What if you were able to do absolutely everything that you wanted in life? How would your life be different?
Would you take more risks, try new things, and live your life to the fullest? How do you think your life would change?
Think about this for a moment, when we’re first born all of us have only two fears. The fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. After that, all of the fears that mentally hold us back are what we learn from our surroundings, environment, friends, family, and experiences.
Each and every day, so many of us think about what we’d love to achieve in life, make goals, and imagine how much better life would be if we just had something different.
Then once we actually have to go out and make it happen we feel paralyzed with self-doubt and reasons for why we can’t actually do it.
So what’s happening here? What’s really causing us to not go after what we want in order to improve our life?
The thing that we’re experiencing, which actually ends up holding us back and making us feel like we shouldn’t do something that we want to do, is three types of pain which are manifested as fear.
These types of pain are loss pain, hardship pain, and outcome pain; and once you learn how to recognize and manage these then you can begin to change your mindset and no longer let them control your life.
1. Loss Pain
We experience this pain when we say “I am afraid of making a change or doing something because I might end up losing…”
If I quit my job I’m going to lose my steady paycheck. If I give a speech then I’m going to look stupid, forget everything, then everyone will laugh at me, and I’ll lose their respect. If I start that diet then I’m going to lose all of the delicious foods that I love to eat.
I remember when I first was thinking about leaving my job. I had a fear of losing money, my career path, and the security and consistency that I felt by knowing that if I went to work every day then I would always have at least my minimum bills paid.
While this was a difficult fear to contend with, I instead told myself that, “Yes, I’m going to lose my job, steady paycheck, and might end up being completely broke but I’m going to be able to work for myself, learn all kinds of skills and new things that I don’t know now, and I’ll be able to help so many more people.”
In order to overcome the pain of loss, it’s necessary to completely change your mindset and instead of focusing on what you’re going to lose you need to focus on absolutely anything and everything that you can possibly gain.
2. Hardship Pain
This is the pain of the actual journey, effort, or that doing something new is going to bring so much hardship that it’s going to feel too difficult, inconvenient, and really not worth it. Some people will explain this pain by saying that, “I am afraid of stepping outside of my comfort zone in order to do that.”
This would be like if you say that it’s so difficult to quit smoking because I won’t be able to survive the day and put up with everyone if I don’t have a cigarette to calm me down. Or if you say I’m just not ready to quit my job and start my own business right now, I just don’t know where to start.
With this you need to see every single challenge as a learning process. Most likely whatever you want to do is going to be extremely difficult and not as easy as you initially thought but in the long run you will have obtained skills or habits that you did not have otherwise and the whole process will in turn end up changing and developing you into a better person.
3. Outcome Pain
What if you make this big change and the outcome is not any better or even worse than what you had before? What if I find out that I’m just not good enough to do it?
Part of lives is understanding that in order for us to grow and better ourselves we need to create new habits, learn new skills, and think of all of the possible positive outcomes instead of focusing so much on the negative.
Instead of saying, “I don’t want to go on that diet because I’m going to have to give up all of these great foods.” You need to say, “While I’m going to be giving up all of these great foods, I’ll be able to try new foods, live longer to spend more time with my family, and I’ll look absolutely amazing after I’m finished.”
If we’re constantly letting our fears hold us back then we are never going to grow in life and even worse may always be wondering, “What if I would have made the decision to not give into my fears and just would have done it? How would my life be different now?”
Instead of avoiding our fears, we need to embrace them and use them as a motivator to try new things, learn from our mistakes, and have the most amazing life ever.
Questions: Has there ever been something that you were so afraid of doing, but you did it anyways and were better because of it?