How I overcome my fear-based thinking
If you have goals in life, big, small or somewhere in between chances are that you have had some fear-based thoughts that have gotten in the way or even stopped you in your tracks.
You are not alone, trust me!
I’m not talking about “what was that noise’ after watching a scary movie, I’m talking about thoughts like “I’m not really smart enough to do that” or “I’ve failed in the past so there is not point trying” or “There are too many other things that need doing that are more important than my goal.”
Fear based thinking has become our default setting. Don’t get me wrong, fear is a very useful emotion in some instances, but when we let fears become excuses, that’s when we get into strife.
A common misconception around fear based thoughts is that when you have them you will experience the sensation of fear at the same time (you know tightening of the chest, increased heart rate etc), but that is not always the case. Fear based thinking isn’t always easy to spot. That’s why I love my four-step process so much, it helps categorise thoughts as a legitimate fear OR an excuse.
This process might feel like tough love to begin with, but it will get easier the more you practice, I promise!
Okay here we go.
Let me give you one of my personal examples. It’s not health related but the process is interchangeable with any goal, #winning!
Home of Healthy Mums has been in existence for almost two years, and a massive chunk of that time I have been expanding my knowledge and skills to better be able to serve my clients. The majority of my work is with one-on-one clients, which I LOVE, but to be able to give up my ‘day job’ and still pay the bills I need to scale with group coaching, which I also LOVE, but for some reason it also terrifies me to jump all in with my amazing group coaching program - being out on my own without a reliable pay check terrifies me. I have done a lot of soul searching on this one and it remains my goal to work at HOHM full time, serving clients, doing the work that I feel I was put on this earth to do, despite my fears. But the thought does pop up “What if I fail, what if I’m not good enough?”
So, what do I do when I have this thought or others like it? I follow these four simple steps:
Step 1 – Acknowledge the thought
Step 2 – Thank the thought
Step 3 – Redirect the thought
Step 4 – Take action
Let me dive into each step a little deeper.
Back to step one, acknowledge the thought. This one means being really honest with yourself and being aware of what you are thinking. It can be difficult to do to begin with because so many of our thoughts are on auto pilot, but get in the habit of noticing the things you think about.
So, for me, I simply notice “hey, I was just thinking what if I fail.”
Schedule time into your day to notice the things you have been thinking about.
Onto step two, thanking the thought. This might sound strange, but I find the easiest way to let a thought go is to make friends with it, how? By thanking it!
I say something along these lines “Thank you for bringing this to my attention and giving me the opportunity to objectively assess the situation.” I can then rationally acknowledge if my thought is a legitimate fear or an excuse. This is where the tough self-love comes in, owning up and being honest with yourself!
The third step, redirect the thought. So, I have gotten to a point where I have realised that my fear of failure is popping up as an excuse to not move forward, I then need to change my narrative. I often use affirmations but you can also use positive self-talk.
The last step, take action. Now this one is important, oh so important! The action doesn’t have to be huge, it has to be achievable, the tiny little next step that moves you closer to your goals. For me, using the example above, is writing a blog post like this or a post for my Facebook page. These aren’t massive game changing steps, but they re-affirm my commitment to my goal, and that feels great and give me momentum!
Because this process is so simple it would be very easy to dismiss the notion that it works, but it does work. It is powerful AF and it become more powerful each and every time you use it, because not only does it get you closer to achieving your goal, it also increases your confidence #doublewinning
One final note, just because you overcome a fear-based thought once, doesn’t mean it won’t creep in again, use these four steps each time to keep moving forward!
Give it a go and let me know how you go x