The biggest obstacle people face when they’re trying to change something about themselves or meet a goal is often themselves!
Taking a chance, making a change, and moving forward on a goal requires a lot of faith and positivity. When you believe In yourself, you become truly limitless. However, developing a strong belief in yourself can take some practice. One of the best ways to practice saying “yes” to yourself is to learn how to embrace your fears and turn them into an opportunity to grow.
Understanding the root of your emotions
Psychology Today describes fear as a response to a perceived threat. The keyword in their definition is “perceived.” Humans are creative creatures with big imaginations. While our imaginations are useful tools, they can also conjure a lot of negative and scary images for us to consider. Often, the things that frighten us are truly perceived and not actually based in reality or fact.
Since fear of the future and the “what-ifs” of life can stop us from saying “yes” to ourselves, it’s important to understand, specifically, what ignites your fear and stops you from saying yes.
One method for discovering the roots of your fear involves using visualization. If your fear causes you to visualize a really negative and scary outcome, allow yourself the opportunity to also visualize a possibility where the situation ends nicely. If you are often stressed or negative, this exercise may be difficult at first. However, as you practice it more frequently, you’ll begin to introduce more positive imagery and replace your fear with a more positive outlook.
Consider how fear restricts your possibilities
A simple fact of life is that we can never be 100% in control of everything. Even the most organized and put-together people of the world still face situations in life where they can’t control what’s going on. This is totally normal, but it can feel like a nightmare if you’re allowing your fears to stop yourself from saying “yes”!
People who allow their fear to take control of their mindset also allow that fear to hold them back in life. According to Judith Lief, a Buddhist teacher of Tibetan meditation interviewed by Psychology Today, “fear restricts our lives, can imprison us, or be used as a tool of oppression.” If you’re afraid to say yes to taking chances and making strides in life, you’re allowing that fear to restrict your possibilities. Rather than holding yourself back, you can practice releasing some of that fear and trading it for a more positive approach to your problems and challenges in life.
What could actually go wrong if you say “yes” and take a chance?
A simple method to overcome fears of saying yes and Taking Chances is to visualize the outcome of a situation that scares you.
For example, if you are afraid of speaking in front of large crowds, you may avoid a chance to advance in your career by giving a presentation in front of your coworkers. You know the presentation would help you advance, but your fear is telling you that you shouldn’t try it because something bad would happen.
Stop your fear and its tracks by pulling out a pencil and a piece of paper. take a moment to write down all the outcomes that are driving your fear. Are you afraid you’ll say something silly during the presentation? Are you afraid that people will laugh at you?
When you finish your list and analyze your specific fears, consider how likely it is that any of those things would actually happen. More often than not, you’ll realize that most (if not all) of your fears are probably quite unlikely!
Use the facts to stop your fear dead in its tracks. You know you will prepare for that presentation, so you will know exactly what you need to say. You may also consider that your coworkers are very nice, professional people who would not laugh at you during a presentation.
Take a moment to go through all your fears this way and figure out why they’re irrational. Practice this method to address fears head-on whenever you need to remind yourself that fear should not stop you from saying yes.