When the fear of doing something paralyses you…
We all know that we need a level of anxiety in our lives otherwise we’d cross roads without looking and spend money without bill paying (we do all pay our bills, right?!) The right level of anxiety is good for us, it keeps us safe (and the Bailiffs away from the door) but too much anxiety can have a crippling effect on day-to-day living and prevent us from experiencing life-changing opportunities.
For example, you may have seen posts on social media and think, “that looks like it could be fun, I’d REALLY like to give that a go, but I’ll be rubbish and they’ll be way too good for me, they’ve been doing it for ages, so they’re bound to be experts, professionals, brilliant at it and EVERYTHING!”
However, you REALLY, REALLY do want to give it a try, BUT the ‘what ifs’ keep nagging away:
- What if I hate it? (unlikely, but if you do, then you don’t have to carry on)
- What if it is impossibly hard? (it won’t be and if it is, then the coaching isn’t up to much)
- What if no one talks to me (definitely won’t happen when you’re in an environment where people love what they’re doing)
- What if I don’t feel part of the group (if you do, then it’s the wrong group of people for you)
- What if I run out of What if questions?…What then?? Arghhh!
I understand the condition known as the ‘What if Paralysis’ The condition that leaves you unable to do anything (other than feel a bit rubbish about yourself for spending too much time asking ‘What if!’ questions and not doing anything about it)
I also know how crippling the power of the condition can be as I too have trained over the years, have set myself goals, have frightened myself by these very goals but have learnt to fight the ‘what if paralysis’ with the ‘so what mantra!‘
- So what if I’m not the quickest’ (there’s only ever going to be one person who is and they’re probably having they’re very own ‘what if’ battles)
- ‘So what if I can’t do every exercise perfectly’ (it’s the Coach’s job to teach you)
- ‘So what if I’m at the back?’ (I’m out here doing it, proving to the what if’s that it’s ok)
- ‘So what if I run out of what if questions!’ (I can’t talk anyway!)
Experience has shown that the ‘So What’ mantra yields far more positive experiences and enables us to achieve far more than the ‘What if Paralysis’
So, my tips for managing the ‘What If Paralysis’ are:
Keep an OPEN MIND .You might think you know how you’re going to feel, but this is just a thought, it’s not a fact and the likely hood is that you may well not actually feel like you thought you would (still with me?!)
Be CONFIDENT about your ability to achieve what you set out to do. A positive mind-set is far more likely to produce a positive outcome. Bat those ‘what if’ thoughts away when they pop into your mind, close them down and focus on the things you have control of.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF and trust the coaches who will guide and support you; they too have a role to play in challenging the ‘what ifs’ and helping you prove them wrong.
BREAK the programme down in to smaller parts in your head; work hard at each session without ‘what iffing’ about the next one to come. Just ‘be’ in the moment, be honest with yourself about how you really feel; is it really so bad or is it just a step out of your comfort zone?
Project yourself forward to the EUPHORIC feeling you will have when you’ve finished and the ‘what if paralysis’ didn’t win!
So, why not come and give TOWTR a go, I firmly believe in the ‘So What’ attitude as I know it empowers people and really can change lives…and the running isn’t so bad either