There is one sentence that is holding back a lot of people from achieving their goals and living their dreams. What If I… What if I lose what I have, what if it is much harder than I was imagined, what if at the end it will not be worth it? Most people are operating safely and based on fear. And that is the thing that is holding us back. But there is the way, we just need to adjust a little be our ” What If” self-talk.
If we do a quick test: Imagine you go for your dream and jump into a new opportunity that can bring you much in the future, finish this sentence with what first comes in mind: “..but what if I …”. ⠀
For sure most of us will bring up some ideas that may not work or go wrong, so there is an element of fear involved. How to overcome that? Recently I was listening to one of my virtual mentors Brendon Burchard and his talk on how to use your mind to overcome fear, some of the ideas I will share here in my post.
What is the fear?
What are we so scared of? What is this thing that we fear is going to bring so much pain in our lives? Ever thought about it, what is it? What is the thing that we’re so scared of that’s going to bring in all this pain to our lives? I found myself time to time in the place where I’ m not scared anymore and those times are when I understand the situation or things more closely. Sometimes once you understand things more they aren’t so terrifying. Once something becomes knowable then you can develop competency around it and once you can develop competency around it then you can develop confidence around it.
There’s this old thing in psychology called ‘competence confidence loop’, which is the more you understand something the more confidence you have in that area. It’s the same thing with anything that does happen to impulsively generate some fear in yourself and now, once you understand what it is, you can deal with it better because what we all fear basically is three types of pain, three areas where we might experience pain in our lives. Then, once we understand that, we can re-orient our mindset around those things and no longer be frustrated or stopped by fear.
There is a fear of losing something, fear of the process, or fear of the result itself.⠀
Fear of losing something
The first thing we fear as pain in our lives is the fear of losing something. If I make that big change in my life I might lose my job. I might lose my relationship with my spouse, lose my connection with my kids, or a benefit. So I’m scared to try it because I might lose something that I like, that I care for or adore.
I’ve experienced this in the last couple of years. I have a dream and a vision where I want to go, but that fear of losing has held me with my “safe” choice way too long. 23 years with the company, job, or carrier I had built for so long, nice paycheck at the end of each month, people worked with for so long all that was on the one side of the balance. From other side I started to experience limits, I felt that there is more our there for me. So I started to look for what if there is more out there? And I changed my “what if” statement and guess what there are a lot more options. ⠀
The trick is to focus not on the things we’re going to lose, but on the things we’re going to gain. I might lose my security for the short-term, but over the long-term, I might gain more freedom. I’ll lose that steady, peaceful work, but I’ll gain greater challenges and grow faster because I’m going to be doing things faster on my own. I’m going to lose that big paycheck, yes but I’ll make a million dollars over here and help a lot of people and so on, so on, so on.
If you have a fearful mind and you start asking the question, what if…? It follows that phrase with a negative statement. What if this terrible thing happens? But once you understand that it is a fear of losing and that you play safe – start to focus more on things that you will gain and you’re getting over a hurdle.⠀
Fear of the process
Similarly, we act when experience fear of the process. This will require changes, which in anything is going to be difficult. The process of change itself is hard, let alone what we’ll lose in doing something new. It’s hard. When I decided to jump into my own business I knew I don’t know how this will go. I’ll have to work 24/7 to start this business and work really hard for next month, years. I might not get any support and help. The process is scary, so a lot of people stop here and don’t change.
Similar it is for those people who try to quit smoking, to start the new diet, to start exercising, to lose some weight. These all are hard. Think of all the things that will be hard in doing those things.
Part of the mastery of life is learning to see change as a game, learning to see challenges as something that we can joyously enter, to become the joyous master in the processes of our lives, to understand that yes they may be challenging but the challenge is good. Challenge will develop us. Challenge will help us reach our highest self. Challenge will help us live that fully charged life, in that the process can be engaging, fun, exciting, and new. It can bring variety and spice into our lives, so we can look forward to the process of change. When we switch our minds that way then we start to change more often.
As a man who see always some positive outcome, and who is willing to do what it takes to get to the goal, I felt no so scared of the process. We have to fall in love with the process and understand that it will bring the desired outcome. ⠀
Fear of the outcome
The third thing most people fear is an outcome.
What if I go through all this and then the grass isn’t greener and the outcome is no better than what I have now? I am terrified about that with my new business too. What if I don’t earn any more money? What if I don’t grow as fast? What if my business will not grow fast enough? So we sit and think, what if it’s not better, and I would have to go through all that?
Part of the maturity and the mastery of life is realizing that instead of focusing on the outcomes that are negative, we can start thinking and dreaming about, visualizing and giving our attention, our focus and powers of attraction into those things that would be powerful, good, satisfying, fulfilling, happy and joyous on the other side of that fence. The things that would turn out to be wonderful and magnificent if we change our lives.
So, I was also spending a lot of time (in fact years) of thinking, re-thinking, evaluating, instead of making that first step. Now I understand – you will never know if you do not try.⠀
So today might be a great day to sit down and say, what do I really want in my life? Why have I not been progressing faster? When you explore that question you might discover loss, process, and outcome pain at work. You can flip it and focus on the gains, the joys, and the positive outcomes.
So, what if…
Thank you Brendon Burchard for all coaching lessons. Follow listen to Brandon’ s story and his lessons on how to use your mind to overcome fear.⠀