What’s stopping you from taking action?

Is it the physical constraints? You lack the resources, tools, time, and money.

Or is it a proficiency constraint? You lack the knowledge, skills, experience.

Or perhaps, you are facing a psychological constraint? You lack the vision or the mindset.

All these constraints can be summed up into one word: fear.

Different faces of fear

Fear can come in the form of self-doubt. Sometimes I catch myself rationalizing to convince myself why I should not do something:

  • It will cost too much
  • It will take too long
  • I have never done it before
  • I am not good enough

So, what is the antidote for fear?

Courage is the antidote for fear

It is courage.

Mark Twain once said:

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.

That is an important distinction, because to act in a courageous manner is not about living in the absence of fear. Being courageous is the ability to act in spite of fear. It is first and foremost the mental courage to look fear in the eye. It is essentially a mind-set.

For instance, when I failed to be awarded a contract, I can choose to immediately focused on the loss. Doing so would lead me to ask myself a series of disempowering questions like, “what’s wrong with me”?

Where in truth, there is nothing wrong. But because I asked myself a lousy question, my brain starts searching for answers to that question. And that set in motion a series of cause-and-effect which ultimately lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Adopt an empowering mind-set

To adopt a courageous mind-set, we will need to start with our focus. To channel our mind to focus on areas that empower us, we need to ask the right questions.

Asking questions like “what’s wrong with me?” will lead us down the path of self-doubt. Instead, we want to ask questions that not only empower us, but also want to direct our focus on things that we have influence over.

Adopting a questioning technique by Anthony Robbins, we must train our minds to ask the following three questions:

  • What’s great about this? (Or what could be great about this?) – this question forces our mind to channel our focus on the positive aspect of every situation, in spite of how difficult the situation may seems.
  • What’s not perfect yet? – this is a very important question as it presupposes that the situation can be perfect and all I need to do is simply to articulate what is my vision of it.
  • How can I make it the way I want it? – this is an action-oriented question, but it is also one that puts control into my hands. With our mind squarely focused on the positive, on what could be possible, and how we can make that possibility a reality; it is essentially the way we can develop courage and that would clearly be the one attribute that sets you apart from the rest.

Recognizing that adopting an empowering mindset is indeed a habit, the good news is that you can learn to cultivate it.

Published by Melvyn