This weekend, as I looked over my goals for the month, my long-distance friend, Fear, decided to stop by for a visit. For a moment, my to-do-list resembled Goliath, and a feeling of defenselessness and paralysis gripped me. Fortunately, I was able to usher Fear out by employing tools that allow me to reevaluate the reality of my situation and regain perspective. Having been in similar situations before, the combination of a 3-point fight formula, verb-ish people, good time management and self-care has proven effective in driving out fear in both my business and personal life. You are probably wondering what I am talking about, so I’ll explain…
3-point Fight Formula: Fear has a nasty way of trying to creep up on you when you are on the precipice of doing something great. It tells you that you don’t have what it takes and even if you were able to accomplish your goal, the impact would be paltry at best. Over the course of my many battles with fear, I have learned that it is generally based not on facts, but on emotions. Many of those emotions are not even your own but were impressed on you through the opinions of others. As such, when fear attempts to rise up, I fight back with my 3-point formula:
- Vision – I see what it is it I want to achieve [this includes writing it down]
- Reality – I review my resources
- Purpose – I look at my Whys
This formula of vision, reality and purpose works to settle my fears and empowers me to push through towards my goals. I visualize the objective, perform an audit of what I have [ability, time, help, obstacles] and then use my Whys to reinforce the reasons doing all of this in the first place.
Verb-ish People: As I have gotten older, I find myself more attracted to spending time with and getting to know verb-ish people. What do I mean by “verb-ish” [is that even a word] people? These are the doers, the ones who take action. They are not satisfied with sitting back and having life control them, but are out there trying, doing, failing, learning, getting back up and trying again. I really like verb-ish people! It may become necessary to block out the opinions of those who think that your goals are impossible and surround yourself with individuals who similarly have their own formula to fight through fear. This may require you to spend less time corresponding with friends who won’t understand your drive or vision—and that is okay. It doesn’t mean that you love them less. It just means that for this period in your life, you will have to love them from a distance.
Time Management/Prioritization: Some goals require very little time but a lot of energy to be achieved, while others require very little energy but a lot of time. I thrive on deadlines and procedures, and knowing the steps required to accomplish a task, along with when each step needs to be completed, allows me to prioritize the work to be performed today… this week… this month. Some weeks will require more effort and, as such, I strive to plan my time with sufficient detail so that the necessary but time-consuming tasks are done in advance or postponed as needed. For example, I won’t have to worry about what to cook or going to the supermarket on busy weeks, as I would have already planned the menu and shopped accordingly in advance. By proactively structuring my time and setting priorities, I can give my full attention to being in the moment and reduce the levels of anxiety that may arise while getting the job done. Organizing your time will also limit distractions. When what you have to focus on for that day is clearly defined, it is more difficult for persons or outside distractions to get you off path. Though you will always have to allow some flexibility, managing your time will help you to say no to anything that does not help you.
Practice Self-care: No matter what you do—in business or in life, time should always be allocated to taking care of you. No one is capable of maintaining high levels of productivity over long periods without taking time out for themselves. Self-care may mean different things for different individuals. For some persons, it may be getting 8 hours of sleep every night. For others going to the gym or getting their hair done. Personally, I like to take a few hours [and sometimes days within the month] where I do nothing—yes, absolutely nothing. Knowing my body and understanding what revives me, allows me to plan and allot downtime, where I can let my mind relax and recharge to achieve the next goal.