FEAR. It’s a natural response to something that we believe may put our life in danger; it’s a survival instinct, but could it be holding you back from achieving your goals?
I want to discuss my experiences with fear and how I have been able to overcome certain feelings that I know have held me back from achieving my goals and preventing me from giving my all.
Let’s be real, it’s a scary prospect to think you could dedicate your heart and soul to achieving a goal in life and fail, or never achieve it. But let me put it this way, would you rather give it your all and fail, or always have that thought in the back of your mind, what if I had just pushed a little harder?
This has been something that I have questioned my whole career and not until recently have I discovered that it has been the fear of failure that has held me back from reaching my true potential.
While I was in Canada I had a lot of time to think, which is not always a good thing but thankfully this time it was. I knew after having my visa petition denied I would be spending at least a couple of months there so I thought what can I do that will bring me closer to achieving my goal of playing on the LPGA Tour. Obviously playing golf was out the question so what could I do indoors to give myself the opportunity to succeed.
For many professional golfers who are in the early stages of their career, who are not outliers such as Jordan Spieth and Lydia Ko find it hard to gain sponsorship to even allow them to compete. I fall into this group, now I am not complaining about it because I am grateful for everything I have, but the struggle is real.
Anyway that’s beside the point, what I am trying to say is that I thought this time would allow me to connect with my network of friends and family to let them know what I am trying to accomplish and how they could possibly help. Sounds easy right? What’s so hard about sending out a couple of emails? Well let me tell you, when you are someone like me who is afraid of someone telling you no, or worse still not responding…it’s hard! There were days I would be watching reruns of Friends and thinking to myself ‘what am I doing??’, I really should be doing something productive. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t doing something to help reach my goal because this is something I have always wanted in life, if you know me you know how much I love the game, so why wasn’t I giving it my all?
It wasn’t until I realized that I was afraid of rejection, failure, and the thought I wouldn’t be able to play this year because I had no money that I could accept it was this fear of failure preventing me to do something productive. It wasn’t because I am lazy or the fact I didn’t want to, trust me I wanted to.
After doing some research on this topic it became clear I am not the only one who has dealt with these feelings, actually far from it, pretty much everyone at some point in their life has been in a position where the fear of failure has prevented them from doing what they really want to. So how can you overcome it you ask? Well here is a technique I found online that has really helped me put everything into perspective and made me understand the fear of failure really isn’t that scary!
Firstly you have to establish what it is you want to achieve; loose 10 pounds, own a successful business, win a major tournament, break 80. What ever it is, we all have goals that get us out of bed in the morning; they give us a purpose in life.
So after you have written down your goal…this is something you must do, it makes your goal real and not just a dream. Write down what it would be like if you failed, in my case what it would be like if I never successfully played on the LPGA Tour. What would life be like? How would I feel? In most cases the reality is you will still be alive although the initial feelings of failure may sting, time heals all wounds, it’s amazing what we can deal with even when we think we can’t.
Now the fun part, write what life would be like if you achieved that goal. What does it feel like to achieve that life’s dream? What does your life look like? Make the description as vivid as you can. The feeling you get when living out you’re your dream should be your motivation to keep pushing on to achieve your goals.
So after you have completed this process it should become clear that the fear of failure shouldn’t hold you back from chasing your dreams, like I said more likely that failure is not life threatening. Instead allow the feeling of success be your driving force pushing you to commit to the process of achieving your goal.
I hope what I have outlined in this blog will allow you put your fears into prospective and has either re-motivated you, or inspired you to achieve that long life dream you have always been afraid of pursuing.
Please feel free to comment below, or send me a direct message using the ‘contact me’ tab. I would love to hear your stories of success and how you have overcome obstacles in your career.