Rei was longing to make a change. Despite working in what she thought was a noble profession, she was unhappy as teacher and longed to pursue her real passion – working in a non-profit. She was passionate about shifting the world to a place where animals and humans were all respected- one where humans relied on plant based food rather than animals. She wanted to convince the world that vegan was the way to go. She knew she wanted to turn her hobby into her career. The problem was that she didn’t move forward on her dream. She knew where she wanted to go but she stayed where she was - stuck. She languished. Afraid to apply for jobs, afraid to tell her family, afraid to step into the future she dreamed of, she was frozen in place.
We dug deeper and it turned out she was afraid of failing.
Fear of failure is common with the successful women I work with. They have built careers with a record of significant achievements often in the health care and non-profit space and it is that fear of failure that is holding them back. They are well respected, have managed large, complex organizations or teams and are worried that doing something completely different will not work out. So they stay where they are holding on to a job when they would really rather be doing something different. Something that lit them on fire!
Once Rei and I identified what that fear was, we determined what the worst-case scenario of failing was. We talked about what she could do if that happened, and once she had an idea of what the worse case was, and what she could do it about it if happened – she was no longer afraid. She told me “as soon as I knew what the worst case scenario was, I could plan for it and it didn’t seem do bad. I knew I would be able to handle it.” She then went on to get the job of her dreams in only a few short weeks.
I too, have been afraid of failing. I was stuck unable to move forward and unable to make a change. At the time, I didn’t realize that when we are in a state of fear, the part of our brain that is engaged is our amaygdala. This is the ancient part of the brain that kept us safe from predators – it manages the fight or flight response. The problem is that part of the brain actually inhibits the neocortex from being engaged. That night not sound so bad until you realize that the neocortex is the newer area of the brain – where complex thinking, problem solving and creativity reside. That means that when you worried or are stressed or overwhelmed – the very times that you need to be creative and problem solve in a new way, your brain is inhibiting it.
If you are ready for a reset – ready to trade the stress, overwhelm and uncertainty for clarity and connection and purpose, reach out and learn what proven tool will blast your barriers out of your way.
Don’t let you fear of failure hold you back from living that life of your dreams. Sue was recently telling me how her parents passed away in a car accident when they were still in their early 60s. She talked about this tragedy and how this event impacted her and her family– how it helps her stay grounded and focused on the important things in life. How it has taught her that life can be short and you never know what will happen and how long you have.
Some of us have those experiences that compel us to take action even when we feel fear. Other people do well when we have the support and guidance of others to help us get past our fears and take action.
This is where my expertise is helpful. I have studied with experts to develop proficiency on proven tools and techniques to help people get past what is holding them back so they can create a life where they are living a life that is so full and complete that they jump out of bed every morning excited about what lies ahead.
If you aren’t jumping out of bed excited about your day, direct message me and I will be happy to set up a call to share how we can work together to get clear on your ideal future, and take massive action towards the life of your dreams.
Laura Macdougall is a leading advisor to senior women leaders in the health and non-profit sectors intent on writing the next chapter of their life, work and legacy. Message her for more information on her Feeling On Fire Coaching Program or opportunities to have her speak at your organization.