What is holding you back? The one thing that can transform your life
Ever felt stuck in life? So many dreams and aspirations, but you just can’t find the courage and motivation to get started. Stuck in the cycle of mediocrity and the daily grind. Wake up, get to work, slog through office hours, get back home, watch TV/ Netflix and retire feeling tired and uninspired. I believe most of us go through that phase at some point or the other. Every time it has happened to me, I got dragged into a downward spiral. I won’t call it depression but the feeling is probably similar – feeling worthless, hopeless, and helpless. A hollow that sucks you like a black hole. The only way to get out of that rut is to ask yourself one simple question – What is holding you back? And the answer to that changes everything!
So, what is holding you back?
Let me tell you a short story!
Throughout graduation, I was obsessed with working in a ‘core’ industry so I could put my engineering skills to use. So much so that I did not even sit for any of the non-core IT or management companies during my campus placement. I finally got a job in one of the largest construction firms. It was like a dream come true!
My first assignment was at an electrical substation as a site engineer. I hated that job from Day 1. It’s not that the work was too taxing, all jobs are hard. I was not fond of the nature of work nor the work culture. It took me three months to take a stand and finally quit the job. A job that I disliked. I somehow convinced myself to pursue higher education instead.
What was holding me back all this while? Why did I take three months to take action when I knew the outcome from Day 1?
The truth is, I was afraid of the consequences.
I was worried about what my teachers, friends or dad’s friends would think about me. The thought of convincing my parents to support me with this decision crippled me. I was afraid of losing. A few months later I changed my mind again to take up a job at a data analytics firm, an industry unheard of at the time. It changed the course of my career and was arguably one of the best decisions of my life.
Your FEAR of FAILURE is holding you back
The fear of failure has been ingrained in our subconscious mind as we grow up into adults. Failure is always demonised as a bad thing. Failing in exams is a sin. Losing in sports is considered a defeat. Quitting means you are giving up.
Once you get past the point where you no longer fear FAILURE, the world changes for you completely.
Whether it is your job or a lifestyle you want to change or even certain life goals that you always aspired for. The fear of failure is holding you back in every aspect of your life. So many people want to travel the world but cannot do so because they are waiting for the perfect companion. Why can’t you travel solo? Because you are afraid that you may fail to enjoy or manage the experience.
Next time when you feel that something is holding you back? Ask yourself one simple question – What would I do if I knew I would not fail? The answer to that will give you the courage to follow your heart. Do not let the fear of failure hold you back from fulfilling your potential.
HOW TO OVERCOME FEAR OF FAILURE?
Overcoming the fear of failure is a mindset shift that involves improving self-awareness and putting in conscious efforts to develop your mental toughness. Here are four ways you can make that shift possible:
#1 STOP LISTENING TO EVERYONE’S OPINION ON YOU
The biggest reason you fear failure is because you give too much credit to other people’s opinion on you. People say they are worried about losing money, wasting “precious” time or getting hurt, but the reality is that they are scared of other people’s judgement.
You worry too much about what your parents, neighbours or distant friends would think about your non-success.
Instead, have empathy for their opinions and seek feedback from those who have complete context on what you are doing. You can always choose whom to listen to. So, listen to only those whom you’d reach out to for advice, everyone else is just noise.
#2 SURROUND YOURSELF WITH OPTIMISM
We often underestimate the impact our environment has on our confidence and self-esteem. Who you hang out with can change the course of your life but most people do not take it seriously enough. If you are unable to find optimism closeby, make use of the internet and consume content from people who inspire you.
You will always feel like a loser and fear failure if the people you hang out with, constantly discourage you.
If your friends keep telling you that you can’t lose weight or quit binge drinking, it’s probably because they can’t do it themselves. Don’t ever let anyone’s opinion hold you back. This popular quote from the movie The Pursuit of Happyness summarises it really well.
Cutting out negative people from your life is as important as surrounding yourself with optimistic people. But sometimes, it may not be feasible to cut ties especially if it’s your parents or siblings or a close friend. In that case, reduce your interaction with them. If your old friend is letting you down, talk to him for 2 hours a week instead of 10. If you can’t get rid of someone, spend less time with them. And spend more time with people who uplift you.
#3 EMBRACE FAILURE AND FAIL OFTEN
There is immense power in losing while trying to exceed your capabilities. A friend of mine, who is good at sales once told me his secret. He doesn’t fear rejection, which is a form of failure. With each rejection, he learns something new about himself and how to interact with his potential customers. The more prospects he approaches, the better his chances of conversion. It’s that simple!
Here is a popular quote from the movie Fight Club that you may be able to relate to. You don’t have to get to the extreme of losing everything! But once you you have tasted failure, you will no longer fear it. It may encourage you to take calculated risks and experiment more often.
The serial entrepreneur and bestselling author Gary Vaynerchuk recommends failing on purpose, so you get comfortable dealing with the consequences and don’t fear failure anymore. Failing often can be a strength as long as you don’t repeat the same mistakes again and again. Remember, failing is not a bad thing, it is part of the process.
#4 REDEFINE YOUR MEASURE OF SUCCESS
What success means to you will determine your definition of failure. Often our measure of success is based on the standards that our society has put in place. From a fitness perspective, if “winning” means weighing lesser or having visible 6 pack abs to impress others, as opposed to feeling confident in your body and having a healthier relationship with food, then you are doomed to feel like a loser.
As a business owner or employee, if your definition of success is making more money than your best friend or neighbours, as opposed to the impact you create or the joy you get from putting in the work, then it’s hard to win all the time.
We all grew up thinking that our possessions, money and numbers are the real measures of success, only to realise it was all an illusion of prosperity.
Once you redefine your measure of success and decide the rules of the game, you can rig it in your favour every time. Once you know you cannot lose, the fear of failure cannot cripple you. It is all a game of mental strength.
Your fear of failure may be holding you back from moving towards your goals and aspirations. Stop listening to everyone’s opinion and seek feedback from those who have complete context on what you are doing. Surround yourself with optimistic people and reduce your interactions with the ones who let you down.
Take calculated risks and embrace failure. Remember, failing is not a bad thing, it is part of the process. Redefine your measure of success, so you know you cannot lose. Whenever you feel that something is holding you back, ask yourself one simple question – What would I do if I knew I would not fail?
If you wish to read about 6 lifestyle changes to sustainably lose fat and improve long term health, click here
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My recommendations for protein supplements:
Whey Protein – Option 1
Whey Protein – Option 2
Vegan Protein – Option 1
Vegan protein – Option 2
Protein for Women
Other Option – Sattu
Other supplements I recommend (Confirm with your doctor before consuming):
Multivitamins for women
Read these amazing books to learn about mindset, what motivates us and how to form good habits, and break bad ones.
Crush It! Why Now is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha
7 Habits of highly effective people
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