What’s stopping you?
When you look at your life, do you feel that the life you have is the one you wanted? Often, misery and dissatisfaction comes from the wide gap between how our life really is and how we wished it would be. Thing is, many of us place mental barriers in the way that stop of us from achieving what we’d like to. Let’s see if you are grappling with any of the following:
If you like to use your ‘negative filter’ too often, you may as well give up now. It is one of the most self defeating strategies that we can use to stop us from getting what we want.
Statements like “It will never work”; “I am too old” or “No one else is doing it” are examples of negative filter. Instead of looking at the possibilities, we focus on all the reason why something won’t work out. As a result we don’t even try. We use negative filter for a variety of reasons. If we don’t even try, we can’t feel embarrassed if it doesn’t work out. So, in the short term we avoid failure but in the long term we remain frustrated and fed up with our mundane lives.
Force yourself to consider possibilities and use the words “Why Not??”
2. Limiting self belief
If you don’t believe in yourself, you’re unlikely to be brave in life. Self belief overrides what others thinks and keeps us on the path that is true for us. When we lack self belief, we are easily swayed by the fears and negativity of others. Learn to believe in yourself more. Yes, you may fail – that’s a part of life but failure is just a learning curve, it doesn’t mean YOU are a failure, it just means that what you tried didn’t work. Pat yourself on the back for being someone who tries – you’re ahead of those who are all talk and no action.
This is a biggie. Fear cripples many of us. Squashing dreams and leaving many cowering in the corner instead of living their lives to their full potential.
Yes, we all have fears and life offers no guarantees. Learn to harness your fears so that they don’t control you. The more we give in to our fears, the greater they become. The key to reducing fear is to face them head on. If you worry that showing your true self will lead to rejection, set up an ‘experiment’. Test it out. For example – reveal something small about yourself that is quirky or particular to you and that you feel someone else might judge or reject you for. See what happens…either they won’t judge or reject you and will have won a small victory over a long head fear OR, they will judge/reject you – I know the second option may seem unbearable but we almost ALWAYS overestimate the threat and underestimate our ability to cope.
No doubt, if your fear did come true you would find the reality isn’t half as bad as the nightmare versions you anticipated in your mind. Get out there and start experimenting – it’s called LIFE.
4. Too much “what if” thinking
There are real problems in life and then there are hypothetical (What if) problems in life. Make sure that you know the difference. A real problem requires immediate attention – eg. the dishwasher has broken down. A hypothetical problem is something like “what if I make a fool of myself and no one likes me at the party tomorrow?”. It is wasted emotional and mental energy engaging with ‘what if’ thinking.
What if thinking leads to negative filter, fear and lowered self belief – learn to dismiss those thoughts. Say to yourself – “There I go again trying to find certainty and plan ahead”. What if thinking won’t change the outcome. Deal with issues as they arise rather than worrying about something that might never happen.
What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? I like this question because it removes many mental barriers that we create for ourselves. Live a life that is brave and open minded. See yourself as a winner who is experimenting with life. You will be happier for it. Rather try and fail than live a life full of regrets.