Is Fear Holding You Back? Why Not Take One Step at a Time!

by Mike Lally on January 21, 2014

All journeys have the same simple purpose – to get from one place to another place. Occasionally we just seem to arrive at the destination without giving it a second thought. Sometimes the place where we would like to be seems impossible to reach – our internal map cannot determine how to get there. In these times we seem to be stuck in the same old place, inexplicably unable to move. What prevents a person from getting to the place they would prefer to be? Basically fear, in particular fear of the unknown. Yet, some places are just states of mind. Of course, it doesn’t help very much when we are told that most fears are just an illusion.

Fear gnaws away at the rational mind. It fires the imagination to such a degree that we quickly become immobilized and stuck with no options. And left alone the imagination causes the fear to grow way beyond its true worth. However, when we take a deep breath and face our fears they often dissolve and before long completely disappear. Wouldn’t it be better to look at a fear, analyze it, and then give ourselves permission to move beyond it? How can this be done? Well, begin to behave and think like a scientist!

In science there is no such thing as failure. There is simply an outcome. Something is revealed. It may not be precisely what is ideally wanted, but it does constitute information that can be used as feedback and fed forward to the next experiment.
Patterns of thinking and behaviour through conditioning can be elegantly interrupted by reframing what is wanted. Fear itself is created from negative perceptions and leads to behavioural actions that prevent us from becoming the person we have the potential to be. Thinking differently, even fearlessly, will junk most fears. All it takes is will-power, determination, action and the energy to pursue what is truly desired. Often all that is needed is to change the scale and size of the problem. This can be achieved by breaking it down to manageable chunks – here comes the scientist again! Once the size of the “frame” is altered its perspective will simultaneously be altered and it will invite a whole new world of possibility to miraculously come into view. New information will be created.

This is the time for action. So, take a step – just go ahead and do the first and now relatively simple task. Then take the next step. One step and task after another until you succeed. If the next step is too difficult, break it down. Life is infinitely easier when you know where you are going!

It is often stated that successful people always set goals. They have definite plans, outcomes and deliverables. They are “To Do” list advocates. However, many people find goal setting an imperfect task. They can literally put so much pressure on themselves that they freeze with the result that they give up and stop bothering with goals. Many people take “failure” far too personally. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. By assuming the role of scientist it becomes possible to detach from a goal and instead begin to find pleasure in the process itself. In truth, everything is feedback and this provides us with the opportunity to learn something new. And human beings are learning machines. You cannot not learn.

So, fire up your imagination, don your white lab coat, and start to experiment! Instead of losing weight, experiment with cutting out sugar and exercising more. This is a simple but effective reframe and does not have any semblance of in-built failure. After all, an experiment provides a framework of discovery – what works and what doesn’t for you. And it is a great learning tool. A word of warning: don’t be surprised if you start succeeding at a rate of knots! You never know, pretty soon you may become quite the adventurer! And get those challenging goals. Wouldn’t that be quite a journey and incredible fun!

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