting in tune with your intuition helps you conquer your fears easier.
I wish you all a great week. I hope you get out there, live your best life, enjoy every moment and make a difference. Remember, be kind to your mind and don’t forget to love yourself, like you love others.
(PS. I would love to hear your thoughts, opinions and the steps you've taken to overcome fear and negative emotions. Don't be shy. Say hello! & Share some of your insight).