Worrying about taking risks, failing, losing, and pretty much everything else that can go wrong is one sure way not to achieve your goals. Comfort zones are not really about comfort; they are about fear. If our fears control us, they limit our growth. I face fears too, and this is how I deal with them.
1. I know growth happens during times of discomfort
I have never reached my fitness goals without feeling stressed, enduring physical pain and making sacrifices. It may not have been pleasant at times, but once I experienced the results, I could not get enough; what once seemed challenging became routine. The same principle applies to achieving any of my goals — if I am not challenged, I do not expect any results. Pain is part of the process and being uncomfortable is something you have to embrace if you want to grow.
2. I do not exaggerate the consequences
We can think of some great ideas, and we can be even more creative about how many things could go wrong. First of all, most of your fears are never going to materialise; you are worrying about something that does not exist. Secondly, if you do face problems, you are capable of dealing with them — do not underestimate yourself.
“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me: danger is very real, but fear is a choice.” — Will Smith
3. My friends are risk takers
I follow a simple rule in life: whatever it is that I want to achieve, I surround myself with people who are either doing just that or have done it already. I learn from their experiences, feed off their energy and determination, and their achievements force me to move; I do not have the choice to stand still and worry about what might happen. It is common knowledge that the people you mix with influence you. If you surround yourself with doubters, you will most likely doubt yourself too.
4. I take my time
Nothing is going to happen overnight; growth and success take time. I respect the process and approach everything I do with this mindset. If I expect to wake up the next morning miraculously running a company with revenues of £100 million, without putting in the work, I am going to end up disappointed. If you move too quickly with unrealistic expectations, your fears are bound to become a reality. There is no rush, so ease yourself into whatever it is you want to do, one step at a time.
5. Failure is my teacher
I have failed more times than I have succeeded. I do not dwell too long on the issue; there is always a lesson in each failure, and I look for that. Once I have identified what went wrong, I know how to plan, prepare, and execute better the next time. I remind myself I am still alive and tomorrow is a new day.
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill
6. I have a purpose
I believe we are all here for a purpose. If I fail or lose direction, I remind myself that this is no accident; it is a sign. I must keep moving; I have to fulfill my potential. I have to reach my destination, and that will never happen sitting still.
Believe in yourself, be brave, trust your gut, and be a little less cautious.