This Confidence Anxiety article was inspired by Episode 16 of the Everyday Confidence Podcast.
Today, I’d like to talk about the restrictions Anxiety puts on us and ask, “Is it worth the trouble?”
After all, everyone, at the end of their life, goes through a period when they look back and have regrets. But they’re always about things they DIDN’T do!
No one ever says “I wish I’d spent more time sitting in the safety of my home”, or “I wish I’d not tried as many new things during my life”.
Yet, that’s exactly what we’re doing every day of our lives.
I say, it’s time to break free of the anxiety shackles that keep you in seclusion, and that means taking a small step outside your comfort zone every day.
It doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking, even the smallest of improvements, is still an improvement.
Think About It
Take a few minutes now, to think about something you’ve always dreamed of doing. Something that you’ve never had the courage to attempt because of your confidence anxiety. Maybe it’s something simple like take a class at college. Maybe it’s something more creative like, teaching a group of people to play the guitar. Or, maybe it’s more extreme and you’d like to be a skydive instructor?
For me, I’d always dreamed of writing a book. Yeah, me!! Someone who wouldn’t even answer the telephone in case I was judged!
Still, back in 1990 I decided to write it, even if I never showed it to anyone. After a while I gave a copy, (even though it was just a stapled, bundle of A4 paper), to a couple of friends… and they loved it.
It took a while (22 years actually 🙁 ), but eventually I decided to sell it on Amazon as a Kindle book.
That was the first of eight books and it gave birth to my dream of helping to inspire as many people as I possibly could.
So, Now It’s Your Turn
Once you’ve decided what your dream is, I want you to sit in a comfortable chair, lean back and close your eyes. (Actually, you’d better finish reading this first, or you won’t know what do to next) 😉
Anyway, when you’ve finished reading and you’re ready to close your eyes, imagine you’re eighty years old. Your sitting out in your garden, with the warm summer breeze blowing softly across your body, looking back on your many achievements.
You remember the one that started it all. The day you decided to go for it! The time you decided to take a stand against compromise and comfort, and do something worthwhile with your life instead.
The day you determined that enough was enough and you were going to break free and do the thing you were always scared to do.
Imagine how your life will look having taken the plunge. Think of where your life could go, if you decided to experience this opportunity. Just imagine the things you’d be able able to do, once you’d overcome this fear.
The Same As Always
Then, after enjoying the feelings associated with this personal success for a while, imagine you’re looking back at your life if you hadn’t done it and your life continued on the same way is it now. Would you have regrets? Are there things that you would have loved to do, but never had the nerve? Who knows, maybe by doing this one thing, you’d have had the confidence to do them?
This technique, known as the ‘Rocking Chair’ test, was shown to me by Tony Robbins and it’s incredibly powerful.
It works because at the time we’re deciding about whether to try something new, we’re caught up in our current belief system, in our fears about failure and embarrassment. This makes us less likely to take action on things that are outside our comfort zone.
Everything either has to grow, or it dies and the only way to grow, is to experience new things.
Sometimes, these new things can be taking up a new hobby, or taking a class in a subject you’re interested in, but whatever it is, growth is experienced more profoundly by reaching outside of your comfort zone.
Give It A Try
Give it a try next time you’re deciding whether to take the plunge on a new experience. I think you’ll be surprised.
Do this a few times over the next few days. Next week we’ll look at ways to put your idea into practice.
Until then, you can always drop me a line and let me know how it’s going. 🙂