Imagine feeling happy at the prospect of meeting someone new, engaging in a fresh experience or an upcoming networking event. Each of these situations has the potential of impacting our future positively.
Sadly, many of us struggle with new experiences. Our brains seem to go into hyper-drive. That is, we start to overthink in terms of things going very wrong. We become self-conscious and lose our confidence as well as our courage. We get stuck, we panic. We find ourselves incapable of taking that walk across the room, stepping up to that podium or even walking out the door to a new class.
Sound familiar? Have your negative thoughts held you back? Of course they have.
Let’s rethink how we are going to re-frame your thoughts and break your negative thinking cycle.
Here are five tips to consider when fear prevents you from trying something new:
- Name Your Feeling. Your fear, anxiety and/or stress need to be acknowledged when confronting a new or uncomfortable situation. Susan Jeffers in her book “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway “states that “Awareness is half the battle”. Once you can name your feeling, understand why it is uncomfortable then you can begin to deal with it.
- Deal with it! Make a realistic plan to address the situation. If it is meeting someone new, think about how you will introduce yourself and what questions you will ask the other person.
- Visualize it going well. Play it out in your ‘mind’s eye’. See it happening successfully. This positive visualization is akin to going through a dress rehearsal.
- Take action – Engage in the new experience.
- Assess the results. What worked, what didn’t, what will you do differently next time?
When I started out in my career, I was uncomfortable giving workshops. What did I do? I planned the workshop, I envisioned myself giving the workshop with a successful outcome. Today, giving a workshop is a work activity that I look forward to.
Use these tips and watch how you will experience more of life going well for you, and break your negative thinking.
Photo Courtesy: Solent Creatives