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Sayed Faizan Ali
According to Brian Tracy, more than 99% of adults experience both these fears of failure and rejection. They are caught in the trap of feeling, “I can’t, but “I have to,” “I have to,” but “I can’t.”
The fear of rejection and failure is the single greatest obstacle to success in adult life. Taken to its extreme, we become totally preoccupied with not making a mistake, with seeking approval for security above all other considerations.
Link to full article at the bottom.
Let's start by looking at what fear actually is. It's a funny thing fear, there are only two natural fears that we're all born with. One is the fear of falling and the other is the fear of loud noises. All other fears are learned as we go through life. You can have fears that stem from a self-limiting belief, as in you don't believe you can do something so you're afraid of it. Quite often if somebody's says, "I can't", that means there is a fear around with whatever the action is. Fear can also be mixed up with shame and guilt, so it's quite a complex area.
But let's just have a look at what fear can do to your body. Why is it so important that we get to grips with our fears? Fear will produce various reactions in your body. It will increase your blood pressure. It will increase your heart rate. It will increase the chemicals that are going around your body, which themselves have impacts. You'll will end up with high levels of cortisol in your body, which is the stress hormone and can lead to bad sleep. You'll have high levels of adrenaline because you're in the fight or flight mode. You'll get tense muscles, your blood sugars will increase, your non-essential systems such as digestion and the immune system will shut down because your body is focusing on what it's got to do and you also may have trouble focusing on small tasks. The brain is focusing on the big picture it's not looking at the small tasks.
In the past, before life got complicated, when we are physically threatened, we would have the fight or flight response, do whatever was necessary and then calm back down again and it had no long-lasting impact on the body. However, what's happened to us as humans is that we have developed these fears that we have learned and that means that some people live in a state of fear. So, imagine what it does to your body if you are constantly struggling with high blood pressure from fear. If your heart is constantly racing. If you constantly have bad sleep. If you constantly have tense muscles, high blood sugar. If your non-essential systems shut down for extended periods of time, such as digestion and the immune system, imagine the problems that could lead to. Finally on a level of performance at work or even in your personal life, if you can't focus on the small tasks then that's going to become an issue as well.
There’s been quite a lot of research done about the different types of people and how they deal with fear. In Brian Tracey's book, Maximum Achievement, he cites a university science experiment that was conducted called ‘Evaders and Confronters’. The cohorts were given a series of questions about how they dealt with fear and then they were divided into two groups, the confronters, and the evaders.
The confronters confronted their problems. When they were put in the situation where they had an electrode on them that was going to give them an electric shock to their finger every 60 seconds, they clock watched, they counted the seconds on the clock, they prepared mentally for the shock. It was discovered that their heart rates and their blood pressure went up slightly and then it went back down again, and there was relatively little impact on the body.
Now the evaders, they tried to trick themselves into believing there wasn't going to be a shock. They refused to acknowledge that this was going to happen. They looked away from the clock, they wouldn't look at the source of the problem and they displayed avoidance behaviours. Their blood pressure and heart rate became very elevated. They suffered from anxious reactions, they were nervous, they were on edge. Not only did they have that throughout the experiment but then after the experiment when they walked away the evaders who were still in denial, their heart rate and blood pressure was 30-40% higher than the confronters, and that continued for up to four hours. Whereas the confronters left the room and their blood pressure and heart rate returned to normal very quickly. This clearly shows that depending on how you deal with fear will depend on its impact on your health long-term.
What are the bullshit stories you are telling yourself?
What are the bullshit stories that you are telling yourself? Are you telling yourself that you can't change x, y or z despite the fact that it would improve both your life and the success of your business? Are you saying that you can't organize your time well enough to fit in an activity that you would like to do? Are you saying that you don't have the right information to move forwards, or that making that big decision is too risky? Are you basically finding a whole load of excuses that are holding you back from achieving what you want to achieve in life or business?
Mental blocks and self-limiting beliefs are, generally speaking, ideas or problems that we have got into our heads as the result of an event in the past. It might be that there was a child in the playground who was particularly horrible to you about something, and you decided there and then that you couldn't do X, or you couldn't do Y. It may be that you had something ingrained into you by your parents saying that if you did X, you couldn't achieve Y.
Some of these mental blocks or self-limiting beliefs you may be aware of, but others will be sitting in your subconscious dictating your decisions and actions without you even realising it. Everybody has different upbringings, we were all brought up with different values.
Let me tell you a story about me. When I was in my early 20s, I sat around the kitchen table with my parents. My parents are quite conservative. They'd done very well for themselves, they hadn't been to university. I had had the privilege of going to university but just after my graduation I sat in front of them and I said, "I don't know what I want to do with the rest of my life. I have this dilemma."
On one hand, I had a list of dreams, and wanting to travel the world. I wanted to get out there. I wanted to go and see different places, and I saw my potential vehicle to achieve this in teaching.
On the other hand, my parents thought I should follow my friends and travel later. My friends were all going to work in London. They were going to fantastic graduate jobs with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Accenture, PA Consulting, I could go on listing huge blue-chip companies, but you get the idea! As far as I was concerned, they were selling their souls to the devil for money. That was not what I wanted to be getting out of life. I did not want to be stuck in an office. I did not want to be commuting. I did not want to be living in London.
At some point during that conversation with my parents, I made the decision that I could either follow my dreams, but that meant having little money or I could have a lot more money, but that meant I couldn't follow my dreams.
For the next 20 years of my life, I followed my dreams. I've had a phenomenal life. I’ve lived in Australia, I've lived in Thailand, I've taught English as a foreign language, I’ve worked as a primary school teacher, I've worked in a five-star hotel with a three Michelin star restaurant, I've run my own business, I've lived in France, I've been able to ski every weekend because I chose to live my dream life in the French Alps.
Eventually, I also chose to move back to the UK, which is something I said I'd never do, in pursuit of progression in my career. Then I ended up making the decision that actually not having a lot of money wasn't massively fun anymore. I was approaching my 40s, and that maybe a job with a bit more money would be useful. I went and found a job with a bit more money, and I discovered that whilst the money was nice, I was then limiting myself in pursuing things because I felt that in order to earn the money I had to work hard, which impacted on my social life and everything else.
Then in June 2016, in desperate search for fulfilment and self-belief, I stumbled on personal development and in the November attended a three-day NLP and Time Line Therapy™ course called The Success Breakthrough. Wow! Those three days changed my life and my view on life forever. I had a sort of epiphany moment. I realised that you could follow your dreams and have money, in fact you could have it all. It wasn't a choice of one or the other. I had no idea how that conversation with my parents and a decision I made subconsciously during that conversation 20 years ago had impacted my way of thinking for my whole adult life.
So here I am, I'm now pursing my dreams again. I quit my job, retrained as an NLP and Time Line Therapy™ Coach so that I could help others have the same breakthroughs that I had had. Everything that I want, I'm going to go out there to get. In order to do that, I had to get rid of my self-limiting beliefs and my mental blocks and stop believing that you couldn't do or have X, because of Y. I got rid of all this baggage in a very quick and simple process. It has allowed me to increase my emotional intelligence, which increases my ability to perform, and have success in my life, and it means that I'm achieving my goals much faster.
It meant that I achieved my goal of leaving my job in 2017 on the fourth of March, rather than in September or October, which is what I'd originally envisioned. It's allowed me to do a lot of other things too as well as re-find self-belief and fulfillment.
What I'm asking you today is what are the bullshit stories that you're telling yourself?
What are your self-limiting beliefs?
What are your mental blocks?
If you think that they are genuinely holding you back from where you want to be in life, the success you want to achieve, whatever that may be; personal or business, it may be time to consider a coach. After all every great sportsperson or internationally renowned business person has one.
My coach frequently quotes T. Harv Eker “Every master was once a disaster!”
Is it time to ‘turn your cant’s into cans, and your dreams into plans?’ (Adapted quote - Kobi Yamada)