Over the last several lessons we’ve talked about how to recognize the various types of fears and symptoms of fears. That’s because recognizing and acknowledging these fears as blocks to your success is the first step in overcoming them.
Here are the other steps you should take if you find yourself blocked and spinning your wheels:
1. Do an unedited “brain dump” to uncover your fears. You’ve probably been denying these fears, making excuses or rationalizing. Sometimes it’s helpful to tap into your subconscious as a way to get to the root of your fears.
2. Think about your fears rationally. You may be surprised to find that your fears are actually seemingly irrational. Once you’d clearly identified these fears, you can then think about them rationally. Sometimes, just doing this “rational thought” exercise causes the fear to melt away. Otherwise, this exercise will help you create a plan to overcome the fear.
3. Create a plan. Finally, once you know what’s holding you back (and how to overcome it), you can then create a plan to achieve your goals… and then start taking action on that plan. The mere act of taking steps towards your goals – even if they’re small steps at first – almost always helps the fears and blocks to your success melt away.
We’ll go over all three of these steps in great details in the next several lessons. By the time you’re finished with these lessons, you’ll be ready to move forward.
Let’s start with the first step, the brain dump…
Understanding Your Fears
Did you recognize your fears when you were reading about the types and symptoms in the previous lessons? If so, that’s great – then the following exercise will be very easy for you. Indeed, you may even uncover more fears, including some that might surprise you.
If you didn’t recognize any fears, don’t worry – you will by the time you finish with this exercise. That’s because this exercise is designed to get past your conscious mind, the one that likes to censor your thoughts as well as put you in denial. Here you’ll learn how to drill down to your subconscious so that you can understand what’s really holding you back.
To do this, you need to do “brain dump.” Basically, this is a free-writing exercise that slips past your conscious censor and gets to the subconscious. For most people, this doesn’t happen immediately. That’s why you need to spend at least 30 uninterrupted minutes on this exercise.
Here’s how it works…
First, be sure that you truly do have 30 minutes where you won’t be disturbed, although ideally you should schedule an hour. Walk the dog, use the restroom, turn off your phone and lock your door. You don’t want any distractions.
Next, get out several clean sheets of paper and a pen or pencil. Yes, you can choose to do this on a computer if you wish. However, many people find that actually writing during this exercise is useful.
Your next step is to write at the top of the page, “why am I afraid to ________?” Fill in the blank with whatever you’re trying to accomplish, such as “why am I afraid to start a business?” or “why am I afraid to be successful?”
Finally, now you need to just write everything that pops into your mind for the next 30 to 45 minutes. Don’t censor yourself – write everything down, no matter how silly it seems. And don’t edit anything you write.
If you can’t think of anything to write, then keep writing the question until your mind comes up with answers.
After about 30 minutes you’ll likely start getting some very interesting answers. This is the point where you’ve slipped past the censor and tapped into your subconscious.
Go ahead and complete that exercise today, because next time I’ll tell you what to do with the answers that were revealed.