5 easy steps to take over your fears and to control them
Did you hear about Google’s Aristotle Project? Where the company conducted researches among 180 teams, 3-50 individuals in each. The aim of the research was to determine the secrets of team effectiveness within the company. As a result of the research they came up with 5 effectiveness pillars. It was less about who was in the team, but more about how the team was working together. One of the five and the first pillar was Psychological Safety. This means that people in the teams are not afraid of taking risks – they feel safe, they are allowed to make mistakes and they are vulnerable to each other.
This is for sure very interesting to explore within a business environment. What if we think about the Psychological Safety we give to ourselves? Have you ever thought about how vulnerable you are to yourself?
Have you ever experienced a time, when you had an idea and at the moment the insightful idea appeared you were so much motivated to start your project immediately? Then you started thinking about details of the project and you were thinking about whether you will succeed or not? Little by little you were killing the idea with your thoughts, doubts and uncertainties, so your motivation to start the project was gone.
The project was never done! Why? Because your thoughts and your fears took control over your mind, over your emotions and the level of your psychological safety was equal to zero.
So how to deal with similar situations and not to let fear take over your motivation to act?
Here are five easy ways to check on, whenever you feel the danger of giving up on your projects.
- Be aware. Any change starts with a necessary portion of awareness. If you face a situation and feel that your motivation level is lowering, then pause for a moment and think about the reason why you start doubting your project. Is it fear? Is it lack of knowledge? Is it lack of experience? What is it? Put all your attention to answer this questions and write all your answers down. “Name the fear”, make a detailed list, name all what is stopping you. Be aware.
- Look for the triggers and limitations. As a next step take the list you have already created and dig to find the triggers and beliefs that make you feel afraid. Maybe you have already experienced a time when you failed a similar project? Maybe you think your loved ones do not believe in your abilities? It can be anything, but if you find the triggers of your fears, then you can work on changing it.
- Take control. What is a fear? It is an emotion. An emotion is often a result of our thoughts. We cannot control emotions but we can control and change our thoughts. For example, if you are asking yourself: “will I succeed”? Change this to: “What do I need to succeed”? “How shall I change to succeed”? “What shall I change to succeed”? Do not add doubt to your thoughts, but seek for solutions.
- Know the unknown. Fear does not come from change but it comes from the unknown. You don’t know what will happen, but you can plan, you can build strategies and you can seek for professional support to help you through all that steps.
- Change your behavior! You can change your behavior while changing your thoughts and emotions. All this three (thought, emotion, behavior) are interconnected and we have already seen, that you can control your mind and thoughts.
And last but not least, don’t wait, just act, because action kills fear.
Next time you have a new project idea, first check on your psychological safety, get this part done and then move forward.