If you’re finding it difficult to take the first step to starting your own business, or embarking on a new career, you’re certainly not alone.
However much we want to introduce change into our lives, fears and doubts can stop us in our tracks. We pay attention to the voices in our head that can try to sabotage any move we make towards trying something new. We tell ourselves “I don’t have enough money”. “It’s too big a risk”. “I don’t have the right skills and knowledge”. “Now is not the right time”. “My children will suffer”.
Over time, these thoughts become our reality, and we find ourselves stuck in the same place wondering why we haven’t made any progress.
The good news is though, it is possible to practice thoughts and behaviors that increase our self-belief, and in turn increase our power to confidently make the changes we desire in our lives.
Here are a few strategies I regularly share with my clients to help you keep moving forward in the direction of your dreams:
Write down your limiting beliefs on paper
Identify your limiting beliefs - the thoughts, ideas, and assumptions that are limiting your progress - and write them down on paper. Consider what evidence you have to support them and challenge yourself to find evidence against them. This simple exercise will help you over time, replace self-critical and doubting thoughts with more supportive ones, and as a coach I’ve helped many women do exactly that.
Face your fears head-on
Imagine the situation that terrifies you the most and go out and face that situation. Dare to change and grow. Although your fears may not be based in the physical realm, you can still face them by gathering information about the situation. The better you understand your fear, the less likely you are to fear it. You can also seek out gurus who understand your situation and ask for their advice. Chances are, they will be able to help you see the world through a fresh perspective.
Athletes and public speakers are famous for visualising the situation they fear and imagining themselves winning the game or winning over the crowd. You can do the same. Picture the situation you want to be in, pick out details of the situation that you fear the most. Imagine yourself conquering them without any trouble. Analyze what you feel, taste, and see. Every challenge that comes up, imagine yourself calmly overcoming it. This can help you overcome your anxiety regardless of the situation.
Whether you are going for an interview with your dream job or meeting with big investors for your business, imagine yourself being completely confident. Act like you own the role that you are applying for. Take on the persona of someone who already has the job. This will help you overcome your self-esteem issues.
Use positive affirmations
Implementing positive affirmations throughout your day can completely change your negative outlook and limiting beliefs. Write down a few positive affirmations that pertain to your particular situation and then say them out loud or in your mind throughout your day. Do your best to make these affirmations as specific as possible to have the greatest affect. Affirmations like “I have the power to choose my career” and “I choose a job that I enjoy.”
Build a positive support network
Social persuasion is a powerful tool for combating self-doubt. Encouragement from people we trust helps convince us that we have what it takes to succeed. So, when you’re facing a challenge, surround yourself with people who believe in you—their belief will help build your own awareness in your skills and abilities.
We all have fear. It makes us human. But remember, fear is a feeling, not a fact. When you learn to successfully let go of fear and start taking action one step at a time, that’s when you start making real progress.
So if you haven’t asked yourself this question lately, do it today.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid? And what can you do right now…in this very moment…to take a step toward doing that very thing?