Fear v Confidence

Trying to live a special or exceptional life is scary, especially for the average guy.  I’ve written about confidence before as one of the things that distinguishes the high achiever from the average guy.  But confidence and fear aren’t the same thing.  I’m guessing that the high achiever feels fear.  I have no way of knowing.  Probably most would tell you yes, they feel it.  But, that doesn’t mean it is the same overwhelming, paralysis inducing fear that the average guy feels.

Confidence isn’t a lack of fear.  Confidence is a faith that you can achieve in spite of obstacles like fear.  So, by definition a high achiever who has confidence in him or herself may feel the fear but they will not be paralyzed with fear.

Not so with us average guys.  I’ve spent afternoons when I knew I HAD to make progress on a project staring at a screen with my mind feeling like it was wading through tar.  I’d do anything to get away until I was in the right frame of mind to pursue the project.

It’s that moment when I can choose to be pursue achievement or be an average guy.  The high achiever buckles down and pursues excellence.  The average guy pursues excuses.

So, don’t expect not to feel fear.  Instead find ways to overcome it.  What can you do to banish fear of pursuing achievement?

1. Try to recognize the ways you are sabotaging yourself and correct them.  When life or a specific task becomes overwhelming do you watch TV or listen to the radio instead of pursuing your projects?  Do you play solitaire or World of Warcraft in place of work?  Set up an environment that you won’t be tempted.

2. Visualize in detail what success will mean.  What happens if you achieve half of your goal?  What happens if you achieve 150% of your goal?

3. Try to honestly assess your motivation for pursuing the project.  You want to avoid climbing the ladder that is against the wrong wall.  For example, you may discover you’re in medical school not because you want to be but because you don’t want to disappoint a parent.

4. Break the project down into smaller bites and pursue them one at a time.  However, don’t get caught up in the trap of over analyzing the project instead of doing it!

5.  As corny as it may sound self talk is important.  If you tell yourself over and over that you can’t do it, it will come true.  So, when the fear or the “mind tar” feels overwhelming sit back and tell yourself that you can do it.  You are good enough, smart enough and doggone it people like me!

6. Recognize that even if you achieve less than you hoped it is an opportunity to grow and learn for the future.  It’s only when we are trying that we’re getting better.

7.  Do things differently.  Change the method or change the environment.

8.  Don’t take it personally.  If you struggle performing a task or achieving an outcome it doesn’t mean you are less than you are!

9.  When all else is weighing you down take bold action.  Make something happen that’s important to you and something significant in your life.  Anything!  That will spur you on to further achievement in every area of your life.

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