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As you get closer to fulfilling your dreams, don’t be surprised if doubt and fear surface. The number one way we sabotage our dreams is by saying things like, "But, what if?" and imagining the worst. But, what if I . . . fail, succeed, say or do the wrong thing, don’t make enough money?
With this thinking, as you move toward your dream, you’ll also move toward your fears and worst nightmares. With too much to risk, most of us give up or never even begin. Here are six ways to overcome fear:
1. If you feel indecisive, this can help. Draw a line across the center of a piece of paper. On the top, write your dream in as much detail as possible. On the bottom, write out your reality (about this dream) including your fears, doubts and "but, what ifs".
Are you more committed to your dream or to your fear?
Two things will cause you to be more committed to your fear. The first is if you don’t have a clearly defined dream. The second is if you project your worst fears into your dream, you’ll choose reality because it’s safer. But when fear is placed in its proper place, as part of reality, it’s easier to be more committed to your vision and fear simply becomes something to manage.
2. As you connect to your dreams, you’ll often run into the voice of your "Doubter." We might ignore or obsess over this because it tells us everything that might go wrong. Left unattended, this voice can be disruptive. But turn the Doubter down and it becomes the voice of the "Realist," who primarily wants to know what you are planning, usually related to time and money issues. Early on, you may not have all the details figured out, which is why going to strategy too soon can actually hinder or limit your dream. Interview your Doubter and be curious. Capture its needs, insights and wisdom.
3. Your Doubter can provide a list of obstacles based on its fears and concerns. The Dream Coach rule is, wherever there’s an obstacle, design a strategy to manage it. Make a list of your obstacles and identify which ones are negative self-perceptions or beliefs and which ones require strategies. The first step in managing fear is to identify exactly what you are afraid if. Just saying, "I’m afraid," can be a whitewash and keep you stuck. Identify what you fear.
4. Beliefs are never neutral. They either move you forward or hold you back, but you choose what to believe. The way to move from limiting beliefs that hold you back to empowering beliefs that move you forward is through willingness, courage and practice. Be willing to believe in yourself and your dreams and have the courage to act on what you believe. Develop this as part of your identity by practicing this behavior continuously until it becomes true.
5. Are you aware of what typically stops you? For most of us, it’s something we hate, we’re not good at, or that we have no idea how to tackle. It can be frightening and when that task is essential to the success of your venture, it could be your demise. Don’t allow one need or issue to destroy your dream.
If your dream is to write a book but you can’t type, this doesn’t have to stop you. Learn a new skill or hire someone. If you can’t afford that, explore bartering. Get creative and get going. The time you waste worrying would best be used by seeking guidance and finding answers.
6. Overcome fear and other obstacles (even time and money issues) by enrolling others into your vision. Master this skill and you’ll accomplish bigger dreams with less effort. Learn to talk to anyone, anytime and anyplace about their dreams in a way where they feel inspired. Ask what their personal or professional dreams are and explore. Build an arsenal of people that you can reach out to in a pinch. Develop a robust database of brilliant resources that you can access at any given moment. Build a community of fellow dreamers or join one that already exists like www.mydreamcircle.com.