I watched a TED talk about GRIT: The power of passion and perseverance to become successful by Angela Duckworth. Angela’s theory suggests that the predictor of success is not by having high IQ but by having grit. Years ago, I didn’t have GRIT. What I had was FEAR.
After finishing university years ago, I thought a high GPA (General Point Average) would lead the way to a successful career. I thought that it would be easier to find a job in my field by having above average grades. But after months of sending job applications to several companies & organisations, I received nothing but a series of rejections.
One year later, still no job to be proud of. And most of my peers who graduated in a different field were able to secure a job already. I must admit that hit my self-esteem really bad to the point where it resulted in shaping my own FEARS. The Fear of FAILURE and the Fear of REJECTION.
It was just a job, yes, but it affected me so bad on a personal level. Was I not good enough? Was I not deserving of what I worked so hard for? I lost my confidence and it made me withdrew from people.
That’s what fear can do. It can stop you dead in your tracks, takes over your entire way of being, and paralyzes you to do the the things you love to do if you let fear take hold of you.
We all have different kinds of fear. Fear of change, fear of public speaking, fear of losing loved ones, fear of being shamed of, and so much more. These fears can overwhelm you and cause you incredible amounts of stress and it stops you from becoming the best you can be.
I knew that my fears will be the ultimate killer of my dreams and if I let its roots run deep in my life, no amount of grit can save me. First I need to fix it.
But how do you make it stop? How do you stop fear from stopping you?
1.Be honest to yourself.
What is it that scares you the most? When you know your fears, you can confront them. You can’t go on a battle not knowing the kind of opponents you will fight on the field.
I know that I fear failure and rejection and because I have acknowledged those fears to myself, I know that I will use my grit to fight those fears, I know that I will read books about these topics to inspire me and motivate me, I know that I will surround myself with people who will turn me into someone who sees failure as a light under my butt that gets me to move into action.
Call to action: Now it’s your turn, write down the top 3 things that scares you the most and how they stop from becoming your best? Then think about the steps you can do to tackle these fears.
2.Create an alter ego.
When fear creeps in, I create an alter ego to show up for me. My alter ego is Oprah ~ strong, confident, articulate, successful and loved by many. I feel a deep emotional connection to her because she’s been through a series of rejections and failures herself . She’s someone who overcame the kind of fears I used to have.
Having an alter ego acts like a shield because when I show up as “Oprah”, I would not take rejections personally because I show up as someone else, not as myself.
Call to Action: I hope you can read Todd Hermann’s book The Alter Ego Effect, it’s a life changer. Todd is the expert behind the secrets of most successful top athletes and executives: creating a heroic alter ego to activate when the chips are down.
3.Surround yourself with supportive and positive people.
I am thankful for my mom and my family because if it weren’t for their support and encouragement, it would have been harder to overcome my fears.
Steer clear from small minded people who will pull you down with them. I have talked about staying away from small-minded people here.
Call to Action: Who are the people in your life who makes you feel good? Are you spending more time with these people?
4. FEAR – Face Everything AND Rise.
If fear already has a stronghold of your life, become FEAR, not as someone who is afraid but someone who faces everything and rise, regardless of how scared you are.
When I created this website and when I decided to introduce my ART to a wider audience, I was fearful, worried and scared stiff, but because I am crystal clear about my goals, my dreams and what I want in life, I did it anyway.
When you know your purpose and when you have clarity about what you want, you can face fear by becoming FEAR.
Call to action: What’s your biggest dream in life? Are you working on it? Why, why not?
5.Just show up.
If I didn’t show up I would have missed a lot of opportunities and I wouldn’t be doing what I really love. I’ve made mistakes, I had so much failures when I started this business, it wasn’t perfect but I showed up and see what difference it can make when you tackle your fears head on.
Showing up doesn’t mean you’re no longer afraid, but it’s being afraid but doing it anyway regardless of how you feel.
Call to Action: Remember the last time you have crippling fears yet you still showed up? What did you do to make yourself show up?
Overcoming your fears is not an overnight thing. You have to face it every day. Try doing something that will make you confront those fears. And remember, it’s okay to take baby steps. One day you’ll wake up strong and brave and your highest self will thank you for it.