Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Ways of overcoming your Fear


Have you ever heard someone say “Me? I’m
rubbish at mathematics!” or “It’s no good
asking me I’ve always struggled with
grammar”? These are two perfect examples
of the chosen thoughts we allow to hang out
in our minds that dismember our goals and
our results.


So many of us enable the wrong thoughts in
our minds and our brain is only too happy to
deliver exactly what we ask for. The damage
is caused when we don’t realise we’ve been
asking for the wrong things.
You see, our brain is a clever old bunch of
cells. It’s highly likely you’ve heard of the
exercise where you are asked to not think of
a pink elephant… and weirdly there in your
head is a pink elephant! Or of Pavlov’s dogs,
who could be encouraged to salivate just on
hearing a bell ring. Even now I could say to
you “Don’t imagine a lemon being cut in half
and the juice being squeezed down your
throat”, and you’d start to realise “Hey I’m
producing more saliva”. How is that possible?
Because our brains WILL deliver what we
ask for.
When it comes to performance we have to
choose our words carefully. If you appreciate
the above and accept that we are easily
suggestible creatures, then by nature it
stands to reason that I can give you some
top tips and tools to help you perform better
just based on what words you are choosing
to think .
You see, if words can impact what your body
does it can also impact the results you
achieve, and the standard to which you
perform at.
How Fear Screws You Up
How is it that one person can relish the
opportunity to stand on a stage in front of
5000 people, and another would rather have
their spleen burst before it was their turn?
(And trust me as someone who used to have
a very physical fear of public speaking and
who now adores it and coaches people out of
that fear, I really know what that fear is like.)
If we allow such a fear to fester and hang out
in our minds then guess what that can do to
your performance?
Let’s stick with the public speaking fear
since it is still one of the top fears in the
world. We are still more scared of speaking
than dying . Crazy right?
You are asked to speak to a large audience
and the opportunity has the potential to
rocket your career. If you fear public
speaking then the overriding thoughts are
around the fear… instead of the ideal results
you want to get.
For instance, instead of thinking:
“This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for
and it’s going to rocket my success”
You are more likely to be thinking:
“Oh no the biggest opportunity of my life and
I’m going to screw it up.”
Now remember our brain likes to keep us
happy. So, if you are thinking the first positive
thought guess what you are likely to get? And
what about the second one?


“That’s all very well and good Mandie but it’s
a fear. It’s real, it’s tangible. It shuts my
throat, makes me shake, sweat and I
struggle to remember my name let alone an
entire speech!” you say.
And from many years’ experience of helping
people overcome those fears I know that this
is exactly what fear relies on. It relies on you
accepting the feelings, and accepting the
physicality of it. It relies on you accepting
those negative emotions and really
experiencing them on a level that causes you
to never question them. And that is the key.
To increase your performance success, you
have to question your thoughts. Not all fears
are obvious. Some can hide out in your
subconscious for years and it’s only when
you work on them that you become aware of
a fear that has been impacting on your
success.


Everyone Has Fears, Even Those
Who Look So Tough


Don’t believe me?
Only recently I had someone who I’ve
admired for a long time on an international
level say to me that it was not until they read
chapter 3 of my book that they realised
something had been impacting their success
for years. That something was the action of
picking up the phone. How can picking up the
phone kill your performance?
Let’s break it down by thinking about what
happens if you choose your actions
according to your thoughts. So, if you think
picking up the phone is going to interrupt
someone’s day, make them less likely to say
“Yes” and want to hear what you have got to
say, are you likely to revert to an email?


On the other hand, what if you accept that
you are a valuable person who has every
right to speak to someone on the phone
because you have something useful to say
that could be very relevant and interesting?
What are the chances you will pick up the
phone?
So how do you revert to positive thinking and
override the fears that damage your
performance?


4 Tips to Override Your Fears


Adjust Your Assumptions


What assumptions are you making and are
they good or bad for you? For instance, if you
assume that mistakes are opportunities to
learn, then you will go for it with all your
heart. You will trust that even failure has its
benefits and use them effectively to power up
your performance. On the other hand, if you
believe that failure is dangerous and
damages your reputation and success then
you are likely to shy away from the
opportunities that can risk failure. With fear,
you have to think like the superhero in a
movie. Be prepared to step into situations
that you fear with trust that you can do this.
You don’t see superhero’s look at the big evil
20-foot bad guy and think “Mmm I don’t think
I will protect mankind today, he looks a bit
scary.”


Remember No One Really Cares


A big reason that fear can impact your
performance and thus success is because
we imagine what people are thinking.
Ironically, it’s not usually true. We assume
that everyone is thinking about us, and yet
they are much more likely to be thinking
about themselves — “what’s for tea”, “what
they are going to get their Mom for her
birthday” or “why did I wear these shoes,
they’re far too tight”. However, remember
that fear relies on negativity holding us in
place and so if you just learn to accept that
everyone is thinking their own thoughts and
are as obsessed with them as you are yours,
you can stop allowing incorrect thoughts into
your head. And as one business friend said to
me once “Mandie, you have no right to the
thoughts in other people’s heads.”


Shift Your Focus


Fear loves us to repeat patterns. So, if you
have thoughts in your head that say “this
won’t work”, or “I’m scared of the end
results” — then your brain will do all it can to
prove you right.
Therefore, if you can have a stronger new
direction to focus your attention on the fear
will reduce and eventually dissipate. For
instance, let’s go back to the fear of public
speaking (You can replace this fear with one
of your own!) If you fear public speaking and
focus on what you fear, that is what you will
get. On the other hand, if you have a clear
goal in sight then that is what you are more
likely to get. That means you need to work
out what you want. What do you want? What
is the goal? Where do you want this to lead?
By answering these questions with your true
passions and desires your brain has a
positive direction to aim for, and not the fear
routed patterns of the past.


Don’t Be Afraid of Looking Stupid


Closely connected to the fear of what people
think is the fear that you will make a fool of
yourself. Thus, if you fear what people think
and/or making mistakes and getting it wrong
then fear again gets to overpower you. Think
about a time you’ve felt stupid for saying or
doing something. What happened next? Then
answer, “How did that make you feel?” and
then from that ask yourself “Did that result in
a feeling or an action?” and then answer,
“what happened next?” In this way, you can
start to build up a picture of the automatic
path way connected to this fear. How you fall
into old patterns that have not served you
powerfully, and allowed fear to hold its power
of you. (And yes, this process can be used
on any fear, I call this a negative spiral.)
Once you build a picture of what is happening
in your old state you can learn to see what
thoughts and feelings create what actions.
For instance, if you stood up for yourself and
spoke up and that led to you feeling inferior,
did that then lead to you not taking on the
project that was offered to you, because you
feared getting it wrong? Understanding the
thoughts that create the actions means that
you then decide to create a new thought, and
that will lead to new actions. But again, this
really needs a powerful focus and goal to
help you achieve.


Ultimately fear is allowed to impact our
performance because we’ve learnt to trust
fear. Fear is useful in that it keeps us safe,
however there aren’t too many woolly
mammoths on the streets anymore. So when
fear is given too much power it damages our
success. Learn to challenge and stop
assuming. And most importantly trust that
you can do this, you can give yourself all the
proof of your successes to tell you this. And I
will leave you with this thought: Why do we
assume what if we are awesome at
something then everyone else can do that
too? While if we can’t do something we are
idiots because everyone else can do it?
You see, fear really does wish to damage
your success. So, it’s time to challenge it.





No comments:

Post a Comment