I had been coaching Susan to help overcome her fears and anxieties about leaving her job and starting her own business. If she thought rationally about the move, it made complete sense, but she kept having moments of fear and hearing a little voice telling her not to do it.
“It’s really odd,” Susan said. “I can feel really excited and confident about this decision, but also so worried that I’m going to fail and it won’t work out. I’m finding this indecision really frustrating.”
I helped Susan develop the following techniques to try to overcome her fears so she could move on with her decision confidently:
1. Stand back
Often when we are in a situation, we find it hard to get perspective—and this is when we get caught in a vicious circle of negative thinking that increases our irrational fears. Try to stand back from your situation, draw a deep breath, and then think about it again. Being calm helps you to think about something much more clearly.
2. Imagine the worse that could happen
Understand and write down all the things that could go wrong and then create a plan to overcome these problems. Acknowledging and tackling your fears before they arise will increase your confidence.
3. Reframe your situation as positive
Try to consider your situation from a positive point of view. Think about all the benefits, and how this will change your life in an empowering way—and concentrate on that.
4. Remember: excitement and fear feel the same
Excitement and fear physically feel the same, so when you experience those physical anxious feelings, reinterpret them as excitement instead, and use that to motivate you to keep pushing forward.
5. Visualize the future
See what your life is going to look like once you’ve made this change in your life. Draw it up on a big piece of paper and stick it on a wall you see everyday.
6. Create a support structure
You need an effective support structure around you. Bring people into your life who will inspire you and help drive you forward, rather than people who are always pointing out the problems and negatives (the “scaremongers”). Ideas and decisions need to breathe, be nurtured, and then given life.
“With Rebekah’s help I’ve been able to clearly understand when my rational—or irrational—self is talking to me, and to overcome any problems with this life-changing decision,” Susan says. “I’m now able to really enjoy this process of change rather than be scared of it.”