Category Archives: fear of

if I really wanted to …

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
― Mario Andretti

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“if I really wanted to …”, are those words you’ve mumbled to yourself in the quiet.   “If I really wanted to I would ______________” and it ends there doesn’t it?   The greatness of your potential slips by on the slippery rails of “if I wanted to.”

Our excuses lie at the bottom of a deep cavern called “if I wanted to …”.   Dreams, desires, passions and results look at you and ask, “do you really want to?” and your reply is, I would, “if I wanted to …”.

It is an easy way to hide and easy way to hold back from making the changes that would shift your life from what it is right now to something greater.   It is your mind and your beliefs that say, “don’t try that …”, and with just a little prodding the voice that says “try” falls silent.

What have you been saying, “if I wanted to …”  too?  Are you putting off making a change in your life, getting exercise, starting the diet, boosting your knowledge, fixing a broken relationship, changing the tires on the car, painting the siding, or washing the windows?

Whenever you say, “if I wanted to …”, you are finding a way to wait until tomorrow or the next day.   You are pushing now into the future and you are pushing your dreams into the future.    Maybe it is a good time to step back and check-in with yourself to see how many “if I wanted to’s”  are part of your day.

What have you been putting off with the “if I wanted to …” excuse?

Living with the shame of “I am not good enough”

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.

Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.

Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.”  Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Give that title of the post some thought.   What is the one thing that has stopped you from living out your life fully?    Is it the inability to admit that you failed or that you could fail?   Is it not being good enough and the fear of letting someone down is paralyzing?

Vulnerability is a key ingredient for trust.   Trust in organizations hides because there isn’t a culture of vulnerability and why should there be vulnerability when you can’t be vulnerable.  We stop short of being vulnerable because we fear what would happen if we were and even if we have permission there is a silent voice in our mind saying “Don’t say another word”  and we hesitate and withdraw our voice and our contribution.    “What if I am not good enough?” and that is what holds so many people at bay.

It is no wonder that 85% of people desire to do something other than what they are currently being paid to do.   What would happen if everyone raised their voice and said, “This isn’t the right job for me … “.    They won’t say it because they don’t have something better to go to and fear holds them back chained to work that sucks the life out of them.     “Who am I … “, and that voice kills innovation, kills creativity, kills excitement and kills contribution, “who am I” to have a voice, to have an idea, to have a dream and to make a difference.

It comes across as “who am I to have a purpose”.    The question “what is your purpose?” most often has a response of “I don’t know.”     Living without purpose  is like being a robot just “doing things” and hoping something good will come of it.   Purpose is the foundation for living a meaningful life.    What crumbles that foundation is the inability to be vulnerable to admit failure, to admit that it wasn’t perfect the first time and to believe that there was fault behind that failure that belonged to you.

Take a look at this video clip from Brene’  Brown, listen to her story, her explanation of what vulnerability is and isn’t and what shame is and how it leads down a path of personal destruction.

So much of what coaching is, is restoring that faith in the person that they are worthy of great things because they have greatness inside.   That greatness has been swallowed up in shame and that keeps vulnerability from doing its work, bringing you to greatness.

Take a look!

And if the video spoke to you or if the words on this page spoke to you then … click on that purple thing just below these words … and vote for your favorite coaching blog.

confidence

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”   Eleanor Roosevelt

What is confidence?   It is the ability to match expectations with actual results.   If we expect with certainty that we can do something and than aren’t able to achieve that result then feedback to self is negative.   If we can do something like tie a shoe with success we become more confident that we can be achieve a result and that positive feedback reinforces our confidence.

Confidence can be increased:

1. Mastery – practicing until you have developed a demonstrated proficiency in the area you want to improve in.

2.  Contribute to the success of others – help someone else develop their skills and in most cases your skill will increase as well.

3. Encouragement – getting positive feedback from someone who has skills in the  area you want to improve.   Using positive affirmations to help bolster your belief that you can do better are useful as well.   The children’s program Bob the Builder says,  “Can we build it? Yes we can!” Can we ChaCha? Yes we can!

4. Imagery – imagine what the completed result will look like.   This is something that sports figures use to create a positive outcome by first doing the routine in the mind before actually doing the event.   Gymnasts walk-thru their routine mentally imagining each move being perfectly executed.

5. Transferral – transform fear into excitement.   The brain doesn’t interpret the difference between fear and excitement in terms of experience.   The fear sensation is the same as high excitement and people think they are experiencing fear when what they are feeling is excited.   A person who is about to speak before a large group says they are fearful and often it is excitement that they feel.

6. Physical management – manage the tension in your muscles and relax rather than get more tense as you are about to do something new.   Confidence comes with repeated success and with that people can relax.   Performing in big events, sports, appearing in front of large audiences can for the first time create physical sensations that decrease performance.  Practice the mental imagery of success to bring down the tension of that big performance.

Confidence is often tested in big events, like Mountain Biking downhill at high speeds.   The skill it takes to go full on and full-out on technically difficult courses requires a high degree of confidence.

Would you be willing to try a high-speed descent on two wheels?

deadline

“And he, the said Wirz, still wickedly pursuing his evil purpose, did establish and cause to be designated within the prison enclosure containing said prisoners a “dead line,” being a line around the inner face of the stockade or wall enclosing said prison and about twenty feet distant from and within said stockade; and so established said dead line, which was in many places an imaginary line, in many other places marked by insecure and shifting strips of [boards nailed] upon the tops of small and insecure stakes or posts, he, the said Wirz, instructed the prison guard stationed around the top of said stockade to fire upon and kill any of the prisoners aforesaid who might touch, fall upon, pass over or under [or] across the said “dead line” ….” [“Trial of Henry Wirz,” Report of the Secretary of War, Oct. 31, 1865]

A prisoner tries to escape and crosses the “dead line” and the guards have cause to shoot the prisoner.   Crossing the deadline meant certain death.   Newspapers picked up on that term and used it to define a moment in time where what was ready to print was put into print.

Today a deadline is used to mean it must be done by this time.   The deadline to get this or that done often passes by nearly unnoticed in some domains.  A deadline merely marks the desire for something to be completed.   What deadlines have you watched go by?

In the civil war the prisoner’s didn’t have the luxury of watching a deadline go past, they knew that a deadline meant a certain finality.  At one time a deadline was enforced, now it is a term that doesn’t carry the weight or final conclusion that it once did.    You’ve reached the deadline and find that you are unable to cross it.

A deadline demarks the boundary around a prison, an imaginary line which could not be crossed.  In today’s world people feel like they are living in a prison where crossing the boundary does mean a type of death.  People are enclosed within the deadline by fear, the fear of failure, the fear of change, the fear of not being good enough, or the fear of success.   To cross the deadline means something will have changed and that fear prevents them from crossing the deadline.

The deadline now lives in our imagination rather than being an imaginary boundary around a prison.   Our boundary line which we have declared holds us back from being the kind of person we could really be.  What is your deadline?  How close is it to your prison walls?   What would happen if you crossed that deadline?

The prison that you are the prisoner of could be a prison of debt,  the prison of doubt, the prison of fear, the prison of worry, the prison of work, the prison of a relationship, the prison of time, the prison of anger, or the prison of stress.   Whatever your prison is named it is hard to escape from it.

What prison do you find yourself in?   What are you doing to cross the deadline?