Have you ever wanted to start something new, but not felt ready enough to begin? What if I don’t know enough? ‘There are SO many people who are better than me/know more than me/have more experience than me/what makes me think that I’m good enough?.’ Do any of these sound familiar?
The fact is that we self-sabotage
The trouble with thinking negatively like this is that it stifles you. It stops you from trying new things; it stops you from starting that new business you’ve been dreaming of; it stops you from taking up that fitness class you’ve been wanting to try out. Make no mistake that at this point, it’s actually you self-sabotaging, nobody and nothing else. When you tell yourself that you can’t, know that right at that precise moment, somebody else out there in your shoes is saying to themself ‘Yes, I can and I will.’ And they do, while you’re busy convincing yourself that you can’t. And you don’t. The chance of you succeeding is nil; the chance of the other person succeeding is much greater.
‘Just Do It’ already!
I remember the moment I decided to start my own business. I was in the middle of a session with my own coach, and I was explaining to her all the reasons why I couldn’t start up on my own. She took a pause, looked me straight in the eye and said ‘Just start’. I panicked. I thought of a million reasons why I wasn’t ready to. I voiced as many as I could to her when she said again ‘Just start already’. I paused, thought about that well-known sports brand slogan ‘Just Do It’, and decided at that moment that I would. And I did.
The importance of understanding why our brain fills us with fear
I’ve spoken before about the way that brain reacts to what we perceive to be a threatening situation. Most of the time, and especially when feeling fear about starting something new, when you boil it down, it’s a fear of failure. ‘So what?’ Is what I say. We’ve all made decisions in the past that haven’t always worked out for us and in most cases, we’ve learnt something from them. What stops us is the fear of damaging our self-image, of proving to ourselves and others that we couldn’t cut it, so we stay in our comfort zone and don’t even try. But nothing changes if we don’t make changes.
The lessons we learn from feeling the fear and doing it anyway
The path from that moment hasn’t been easy. The coaching side has been relatively relaxed, but the business side, oh boy! That has been a steep learning curve. I’ve made decisions along the way which have cost me time and money, but none of these have been catastrophic and I have learnt so much about running a business with no previous experience. And I’m still learning. But looking back, if I hadn’t started when I did, I’d still be kidding myself that I wasn’t ready and I’d still be only dreaming of being my own boss. And that’s the funny thing about life: it’s all about understanding the fear we all feel, and doing it anyway. We all have fears, even the most seemingly confident and competent people have fears. They just know that fear is not a reason not to do something, unless of course, it’s ridiculously dangerous or plain foolhardy! And even then, sometimes people simply go ahead anyway (jumping out of planes, base jumping, snake handling – the list goes on! Can you tell what I’m scared of?).
Taking that leap of faith
Ultimately, in life there are no guarantees. Every decision we make is a leap of faith. It just depends on whether you’re willing to push your fears aside, consider that wherever you are in life, you’re ready for the next step, and simply … step towards your goal.