Updated: Aug 18
Feelings are fuel.
We take action for two reasons only: We either move away from pain and discomfort, or we move towards pleasure and comfort.
There is absolutely no other reason for our doing anything.
We humans are interesting creatures. We like to believe that we make rational, logical, considered decisions when, in fact, we don't. Every decision we make is based on our feelings. Feelings are fuel.
There are no exceptions.
One of most common feelings I work on with people is fear. Fear comes up a lot in my discussions with people. A lot. But it rarely presents as fear. More often, it presents as 'reasons' for not moving forward. For example, "I would do this if.... I had more money/time/experience/education", or "I don't think I'm cut out for this because... I'm a single mum/I'm starting too late/I'm too old/I'm too young/no-one will take me seriously." I could go on.
This fear stems from one place; you don't trust yourself.
Think about it. We're all too happy to trust other people before we trust ourselves. We'd rather believe other people's opinions than trust our own. We assume other people are right and we're wrong. Heck, we'll throw ourselves out of perfectly functioning aeroplanes, attached to a man we met just a few hours earlier, because he says he's an expert! We're so willing to trust others yet so unwilling to trust ourselves. So, when you try someone else's system but it doesn't work for you, when you try to mimic another's success by doing what they've done, when you try to use language someone else uses because it seems to appeal to people, what - other than fear - can you expect to feel? You have no reason to trust yourself when all you're doing is implementing someone else's methods and systems. How can you possibly know that any of it will work for you? They're not your methods, your decisions, your way of doing things. The only possible things you can feel are self-doubt, fear, anxiety, hesitancy, and those really unpleasant emotions that make you want to quit.
You're probably thinking, "That all makes sense, but how do I know what to do when I've never done something before?"
That's a great question.
Here's how you learn to trust yourself.
First, remember that building a career or a business is a process that unfolds over time. The early days are hard work; you'll experiment and some things work, others don't. And you learn. And you implement what you've learned. And then one day you feel as though a current picks you up, sweeps you right off your feet, and carries you home. The way to get there is to trust yourself and build your career or business YOUR way.
Start by writing down exactly what it is you want to achieve. Describe how you feel once you've achieved it. Where are you, what does it look like, smell like, sound like, FEEL like? Write from a place of consciousness so that you actually experience the feelings as you write. Put yourself at the end of your journey. Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing? What's the weather like? Get detailed. Really, really detailed.
Read what you've written. Experience those feelings over and over again. The joy, elation, pride, energy, excitement, happiness, freedom, whatever emotions come, let them come. When you're at the peak of feeling those emotions, ask yourself this one question:
"What's one step I can take to get myself to that place?"
It doesn't matter how small that step is, providing it's a step forward.
Write down that step. And then start to do it.
If you struggle to trust yourself to 'get it right', trust yourself enough to know that you'll figure it out. Because you absolutely will once you've taken that first step.
This exercise puts your dreams in charge. It creates feelings that will drive, motivate, and energize you enough to take action, move forward, and keep moving forward. Once you know where you're going and why you're going there, doubt turns to trust and hesitation turns to action. This is powerful, consuming exercise that teaches you to trust yourself.
Whatever you can dream you can do. So whatever your dreams are, you can achieve them. If you just trust yourself.