Last month one of my suggestions to begin spring in a positive way was to put your energy toward learning something new or starting a new hobby. The good news is a lot of people followed my suggestions, but at the same time I heard quite a bit about how they were faced with the emotion of fear and lack of confidence. This feedback led me to write about confidence this month.
Fear is a very real (and very common) emotion that can stop us in our tracks. It can keep us from excelling in a particular area or hold us back from trying something new. Interestingly enough, fear comes directly from us; we create fear. You may be saying things like “What will they think of me”, “What if I fail or make a mistake”, or “I don’t think I can do it.” The negative self-talk can be endless. Fear can drain us of our energy as our mind is busy thinking about some past event or what may happen in the future.
Adults and children alike experience fear. Adults can fear learning something new, like looking for a new job, being able to get everything done, or having enough money to properly care for their family. Children may fear not doing well in school or playing a new sport or instrument, or being able to manage all their day-to-day responsibilities.
The key to reducing fear is to build our confidence. As a result, fear and doubt will not have the opportunity to occupy our mind. Here are simple steps you can follow that will help to put you on the road to confidence.
Stay in the present moment – Many people waste a lot of time and energy in a state of worry and fear about what might happen. Many times we will fear a certain outcome and come to find that it didn’t turn out that way at all. Rather than worrying about what may happen, focus your energy and thoughts on the actual facts of the situation. A good way to do this is to create a plan of action.
Create a plan of action – by creating a plan you will have a clear picture of where you are headed and then you can take action toward your goal. This allows you to deal with the real life situation rather than the scenarios you have created in your mind that may never come to be. I like to use the SMART principles, which George Doran and Peter Drucker have used in business planning. The plan should be Specific, Measurable, Action Oriented, Realistic and Time bound.
Visualize – After you have created your plan of action, sit quietly and visualize the steps of your plan and the outcome you would like to experience. I use my breathing technique to calm myself and clear my mind. I then visualize as many details as possible about successfully attaining my goal. Example: Visualize the people involved, the conversations taking place, the actions you will be taking, the feelings you, have and of course the successful outcome.
Take Action – you are now ready to take action. You are in the moment with a clear, calm mindset and a plan that gives you the steps necessary to progress toward your goal. You can now address any concerns or challenges and make adjustments as necessary because you are comparing actual results to your plan.
Talk to others and/or a mentor – communicating with someone that you respect or who has had experience in the area you are focusing on can be very helpful. It allows you to have a sounding board and to speak through any obstacles or challenges you may be facing. It also provides you with support and motivation to stay on track.
Movement – as a Motivational Fitness Expert I always include some type of movement to improve mindset. Physical movement propels an individual’s energy and can help to remove mental blockages that may be in the way. It also allows room for healthier thinking and creativity to take place. A simple 10 minute walk or other moderate type of exercise is effective.
Remember, you hold everything you need to overcome your fears and step into a mindset of confidence. Let go of fear and enjoy the journey.
Wishing you much confidence.