You were minding your own business, living your life, and then all of a sudden you saw something, you had an idea. Maybe a crisis brought it on or maybe it was a simple realization that something could be better… or different, but whatever brought you to this moment of decision, you’ve seen something and a choice must be made.
It could be related to business, art, education, faith, family, life….anything really. In our line of work, we meet with people all the time who are considering changing something and as they begin to consider pursuing their idea… “it” begins to happen. “It” in this situation, is, of course, fear. Fear tells us that there’s no way we can do whatever it is that we are considering. It might start by asking, “Who are they to…?” The further the idea is from the accepted norm, the greater the risk of fear infiltrating in various forms and destroying the idea before it even has time to sprout wings. If the idea somehow survives the infant states, the tension only increases to a deafening roar that will be the final death nail unless it can somehow be silenced.
When your idea shows strength and vigor, fear takes it’s last stand and tries the one thing that kills most ideas: comfort. Why battle the fear? Why go against the norm? Why make life more difficult?
Here’s a simple truth….you can’t grow without movement. And there’s always a counterforce for anything you try to do, so let’s look at four ways to get fight back so you can move forward.
- Face your fears. How many ideas and world changing thoughts have never been revealed because of fear? We meet people all the time who have great ideas, they have thoughts and perspectives that are fascinating but they are never realized because of fear. We are born relatively fearless. We eat what is given to us, play wherever we are put, talk to whomever stands before us, and sing without a thought to who is listening. As we grow older and interact more with the world around us, fear can begin to rule our lives, whether it’s the fear of failure, of acceptance, or of making mistakes that cannot be fixed.
- Change your Narrative environment. Why do people stay in cults? Why do people get released from prison only to go right back? Why do people have epiphanies when they travel only to seemingly forget them when they return to their normal world? Our narrative environments can be the most beneficial and also the most destructive factors in our lives. If you want to move ahead you need to find a new narrative and begin to invest all of your time and energy into this. Find books, podcasts, Youtube channels, and blogs that will begin to invest in and nurture this new narrative. You also need to replace the actual community with new people. Where does your new tribe hang out? Where do they gather? Online spaces are a great start, but the people you hang out with in your daily life are influencing your decisions whether you talk to them directly about them or not. You were created for community and we all need to belong so make sure to protect yourself against this weakness by engaging a new tribe.
- Choose long term over temporal comfort. Why do we quit one job only to get another one in the same field? Why do we date one loser only to break up and date another one just like him? Comfort only thinks about this moment, it’s shortsighted and has no thought or concern for what is best long-term. Comfort says, “eat the greasy pizza and skip the gym”, and it doesn’t care at all about your cholesterol levels or growing waistline. Comfort says, “do whatever is easiest now” and will always lead you to the path of less resistance. The best way to fight temporal comfort is to recognize it for what it is….fleeting. Sure, some comforts are ok in life, just like a slice of pizza isn’t going to make you overweight, but you have to learn to crave, yearn, and strive for Long Term Comfort rather than the temporal to make decisions that will lead to a greater success rate for your ideas and decisions.
- Think through the long-term effects of staying versus moving forward. The best way to defeat the pull of comfort is to grow more afraid of staying stuck versus moving forward. This fear of staying, the fear of what happens if you stay stuck actually creates momentum. Momentum kicks comfort’s ass and provides you with the determination to move forward.
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