How come whenever we face something new we immediately jump to assessing the negatives eg what might go wrong, how hard its going to be or how many obstacles we will need to face? Today I'll be talking about why this happens and teaching you the art behind managing your mind so you can take back control and say yes to new challenges with confidence.
Why? because as busy entrepreneurs we have to step out of our comfort zones constantly, so these are pretty essential skills if you hope to do that without shaking, sweating, mumbling or potentially dreading something so much that you say 'no' when you really want to say 'yes'.
So there are two parts to the fear puzzle.
1) Our natural human instinct to watch out for danger
2) Our unconscious evidence (or lack of it)
Lets look at the each in turn:
1) Did you know that our brains have 5 times more negative receptors than positive? This is because we're a survival being so we naturally tend to air on the side of caution and watch out for danger. Which is pretty important, otherwise we would be stepping out in front of cars and jumping into hot water without first testing the temperature. This is why you're more likely to jump to what could go wrong and the obstacles you face.
2) The other part of the 'fear of the unknown puzzle' is your lack of mental evidence. Its reported that 80% of what we do is led by unconscious habit. If you’ve never done something before you have no evidence to tell you what it’s like, what to expect or if you are going to be any good at it. Add this to our survival instinct and you can see why it leads to feeling nerves, fear and trepidation.
But there are people who do new things all the time. They like to test themselves, they love the thrill of having a go. So what's different in their approach and how can we harness some of that to help us get out there more?
How to overcome your fear of the unknown
The wonderful Wayne Dyer once said, 'when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.'
People who say 'bring it on' when trying new things call it curiosity and adventure.
This is a very clever technique called reframing.
As I mentioned as business owners we’re constantly having to face the unknown so this is a really useful skill for you to adopt, practise and make part of your mental toolkit. For this reason I'm going to challenge you to start now and make some changes......STARTING NOW!!
Reframing the fear of the unknown
Pick something which you are going to have to face in the next month. One thing you would like to do but haven't done before. It can be big or small it doesn’t matter.
Grab a piece of paper and write how you currently feel about it. What do you say to yourself about it, what do you say when others ask you about it? Write it all down.
Next walk away and do something else.
When you come back, come back metaphorically wearing the hat of curiosity and adventure and rewrite how you'd feel about these two things from this new perspective.
Pick a few powerful statements relating to this new way of thinking as reminders that will also give you motivation every time you think about your 2 things going forwards.
If just knowing these statement in your mind isn't enough for you I’ve created a sheet of 4 'Reframing Cards' you can download for free. You can write out your statements boldly, one statement per card, and then display them or keep them close as a constant reminder of your reframe statements. Just click below and I'll send them straight to your Facebook Messenger.
Click 'get started' and then follow the prompts, if you joined my messenger before the download link will come straight up.
The more you can repeat your new statements the more the repetition creates a new habit and boosts the unconscious evidence of how you feel about it. This reinforces the positive receptors in our brains and helps us change the fear of the unknown into a curiosity for the new.
Let me know how you get on, I always love to hear how this technique is working for you.
Until next time.
I may surprise some of you today, the fear of failure can actually be a good thing? ? There I said it.
Being human is a strange conundrum, whilst sometimes fear of failure can hold you back (I wrote about that in this blog) it can also provide the kick you need to spur you into action.
Think about it.......if it was perfectly possible and something you can easily do.......do you think....
Often people say if there’s no challenge it’s not worth doing. As humans we like to take it on, beat it, and show to ourselves (and others) that it’s possible.
We all know people who when they hear, 'you can't do that', say, 'I bloody well can, you just watch me.'
The possibility that it can't be done, the idea that you might just fail can actually improve your motivation. So, what's the difference between those who allow fear of failure to fuel them and those who don't?
Personality traits and perceptions
I believe it's a mixture of personality and perception.
If you have a competitive nature, or a rebel streak, you're more likely to find a fear of failure motivating. Like wise if you are stubborn or like to feel like an individual. These traits mean you're more likely to say, 'I'm doing it anyway'. Some people are naturally motivated by adventure and challenges too.
But that doesn't mean we can't all harness our inner badass when we need too.
What perception do you choose?....if you see something as fearful, if you think it's going to be arduous and not worth while you'll fuel your fear of failure. If you have a perception that new experiences are fun, that you give things your all and that failure is part of success you're much more likely to be able to harness the mindset of motivation for any task.
It's not the fear of failure which holds you back, it's your perception of the task you're trying to achieve. Fear can actually fuel your motivation to achieve something amazing, if you allow yourself to experience it that way.
Want more tips, mind tricks and motivation?
I go live every week, sharing mindset tricks and tips, covering topics such as new business confidence, motivation and public speaking nerves to anxiety, fear and self-esteem. If you want more mindset support delivered to your inbox, enter your details below and I'll get them over to you. I don't spam or sell your details, I just send you my best advice and news via email to those who are interested.
Until next time
PS. My business works on referrals, if you know someone who is struggling and could benefit from some support, please pass on my details.
A statistic often banded around is that 75% of people suffer from public speaking anxiety, however the source of this particular figure is illusive. Having said that there is evidence which suggests that 'glossophobia,' as it's called, is still one of our biggest fears. Today I’ll share with you my 5 steps for relieving public speaking anxiety.
Why presentation nerves are normal
According to cognitive psychologist and business neuroscientist Lynda Shaw, this is due to our desire to be part of a group, (I explained this in this blog post, How Fear Holds Us Back) as Linda says "With so much uncertainty in this current age, group membership is increasingly vital. Effectively we want to stand out less and merge into a group more. This affects our ability and desire for public speaking.”
“We are fearful of telling people what we think because of the repercussions we believe this has on our group membership, magnified further by the power of online communities and social media,” she said. “It has become so easy to shame people anonymously.”
Nerves are a natural part of our fight or flight response which activates whenever we perceive a danger. Simply put, your body is preparing you to fight a tiger but you're stood in front of your peers or sat in a chair. Your body corses with adrenaline making you fidgety, you also sweat, lose your words and even feel sick. This is a natural part of human functioning but that doesn't mean you can't learn and overcome it.
Below are my 5 steps to relieving public speaking nerves. These steps have been tried and tested both personally and also with many of my clients, with great results.
5 steps for relieving public speaking nerves
To make this exercise easier I've created a free 'Relieving Public Speaking Nerves Worksheet' which you can download by clicking below. This worksheet leads you through each of the steps above, giving examples and some great questions to get you thinking and make sure you get the best results from this activity.
Download your free Relieving Public Speaking Nerves worksheet below....
Thats it for this week, remember that nerves are just a normal part of human experience and just because you currently experience something one way, doesn't mean your brain can't learn another.
Until next time
We all know that dreaded feeling of fear, the niggling and creeping feelings of what may happen and how it's all going to go wrong or how you're not capable of doing something. Fear can hold us back from stepping up, stepping out and making our businesses what we truly feel we're capable of.
Today we're talking about how fear holds us back because self-awareness is the first step to making a change happen. I've created a 'Fear Analysis Exercise' which you can download. This will provide you with questions to help you to uncover your individual behaviours and beliefs about fear, because once you understand it, you have a better opportunity to change it.
Why we fear
Imagine for a moment a herd of zebras. They're on the move, looking for somewhere with plenty of food and water. Where is the most dangerous place in the herd to be?
Answer: On the outer edges or anywhere away from the pack.
This is the same for humans, we are naturally a pack mammal so stepping up and out makes us naturally feel we're in the most vulnerable and dangerous place. In modern life this manifests in our feelings of fear of public speaking, fear of success, fear of marketing to our fullest, fear of going to networking meetings, fear we're not good enough, fear of asking for finances etc.......
In business this is pretty much where we put ourselves constantly, out on the edge, standing out. We're pretty much always saying 'cooee, look at me!!' We're constantly creating new ideas, putting ourselves out there and thinking about how we can stand out.
Our mind's natural reaction is to say, 'what the hell are you doing'.......'sit down, shut up and get back within your pack i.e. your comfort zone.'
How fear manifests for business owners
If you're experiencing any of the following, you're experiencing feelings of fear:
- Deep down you feel you're capable of achieving more but you don't take action to make it happen.
- You're a magpie, constantly distracted by the lovely stuff rather than your to-do list.
- You don't put yourself out there because you feel you'll be judged.
- You procrastinate and those things on your priority list, never get to be an actual priority.
Fear plays a part in all of these behaviours.
I'd like to give you an opportunity to assess your individual behaviours and question whether these are done because of fear........once we understand ourselves we can then take steps to change it.
Fear Analysis Exercise
Today I challenge you, for the next week, to notice what you're doing, when you're procrastinating, avoiding, getting distracted etc and take a few moments to notice what your thinking/fearing at the time.
This can be so enlightening because so often our behaviours are habitual, unconscious and we don't actually take time to be self-aware.
To make this easier I've created a 'Fear Analysis Exercise' sheet which you can download and print. Use this to note down your findings and it gives you the really good questions to help you uncover the impact this fear is having on your decisions, actions and behaviours.
Enter your details below and I'll send it to your inbox so you can get started.
Need more help?
Sometimes we struggle to see our own thoughts and beliefs so if you need help with this exercise, get in touch. Often someone else guiding you and asking the right questions just makes everything flow more easily. I can also help you take the next step and work through the changes you'd like to make too.
Remember: Fear is our natural defence when we feel unsafe, anything you can do to make yourself feel more capable, strong and resourceful will minimise fear and even make it disappear.
Until next time