Thursday, October 20, 2011

Creating Change: Two Major Barriers to a Better Life

Carnival of SoulsImage via WikipediaBy Lori Bell

There are two major roadblocks that get in the way of achieving a better life: fear and excuses. The bad news is that both of these are tied to the mindset that we carry around with us.

The good news is that it is possible to change your mindset and to contain or eliminate these two roadblocks from interfering with building a life that we love and are so much entitled to have.

1) Fear

Everyone experiences fear at some time or another in their life- it is not something that can be completely avoided. We are all genetically programmed to respond to fear. It once served a greater purpose in our lives- to survive. When people were chased by dinosaurs or other prehistoric creatures, the response was to either run or fight the aggressor. The fear response was indeed a true response to a true life threatening event.

While fear still has a purpose, the majority of our fears are based solely on our interpretation of the various situations that we encounter.

Take for example, the fear of not getting into your desired graduate school. You send the application in. Your peers received acceptance letters back from their schools of choice. You have heard nothing back. You start ruminating - afraid that you won't be accepted.

The panic and anxiety begins to build to the point where you can't eat anything and can't sleep at night. You start to become incredibly grumpy and unbearable to be around. And, then you get that thick envelope in the mail with your acceptance packet. The fear you were experiencing was all for nothing. What purpose did this fear serve you?

When you are experiencing fear that is not related to a real-time event (a car accident, a house on fire, or a big bad dog chasing you down the block for example), the best thing to do is acknowledge your fear and ask where is it coming from and what its purpose is? Is this fear serving me well?

2) Excuses

We put excuses in place to cover up our fears. I once supervised an employee who would do everything possible to get out of speaking in public. She would get sick at the last-minute, her daughter would get sick at day care, or she would have a forgotten dental or doctor appointment to attend to.

Although the excuses she used to get out of performing in public did serve a purpose - to decrease the amount of anxiety and fear she had - they did not serve a greater purpose. Instead, they inhibited her ability to move forward in her career. Her fear was irrational and tied to thoughts contained in her mindset:
  • I am not good enough
  • I will fail
  • They won't like me
  • I am a fake - they will find out that I really don't know what I am talking about
The good news is that, this is a common fear, and that she was able to work through the fear. She started attending Toastmaster's International which was offered during the lunch hour at our place of work, and she started slowly in giving presentations to smaller groups of people and then building upon that.

One of the key motivators for her was that she really loved her job working as a coach and mentor, and if she was going to help other people grow then she needed to challenge herself and grow too.

Lori Bell is founder of Creating Powerful Change, LLC and creator of http://www.help-me-change.com which offers tips, tools, and techniques for implementing successful change in to your life. As your Personal Change Agent, Lori will provide you with an easy to follow step by step process that allows you to tap into your hidden potential, to grow personally and professionally, and to create a life that finally feels right and works great for you! To receive other free articles and the no cost product- "Are You Ready for Success?" visit http://www.help-me-change.com now.

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