What would you do today if you weren’t afraid?
Do you ever wish you were born with a little of the wisdom we gather as we mature? I know there’s a real benefit from learning as we experience life, and especially from the mistakes we make, but having some of that vital knowledge earlier in life, may stop us wasting time and effort worrying about what might go wrong rather than focusing on what could go right!
The more I’ve studied about the way our mind works, the more I wish I’d learned about it earlier in my life. In fact, I now believe that ‘fitness for the mind’ should be as big a part of the curriculum as ‘fitness for the body’. When we understand how our beliefs are formed and the impact they play in the decisions we make, we recognise how they affect both our wellbeing and achieving our potential.
You might ask what brought about this train of thought? Well at the weekend, I was spending time with one of my nephews. He was considering getting in touch with a local businessman to find out whether he’d be prepared to sponsor a new strip for his football club. We discussed a variety of approaches and came up with a few ideas from which he penned an email. His finger then hovered over the send key as he started to ask what if this and what if that. I laughed and mentioned that I had a big post it note on my desk that said – what would you do today if you weren’t afraid? (a question borrowed from James Clear!) and with that the email went!
In recent years, helping people to understand their mindset has become a huge part of what I do for clients at leadership and cultural level. I’ve devoured books, videos and audios daily to learn more about why we do what we do. I find it intriguing to understand how we’ve built the person we are today; developing belief systems that drive our behaviour and performance. When we’re young our minds are alert to the things around us. We hear conversations that may be said in jest, or perhaps just other people’s opinion but if we believe it, we absorb it and then act upon it as if it were the truth, when in fact, it’s their opinion. What this means is that we live our life through that person’s perspective rather than our own, and this continues until we challenge those outdated beliefs and replace them with ones that enable us to achieve our potential.
Recently I’ve kept seeing the Mae West quote, ‘You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!’ It’s cropped up in so many places that I’m now beginning to wonder if someone, somewhere is trying to tell me something!! What do you think when you see this quote? Does it make you wonder if you are living your life to the fullest? Are you getting involved with things that make your heart sing and get your adrenalin charged or are you playing it safe and not venturing out of your comfort zone? Is there anything you will regret not doing as you get older? Don’t they say that we’re more likely to regret the things we didn’t do, than those we did?
As you know, I love to live life to the full, both in my professional and personal life. However, looking back, I realise that I’ve wasted time in fear of failure based on some of my beliefs. Moghe Bar said, ‘we see what we predict rather than what is out there’ and this is so true. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve put off because I start to predict how it will be received or ideas that that have never got off the starting block because I’ve been able to list all the things that could go wrong rather than focus on what could go right!
An example of this was my F.O.O.D. series. I played around with it for such a long time trying to perfect it that 2020 was nearly over before I launched it … and that’s why it became an Advent Calendar! As soon as I presented it to the world, the feedback was so positive that it spurred me on to do much more and now I facilitate sessions as an additional revenue stream! How great is that?
Let me leave you with this thought about your mindset? Our performance relies upon the brain’s expectation of what it can achieve. You’ve probably heard the Ford quote, if you think you can or you think you can’t, you probably will. So, stop putting off that life goal and instead think what it would look like if you achieved it. Describe it in as much detail as you can. Visualise it. Think about how it would make you feel if you achieved it. You may even want to write these thoughts down as if you’re doing it right now. Because the more you can visualise yourself achieving that goal, the more your mind will open up and find the opportunities around you to make it happen.