What Happens When Others Speak Fear Into Your Plans?
Welcome, we’re so glad you’re here! We’ve all heard the expression, ‘go big or go home,’ right? Or how about, ‘never live with regret’? Or this one, ‘how will you know if you don’t try?’ When we were children, we tended to ‘do’ first, and ask questions later. We were impulsive, experimental and fearless. We learned to ride a bike only after many scraped and bloodied knees. We were constantly being taught new subjects in school, in order to provide us the information needed, to create the foundation for what we might like to do as a profession. We played sports and joined clubs to try things out, to see if we were any good at something, or even liked it. The people in our lives hadn’t been given enough time yet to get in our heads, and make us fearful, and doubt ourselves. Fast forward, and we’re now in our 20’s. For many of us, this is the most challenging decade of our lives. We start at 20, as children right out of our teens, and end at 30, as full-blown adults. As we begin to get our ‘sea-legs’ and start to navigate the crests and troughs in the ocean of life, with courage and dreams, we’re not alone. Those who have known us, and have cared about us, have become our cheering sections, as well as our peanut galleries; or in their opinions, ‘voices of reason.’ However, do those external voices help us, or hurt us? Do those external opinions become our internal critics? The more important question is, how have we, and do we continue to, absorb and process those external opinions?
Have you ever had a goal, big or small, and shared it with someone only to get questions such as: how will you afford that / how will you make a living? Will you be able to maintain that? Are sure that’s what you want? What if ‘it’ doesn’t work out? Or the foreboding comment, I wouldn’t do that if I were you! Well, guess what, they’re NOT you! What they’re actually doing is looking at your choices through the filters of their own life’s experiences, let-downs, failures and pitfalls. They’re assuming that, since they were not successful (or couldn’t imagine being successful), you won’t be either. Your choices are making them fearful because of the experiences and outcomes they went through, or weren’t brave enough to try. They will label it as concern, but what they are actually doing is, speaking their fears into your plans. Sometimes, or all of the time, that’s the nudge you need to play small and to give up before even trying. To stay exactly where you are, because it’s comfortable, and it’s what you know. It’s your comfort zone. And although your comfort zone is familiar and safe, it is where your plans and dreams go to die.
How would you feel if you truly believed you could never make a mistake or bad decision? Think about it. Imagine every decision you made was a crucial and important puzzle piece to your journey. Imagine every outcome was a success, by either obtaining the goal, or learning a very important lesson along the way redirecting you with more clarity and focus, and if you could never make a mistake or bad decision, therefore having nothing to lose, how would it feel? Empowering, exciting, liberating? Would it give you confidence, energy and enthusiasm? Yes, yes, YES! And that, our friends, is why it is all about belief in yourself, combined with the mindset that anything is possible, and there are no bad decisions.
Fear, comfort zones and playing small, have no place in your well-thought-out and executed plans, when there is no downside to simply trying. So the question is, what do we do when people speak their fears into our plans? We politely and lovingly, but immediately, ask them to stop. Most of the time when your decisions scare them, their warnings truly come from a place of care and concern, because they don’t want you to get hurt and feel pain like they did or could. Your decisions are so foreign to them that they can’t imagine themselves being happy and successful. Then there are those people who are jealous of your bravery and audacity to try. To try something that will make you better, happier and more fulfilled. They put doubt and negativity in your mind, because it makes them feel better about themselves for not trying. It keeps you in their comfort zone.
Our clients hire us when they desire change and have not been able to make it happen on their own. They may want to get healthier by starting a new exercise routine, or change their way of eating, or even run a marathon. They may want to write the book that’s been in them for 30+ years. They may want to change careers, or go back to school at 40, 50 or 60 years old. They may want to find love or leave a relationship that’s no longer serving them. They may want to leave a corporate career to become an entrepreneur. They may want to move across the country to start a new life. They may want to lower stress, become less overwhelmed and be happier. They may want to stop the merry-go-round of procrastination and become better at time management. They may want to find their life’s purpose or have more intimacy in their relationships. There always comes a time in our lives when we want more. It’s called growth, and it’s a beautiful part of the human experience.
All of these goals are life changing. They can be bold, out-of-the-box and out of our comfort zones. They can take time to plan and prepare, money to save, and a strategy to execute. Most of all, they will take courage, and belief in ourselves that we can do it with the knowledge that we can’t make a mistake! That on this journey, we will become increasingly clear about who we are, and what we want. One thing is for certain though, if we don’t try, nothing will change.
The most advantageous gift we can give ourselves, is to get support, so that we have the best chance at staying the course, persevering and achieving our goals. This could be from a supportive friend or relative, a group of individuals on the same or similar journey, or from a life coach who is 100% there for us - without judgement - and with that kick in the pants we will need to keep us on track and strategize each step. This is the magic ingredient to silence those voices, internal and external, who are speaking fear into our plans.
With this support, there needs to be daily and/or weekly accountability check-ins. Having someone to whom one is accountable, ensures that our plans will move forward. By declaring that we will do something, for which we will have to be accountable, in turn sets us up for success. And success, our dear friends, is going into the world, and putting one foot in front of the other and trying!
You’ve got this!
Sheri & Derek Green - Soul Food Coaching