Have you ever been held back from doing something you’ve always wanted to do because of fear? It’s a common occurrence; we want to do something but our fear of failure or ridicule holds us back and undermines our own efforts. But when we allow our fear to stop us from progressing in life, we are are undoubtedly going to miss a number of great opportunities along the way.
Here are 5 top tips for managing your fear so that you can be free to succeed.
ONE – Preparation Meets Opportunity = Luck
Oprah said luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation, and she couldn’t be more right. Nothing boosts confidence more than preparation and practice. But don’t make lack of preparation an excuse to hold you back. Give yourself a time-frame to learn the basics then just go for it, ready or not.
TWO – Accept the Fear
Acknowledge, accept and channel your fear. Turn what could be a negative experience into a positive one by changing how you think about the situation. You may not know the outcome of something but imagine the opposite. Imagine your life being a series of Groundhog Days where you never do anything new that pushes you. Shirley Valentine anyone! Embrace your fear and turn it into excitement.
THREE – Control Your Negative Self Talk
Manage the negative voice in your head by giving it a silly name. Recognise every time a negative thought enters your head and simply say to yourself ‘there goes FooFoo the angry squirrel blathering on again’. This distances yourself from your negative thoughts and allows you to ignore them, replacing them with positive thoughts and feelings. It’s also important not to listen to the negative talk of others. There’ll always be well-meaning people who’ll try to fill your head with negativity, saying things like you won’t be able to do something or should give up. Don’t listen to them! Another great way to manage your mind is to spend time each day thinking about what you feel grateful for in life. Follow this up with visualisation. Think, feel and see in your mind’s eye the life you want. These are both great ways to alter your state of mind onto a more positive path.
FOUR – Actively Seek Out Rejection and Mistakes
Making mistakes and being rejected means you’re putting yourself out there and trying new things. The more mistakes you make the closer you are to success. Accept that mistakes are a part of life; everybody makes mistakes and they’re all lessons to be learnt from. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Mistakes can also lead us down surprising new avenues. After all, had it not been for mistakes then Penicillin would never have been invented, nor would microwave ovens, fireworks or post-it-notes.
Mistakes make way for great ideas and innovation and when big lessons are learned. Mistakes don’t mean you’ve failed, they simply mean you’re one step closer to succeeding.
FIVE – Seek Out Advice
Don’t make business unnecessarily complicated and ask for advice whenever you can. If there are companies that you admire, contact them and ask them for their advice. Jim and Suzy Cregan, the founders of Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, a new kid on the block now worth £1.4 million, sought advice from Pieminster, Innocent Smoothies and Farrow and Ball when they were just starting out. “If you ask someone, 10 times out of 10 they will help.” Says Jim.