HOW TO OVERCOME DOUBT AND FEAR

Emotion

I can’t do this.
Four words that you’ve probably told yourself more than you would like. When you say them, you feel like you really mean them though. You tell yourself, “I can’t do this,” so you actually believe that you can’t.
Here’s a story to demonstrate what I mean…
A few years ago I participated in a triathlon, thanks to some encouragement from friends and family, and not to mention a heck of a lot of self-belief. For a month and a half, I trained hard, almost every day, so that I was ready to give it my all when the big day came. It was the night before the triathlon and I went for one last run, to make sure that I was ready. I loaded up on carbs for dinner that night, so that I would have enough energy to burn in the morning. I went to bed, calm but excited knowing that all my training would be tested in the morning…
“Beep, beep, beep!” went my alarm. It was race day. I got up, had a bowl of oatmeal, and got ready to give it my all. I had put in a lot of hard work and I was going to make sure it was going to pay off. My family and I headed down to where the triathlon was starting.
The first event in the triathlon was a swim. Keep in mind, I didn’t feel as though swimming was my strong suit. During my training, I didn’t focus on it as much as I probably should have either. As we got to the race start, there were hundreds of other participants getting ready; preparing themselves mentally, physically, and doing whatever else they needed to in order to ready themselves. I got in the water and started doing the same.
5 minutes went by, then 10, then 15. I started getting nervous.
Was I ready to do this? Could I do this?
I had trained for a month and a half for this triathlon. I felt like I was ready, both physically and mentally; but was I really? I began to doubt what I was about to do. I started to think of all the things that could go wrong. Fear began to manifest…
I can’t do this.
I started to tell myself those four words. And then I started believing them.
Bam! A gunshot signaled the start of the race.
Before I knew it, I was off and swimming as fast as I could. Soon enough, I began to realize that I was actually doing it. I was doing what I set out to do: compete in a triathlon! Why did I ever doubt myself? I realized that there was no point of me telling myself that I could not do it, because it was only holding me back. I was doing it, and the only thing that could stop me was me.
Throughout the swim and for the rest of the triathlon, I kept telling myself that I could do it. I focused on those four words and before I knew it, the race was over. My friends and family congratulated me on completing the race and I was happy. I had not only finished my first triathlon, but I had conquered doubt.
Doubt holds many people back from believing in themselves. Some people tell themselves that they “can’t do this,” mainly because they are fearful. Whatever it is that they are fearful of is up in the air, but it is fear that drives many people to not believe in themselves. They don’t believe in themselves because they tell themselves that they can’t do it over and over again.

 

Soon, they begin to develop a habit, and whenever they approach whatever it is that they were doing that they told themselves they “can’t do” in the future, their immediate response is: “I can’t do this,” once again. They have ingrained a belief in their subconscious. A belief that they really can’t do it.
To change a belief that is triggered through doubt, you have to work, and work hard…
In order to overcome your self-doubt, there’s only one thing that you can do: do what I did when I was competing in my triathlon. Tell yourself over and over again that you can. Soon enough, you will start believing that you can. This practice has been around for centuries. The practice is called Affirmation.

Bob Proctor, a success coach, teaches affirmation and believes in its power. He says, “Affirmations are positive statements, which when given to your sub-conscious mind repetitively, have a tendency to alter old habits or old conditioning.” Tell yourself that you can, over and over again, and you will alter your old habit of believing that you cannot.
Try practicing affirmations on a daily basis and see where they take you. Through the power of affirmations, I was able to complete my first triathlon. Think of something that you want to do, but think you are not capable of.
Write it down.
Now go out and do it. Tell yourself that you can, over and over, and soon enough, you will be doing it. Keep in mind that you have to continuously tell yourself that you can do it though. As soon as doubt begins to creep in, it will quickly manifest itself into fear if you do not force it back out with another affirmation. Make sure that you do not allow doubt to creep in and soon you will be doing things that you thought you would never be doing.
Here’s to continuous improvement.
To Your Success,
Euan Swan

“JUST DO IT.” – Nike

Emotion

Just do it. The famous Nike slogan couldn’t have put it any better. Just go ahead and do it. What are you waiting for? Why are you busy making excuses, when you could be doing it? The only one who’s stopping you is you.

I used to make up a lot of excuses as to why I couldn’t do it, one of them being the fact that I thought I would fail. Fear, anxiety, what have you, fear got the best of me. It kept me from starting my first blog, letting the public know my opinions, and finally, carving out a path to make my dreams a reality. Fear gets the best of people, but what I have recently realized is that fear is nothing more than a challenge.

When you feel fear, you have two choices, rise to the challenge, or back down. I recently watched a Ted Talk talking about the subject. One thing that the speaker said really stuck with me. She said that when you begin to feel the emotion, rather than let it control you, harness its power. Take charge of the situation, and let it empower you. With this technique, she said that you could move mountains. I tried implementing the technique in some of my classes, and guess what, it worked! Ever since I’ve started using this technique, I always feel so much more confident when I’m giving presentations in front of all my classmates. Fear can control you, but in retrospect, you can actually control it, you just need focus.

Focus on the task at hand, and don’t let anything else into your mind. Once you focus, you don’t allow things like fear, anxiety, or paranoia enter your mind. You are clear to your purpose and confident that you will succeed. I have found that a lot of people find it hard to focus, and allow these negative emotions to control them. For those of you that are affected by anxiety, paranoia, or fear, I challenge you to focus on something. It can be a hobby, a project, or reading. I guarantee that the emotion will dissipate once you do.

Ever since I started on my journey to success, I would say focus has been one of my skills that I have been aspiring to perfect. The skill allows you to micromanage everything that you have planned for your day. For example, you could have 10 different things to get done, all by tomorrow. Now, without focus or confidence, you may think that such a task is incredibly daunting; and may succumb to procrastination, anxiety, or paranoia over getting it done. With focus, you don’t allow yourself to feel these emotions; you take charge of the situation, and make sure that you get everything done in a timely manner.

With focus, you can break down that daunting task into individual parts. Focus on each part, one at a time, and watch that unachievable feat become nothing more than cutting butter with a hot knife. Breaking the feat into individual parts allows you to get one thing done at a time, rather than try to do everything at once. Trying to do everything at once just seems like absolute chaos. Focus on one thing, put all your effort into it, finish it, and then move on, simple. Focus, and watch fear move out of the way.

Don’t allow fear to control your life. Unfortunately, it controls many lives, so much to the point that some people even take their lives because of it. This is very sad indeed. Yes, we are humans that are mostly controlled by our emotions, but it is true that we have a choice as to whether we let them dictate our life. With confidence and focus, I believe you really can control your emotions.

In the words of Will Smith, “Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.” Will couldn’t have said it any better. Your thoughts control what you feel, how you act, and in turn, what you will do with your life. So I challenge you to do one thing, every day, that makes you step outside your comfort zone. Don’t go too far at first, but do something that makes you feel uncomfortable you feel uncomfortable. Trust me, it will feel so damn good after you do. Slowly start stepping more and more out your comfort zone, and I promise you, you will really see how good life can be.

To Your Success,

Euan Swan