As I stood there completing my exercise routine I could hear my own thoughts expressing the fear that I could not complete the full number that I intended. As I went through the motions I realized that I was in fact completing the exercise but I could not shake the feeling that I ought to stop because I might be doing too much or going too far. I then started questioning myself to try and understand why I kept on thinking that I would not be able to do it. In fact not only did I complete that set but I then went on to complete another set, waited a couple minutes and then did two more with no break in between. It felt empowering to be able to do something that I at first doubted my chances of success in completing. Naturally this led me to wonder, how many other times I may have been employing that practice of giving up too easily just because I doubted my ability to endure.
I was recently listening to the motivational speaker Eric Thomas (ET) in one of his many recording I have. He went on to show an image of a man digging for diamonds and choosing to give up when he had only one more swing to make before he would discover his riches. Now it is true that I have heard this message before and I have heard the concept of not giving up until you win repeatedly from Les Brown and others. Yet I have to confess that it was only in that moment when a real breakthrough occurred for me.
Both of these examples have left me wondering, how many times are we letting fear and doubt cause us to turn away from our victory just as we are about to arrive at that point? More importantly, when do we stop being a victim of our own thinking.
Fortunately, the mind is complex. Just as its complicated relationship with change often stops us from moving forward, its ability to lock on to an image and focus in on it can also help us keep going. So I have found that adopting the philosophy of doing the task anyway, even when I am afraid or worried or doubtful, has been useful. I have also begun to realize that anytime there is a lot of back and forth in my head, to justify why I should not do something, chances are that it is the right thing to do. So I do it anyway.
The mind and our thinking, can weaken or strengthen us. We get to decide. Having fear in an uncertain situation is normal and should be expected. Often, this emotion is also out of our control. What we can control however, is what we do in response to the emotion. The most useful approach is to acknowledge the fear and press on, in spite of it. We have to build our practice of taking action in spite of our fears. Being afraid will pass. However, if we quit and miss our opportunity to grow or to win, we will regret that forever.
Marjorie Wharton is a trainer, facilitator and coach who works with individuals and organizations to help them improve their performance. She is based at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados. Follow her on twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. For more of her writing visit https://marjoriewharton.live