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Fear & Blockages

Covid19 and the psyche: what you can do about worries and fears

The coronavirus situation is serious, but we should stay calm, not worry too much.

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covid19
stick to your routines - Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

The coronavirus situation is serious, but we should stay calm, not worry too much. This is reasonable, but difficult to implement, if presumably even the most mentally stable people have to make a real effort to push the Covid19 Panik off the mattress at night.

For people who are mentally ill, social isolation and the fears that are currently expressed everywhere due to the pandemic are particularly hard.

But there are ways to do something about it – for all of us. We collected recommendations for those affected and spoke to a psychologist.

Stick to the facts!

Anyone who is currently picking up their cell phones will be flooded with information about Corona on all channels. However, not all of it is scientifically sound and is capable of expanding knowledge about the pandemic. To counter panic, you should only stick to places that offer serious information. For example, the World Health Organization, ministries or scientists from recognized institutions. Now is not the time to have the world explained to you by videos from TikTok influencers. “Facts can minimize fears,” explains the WHO.

“When people spread fake news on your timeline, you can easily mute them for a few days and then you don’t have to read their posts. Or just delete them completely. It is normal and perfectly appropriate to be unsettled by the current situation. Undifferentiated, populist and fictitious articles on the subject quickly make the uncertainty panic, ”says clinical psychologists.

Limit your time on social media!

As important as it is to feel informed, it can also be important to consciously limit your own thirst for information. Those who are afraid often try to keep these fears at bay with more and more information. This is currently counterproductive. Sit down and take a short window or two a day to find out about the pandemic. And no more.

Social networks are now absolutely important so that people don’t fall on the ceiling at home. however, we should primarily use them to cultivate contacts that we find pleasant.”

Against loss of control!

Anyone who is mentally ill or can be quickly suppressed by fears knows the feeling of losing control. Problems become huge, seem overwhelming and you yourself feel like a speck of dust that is whirled around. Helpless, abandoned, passed out.

Psychologists, therefore, advise concentrating on things that can be controlled in times of loss of control. Focus on very practical behaviours that you have in your hand to do something about the pandemic. So wash your hands as often and thoroughly as recommended, keep your distance from other people, avoid large crowds and stay at home as much as possible.

Suddenly everyone has a lot of time. And unfortunately, we use them far too often to ponder. Depression therapy often works to keep brooding to a minimum so that worries and fears don’t suddenly appear excessive. I think the strategies you can find on Google by searching for ‘brooding stops’ can help people who are now sitting at home because of Corona and are twiddling their thumbs.

Keep calm!

Yes, of course, that’s easy to say and hard to do. But there are at least a couple of ways that we can all try out when we realize that the panic is rising within us. For one thing: breathe calmly. Concentrate on your own breath for a few minutes and consciously breathe in and out. Progressive muscle relaxation, autogenic training or meditation exercises can also help.

Meditation apps are totally popular right now. However, I strongly doubt that really many people got further than the app download. Now would be a great time to sit down and get started every morning.

Move!

Depressed people, in particular, are strongly advised to do physical activity by psychologists. Exercise is crucial for our mental wellbeing. So if you now have to do without regular visits to the gym or sports course, you will lose an important pillar of self-care.

And even if you would actually prefer to do indoor spinning or Thai boxing: give yourself a jerk and try something different. Jogging and cycling are also good, especially now that the sun is shining and the temperatures are warmer. Walking can also be good. And on YouTube or in countless apps you will find instructions for home sports, from yoga to training with your own body weight.

Maybe one of the best things would be: Everyone gets a dog. The movement then comes automatically and you are constantly in the sun and fresh air. Of course, you should also be aware of the responsibility that a pet brings.

Stick to your routines!

When everyday life is mixed up and your own routines are dropped, it can be quite destabilizing for many. Therefore: Try to stick to your routines as best you can. If you a self-employed working from your home office: get up at the usual time, get ready as if you were going to work, keep your eating and sleeping times. And take notice of the appointments that you would otherwise make. Just make digital dates out of it.

Security and stability are important for most people with and without previous mental illnesses. Predictability lowers fears.

Against the stigma!

Those who are affected by Coronavirus themselves or who have friends who are affected may also have started to suffer from stigmatization. The WHO, therefore, recommends that all people infected with corona should not be referred to as “corona victims” or “corona cases”, but as “people with corona” or “people who are being treated for corona”.

Get help and help others!

For many mentally ill people, asking for help is very, very difficult. To tell other people that they are not well. That they have psychological problems. The appeal of psychologists, in particular, is now: say it! Talk to friends, write about your fears on social media, share your concerns and ask others for help.

“I am excited to see how psychosocial and psychotherapeutic care will develop over the next few weeks. Hopefully, the health insurance companies will come up with unbureaucratic solutions, for example when it comes to whether outpatient psychotherapy can exceptionally be carried out on the phone.

In addition, it is now of course absolutely important that everyone activates their social resources. Call your friends if you feel uncomfortable. They’re probably sitting around at home too. And very important: call your friends who may not be so plump and take care of them. Just be especially nice to each other in the next few weeks.

It is also good for you to help other people. Offering and providing help supports one’s own mental health. So, if you can, offer help. Maybe with a note in the hallway or with a phone call to relatives. At the local level, many people are currently organizing help groups on social media. Maybe you can join such a group and offer your help to.

 

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Fear & Blockages

How to overcome your fear of making mistakes

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Why are we afraid of mistakes, and how can you overcome them

Indeed, the fear of making mistakes or failure and subsequently not trying at all can indeed be considered one of the biggest mistakes one can make in life. Elbert Hubbard’s quote,

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually fear you will make one,”

encapsulates this sentiment perfectly.

When we allow the fear of making mistakes to paralyze us, it hinders our personal growth, limits our potential, and prevents us from pursuing our dreams and aspirations. This fear can lead to a state of inaction, where we remain stagnant and unwilling to take risks or step outside our comfort zones.

The impact of this fear extends beyond mere hesitation—it can permeate various aspects of our lives, affecting our relationships, career choices, and overall fulfillment. We become reluctant to tackle essential tasks or pursue meaningful endeavors as the fear of failure looms large in our minds.

However, striving for perfection and avoiding mistakes is unrealistic and counterproductive. Perfectionism often prevents us from embracing challenges and learning from setbacks, ultimately hindering our progress.

To overcome the fear of making mistakes, it’s essential to cultivate a growth mindset that values learning, resilience, and continuous improvement.

In this article, you will learn:

  • How the fear of mistakes arises
  • How to overcome the fear of mistakes
  • What successful people do differently
  • How best to deal with it if you make a mistake
  • Which is really a mistake
  • How to make as few mistakes as possible

How the fear of mistakes affects your life

The fear of making mistakes can deeply impact your life, manifesting in a range of physical and emotional symptoms. Physical symptoms such as sweating, loss of appetite, sleep disturbances, and shortness of breath may arise during important moments, reflecting the intensity of the fear.

If the fear of failure becomes overwhelming, it can severely restrict your life, dictating your choices and actions. This pervasive fear may lead individuals to avoid challenging situations or opportunities for growth, ultimately hindering personal development and fulfillment.

In response to overwhelming fear, some individuals may resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as alcohol or drug use, seeking temporary relief from anxiety. However, these behaviors can exacerbate the underlying issue and contribute to long-term problems.

Over time, persistent fear of failure can culminate in burnout and depression, impacting mental health and overall well-being.

These fears are not confined to specific scenarios; they can manifest in various everyday situations, affecting personal relationships, career decisions, and overall quality of life.

Fear of making mistakes may erode self-confidence, reinforce self-limiting beliefs, and create barriers to achieving personal goals.

Recognizing and addressing these fears is essential for promoting resilience, self-compassion, and a healthy approach to challenges and opportunities in life.

Fears of failure can manifest in various everyday situations, impacting both professional and personal endeavors. Here are a few examples:

  • Taking on new tasks at work
  • Facing exams or assessments
  • Delivering presentations to small or large audiences
  • Approaching someone romantically
  • Attending job interviews
  • Embarking on international travel
  • Joining a sports club or fitness program

The fear of failure extends beyond career aspirations. For instance, many individuals dream of traveling the world but hesitate due to fears of homesickness or navigating bureaucratic challenges. Consequently, the dream of global exploration often remains unfulfilled.

Similarly, individuals interested in improving their fitness or learning a new sport may be deterred by the fear of feeling embarrassed or inadequate, preventing them from joining a sports club.

It’s important to note that many people abstain from trying altogether due to fear, rather than experiencing failure. However, it’s essential to recognize that failure is a natural part of growth and success. Even the most accomplished individuals have encountered setbacks and failures along their journey to success.

Where does the fear of mistakes come from?

Making mistakes is actually nothing bad, on the contrary: it gives you the opportunity to learn something to do better next time. It brings life experience and in a way make you a bit smarter.

You may be familiar with feeling labeled a failure after experiencing a setback on a project. Often, those around us may focus on our mistakes to deflect attention from their shortcomings. However, the perspective on mistakes differs in North America, where errors are embraced as valuable learning experiences.

Mistakes are essential steps on the path to success, a concept widely embraced in North American culture. The willingness to make and learn from mistakes is integral to personal and professional growth.

The fear of failure can vary in intensity from person to person, influenced by formative experiences during childhood. For instance, a lack of parental praise or feelings of inferiority due to a lack of love and affection can undermine self-confidence.

In later stages of life, fear of failure may stem from concerns about social embarrassment or the perception of being viewed as a failure by others. Many individuals struggle to meet societal expectations and fear not living up to others’ standards.

I vividly recall a moment on my balcony one sunny afternoon, observing a young child riding a bike in their driveway. When the child fell off the bike, I expected tears. To my surprise, the children quickly returned, dusted themselves off, and resumed riding without hesitation.

This simple scene reminded me of the fearlessness inherent in young children. Children naturally explore and try new things without fear of failure. They learn and adapt swiftly from their mistakes, embodying resilience and curiosity.

Unfortunately, as we grow older, societal influences, including our education system, often discourage mistakes. Children are praised more for achieving top grades than for learning from lower scores, reinforcing that mistakes equate to failure.

This conditioning can lead individuals to believe that making mistakes diminishes their worth or lovability. Over time, the fear of making mistakes becomes deeply ingrained, inhibiting creativity, innovation, and personal growth.

However, it’s crucial to recognize that thoughts about mistakes do not reflect reality. We can overcome the fear of making mistakes by challenging negative beliefs and embracing a growth mindset. Awareness of our subconscious beliefs empowers us to dismantle limiting thoughts and cultivate resilience.

To learn more about the power of thoughts in shaping our reality, refer to the article on the “Power of Thoughts.” By acknowledging and confronting our fears, we can liberate ourselves from the grip of perfectionism and embrace a more courageous approach to life’s challenges.

In summary, overcoming the fear of making mistakes requires a shift in mindset, self-awareness, and a willingness to embrace imperfection as an essential part of the human experience.

How to overcome the fear of making mistakes

The fear of making mistakes can shatter dreams and prevent individuals from seizing countless opportunities. Many people believe they are alone in experiencing this fear, while simultaneously admiring those who boldly pursue their aspirations.

What often goes unnoticed is that these courageous individuals also face nerves and uncertainty in new endeavors, but they have mastered the art of managing their fears. They understand that mistakes are an inevitable aspect of growth and learning.

In fact, making mistakes is integral to the learning process and should be embraced as such. The successes achieved by these individuals serve as proof that navigating through mistakes leads to personal growth and achievement.

Life is a continuous journey of learning, and each experience contributes to our wisdom and resilience.

To conquer the fear of making mistakes, it’s crucial to shift your perspective on errors:

“To escape fear, you have to go through it, not around it.” Richie Norton

Everything you do is done with good intentions. You would never intentionally go wrong. If you had known better, you would have done better. It’s not wrong to make a mistake as long as you learn from it.

I recommend that you keep a notebook by entering your mistakes. Include what you learned from these mistakes and what you would do next time in a similar situation.

You can also ask your friends for feedback as they can assess your situation more objectively.

What successful people do differently

Success is not a matter of coincidence. If you compare the lives of successful people, you will always notice similarities.

One thing in common is that successful people are not afraid of making mistakes as they have learned to deal with their fear.

Whether they’re Arnold Schwarzenegger or Steve Jobs, you can be sure they made a lot of mistakes.

I even go one step further and say:

The most successful people have most likely made the most mistakes.

The difference to unsuccessful people is that the successful have not been intimidated by their mistakes, have learned from them and have continued.

If you are currently afraid of mistakes, keep in mind: You fell countless times before you could run. It worked out pretty well, didn’t it?

“If you want to be successful, double your error rate.” – Thomas Watson (founder of IBM)

What happens after you notice a mistake?

As soon as they become aware of a mistake they have made, many people start to put themselves down:

“Only you can be so stupid!”
“You will never make it!”
“You are such a failure!”

Believe me, these negative internal dialogues are well known to me, but they don’t take you one step further and only harm you.

Instead, be kind to yourself. Remember: you always do your best, and you didn’t do it on purpose.

Learn from the mistake made so that you can avoid it in the future.

Accept the situation as it is. Take responsibility and try to make the best of the situation.

If possible, try to correct your mistake. If not, don’t let the setback discourage you and try again.

It often takes a lot of self-discipline if you want to try again, even though you don’t feel like it and are totally frustrated.

What is really a mistake?

Suppose you make a mistake because you didn’t know better. This is not a real mistake.

It is really a mistake to be aware of a mistake, but to commit it again in the future, hoping to achieve different results anyway.

If something doesn’t work the way, you want it to, stop running your head against the wall and question your methods. If in doubt, talk to a few good friends about it and ask them for advice.

“The definition of madness is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.” – Albert Einstein

You can’t do it without making mistakes, but how do you make as few as possible?

If you learn from your mistakes, it is not a bad thing to make mistakes. Nevertheless, they can be annoying and cost us valuable resources (time, money, etc.).

Accordingly, it is advantageous to avoid mistakes as far as possible.

Find people who have already achieved what you want to achieve and exchange ideas with them. You can learn from their mistakes.

“The smart man doesn’t make all the mistakes himself. He also gives others the chance to do so.” – Winston Churchill (British statesman)

If these people are not personally available, read their books or work with other coaching products. A book/coaching product often contains the experience of the person’s entire previous life.

Don’t be too good to take (a lot) of money into your hands. The investment will be worthwhile for you: As a rule, the knowledge of the person will get you to your desired destination much faster.

However, nothing will happen unless you implement this knowledge – nobody can take it away from you. Accordingly, follow the advice of successful people. However, it is always essential to make your own experiences.

Conclusion – overcome the fear of mistakes.

Making mistakes is not a bad thing, as they are natural parts of the learning process. Mistakes happen because we don’t know better. If we had known better, we would have done it differently.

It is essential to learn from these mistakes for the future. Do not be intimidated by the mistakes you have made and try again.

Remember that as a toddler, you weren’t afraid of making mistakes. After you fell, you got up straight away.

Learn from other people’s mistakes, as well. This can save you from making many mistakes yourself.

Don’t be afraid of mistakes. Be brave and dare to follow your dreams.

Richie Norton is right, you have to go through the fears to escape and overcome them.

Go Out Today and Confront Your Fears Head On! Do What You Fear and It Will Fear You!

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Fear & Blockages

4 Steps to overcome your limiting beliefs

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So they’ll never have a hold on you again.

Throughout life, limiting beliefs hold us back, but in mid-career, it’s worse! Here are some tips on how to overcome all your objections to achieving what is essential to you.

What is a limiting belief?

Limiting beliefs are beliefs, whether you are aware of them or not, which limits your ability to fully live your projects in the light of experience accumulated beyond 40 years. So act quickly to avoid wasting time.

What is called a “limiting belief” in the jargon of personal development, these are irrational fears that keep us from acting according to our desires and from progressing through useful experiences.

These “limiting beliefs” manifest themselves whenever they tell us, “you are not …” (“you are not competent enough”; “you are not important enough for …”; “you do not count …”; “This is not what we should do…”).

So whenever a thought or a person makes you feel this way, you REACT!

React, because if we are not responsible for the thoughts of others, we are, on the other hand, responsible for ours, and in particular, for our emotions.

Now we can act on our emotions. We can reason with ourselves, take a step back, give ourselves time and gentleness to understand specific mechanisms…

We all have limiting beliefs.

They were first formed in our childhood because we received codes of conduct to be loved and encouraged by our community (our family in the first place). This is how we grow! There is nothing wrong with anyone.

Most of my friends tell me that one of their limiting beliefs is that we are not talking about money! They suddenly find it hard to negotiate their first contracts when they decide to finally embark on their dream of entrepreneurship (not to mention that this has always been a complicated request for an increase in business! ).

Why don’t we easily give in to these “limiting beliefs”?

“Examine your beliefs and break free.” ― Maria Erving

Some may be so deeply rooted in our past that we never put them into perspective until the day when we feel real pain.

Others are so common to the society in which we live (or the era in which we live) that it takes courage to speak out. Today, for example, women object to the idea that “they are less ambitious than men”. Men, for their part, oppose the plan “that they would be less able to raise their children while working”…

But how many centuries has it taken and collective revolutions? !!!

The time when…

We realize that we have slowed down for many years to conquer what we want internally, the slap is certainly masterful, but it also brings about its procession of bitterness and regrets.

And it all takes time (sometimes a long time) to raise our heads and understand that we are responsible for…. Our emotions as our limiting thoughts !!!

What happens most often is that we then take responsibility for external causes:

  • The market
  • The employer
  • The spouse
  • The crisis, the economy, politics, foreigners (…)
  • Bad luck …

Indeed, there are external causes! Of course and almost always! But even behind external reasons, there is WE, that is to say, how we perceive an event according to our emotions and our prohibitions.

It’s not about being “positive”!

It is much longer and much more complicated than that. It is first and foremost about realizing with a will that we are the creator of our reality in positive as negative.

From there, our state of mind can change, and we will get in motion, which will help us to progress and therefore achieve what we want (sooner or later).

By modifying our convictions and, consequently, our actions, we can create the right conditions (decisions, training, risk-taking, forgiveness, meetings …) to obtain what we are looking for.

So how do you do it?

To demonstrate the method, I just take an example: “you are convinced that after 50 years, your professional life will only decline,” but start from another situation that you feel deep inside you as limiting for your power to act.

Step 1: First recognize your limiting beliefs

The first step to working on a limiting belief is to accept it, and it is not always easy. Let’s take our previous example and see how to approach this:

You are probably convinced that at 50, you start to decline slowly, physically, intellectually and perhaps in other areas of your life. From this belief, you will begin to capitalize on your achievements, thinking that security will bring you more comfortable and tolerable ageing.

As a result, you freeze in a security reflex, which itself reinforces not only your fear of the unknown but also freezes your desire to take risks, etc.

The first question to ask yourself here is: “Who said that people decline from the age of 50 and that the environment announces the end of something?”

“You will find lots of objective reasons to reassure your certainties, but the path will be in your conscience too, and you will ask yourself more often than before about the fact that perhaps, 50 years is only a new age with these challenges but also its strengths.

And you will soon discover that at 50 years old, you can do things that you could not allow yourself at 20 years. And by doing so, you will come to understand that you limit yourself to thinking according to a conception that is as false as it is inaccurate.

Step 2: Give yourself a challenge

Once you see your limiting beliefs, you can spend time recognizing them for what they are, a belief – it’s not real. So one of the first things to do is to start asking yourself what could be the worst-case scenario for going against your false beliefs.

“Courage is your natural setting. You do not need to become courageous, but rather peel back the layers of self-protective, limiting beliefs that keep you small.”
― Vironika Tugaleva

In the case of my example, this would give:

“from the age of 50, I will start to lose my strength. It will be seen and the next generation will gradually overtake me. So I’m going to lose my job before retirement. Suddenly, I will not be able to enjoy life as I dream of it, and that will create a severe illness, which at the bottom will be my entire release towards my limit… and all will be finished….

I am sure that by reading this paragraph, you are laughing! Because things don’t happen that way for everyone but do the exercise! Have fun dramatizing the worst-case scenario in relation to your limiting beliefs … because you will end up realizing that it is indeed a “belief” and not “real”.

Then you will be able to ask yourself and think about a real challenge for you.

For example: “Since I am now 50 years old, a little more experience and I have nothing to prove professionally, what can I achieve in the future, of which I have secretly dreamed for a long time and which would be a sufficient challenge to have the feeling of progressing every day for years?

Step 3: Adopt Zero Limit Beliefs

This step does not mean saying anything! This step means, searching within yourself for what gives you both joy, the impression of continually improving, and which is something that you want to achieve. Thanks to this cocktail, you are sure not to see the time spent in the future, whether you reach your 55, 60, 70 or 80 years.

The magic phrase is to replace a limiting belief with continually: “I may not be able to do today what seems to be a limiting belief, but I like the idea that I can progress and overcome it by doing such and such a thing at first, then I will constantly progress afterwards.”

The word “magic” is: “I like the idea that it’s not just a belief but that I can continuously exceed it because I am open and unique.

Step 4: Put faith in the unknown

Do not think that you are going to get rid of a limiting belief that has accompanied you for so long in your life! It will continue to appear until you have proven otherwise. Also, do not rely on your willpower to keep up whatever the cost over time. Willpower is just capital, which means you can’t tap into it endlessly.

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” ― Corrie ten Boom

It is one thing to understand a belief that makes sense, and it is another to believe it. New habits must accompany your new beliefs. Our brain needs to be reconditioned, and it takes time, application and conviction. Most of the time, you have to walk in the dark for a long time because the novelty is never revealed suddenly.

So you must move forward in uncertainty and be aware at the same time about:

  • your thoughts (watch what you think and what you say!),
  • your feelings (develop a power to visualize the goal sought with your new belief and feel what the result will be once you reach it!)
  • your actions (organize yourself, step by step, with a strategy and tactics)

The good news is that if it is long and challenging to get rid of limiting beliefs at the beginning, with training, it becomes much more comfortable. So start by taking a small notebook and listing everything that prevents you from deploying to another level today, because you are over 50 or for any other question.

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Personality Development

Visualize your fears, not your goals!

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An important decision is pending. You want to bring a change in your life, you are absolutely convinced that you want to implement it, but you can feel the gnawing doubt in the back of your mind. What if it goes wrong? What if you don’t succeed? Such fears are uncomfortable and are often swept under the table. Occasionally they reappear.

We often leave no room for fear on the way to implementation. Instead, the goals are lifted onto the golden podium. Perhaps you use visualization methods, have broken them down into small intermediate goals or have a success coach who will help you to implement them. No matter what, the focus is always on the goals. But what about our fears?

When fears block you

You are on the right track. But what is holding you back from living the life you really want? What is stopping you from realizing your goals and getting them implemented?

What keeps people from realizing their goals for years. The answer is your fears.

Uncertainties, self-doubt, “what if …” scenarios – fear has many faces. It can prevent you from making important decisions, slowing down your process and, in the worst case, even leading to self-sabotage. They keep you from giving 100% of your ability.

Some fears are perfectly obvious, others are hidden behind beliefs and habits. Socially, they are often seen as a weakness in character. Little is said about fears, and if so, almost apologetically. We should talk about them and what we can learn from them. Because fear is, first of all, a survival mechanism that protects us from danger, in some cases unfounded, but there is also something to it about some fears.

What are fears?

The term comes from the Greek word “agchein” and the Latin “angere”, both meaning “choking” or “tying your throat”.

Merriam Webster defines fear as follows: “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger ”. (Source: Merriam Webster )

Fear is not to be confused with anxiety. Fear is an emotional reaction to an acute danger, but fear reacts to an indefinite, assumed danger. It can be a debilitating but also a mobilizing emotion. In psychology, a distinction is made between fear as a state (state anxiety) and fear as a property (trait anxiety). State anxiety describes a temporary fear that is felt in response to a real danger, while trait anxiety is a state of fear that is seen as a threat even without an acute reason.

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
— Joseph Campbell

Fears can block you in your implementation, but at the same time, they are also an opportunity to identify real problems and risks early on and to actively prevent worst-case scenarios.

Use fears as a tool

Do “what if” scenarios also keep you from getting into action?

Of course, I could just tell you now, forget these scenarios and concentrate on the essentials: your goal.

Instead, I recommend you face your fears and find out what’s behind it. Maybe there is a real risk in the way of your goal. Ignoring it could have fatal consequences. It is therefore worth taking a very close look at these worst-case scenarios in your head and using them. In any case, you can learn something. And ideally, you can use your fears as a tool that will help you on your way to implementation and work on them at the same time.

In the following exercise, we will feel your fears on the tooth. What is behind it? Which fears are justified, which have no basis? What can you learn from them and take them into practice?

Exercise: visualize fears

Let’s get back to the important decision you want to make. Take a blank sheet of paper and a pen and think about your decision.

What happened if…

Divide your sheet of paper into three columns:

Repair anxiety prevention

Now think about your worst-case scenario. What’s the worst thing that can happen in this situation? Write each item in the fear column.

Example: If I allow myself to go on vacation, an important task may not be completed.

In the second column under Precaution, write something down to prevent this case.

Example: I appoint someone who is responsible for my tasks and define all tasks in detail in a handover document.

The third column is reserved for damage limitation: What do you do if the worst-case scenario arises to correct the situation?

Example: If there are legal difficulties, someone from the legal department can take care of it, otherwise an apology will be sent out and the task will be carried out as soon as possible.

All right, now you are ready to make your decision! Of course, in wise foresight, you should take the appropriate precautions to insure that your fear does not materialize.

What positive effects could it have if you try it?

Write down what could happen if your decision succeeds against your fears. You shouldn’t necessarily think about the best possible outcome, but rather ask yourself what kind of realistic effects your actions could have.

What happens if nothing changes?

Assuming you don’t make that decision and everything stays as it is – how would that affect your life? Think about it in a few months, in a year, in three years, in 10 years.

Would it have a negative effect on your life if it stays the way it is? In some cases, no change is much worse than your worst-case scenario could ever be.

Conclusion: risk management

If you work your way through the list of your fears so slowly, you will probably encounter some fears that have less hand and foot and others that pose an actual risk to you.

For your success, it is actually very important that you take your worst-case scenarios seriously and address them instead of simply pushing them aside. If they pose a real risk to the implementation of your projects, you should be prepared and cushion the risk. So you see, fears don’t always have to be suppressed or overcome. Instead, they can be a helpful tool for risk management.

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life challenges

Leave your comfort zone – despite the fear.

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The comfort zone can be dangerous. If you want to develop, you have to get out of your comfort zone – despite the fear. This model shows you how to do it. ”

How can you change something in your life even though you’re terrified of it before?

And how can you take action despite your fear?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

But a simple strategy that makes it much easier for you.

The home called the comfort zone.

We all have our so-called comfort zone. It’s the area where we feel safe and comfortable. And we are usually reluctant to leave this area.

Sometimes in life, you come into situations that present you with a challenge. Situations where you have to decide: Do I stay in my comfort zone, or do I dare to step out? Do I dare to change?

The comfort zone is challenging to leave. The secure job, the well-established partnership, the half-financed house.

To be afraid of losing something is more than understandable. Because none of us like to miss anything. And “out of the comfort zone” means “taking the risk”. It is only logical that it is difficult for you to leave your comfort zone.

OK, some people prefer to leave their comfort zone than others. Because each of us has a different attitude to risk-taking, some like to play and look for risk. The other would rather play it safe. You, too, have your own “default setting.”

Comfort zone = golden cage?

The comfort zone also offers you a lot of security and habits that you love. Why should you give it all up for uncertainty? So would you exchange a comfortable life for “no idea what is coming”?

Nah, that would be stupid.

But do you always want to go on like now?

Can you imagine that …?

Ouch – the question can go deep.

A question that many of us do not want to ask ourselves. The honest answer might be terrifying…

What if you don’t want to go on like this?

If you should come to the result: I know that I can not and do not want to continue like this.

Then you may also notice immediately how your heart slips into your pants at the thought because.

    • you may not dare to do that
    • you’re afraid of making a big mistake with it
    • you avoid the risk like the devil in the holy water
    • insecurity doesn’t let you sleep at night
    • you want the change most, but without any risk or pain

But once you get to the point where you think: “Actually, I don’t want that anymore …”, the ring is opened from this moment on.

The ring for the struggle between your desire for security and your willingness to change.

And if you do not want to continue as before, that means in plain language for you: You will probably have to leave your comfort zone soon.

But how are you supposed to do that?

Fear leads to self-sabotage.

If you are afraid to leave your comfort zone, this often leads to behaviour patterns that do not help you:

    • fearful denial – deep inside, you want to change. But you are so afraid of your courage that you prefer to suppress your wishes by all means and remain unhappy.
    • Skilful ignoring – you know you want the change. But you are afraid of the consequences. So better not think about it. Rather forget. And keep running away.
    • The infinite shifting – you see the desire for change, but think to yourself: “It doesn’t run away from me. I can still tackle that next week / next month / next year.” But at some point, the train may have left.
    • The eternal whine – you are dissatisfied but don’t lift a finger yourself, but instead wait for the roasted pigeons to fly into your mouth. Everyone else is responsible for your luck, only you.
    • Airy dreaming – you make big plans and like to talk and talk about it a lot. But after talking, little or nothing will happen to you. Dreaming is your refuge, but you don’t act.
    • The perfect preparation – you roll books and take seminars and make plans over plans. So you have the feeling of doing something, but you always stay in your safe area.
    • The wild jumping around – one day, you want this and tomorrow you want something completely different. Every day you walk in your new favourite direction. So you always start but never go on. And in the end, you turn in a vicious circle.

These are all behavioural patterns that ensure that you can weigh yourself safely. And they prevent you from getting out of your comfort zone.

In the comfort zone from fear of loss

Leave your comfort zone – despite the fear.

Maybe you recognized yourself in one way or another.

But that’s not that bad. These are behaviours that should protect you. So actually something good. They only stand in your way if you want to change.

It is justified to remain in your comfort zone. You can stay there quietly. Nobody can force you to go out, fight for your luck and get a bloody nose.

The decisive factor is your claim to yourself.

Whether you say: “I would rather live a quiet life without much struggle and insecurity.” That is entirely legitimate. In the sense of “rich is he who is poor in desires”.

Or whether you say: “I want more of life, and for that, I accept stumbling, bruising and pain.”

If you are more inclined towards the latter, then the question is inevitable:

“How do I manage to leave my comfort zone and change something in my life? How can I change something even though I’m afraid of the unknown? ”

Design the change process yourself

If you want to change, you must take it into your own hands and shape it in such a way that it is bearable for you.

It is similar to sport. If you want to run 15 km today completely untrained, it could be a pretty big challenge … Well, let’s face it: that would be a total disaster. And you won’t have any fun either.

It makes no sense to overload yourself. And you can apply this principle to many areas of your life, even in your comfort zone.

Specifically, this means:

    1. this means you don’t have to leave your current situation from 0 to 100. You can do it slowly and with baby steps that don’t hurt you.
    2. You can proceed according to difficulty levels, and you do not have to start with the hardest part.

Yes, that sounds pretty logical and easy at first. But how many people do it that way?

Or to put it the other way around: If you really would do it like that, what are you still afraid of?

Maybe before deciding to change something?

But that’s the charm of this approach: You stay in a “safe zone” for a long time, where you can turn around at any time.

With a strategy from the comfort zone

Imagine that you are not satisfied with your job. So dissatisfied that you realize: yes, I want to change. Otherwise, it continues to make me unhappy.

But you don’t want to quit either. After all, you have to pay off a house and feed children.

How can you get out of this dilemma now?

What would be your first thought?

  • Are you looking to talk to your boss?
  • To apply elsewhere?
  • Or even to quit?

Yes, these are probably the standard things that come to mind for all of us.

But these are all examples of steps that are much too big.

So basically a jump from 0 to 50 or even more.

And it’s not necessarily secure.

Who likes to hold crisis talks with their boss?

Or like to apply again?

Not exactly the most straightforward solutions.

Which in turn causes you to postpone it, ignore it, whine about it or sink into daydreams … (see list above).

What could a baby step look like that doesn’t hurt you instead?

This is how you get into action.

A baby step means going from 0 to 1 on the scale. That is the goal.

So if you are unsatisfied with your job, you could take a pen and piece of paper and put it on paper now, which is precisely your problem.

Write down: What makes me unhappy about my job?

If you have another problem, you can, of course, do the same thing, write it down on paper.

This is a step that costs you practically nothing. Just a little bit of time and paper. But it’s the first small step. In which you record for yourself what is going on.

What could be another baby step like that?

Next, you could do the same thing again, but ask yourself: Where do I want to go instead? What would be a reasonable goal?

There are a lot of such mini-steps that you can take one after the other without ever having to leave your comfort zone.

So what is the difficulty level?

If we put the exit of the comfort zone into a model, it could look something like this:

model with 4 circles in different colors.

comfort zones

 

  1. Ring (easy): me with myself
  2. Ring (medium): friends
  3. Ring (medium): other
  4. Ring (heavy): where the fear is

What does this model tell you now?

Zone 1: me with myself

This is the comfort zone because everything here is just mind games with yourself.

This is the safe zone, and nothing concrete has happened here yet.

In the area, you can take the following baby steps:

  1. Analyze your problem
  2. Think about where you’d instead go
  3. Clarify your “why” so that you gain clarity for yourself
  4. Show you all possible options
  5. Set your own deadlines/commit yourself to something
  6.  make a decision
  7. Think about how you want to deal with your inner resistance
  8. … Etc.

Zone 2: friends

man obtaining the opinion of a friend at a coffee shop

When you are in the 2nd ring, you take the first small step outwards.

Here you can speak to the people who are kind to you—friends, family, mentors.

For a lot of people, this is what happens when you first talk to someone else about it.

You could

  1. Reveal yourself to a friend and expressing your thoughts
  2. Consciously obtain the opinion of a friend, discuss it critically
  3. Commit yourself to a friend and say: “Until then and then I want to be one step ahead.”
  4. … Etc.

This ring is also light for some people and does not require much effort. For some people, this is still part of their comfort zone.

For other people, however, this is not the case at all because it is difficult for them to open up. Or because problems are not discussed with others.

Whatever applies to you, adjust your baby steps so that it suits you.

Zone 3: others

Young man getting more critical opinion from a mentor

The third ring is also about going outside. Here, however, not necessarily with the people who are kind to me, but with “neutral” people.

These could be acquaintances, consultants, coaches or even Sam’s mother’s cousin. Whoever …

For some people, this is still a beneficial intermediate step.

Just go to “neutral ground” and get a more critical opinion from outside.

The steps you could take are similar to the second ring.

  1. Reveal you
  2. Get critical opinions
  3. … Etc.

Zone 4: where the fear is

When you have arrived here, you have already done a lot of change work:

  1. You know what you want and what you no longer want.
  2. You know what should change.
  3. You made a decision.
  4. You talked to friends about it and exchanged views.
  5. You spoke to neutral acquaintances, coaches or consultants about it and asked for advice.

So far, a lot has matured in you. Maybe for some time.

Now and only now, it is time to look your fear slowly in the face.

And this is where the area begins to get tricky.

Because you can no longer back down from here. What is out is out first.

So how do you manage this transition?

Cross the Rubicon – or not

Once you get here at this point, you know exactly what each of your alternatives “costs” you.

So what price you have to pay if you stay in a job that makes you unhappy. And what price you have to pay if you express your dissatisfaction or even quit.

What price you have to pay if you continue with your partner or ask them to change.

You’ll have to pay the price. And now you have to weigh it up.

Are you going the way or not? Would you rather wait a little longer?

Act despite your fear

baby with parents taking small steps

If you decide to look your fear in the face and leave your comfort zone, this means stress for you first.

But here, too, you can apply the two principles mentioned to make it as straightforward as possible for you:

  1. Make mini-steps and
  2. start with the most manageable steps

You make it even smaller for your situation.

By focusing here only on the next as small as possible, as simple as possible.

Specifically, this can mean:

Are you afraid of a crisis talk with your boss?

First, ask him for an appointment. What you say precisely remains open for now. Maybe you dare. And if not, talk about something else first.

  • Are you afraid of offending your partner?
  • Just think of an introductory sentence for the conversation. Then whether you say everything you want to get rid of or not, you can still see it.
  • Does your heart slip if you only think about selling the house?

First, create an offer in a real estate platform. And then wait and see what happens without obligation.

Now you come

How exactly you design the steps is, of course, very different for each individual. In your case, something else might be a lot better.

Here a little thinking and creativity are required on your part. Because only you know your limits and fears. And only you know what’s going on with you and what’s not.

But making it yourself as small as possible and comfortable is a strategy that is guaranteed to lead you where you want to go. Because you hardly have to overcome any resistance and always stay in the flow.

If you follow this strategy consistently, you will be able to leave your comfort zone despite your initial fears and concerns.

What other strategies do you know to get yourself out of your comfort zone?

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