If you aren't moving forward, chances are you one of these two "habits" are holding you back -
Remember when you had all your goals set at the beginning of the year, with your plans laid out how to accomplish them? Sometimes, between the first and second quarter of the year, enthusiasm starts to dwindle and progress slows, fades, or let’s face it — even stalls. What then? If those objectives you set at the beginning of the year are still important to you, and I’m guessing they are, there are two basic reasons you might be stalled — fear or not living in integrity now.
Fear is tricky. It masquerades in many different ways with the same result. It paralyzes us from moving forward. In order to strip it of its power, it helps to face the concept of fear itself, then examine what is at the root of our individual fear.
Fear is an emotion. Ultimately, we have control over our response to our emotions. As we experience fear, consider whether it is rational or irrational. [No. Despite how it may feel, all fear is not rational.] The fear we experience when under true threat of harm is a rational fear while the anxiety we feel while we consider what might happen to us before we step in front of a group to present is irrational. Bodily harm will not logically occur while presenting under normal circumstances.
There are also only five formal categories of fear: death, mutilation, loss of autonomy, separation, and loss of ego. All the common ways we experience fear — fear of failure or success, fear of embarrassment or humiliation, fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, etc. — are variations of one of those categories.
Just knowing the facts about an emotion still doesn’t help us get past it. In order to have control in our response to emotions, we need to understand why we are experiencing them. Consider what information your current fear might have for you. For example, when I procrastinate writing a new chapter in a book, I can be afraid of lots of things: failure, humiliation, rejection, etc. (i.e., loss of autonomy, separation and loss of ego). In order for me to improve as a writer, this is crucial information for me in order to move forward because unless I overcome these fears, I would be subject to factors completely outside of my control. I would stop myself from doing my work for no good reason.
Living in Integrity
The second way we stop ourselves is by not living in integrity. Are you actually doing what you are telling people (including yourself)? For example, when you say you’re going to go to the gym after work, do you go? Or if you say you “never” eat meat but share those nachos with ground beef every Happy Hour with friends, is that truthful?
Those may seem like small items, but it is exactly these little examples of ways we live out of integrity that causes us to feel badly about ourselves. When we feel poorly because we haven’t followed through on our word — even to ourselves — our self-esteem suffers. Once our self-esteem drops, that bigger goal becomes a steep mountain to scale.
If you aren't moving forward, consider if you might be standing still because you are out of integrity somewhere.
Those Two "Habits" to Conquer
1. Tackle your fear: use the information it presents to move forward
Remember my fears when writing book chapters, and the information that gave me? USE the information you learn from your fear to get past it. The fear shouldn't hold any power for you. The information within it has the power for you.
The next time you find yourself blocked by fear, stop and ask yourself:
- What am I afraid of?
- Take the time to define it and then place it in a category so you can understand it.
- What information does this give me?
- What can I do about that? In other words, how can I take a powerful stand from that information?
2. Live in integrity: ramp up your self-confidence by keeping your word
Do what you say you’re going to do, and follow through on your thoughts. Living with integrity means being consistent in thought, word, and action. Examine each component to see if you are out of balance with yours.
When you begin to follow through on your word to yourself and others, and you experience higher self-esteem and self-confidence, enthusiasm and energy automatically surges forward, also. One positive action feeds another and they are all an upward trajectory rather than a downward spiral. Living in integrity leads to a surge of self-confidence that allows you to conquer any obstacle to reach any goal.
With these two simple steps -- using the power of information within your fear & living in integrity -- your goals, and your life, will be back on track. What’s stopping you now?
Jan L. Bowen is a passionately authentic thought leader who helps clients align their lives so they find more joy and greater connection through articulating and living their purpose. To get Jan’s latest book, "Why Do You Get Up In the Morning? How to Demystify Your Life Purpose," download it now. You will also receive her newsletter, with articles only available by subscription.
This article was originally published at Jan L. Bowen. Reprinted with permission from the author.