I recently just spent an amazing 45-minute coaching session with a fantastic woman. She is an entrepreneur, single parent and studying for a law degree-she is a power house! But like so many of us, Melanie (not her real name) has challenges in her life that she really fears will impact on her future.
Melanie’s dream is to become a barrister and specialise in human rights- because of a situation that happened to her and she wants to put that experience to really good use, but also because she LOVES law.
When she was telling me about her situation, and the fear that is gripping her and almost crippling her ambition and her ability to visualise her future success, it was clear to me that Melanie has a real fire in her belly but is anxious about the future.
Her fear is not that she will fail her law degree.
She doesn’t fear for a moment that she won’t be a good barrister.
What she fears is something from her past threatening her reputation. So, it’s not Melanie’s ability to succeed that is holding her back but one small thing that happened.
Her fear is all related to this one incident, something that happened to her a few years ago but that remains present in her thoughts and has really had a lasting impact on her confidence, self-esteem and ability to make progress.
I can’t divulge a lot of detail and to be honest it doesn’t actually matter WHAT it is that is holding Melanie back-the simple fact is that this episode is stopping her truly visualising what her life will be like in the future-even though she knows she has the intelligence and determination to study hard and get good results. Her fear is that she will never be able to use her qualifications.
Melanie’s situation is not unusual. Often, WE are the biggest threat to our own progress and to move forward and make change we have to get out of our own way. Very easy to say but often hard to do.
Perhaps you are in a similar situation? I know I was once, and I had to dig deep to redirect my energy into something positive! Even now as I start to prepare for the launch of my book-I have the FEAR! I know I have done my best to make it a really good read but I am still scared it will bomb!
And only yesterday I was invited to a reunion of the crew of a massive TV show I worked on 26 years ago and yep….I am excited and happy to have been included but it would be dishonest of me to say I am not scared-because I really am very nervous! I have the FEAR! After all, most of the people I will be meeting up with have become HUGE names in the TV world and I mean HUGE!
BUT! My book will launch-some people will like it, some won’t and I will be going to the reunion because I want to see these amazing people and talk to them about what they have done-chances are they might even be interested in what I have done too! I don’t want the fear to stop me having a fun night out.
When we decide consciously to make a change in our lives and commit to doing the work to make things happen, it can be surprising what comes up. The important thing is to find a way to deal with it so that it can’t scupper our plans and inhibit our progress or stop us experiencing amazing things.
If you are feeling like this right now, here is a quick writing exercise to help you start the process of clearing this block, getting rid of the fear that is holding you back and make progress.
What if I do…What if I don’t?
In your journal write the answers to these questions:
- What will happen if I allow this past experience to affect me? What will the real impact be? How will it make me feel?
- What will happen if I let this experience go and use the anger/frustration as positive energy to motivate me and drive me forward?
When you write the answers be very honest. Take time to really think about the impact of anything that you fear will hold you back. Usually our biggest fear is failure. We must not let our past dictate our future in a negative way-instead use experiences to learn and grow positively.
When you have answered the questions, use what you have written as the starting point for creative visualisation and start to really create a picture of how your life will be when you have dealt with the fear that is holding you back. Write in detail about how your life will look and feel-really start to build a vivid picture of success using daily journaling.
I know Melanie’s fire and courage will win the day. By using the LIFE EDIT programme she will make progress and succeed-all it takes is a few minutes of daily journaling to start the ball rolling and to get fear out of the way.
And watch this space for details of the book launch and as for the reunion…can’t wait!