Together we can find the answer.
Lack of confidence, feeling overwhelmed or inadequate are some of the feelings which cause us to be a lonely place and often made worse by the feeling that we should be able to ‘sort it out’ ourselves, that asking for help is a weakness. Poor mental health is not something which easy to talk about.
Admitting we have a problem and asking for support is often the hardest part. Once you reach out you will feel better, you will have taken positive action. I’m not sure ‘a burden shared is a burden halved’ but talking is a sure way to get support. I can’t guarantee making changes will be easy. I can guarantee that it will be worth it. There is no shame in seeking support. You will be amazed at how much you can achieve.
Reach out now and let’s see how I can support you to improve your mental health, grow your confidence and, as a result, perform better in all areas of your life.
Change your behaviour and perform better
In order to change your behaviour or perform better, you are going to have to do things that are difficult, scary or uncomfortable. So actually you’re never going to feel like it even though you want it. We are only motivated to do things that feel good.
You think, “I know doing this will help me”, “I know it’s what I need to do” … then comes the block … “I’ll make that phone call when I’ve…”
“I’ll tackle that conversation when…”, “I’ll commit to that course when…”. Usually, this is based on the assumption that there will come a time when you will have the confidence or positive mental state to do it.
But you tell yourself “I’m not feeling well.” “I’m too tired.”, “I don’t have the time.”, “I feel down about it.”, “I don’t think I can.”, “I’ll make a fool of myself”, “I’ll fail” and here’s the big one…
“I’m not good enough.”
You have the drive and desire to do the thing you know would move you forward and so you think you are making excuses and tell yourself you should be able to …
Actually you are just trying to keep your self safe, to avoid feeling uncomfortable. They are the reasons and rationale you create to support your avoidance of danger. Unfortunately, your thoughts create feelings and your feelings create behaviour, your behaviour creates thoughts, which create feelings that create thoughts and on you go in the downward spiral.
For some, it is possible to deal with conscious limiting thoughts and change them and then a change in behaviour will follow. This is the basis of therapies such as CBT. However, this is where some people might be stuck. You know what you think, you know what you feel and you know the behaviour you need to stop or adopt. But you just don’t get round to it. For some reason you just can’t make the change.
This is when you have a subconscious fear driver, which is designed to keep you safe, this can manifest as a conscious away from motivation. When you identify the subconscious driver and through discovering it and knowing it, bring it into the conscious mind, you then have a means of changing it – it is now known to you and you can then change your behaviour through a conscious choice.
Take for instance a subconscious fear of not getting it right. Imagine that you are an architect or a financial trader, a surgeon or a jet engineer – the impact of not getting it right could cost you millions of pounds or even someone’s life. So you will be motivated and strive to get it right. BUT you are driven by an away-from subconscious motivation. So whilst it may serve you in getting it right – it will deplete you in mental, emotional and physical stress. It will feel like a lot of effort to do it, time will pass slowly and you may dread the time you will have to do it again.
Now think of something you love doing. Walking the dog, painting, sewing, playing with your kids, eating dinner with your partner. It feels easy, time passes quickly and you are motivated to do it again – in fact, you can’t wait.
By identifying the subconscious fear, bringing it into the conscious mind, letting it go and transforming the fear (of not getting it right) into a towards-motivation of a desire to get it right, you remove the stress. The end result is the same – you get it right but the stress impact on your mental, emotional and physical state is removed. You are ‘in flow’.
When you have a goal or a performance level you want to achieve and you remove the stress, you find yourself doing the everyday little things that you need to do to move forward and achieve your goal or improve your performance.
A word about fear – the ‘what if?’
As I’ve said, fear keeps us safe. Rational fear like fear of falling or fear of being eaten by the tiger that is chasing you is appropriate but we are often held back by irrational fear. The ‘what if’ that keeps us from doing the thing we are driven to do.
Someone once said that irrational fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. Our logic tells us our fear is just our fear – but it feels real we have a physical response to a mental thought. We still have desire and belief. You are between a rock and a hard place – a rabbit in the headlights, caught between what you are driven to do and the fear associated with doing it.
If you are a business owner, remember when you started your business? You began with a belief you could succeed. Why would you start a new venture thinking you would fail? You started with a desire to provide a service or a product and a belief that you had something which people would want. So you jumped in.
In order to fulfil your dream or meet your vision, you had to do things which you had not done before – or you had to represent yourself rather than be an employee of a company. It became real – this was you out there in the world, putting yourself on the line, risking criticism or ridicule. You might have had to publish your website, present to a prospective customer, deliver a speech, attend a networking event or ask for the business. It’s at that moment that the fear kicked in and your internal imposter piped up with ‘What if I’m not good enough?’
‘What if I can’t deliver?’ ‘What if I fail?’ – whatever your particular internal voice says. And yes you do have a critical, internal voice – everyone has one. You lost your way. Imposter syndrome kicked in – what if they find out I”m [fill in the blank].
You thought you needed the confidence to do these things because you felt fear – but you are a confident person – you started a business. What has happened is that you stepped out of your comfort zone, the place where you are doing something you have never done before, the place that feels uncomfortable and unfamiliar. You are waiting to fully commit until you have the confidence to do the thing – actually it’s doing the thing which gives you the confidence. What you actually need is courage.
Courage is the starting place of creativity, growth and success.
Ralph Waldo-Emerson said ‘Do the thing and you will have the power’.
When you understand that fear is the result of moving forward and find your courage to be truly with the fear, understanding that it is created by you, by your imposter syndrome and by your ‘what if’, then you have self-awareness. Then you can trust yourself because you understand your process, are prepared to feel vulnerable and have the ability to call upon your courage.
As you find yourself doing the things which you were previously fearful of, your comfort zone is extended. You will have the confidence and desire to get out of your comfort zone again – to do the next thing. You will remember that you are a confident person and you will understand that feeling fear means that you are growing, expanding, becoming more competent and really and truly living. This is where life is, the vibrant edge of our full potential.