Here you are, trying to start over. You’ve set goals and determined just how the new you is going to look. You were willing to put in the work and make things happen. Why then are you dragging your feet? Shouldn’t you be halfway there already?
Fresh starts aren’t always easy. More often than not, when we’re not making progress, it all boils down to one thing: we’re afraid of something. Let’s take a look at a handful of ways fear can hold you back despite your best efforts.
What’s Going to Happen Next?
The more common fear people have when trying to change stems from this question. People have an innate fear of the unknown regardless of the situation. After all, there is safety in what’s known and predictable. It’s no wonder we don’t like new things.
What Kind of Work Will I Have to Put In?
When we commit to change, we now have a particular responsibility we didn’t have before. Now we’re looking at hard work, generally repeated over time. Worse, we might not even know how long this change is supposed to last, making this even more daunting.
Will the World be Watching?
The idea that other people will be seeing your efforts and might be judging you on them can be terrifying. No one likes to look like a fool. Nor do we want to lose what status we have with our peers. Unfortunately, the only way past this fear is to stop caring what other people think of you, which is easier said than done.
What if I Fail? No one likes making mistakes. It’s the fear of looking foolish, coupled with
disappointment over getting something wrong while feeling like there’s no way you can get it right. Failures do feel like dead ends.
What if I Get it Right?
The fear of success has many components to it. Primarily we hate the added expectation which generally comes with it. What if you can’t duplicate the feat, or worse, you prove your success was some fluke?
What if I’m Not as Good as I Thought I Was?
No one is ever going to place as high a demand on your performance as you will. This is because perfectionism tends to be equated with success. If you get it right, you’ve arrived. Sadly, this doesn’t allow for other, finer nuance to success.
What to do? Perhaps the answer lies in the words of Nelson Mandala:
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
So press on, even when fear would rather hold you back. This is how you find your best self.