During coaching sessions, inner fears regularly come up – the fear of not being good enough, fear of failing, fear of not achieving one’s dreams. As a result, I think of all the emotions we face, fear is the most debilitating as it really stops you in your tracks.
Renowned author and life coach Timothy Gallwey, known for his principle, “The Inner Game,” has this to say: “There is always an inner game being played in your mind no matter what outer game you are playing. How you play this game usually makes the difference between success and failure.”
Fear of Failure
It is human nature to experience self-doubts whenever one is entering a new phase in life – starting a business, giving up a guaranteed pay cheque, going to networking groups or speaking in public. These may all sound intimidating and stressful as you are entering a new phase in your life that involves change and risk.
What is crucial here is to be objective in identifying those risks, and welcome these as challenges. You need to believe that you can indeed get through the challenge and avoid all sorts of negativities. Doubting yourself will not help. The trick is to get out of your own way. Instead of having fearful thoughts about failure focus instead on thinking about what you want instead.
Defence is the Best Offense: Know your Inner Fears
The first step in conquering your fears is discovering and recognising them. Examine yourself: what is holding you back from achieving your hopes and dreams? Why do you feel you will not make it? What is your inner voice telling you?
When you recognise your fears, you will learn how to address them properly. You will need a lot of discipline and determination to get over your fears. You need to believe that you can make it. Set your goals in life and use your strengths and skills to get there. Leave all the inner fears behind you and look forward with confidence.
Fear holds you back from moving forward
Too often we are held back by a series of “what if” questions. “What if I don’t get any customers; make any money; sell any programmes; look stupid; don’t know enough…?”
What if you were to turn the question around? Instead of focusing on the negative aspect, focus on the positive. What would your life look like if you got all the customers you need; made all the money you desired; looked amazing on the stage; blew people away with your wealth of knowledge and ability to help them.
When you stop focusing on the worrying thoughts you will notice a significant change in your body and overall well-being. It will give your mind the space to let creativity flow and to find all the answers it needs to overcome the challenges you face and to see the opportunities that are around you.
Just Get Started
You will never know if you can succeed if you do not get started. So… just get started. Start small and focus on one thing and be consistent and once you get going momentum will carry you through. Do your best and realise that you cannot have success without failure.
About the Author
Sandra Hinshelwood is a small-business coach and mentor working with new business owners. Through her coaching and online programmes, she has helped her clients to increase their confidence, manage the transition from employee to a business owner and live a more authentic life.