She has won triathlons, trekked the Gobi desert, has done bungee jumping and sky diving despite being scared of heights. She has been a juvenile diabetic for over 30 years and she has faced this lifelong companion and the challenges associated with being a diabetic exceptionally well. She has faced many other hurdles in life with hope and optimism.
Today she is faced with a fear of her ability to own the space, to exude confidence and credibility in some situations. Her gravitas is weak when she has to face the board of directors of her company. Her name is Elisa.
Why is the otherwise confident and fearless Elisa having issues with her gravitas? Elisa (name changed), who hired me as her coach to assist her in upgrading an aspect of her Executive Presence, was allowing her thinking and her self-judgment to dominate her.
She had made her underlying beliefs and fears about the situation so strong that they were disempowering her.
The emotion of fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger—if our brains didn’t warn us about the dangers and alert us and we didn’t feel fear, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But often we fear situations that are not life-or-death situations and we disempower ourselves by allowing our inner thoughts and feelings to dominate and prevent us from taking the appropriate action.
What fears are you allowing to dominate to an extent of constraining your progress?
How do you overcome your fears ?
1. Befriend Fear – one of the first steps is to acknowledge your fears. Courage comes only when you recognize and feel your fears. Own your feelings and ask yourself what is the fear ? Naming the fear helps to bring it to the surface. What are the causes of the fear? What is the source of this fear? What are the possible solutions ? What is the best workable solution ? Whose help or support do you need to work on the solution ?
Conquering fear cannot happen by running away from it or engaging in an outrageous courageous activity on impulse.
2. Don’t over-think – I’m reminded of a quote by Pema Chodron
“The essence of Bravery is being without self-deception. However it’s not so easy to take a straight look at what we do. Seeing ourselves clearly is initially uncomfortable and embarrassing. As we train in clarity and steadfastness, we see things we’d prefer to deny – judgementalness, pettiness, arrogance. These are not sins but temporary and workable habits of mind. The more we get to know them, the more they lose their power. This is how we come to trust that our basic nature is utterly simple, free of struggle between good and bad.
A warrior begins to take responsibility for the direction of her life. It’s as if we are lugging around unnecessary baggage. Our training encourages us to open the bags and look closely at what we are carrying. In doing this we begin to understand that much of it isn’t needed anymore.”
Take responsibility, trust your instincts and believe in yourself and don’t allow the negative thoughts to dominate you. Click To Tweet
3. Don’t overshadow and feel embarrassed – feel the fear, share it, reflect and don’t feel embarrassed and shut your feelings. Learn to take baby steps to recognize the feelings and thoughts that stand against you. Ask yourself some of these questions.
What do you do in uncertain situations?
How do you handle failures?
When you have the negative thoughts, and fear takes over you what happens then?
What is your desired outcome you would like to have in overcoming fear?
4. Forget the naysayers – don’t keep company of people who feed into your negative thoughts. Believe in yourself and think of the desired outcome you would like to achieve. How passionate and committed are you in achieving this goal? Surround yourself with people who encourage and challenge you but not those who are like thorns in your path.
5. Check your ego– Even if you are not a loud and egoistic person, there are times your ego creates fear. This may be from fear of failure, fear of losing, fear of the unknown, fear of humiliation, fear from your own untested beliefs, fear of losing your status or an imagined identity, fear of exploring the uncertain path and the undesired results.
Life is not a certain path. Our brain is a prediction machine but if you allow yourself to be prepared for uncertainty and train yourself to handle uncertainties, the neural pathways of your brain can be changed. By facing uncertainties and allowing yourself to disempower negative thoughts, you build character and grow stronger.
Elisa had without her awareness become a victim of giving in to her sabotage thoughts and talk. Her conversations with me gave her insights and helped her achieve the necessary shift she was looking for in terms of her gravitas.
Intentions to do, be or achieve something is great but you alone can take responsibility to change that intention to action.
Don’t be your worst enemy and let your constant inner fears and doubts sabotage your growth and development.
The choice of taking the right decision rests with You. Click To Tweet
Persevere and build the momentum to achieve your desired goals.Click To Tweet
Are you self-sabotaging your progress?
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