We’ve just started the New Year, 2018! Oh Boy and what a year that is going to be, I can feel it in my bones. As everyone is nurturing their sore heads, reaching for the Neurofen, and thinking about returning to work, we start to regain focus on what is really important to us. What makes us happy?
So, with great expectations and good intentions we sit down and list all our “Goals” that we’d like to achieve for 2018, especially the ones we kinda missed out on from the year before. For some, it’s wanting to shed a few Kilos due to the past few months of overindulgence, I know I’ll be one of those people. Some of us, will be contemplating a Career change whether its going for that next step on the career ladder or branching out and starting our own businesses. Some of us, will be ready to settle down, establish some roots and start a family. Whatever the goal may be, something always gets in the way, can I let you in on a little secret? Can I be blunt, its….YOU!
Did you know statistically a mere small proportion of People around less than 10% fulfill their New Year’s Resolutions each year? I too sadly in previous years have succumbed to being part of that statistic. But what holds us back from attaining our Goals? The short answer is “Fear”.
Fear manifests in many shapes and forms. Here are just a few:
- Looking like a fool or being taken advantage of
- Feelings of not being good enough, comparing self to others aka “Impostor Syndrome”
- Not being liked
- Fear of rejection, by our peers, family or culture
- The instability and discomfort of stepping out of our safe zone. It’s easier to resist change and move away from the feelings of fear rather than moving towards one’s desires, hopes and dreams.
- Others merely have a fear of being criticized by others whether it’s a criticism of wanting to change their life’s trajectory because in other people’s perceptions/beliefs you’re too old to start again or you’ve been pigeon holed into a Persona you’ve spent the last 40 years creating so well.
- Being criticized by self or others of making a mistake or failing if things don’t work out.
- Fear of taking risks so not to be perceived as being reckless, careless or immature aka “Mid-Life Crisis”.
As you can see, there is a bit of a list and I’m certain there’s many more. That is what fear looks like on the inside intertwined within our thoughts, and emotions. These fears have manifested from various aspects of our lives. Usually through our upbringing, our values and beliefs, culture and society in which we live in, past experiences/memories and the decisions we’ve made and how those have impacted on our lives to date, our personalities and our attitudes.
As a result of all of our internal monologues we then react, act and behave according to those internal beliefs about ourselves. So how do you diagnose whether you’re living a life of Fear or living your truth? Here are some examples of the behaviours you could be subconsciously displaying as a result of being stuck in “Fear”:
- The Overly Expressive type: Staying in a job or a relationship you dislike and spend your day complaining about it to colleagues, your friends your spouse or anyone that will give you 5 mins of their life to hear how soul sucking and suffocating it is.
- The Passive Aggressive type: You like to have small digs at a mate who’s had the guts to chase their dreams, because it reminds you of how much of a coward you are to not take charge of your own life? So its easier to put others down around you to make yourself feel better, right? But it only makes you look and feel even more disappointing. Aka “Tall Poppy Syndrome!”
- The Blame Game/Victim type: Your conversations start with things like “It’s ok for you because you don’t have kids, a mortgage etc and I have all this responsibility and obligations weighing me down.”
- The Mother Theresa type: Everyone around me needs me (husband/kids/in-laws/family pet), all their needs come before my own. I’m a Martyr. I couldn’t possibly be so selfish to drop everything to do what I REALLY want to do with my life? If I do, I will be perceived by others to be a bad wife, a bad mother, bad daughter etc.
For sure, they are all valid reasons to put your life on hold (and I’ve done that very same thing and now I’m in my early 40s and wondering WTF!) so that once all of this is done and dusted you can then focus on your dreams? Cool eh? Oooooo I’m so excited can’t wait <sarcastic humour alert!>
- The Watch and Wait type aka”Voyeur”, you’re watching your life go by watching everyone else (your Husband, your friends, your children) follow their dreams and waiting till retirement age to do all the things you’ve dreamed of doing NOW! Waiting till your 67 to do what you want NOW? That’s a hell of a lot of valuable “life time” to put in to get a small reward? May I also add, if you’re one of the lucky ones to make it to 67, will you still be healthy enough to follow your dreams? Personally, speaking I’m not banking on it, as I can’t predict what will happen tomorrow let alone when I’m 67. Who knows by the time I reach retirement age they may have lifted the retirement threshold to 75 or 80. Which means my reward will be that little wooden box where I can take a permanent R&R vacation from my LIFE. Nice eh! <sarcastic humour alert!>
Bottom-Line, would you rather sit inside your metaphorical box or work cubicle or relationship till the day you die feeding those fears, making them stronger or would you rather take small steps each day in the new direction to create a life that you’ve only ever dreamed about? Following your dreams doesn’t happen overnight, but the decision you make to yourself does!
Look I’m not here to wave a magic wand and say “abracadabra and Poof!” Unfortunately you do have to get up, make the decision and take action. What that action is, is up to YOU! That’s the beauty of “Free Will”. Yes life throws us curve balls, we are struck down by life’s setbacks whether its unplanned pregnancies or unplanned redundancies or life threatening illnesses, so ok, sometimes you need to take a “time-out” and that’s ok. Do it! Then once you’ve healed and recovered, dust yourself off and keep going.
There is this buzz word “Start with your WHY”, but I say, start with your Theme as your Theme will determine your WHY. Theme to me within this article is determining what word is going to define your year.
The word you choose is going to inspire you to find your WHY.
The word you chose is going to Motivate you to take action towards your WHY.
Majority of us are stuck in a life that we consider a “Safe Bet”. But the world is not safe, the world is constantly evolving around your “safe bet”.
Survival of the Fittest is no longer Key, but being Adaptable is!
My Theme for 2018 is “Fear-Less”.
I say “Fear-Less” rather than “Fearless” because it’s in our biology, our DNA to have this inbuilt fear. Fear acts as a protector to perpetuate the survival of our species but, it can also act as a GREAT motivator. Have you ever been in a job where you’ve been asked to produce the impossible within the shortest possible time? Stress levels go through the roof and you literally fear for your life! Well, all those internal fears that I stated earlier within this blog start to rear their ugly head. So you can do one of two things: Panic, Run and Hide; or face the music and get the job done! You felt fear but you did it anyway right? Your ass was on the line but you completed the task no matter what? That is being “Fear-Less”.
Fear is always part of our lives, unless you’re a Psychopath or are on some sort of drug induced psychedelic, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Even Narcissists are fearful, fearful of being discovered as a fraud, a phony, less than who they say they project to be to the outside world. These people constantly live in Fear!
Fear-Less allows me to recognize those internal thoughts and emotions, accept that they’re coming from a place of self-preservation, and motivates me to have the courage to move forward. So I challenge you before you start putting your list of Goals together to achieve in 2018 and figuring out your WHY, start with defining your THEME! Once you’ve determined your Theme Word, that is when the magic happens! What will be your Theme for 2018? I would love to know!
Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your values,
Your habits become your destiny.
Paula Dunn is the Founder of No Limits Consulting who creates Limited Edition Leaders. Life was not meant to be lived in a Box, Create a Life with No Limits! To learn more about Paula sign up to her Newsletter to keep up to date with the latest information, upcoming workshops and upcoming MeetUp Groups around Sydney. If you liked this Blog please smash that like and share button to know you care.