As a human being, you’re not really designed to keep going when you’re uncomfortable.
Because of The Fear Factor.
When this kicks in it’s far easier to stop doing the awkward or uncomfortable or scary thing, and give in instead.
Let me give you an example.
Very sadly, my gym closed it’s doors last week and I only heard about it on the same day. I’d had some time off over Easter and the first week of the school holidays but had a commitment to getting back on the ‘training treadmill’ the following Monday.
Which meant one thing to me – I needed to move fast before it all got too hard.
Because let’s be honest – it’s way easier to stay home and not train than it is to make it happen. Especially when the alarm goes off at 5.30am and it’s now cold. And dark. And the kids were on holidays and didn’t have anywhere to be.
But even more than that, I had to do it before my mind chickened out on me (technical term). So I arranged a trial at another gym.
And here’s where we humans are funny creatures.
I’ve been doing various types of gym activities since I was 18 yo (roughly 30 years, give or take – dear Lord! I should have the body of an elite athlete). And the last time I had trained was 1.5 weeks prior.
BUT I’ll let you in on the fears and insecurities that came up for me prior to going for the trial (yes, despite being a mindset coach, it happens to me too):
- Will I be able to do the exercises?
- I might not be able to keep up?
- Will they be able to accommodate my injuries?
- What do they wear there? (quickly checks socials for images of gym bunnies while internally rolling eyes at myself)
- Will it be filled with stunning young things?
- Blah blah blah … you get the picture of the way my mind was working against me here, right?
Let Me Translate This For You:
- Will I fit in? (Belonging)
- Will I be good enough?
These are 2 of the Universal Fears that we ALL experience – that’s why they’re called Universal.
The other one is the fear of being loved – which in this situation translates to ‘will they like me?’
Maybe you’ve had something similar that you really want to do, but all the fears pop up and make you want to run in the other direction.
It might be a networking event; a dream client; a speaking gig; a podcasting opportunity; a branding photo shoot; a blog post or even putting your face out on social media.
6 Failproof Tips To Keep Going Even When It’s Uncomfortable:
- Know that you’re not alone – I ran into a buddy from my old gym at the new trial class. She told me she had the exact same fears and had been really nervous too. It happens to everyone (to a greater or lesser extent), whether they admit to it or not.
- Ask yourself if the uncomfortable thing is in line with your vision, goals and the results you’re after. In other words, will doing the scary thing help you to progress in an area that is important to you? If the answer is yes, then you need to go ahead and do it 🙂 Soz.
- Remember that it’s your brain’s inbuilt safety system – it doesn’t know the difference between reality and the thoughts that are running through your mind. So if your thoughts are scary, it will make you feel like you are in danger, when in actual fact, it’s purely imaginary.
- What evidence do you have that it will be as bad as you imagine? I could run through my past ‘gym life’ experiences, and none of them were terrible and I had survived them all (even when I wanted to spew).
- Know when a situation is just new and unfamiliar and not necessarily hard, scary or embarrassing. My buddy and I both struggled with the new and different exercises, but turns out that’s all it was – because it happened to both of us. Cue my struggle to get my bra on because my arms are still so sore!
- Get more information and make yourself accountable – I had phone contact with the gym owner so I could ask any questions; check they could accommodate my injuries; and they talked me through the process and told me to come in early so they could show me around (this boosts certainty and confidence, and you know what to expect).
- Then I ramped up my commitment by booking in a class for the Monday morning, like I would any other week. When you do this it helps to stop you from backing out when it feels unfamiliar and uncomfortable / scary. Work out how you can get more information and make yourself accountable, so when the nerves kick in, you’re still going to do it.
As Susan Jeffers says, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”
So how can YOU apply this to that thing you’ve been putting off because it’s uncomfortable?
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Kylie xTags: adapting to change Human Behaviour mindset tools uncertainty