When I was a child, I used to get myself quite worked up before going to events. I was shy and felt awkward walking into a classroom, a birthday party or a family celebration. What’s interesting about this is that it happened even when it was something I really wanted to do. However much I’d been looking forward to it, I’d tend to make excuses as to why I shouldn’t or couldn’t go.
Thankfully, my mum knew exactly what to say to me: ‘you’ll be alright when you get there.’ She said it to me so frequently that it became a bit of a joke and before she even said anything, I’d say to her ‘I know, I know, I’ll be alright when I get there.’
In the interests of full disclosure, I still feel like that sometimes. Whenever I find myself talking myself out of something and making excuses for myself, I say to myself ‘I’ll be alright when I get there.’
In coaching sessions, clients sometimes tell me about instances where they talk themselves out of things. They say things like:
- it’s not practical
- it’s not realistic
- it’s too expensive
- I’m too old
- they’ll laugh at me
- it’s not thoroughly justified
- I’m not ready
- it’s too risky
- I’m not good enough
- I’m too young
Frequently, these limiting beliefs are excuses based on fear and they stop us doing things we’d like to do. We can dispel these limiting beliefs by asking ourselves ‘is this a fact or is it an assumption?’
What might happen if we pushed through those excuses and did them anyway? We know what my mum would say. Author of ‘How to win friends and influence people’, Dale Carnegie said:
‘Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage.
If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.’
Every time we are presented with an opportunity, we can make a choice. We can choose to believe our excuses and stay at home or we can get out of our own way and get out there. I see my clients practise this with small decisions so that they are ready to take on bigger decisions, decisions based on fact and not on assumptions, and decisions that will allow them to do what it is they truly want to do.
It’ll be alright when you get there.
Today’s pebble for your thoughts: is it time for you to take action in order to breed confidence and courage?
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.
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