Tag Archives: fear

6 Steps to Overcome ‘That’ Fear!

Ok, so in coaching we talk about fear a lot! Fear is what holds us back, makes us hesitate, procrastinate, put off and ultimately kill our dreams. I’m sure you’ve read plenty of things about fear and I know you’ve felt it lots of times too!

Today, I’m going to let you in on a little secret and that is; Fear has Layers. Often if you think you’ve overcome your fear, what you’ve actually done is overcome a surface fear but underneath that, something else can be lurking there much deeper. So I thought with Halloween coming up it , it’s a good time to explore fear a bit deeper and today I want to talk to you about not being good enough at ‘it’

The Fear of Not Being Good Enough at ‘IT’

IT is different for everyone. Now, with this fear I’m not talking about the normal thoughts and fear we have around ‘not feeling good enough’- I’m talking about what happens when a fear of not being good enough becomes a habitual way of thinking aka a ‘fixed mindset’.

Let me explain: I used to do cross country and 100 metre running in school. Primary school sports days- I loved them! Within the first few weeks of secondary school, I had the nickname of ‘Sonic’ yes the hedgehog, yes I realise now it was lame but back then, I was just so proud of it and having that label pushed me into running faster. Then started the competitions- county and country competitions. All of a sudden I wasn’t the best anymore. In fact, I was pretty average and insignificant. My ability wasn’t good enough. What was the point then?   My mindset shifted quite quickly from ‘This is fun, I’m really good at this’ to ‘I’m not good enough anymore so I’m not interested.’

Truth be told, it wasn’t that I wasn’t interested, I desperately was but up until that point it had just been so easy and natural for me and I never learnt to work at it. Bottom line was I quit, and I started smoking to double up on the excuses.

This particular mindset of ‘not good enough’ in relation to my fitness stayed with me for years and it still my default setting. If I go to a class or a boot camp or anything, and it doesn’t come naturally or feel fun or feel easy- the urge is to walk away. But I KNOW it’s because I never learnt how to work at it, that I never learnt that effort and practice is more important than immediate results- does that make sense? I know it logically now which it why I have to push myself to follow through, to do it even when I don’t feel like it.

So, I’m curious- where has this story been playing out in your life?

What doesn’t come naturally to you anymore so the default behaviour is to avoid it or procrastinate? For many people I work with it’s in relation to their health, weight and fitness goals. Similar to me- it used to come naturally and easily until all of a sudden it didn’t and now that area of life just sucks! And no matter what meal plans you come up with, or what exercise regime you sign up to- you never follow through and stay consistent!

Or how about in work- do you remember when you used to do your work and you’d get a grade? You’d get clear comments- well done, needs improvement, good effort etc but then when you entered the ‘real world’- just crickets. No feedback, no praise, no ‘well done’. The rules are different- instead of waiting to be asked for your input, you have to speak over everyone else- maybe even interrupt others mid sentence. It feels hard, it feels uncomfortable so what’s happened for many people is that you back off, stay quiet, you don’t progress as you had hoped you would and your confidence and self esteem gets chipped away at a little bit more each day. The big dreams that you had for yourself and your life aren’t featuring in your thoughts anymore. You start believing that you’re not ‘good enough at it’ – whatever ‘it’ may be so it’s better if you just keep your head down.

The point I want to hammer home is that we avoid, deny, procrastinate, don’t follow through and don’t reach our dreams because we’re afraid of trying in case we find out that we’re not good enough at ‘it’. It’s easier to keep something as a wish or a dream that we can fantasise about rather than putting the effort in to make it happen and discovering that we’re not good enough (or so the fear will tell you!)

What I’m saying is that is just your current mindset.

You just haven’t learnt YET how to do it to get the results that you want. What I’m saying is that everything you could possibly desire is possible for you- it’s just that you haven’t learnt how to get it YET. You need to change your way of thinking to a growth mindset.

So be honest- what’s your big goal or dream? What is your ‘IT’? What is it that you desperately want but you’re telling yourself that it’s scary to try for in case you can’t do, be or have it?

Here are your steps:

Step 1: Identify your thing

Step 2: Identify the story you’re telling yourself about it

Step 3: Make the decision that you will go after your thing but be realistic. Give yourself the time to learn, give yourself the real time it would take to actually see results, give yourself milestones and measures, find someone to be accountable to or hire a coach. Start taking baby steps

Step 4: A simple way of starting to develop your growth mindset is asking the questions ‘What did I learn from this?’ ‘ How could I improve on this?’ ‘What would I do differently next time?’ each time you progress towards your thing

Step 5: Track it- Actually write it down somewhere- if it’s your fitness- track your distance or reps you can do so that you can see the progress. If it’s your weight, track it and what you’re eating. If it’s finances you want to get to grips with, start tracking your income, outgoings and savings each day, if it’s your confidence to speak up in work- track how many times you speak up and when. Where you put your attention is where the magic happens so whatever area of life you want to see improvements- start to track it.

Step 6: Be kind to yourself- this is hard and it’s something you’ve been putting off so go gently with yourself and manage your expectations. It’s not going to all fall into place, there will be a learning curve, it will take time and it will take effort. But if you keep on keeping on and keep your eyes on the prize, you will get there!

Until next week,

P x

Check out my Best Selling 30 Day programme ‘All You Need is Love’ where we ensure that the relationship you have with yourself is healthy and solid. This is the foundation to everything else you want in your life. We deep dive into your mindset and thinking as well!

I’m a scaredy cat

scaredy cat

Is a quarter life crisis causing you to become a scaredy cat?

I’m a complete scaredy cat. When the going gets tough, my default state of being is hiding and sleeping myself into a safe cocoon of darkness. That’s what I’d love to be doing right now, being lazy in my bed, curtains drawn, lights down either sleeping or losing myself in a novel.

Why?

Well because I’m telling myself I am an imposter and not good enough because I’m a scaredy cat.

 But you know what, this is the real me.

I am a total chicken! I get so scared that I get stuck in limbo not knowing what way to go.  The future scares me, asking for what I want scares me, doing things I know I want to do deep down scares me, telling people the truth scares me, looking at my finances coming up to Christmas scares me, every time I write a blog post or tell you a bit of my story scares me, relationships scare me, making decisions scare me, running my own business terrifies me. Sometimes the thought of facing a difficult day scares me and I wake up with crippling anxiety in my chest, my jaw and throat tighten and I have such a strong desire to hide from the world. Life can be really scary but guess what? That’s ok. Also, I know I get scared and want to hide and that’s ok too. I’ve accepted this.

You might think that this is a strange blog post for a life coach to write- it’s a bit blunt, not exactly motivational and so far isn’t offering much hope or inspiration!! And you’re right! It is an odd post for a coach to write but it’s also me being honest with you.

I’m always afraid and fear is always present in my life but it’s not a problem for me. It doesn’t get in my way or hold me back. Anymore… (well, maybe the odd time!!)

But my default state of hiding used to win all the time, I hid for most of my late teens and early 20s. I never really stretched myself and I stayed within my comfort zone. It was boring and frustrating as hell!! I didn’t really do anything fun and exciting either!

So I started to study fear- probably to try and figure out what was wrong with me so you can imagine my surprise when all of the books I read and seminars I attended were actually telling me that fear was normal, what I was feeling was normal, my desire to hide was normal.

One particular book I read was Susan Jeffers ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’- it took me years to get through this book because it made far too much sense and I just didn’t want to hear it. The main message in the book is that fear comes from an uncertainty within ourselves of our ability to handle the situation should something bad happen. Susan Jeffers says, “All you have to do to weaken your fear is to develop more trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way.” So basically, cultivate self trust, self love and self compassion.

She talks about the 5 truths about fear, my favourite being ‘The fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow’. Everybody fears doing, or being, something new because of the uncertainty within unfamiliar situations. If you do not fear, you do not grow.

This is why fear is no longer a problem for me.

I accept it and love that I continue to grow and push myself in spite of it. I said at the beginning that I would rather be hiding in my bed than writing this but I’m still typing so it’s more evidence for me that I’m progressing in spite of my fear and that I can handle whatever will come my way.

The reason I chose to revisit and write about this topic now is because life has been kicking my ass for the past few weeks! My mind, body and spirit have been taking their sweet time to come together and get on board with my plans and goals for 2018- like I cannot believe that there’s only 3 months left of this year!! Seriously WTF???

Getting back into my work groove after summer time has kicked my ass even with Sarah starting preschool and the fact that I have more time to myself. Getting back into any sort of self care routine and rituals such as exercise, proper food and sleep has kicked my ass as well! I’ve had lower back pain for ages which I kept dismissing; finally got tests done the other day and there is a problem which I’ve been aggravating for months. In short, fear had crept in and self care, love and compassion has taken a nose dive! Doing a reality check on your life is scary- especially when it means facing up to the fact that things are not as you want them to be. It can feel like we’re not progressing or we’re a million miles away from where we wanted to be by now. So looking at where you’re at is scary and making the changed necessary is scary! Either way- it’s scary! Oh, and the other thing- not making the changes and seeing where that will lead you is equally terrifying!

But what I’m so grateful for, is my work and being able to connect with so many other women like me all around the world and the message I’m hearing back is that …………...it’s not just me. Seems like the last few weeks have been kicking lots of asses! But hey, if you do not fear, you do not grow! Let’s all be scaredy cats for the rest of 2018 but push ourselves in spite of it!

Fear is my constant companion- how bout you? What can you do to break through despite your fear?…..

On that note, I’d love to invite you to join ‘Elevate’ – a 10 week high challenge and high support personal development course. I was planning to work with a large group but I’ve decided now, it will be less than 8 women so it will be more intimate, more personal and gentler for me in terms of energy demands! It is a combination of personal development training, accountability, group coaching, actions and follow through and 1:1 sessions- exactly what you need to finish off 2018 on a high! Check it out here, or book in for a call with me to see if it’s a good fit for you!

Until next week, Be afraid but move anyway!!

P x

Do you Over-Function or Under-Function?

We’re in the festive season and lo and behold, stress has been coming up a lot with clients recently so I thought I’d try tackle it this week! The most common form of stress that I’m seeing for our generation is a mix of anxiety and feeling flat or sad. Now, we all have stress in our lives- and we know that some days can be worse than others depending on what we have on our plate at any given moment!

Stress in itself is not a problem- some people thrive on having an impending deadline (or at least tell themselves that they do!) But stress can become a problem when we feel we can’t control it when the pressure on us outweighs our ability to cope. When we feel under pressure or that we can’t cope, we tend to default to our patterned ways of responding -we either over function or we under function. I’m a complete under-functioner!

The first time I came across this concept was in a book called ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ by Dr Brene Brown. This idea of how we handle stress blew me away because I had definitely experienced it but never really understood it before. The theory is that we all have patterned ways of responding to stress/anxiety.  We either respond by over functioning or under functioning.  Neither is good or bad, right or wrong- it just is what it is.

Over-functioners respond to stress by wanting to take charge of the situation. They become controlling, feel that they have to rescue others, they take over, micromanage, and tend to believe they know what is best for others rather than looking at themselves first. Their thought pattern goes something like this ‘It’s up to me. I’m the only one who can do x,y,z. It needs to be done this way’………etc etc!

They can see other people as either unwilling or unable to ‘shape up’ to their standard. Rather than feel vulnerable they go into action mode. They often can get labelled as bossy, controlling and a know it all and they absolutely hate being thought of that way!

Under-functioners like myself, respond to stress by wanting to avoid the situation. They get caught up in their feelings, feel too vulnerable and start showing up less. They tend to get less competent under stress, they detach, procrastinate and retreat from the world. Their thought pattern goes something like this ‘I’m not good enough. I don’t know. I can’t’………etc etc!

They can see other people as overbearing and demanding. They can often get labelled as lazy and unreliable and they hate the idea of people thinking that of them.

The key thing is to remember that these are patterned responses to stress and anxiety, rather than truths about who we are.  THIS DOES NOT DEFINE YOU. Understanding this point helps us to understand that we can ALL learn to take control of how we tend to handle stress.

So, how about you. Do you tend to over function or under function when you are under stress?

Here’s what to do:

We all need people in our lives that we trust and who will be brutally honest with us!  We need to ask for their help- rather than tell you that you’re being controlling or unreliable which would make you feel ashamed of yourself and even more stressed- these trusted people need to focus on your behaviour.

It is easier for Over-functioners to ‘do’ than to ‘feel’ so if this is your default response to stress then you need to work on being more willing to embrace your vulnerabilities in the face of stress. Imagine, something incredibly stressful is happening in your world right now and you go into to default mode of operating, organising, delegating and taking charge. Someone you trust comes up to you, looks you in the eye and says ‘You’re over-functioning. You’re not on your own.’ This allows you to take a step back, breathe and realise that you’re not on your own and you have support.

It is easier for Under-functioners to ‘avoid’ than to ‘feel’ so they need to work on building their self regard and strengths. So imagine something incredibly stressful is happening in your world right now and you go into your default mode of operating- you start to step back, retreat and feel that you have nothing to offer. You need someone to come to you, look you in the eye and say You’re under-functioning. You have what it takes. Your opinion matters and you need to step up and be involved’. This allows you to breathe and acknowledge what can be done. You can break things down into smaller pieces and tackle things in pieces.

Other things you can do to help during stressful times include:

  • Get more exercise- go for a walk, a swim, yoga- anything! Get your body moving and if possible, exercise outdoors.
  • Cut back on caffeine!
  • Practice calm and stillness- for you this could be meditation or mindfulness. For me, this is purposefully going for a walk on the beach with the intention of calming my mind
  • Get it off your chest- express your emotions either by talking to someone, writing in a diary- whatever works for you! If I’m really stressed or upset, I’ll actually watch a sad movie that I know will have me in tears at the end! It’s a way to release the built up tension or emotion! (Especially for over-functioners)
  • Bank your successes! By this I mean, make a note of all the times that you stepped up and did great despite your anxiety! Try journalling regularly and making a note each day of 3 things you did that day that demonstrated self confidence or self regard! (Especially for under-functioners)

I hope this issue of Progress has been helpful to you and that this concept has resonated with you as much as it did me when I first read about it. I think it’s really powerful and I challenge each of you to take some time to think about what your default response to stress is! Then, go and find people who are willing and able to speak the truth to you when you need them to.

Until next week!

Take care,

P x

I’m a scaredy-cat!

I’m a complete scaredy cat. When the going gets tough, my default state of being is hiding and scaredy catsleeping myself into a safe cocoon of darkness. That’s what I want to be doing right now instead of writing this. I’m feeling anxious, scared, unworthy. This is my first blog post of 2015, and I’m telling myself I am an imposter because I’m a scaredy cat.

 But you know what, this is the real me.

I am a total chicken! I get so scared that I get stuck in limbo not knowing what way to go.  The future scares me, asking for what I want scares me, doing things I know I want to do deep down scares me, telling people the truth scares me, looking at my finances after christmas scares me, every time I write a blog post or tell you a bit of my story scares me, relationships scare me, making decisions scare me, running my own business terrifies me. Sometimes the thought of facing a difficult day scares me and I wake up with crippling anxiety in my chest, my jaw and throat tighten and I have such a strong desire to hide from the world. Life can be really scary but guess what? That’s ok. Also, I know I get scared and want to hide and that’s ok too. I’ve accepted this.

You might think that this is a strange blog post for a life coach to write- it’s a bit blunt, not exactly motivational and so far isn’t offering much hope or inspiration!! And you’re right! It is an odd post for a coach to write but it’s also me being honest with you.

I’m always afraid and fear is always present in my life but it’s not a problem for me. It doesn’t get in my way or hold me back. Anymore… (well, maybe the odd time!!)

But my default state of hiding used to win all the time, I hid for most of my late teens and early 20s. I never really stretched myself and I stayed within my comfort zone. It was boring and frustrating as hell!! I didn’t really do anything fun and exciting either!

So I started to study fear- probably to try and figure out what was wrong with me so you can imagine my surprise when all of the books I read and seminars I attended were actually telling me that fear was normal, what I was feeling was normal, my desire to hide was normal.

One particular book I read was Susan Jeffers ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’- it took me years to get through this book because it made far too much sense and I just didn’t want to hear it. The main message in the book is that fear comes from an uncertainty within ourselves of our ability to handle the situation should something bad happen. Susan Jeffers says, “All you have to do to weaken your fear is to develop more trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way.” So basically, cultivate self trust, self love and self compassion.

She talks about the 5 truths about fear, my favourite being ‘The fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow’. Everybody fears doing, or being, something new because of the uncertainty within unfamiliar situations. If you do not fear, you do not grow.

This is why fear is no longer a problem for me.

I accept it and love that I continue to grow and push myself in spite of it. I said at the beginning that I would rather be hiding in my bed than writing this but I’m still typing so it’s more evidence for me that I’m progressing in spite of my fear and that I can handle whatever will come my way.

The reason I chose to write about this topic now is because life has been kicking my ass for the past few weeks! Christmas was really tough without my nan and New Years wasn’t a whole heap better. My mind, body and spirit have been taking their sweet time to come together and get on board with my plans and goals for 2015. Getting back into my work groove has kicked my ass. Getting back into any sort of self care routine and rituals such as exercise, proper food and sleep has kicked my ass as well! In short, fear has crept in and self care, love and compassion has taken a nose dive! But what I’m so grateful for, is my work and being able to connect with so many other women like me all around the world and the message I’m hearing back is that …………...it’s not just me. Seems like the last week of 2014 and first week of 2015 have been kicking lots of asses! But hey, if you do not fear, you do not grow! Let’s all be scaredy cats in 2015 but push ourselves in spite of it!

Fear is my constant companion- how bout you?

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! I’d love to hear your thoughts so pop over to the facebook page and say hi!!!

Until next week, Be afraid!!

P x

Progress: Fear of Failure

“I haven’t failed; I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

No one ever wants to think of themselves as a failure. We have such negative associations with the word! We think that if we fail at something, we will be embarrassed, we will lose respect from others and ourselves, we’ll lose our dreams, hopes and aspirations for that particular area we were attempting to master. It can be scary stuff and for many people, the fear of failure is what stops them from even trying.

What we always forget is that some sort of failure is inevitable if we are to succeed in life. My 14 month old nephew Jamie is fantastic at reminding me about this! He wasn’t afraid to try and walk and during his learning curve, he walked into walls, tumbled, fell down repeatedly but he always jumped up and went at it again! (Now I’m not for a moment calling my nephew a failure!)  It’s really interesting to watch babies and kids learn because they accept and know that it will take them a while to get the hang of something. They do it at their own pace and they have so much fun learning.

The rest of us grown-ups unfortunately, are very aware of the notion of failure. We’ve been conditioned to fear failure. The thing is that many people are unsure how to overcome obstacles and potential failure and they are stopped dead in their tracks when things go pear-shaped. The ability to pick yourself up and get back on the horse is one big difference between the people who succeed and the people who just don’t get there.

So, knowing that overcoming obstacles is essential to tackling your fear of failure, what should you do? Here are some tips to help you overcome failure:

1. Pick yourself up and hold no regrets!

When things don’t work out, we’re often tempted to think that we have completely wasted our time. But that is never entirely true! Like Edison when he was inventing the light bulb; we have found a way that doesn’t work so our time hasn’t been wasted. We’ve learnt a lesson and we won’t try that exact path next time. We will try something different. Each failure you encounter increases your wisdom and brings you one step closer to success. If you adopt this mindset, you will see failure from a completely different perspective. You will see failure as an opportunity to learn.

2. Keep dreaming big dreams

Always have your destination in mind; keep dreaming your big dreams. Spend time visualising yourself already achieving them. Use your imagination to help you foresee and overcome potential obstacles in your path. The process of visualization was investigated during the preparation of Olympic athletes between 1980-1990. The athletes were hooked to the sophisticated biofeedback equipment and were asked to run their event only in their mind. What they found was that the same muscles fired in the same sequence when they were running the race only in their mind as they were running it on the track. domains with traffic So use your mind to practice overcoming obstacles and avoiding failure.

3. What’s the worst case scenario?

One of the most powerful questions posed by Tim Ferris in the 4 Hour Work Week is: If you chase your dreams and fall flat on your face, how long would it take you to recover? Ask yourself this question and I bet you’ll be surprised by the answer. Another question posed by Susan Jeffers in her best-selling book Feel the fear and do It Anyway is ‘If the worst thing possible happened, could you handle it?’ We all underestimate our own strength and by knowing you could handle the worst case scenario can give you the inner strength that you need to take the first step! Is the fear of a few difficult months strong enough to keep you in a place you’re unhappy with for the rest of your life?

4. Take action

The best way to reduce your fear and build your confidence is by taking action. By actually doing the very thing you are afraid of gives you back your power. Break it down into small manageable parts and do it at your own pace- but keep progressing. Make sure that you reward yourself for each step you complete- you have many years of negative conditioning to overcome so give yourself credit! If you’re not sure what to do, ask yourself ‘What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?’ If you are truthful is answering this, you will see that it’s only your fear that’s holding you back and you already know exactly what you need to do.

5. Burn the boats

One to think about! In battle, the ancient Greeks established a well-deserved reputation for bravery, discipline, and determination. They were successful because they were well trained, well lead, and most of all, well motivated. The Greeks were master motivators who understood how to instil commitment and prepare their soldiers for victory. To infuse their army with a spirit of commitment, the moment they landed on the enemy’s shore, the Greek commanders would give the order to “burn the boats.” Imagine the tremendous psychological impact on the soldiers as they watched their boats being set alight. There was no turning back. Once their boats were burned, they realized that the only way they were going home was through victory.

Are there any boats you need to burn to cement your commitment?

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! Please feel free to get in touch and share any of your thoughts or ideas with me via email/facebook/twitter! I’d love to hear from you! Also, if you have a topic or question you would like me to address, please just let me know!

Until next time,

Love and Respect,

Paula