Many times throughout my life, fear has tapped me on the shoulder when I least expected—it has also punched me in the gut and brought me to my knees in a whirl of exhausting and exasperating emotion. Fear is such a heavy, complicated, and often unexpected emotion that comes in many forms, but certainly not limited to the following:
- Fear of failure
- Fear of disappointment
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of threat/harm
- Fear of overall lack of control over a situation or outcome
Personally, I can tell you that at this stage in my life, I prefer to live like a warrior and kick fear to the curb! I have honestly had enough, and I hold nothing back in living, loving, learning, and propelling myself into the life that I choose and work toward living. That’s why I’m happy to share my top 5 strategies for overcoming fear and living like a warrior.
1. Alter Your Mindset
“Your Perception is Your Reality.”
The only thing that separates you from fear is your mindset. While fear is an important, natural emotion, it’s also a stifling dream-crusher that will stop you in your tracks and have you running in the opposite direction.
Your mindset determines your self-worth and confidence, your action and inaction, your next step vs. the status quo, how you approach the world, and the spectacles in which you choose to view your circumstance.
Whether you choose to see the glass as half-full or half-empty, it’s still the same glass with the same amount of water. The manner in which you choose to see it is your personal choice that is typically followed by an emotion.
Were you lucky and proud to have a half cup of water when you were thirsty? Or are you angry and disappointed that you only have a half cup and not a drop more?
If you simply refine your perception, you will then impact your personal experience. Alternately, if you prefer a different reality, then first change your perception.
How do you do this? Just be more positive in your speech, communication, and response to experiences in your daily life. Stop crumbling when things don’t work out as planned. Instead, learn to laugh, release, and rejoice in not having experienced a worse case scenario. In this sense, happiness is a choice. I choose to be happy.
What do you choose?
2. Focus on Your Level of Control
Fear often stems from a lack of control. This feeling can grow and spread like a dark cloud, inward through emotion and then outward in behavior. No, we do not have control over everyone and everything, but we DO have control over ourselves and our choices to prepare, plan, and respond to any situation.
Instead of fixating on your lack of control, refocus your vision on those areas that are within your control. Learn to fully identify and manage all of the choices you can make within a scenario. Take control of your situation by owning your options. First be honest with yourself and come face-to-face with your situational anxieties, then create a mental list of your options and make a plan.
Take your abstract feelings and acknowledge them, understand where they came from, and break it down into tangible and manageable next steps—that is when fear will lose its power over you.
Can you think of a fear that continues making unwanted visits?
3. Just Say NO to “What If”
The “What If” game is a never-ending mental ping-pong of disaster. Stop doing it. The ONLY time that this game is even remotely acceptable is when you are trying to prepare for an event or occasion and are making sure that you have everything you need (i.e., packing a baby bag, planning for a meeting or presentation, or preparing for a trip). Otherwise, STOP doing it!
4. Goal Setting & Getting
When your parents and/or teacher told you that you could do/be anything you truly wanted if you work hard enough—they really weren’t kidding. You really can. The only thing between you and your dream becoming your reality are these 5 strategies, that’s it.
Stop letting time slip past you and “seize the moment!” It’s never too late, even if you start simply and keep a comfortable pace. The first step is to draw a mind map—make a circle in the middle of a paper with your true soul-itching vision, add branches from this center with greater detail about your vision for that goal, and then create simple steps for each branch. Lastly, make a comfortable and manageable to-do list for the day—and actually do it.
Most of us look up at a mountainous goal, and before we even try, fear steps in to overwhelm, worry, and laugh in our face until our dream dissolves. Instead, keep your ultimate goal in mind but keep your eyes focused only on one small step at a time for a minimal investment. Before you know it, you will be at the top. While obstacles and even avalanches may take place, it’s how you choose to navigate through each moment that will propel you.
What would you write in the center of your mind map?
5. Organization is NOT only for Type A’s
You don’t have to be a Type A personality to have solid organizational skills. All you need is true determination and passion to get you there. I personally don’t like stress, so I choose to rise above it by preparing ahead of time. Whether I’m making a to-do list to remove responsibility out of my head and onto paper, or packing snacks, change of clothes, or emergency kit for the kids to bring in the car in case of any unexpected circumstances, I’ve got it covered.
Remember to be honest with yourself about the simplest of situations or details that create stress and fear of the “what if” scenarios coming true, and be prepared. Manage each of the areas that you can control.
- You are worthy. You are important. You are loved.
- You are capable. You are strong.
- Your greatest ambition is waiting for you to make it happen.
- You can do it!
“The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it is possible.” —Alice Through The Looking Glass
Do you feel like you’re constantly battling with your acne? From the hormonal teenage years through adulthood, maintaining smooth skin that is free of acne, post-acne spots, premature signs of aging, and/or other skin conditions on your face and body can be exhausting—and costly.
As a mother of four children, I faced problems in finding an effective solution to manage their recurring bouts of eczema as well. A natural, simple, and targeted approach is how I handled this dilemma, thanks to the most nutrient-dense and inexpensive solution that can be found in your local grocery store! Take a closer look at the best kept secret in maintaining smooth, radiant skin.
Tap into my latest article on Consumer Health Digest here: Shockingly Inexpensive and Simple Secrets For Best Skin!
How many can you check off?
* This post was originally published on Thrive Global.
- You’re sitting up and staring at the computer, in a trance-like state with your mouth typically gaping open, until an awkward head jolt later when you realize you just fell asleep sitting up, again.
- When unpacking from your weekly grocery shop, you realize that you keep re-buying the same five items that you were in desperate need of… two weeks ago.
- Even though you walk into a room and sometimes forget your purpose, you then grab an item, get distracted, and then completely forget where you placed it.
- You sound more like an auctioneer than a parent as you stumble over every family member’s and pet’s name in the house before actually matching it with the kid in front of you.
- Your alarm clock is set to repeat every 5-minutes for a 30-minute period before it’s actually time to get out of bed — yet you still manage to snooze through every single one and wake up in a panic with your iPhone laying next to you after turning it off for a foolish “5 more minutes.”
- You robotically spew out random, repetitive phrases at the kids that have nothing to do with the moment.
- After frantically running through the house looking for your “lost” phone, and likely blaming one of the kids for taking it, you look down and realize it was in your hand — the entire time.
- You repeatedly demand that your kid let her sibling out to pee on the lawn — only to realize that you really meant the dog.
- When you finally lay down to rest and read your emails, the iPhone falls out of your hand and smacks you in the face.
- You frequently bump into door frames and furniture — and then apologize to them.
Uncovering the secrets to achieve true success when a tireless work ethic isn’t enough.
* This post was originally published on Thrive Global.
Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are completely underrated.
When the barrage of personal and professional to-do tasks receive their final checkmarks,
When the kids are quietly tucked away in bed,
When the night shift of post-sleeping kid to-do’s are complete,
When you lay in bed, and your iPhone resurfaces in your hand, for a “quick look” at emails, social media, and news stories,
When your phone desperately falls out of our hand to punch you right in the face for staying up too long…
that’s our signal to rest.
When it comes to attaining proper sleep habits and performing with an optimal energy level, society seems predisposed to choose indifference to these areas due to a higher priority level placed on professional ambition, managing the house/everyday chores, and/or even our addiction to social media… but I’d rather point the finger of fault at myself entirely.
Sleep was always considered a “luxury” in my eyes, not a necessity — not ever. I always had too much to do, too much to accomplish, and sleep simply felt like a “waste” of time. Just like Arianna Huffington, founder of Thrive Global, The Huffington Post, and author of the highly acclaimed book, THE SLEEP REVOLUTION, so consummately reveals, “So that cycle of burnout and perpetual tiredness came to be my new normal — until my wake-up call.”
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
I have always been a stubborn overachiever. However, it wasn’t until later on in life that I came to the undeniable understanding that although I categorically attained each of my goals, I was failing myself. Please allow me to elaborate with my top three examples:
One summer, I was determined to buy myself a car, so I worked as a waitress for 13-hour day shifts for eight weeks. Days were long, and when I did manage sleep, my shift continued in my dreams as a repetitive extension of the day.
While attending University, I was determined to pay for school/housing alone (no loans or credit cards), graduate in 4 years, and fine-tune my professional prowess. I succeeded by securing 2 professional internships, working 2 jobs (one as a bar tender from 10pm-3am), fulfilling 16 credits per semester, and graduating with Honors.
As a parent with a toddler and newborn, I will never forget how I worked from home for 40-hours per week as a contract editor/writer of an international trade publication. I began my work day after the kids went to bed because that was the only way. Sleep was merely a luxury that I could not afford at the time. For an entire year, I slept 2–3 hours per night, nursing my tiny tot and endlessly clicking the keys of the keyboard to complete my projects. I was determined to succeed in my professional role and as a stay at home mom, at any cost.
My work ethic has always been embedded deep within my character, and when it came to achieving a personal or professional goal, I was relentless. I almost succeeded — if I would have taken better care of well-being. I was healthy — but I was also tired of running on empty.
Too Tireless to Feel Tired
“I can handle it! I’m a machine!”, I would say to counter any concern. This was my motto. No matter what life threw back at me, I responded with double the drive.
Truthfully, the sheer mental and physical exhaustion took such a toll that my body begged for rest in the form of a hypothermia-like sensation, with uncontrollable shivering until I laid down for the night… but it didn’t phase me. I stubbornly listened to my body when I needed to.
Ms. Huffington perfectly captured my sentiment in THE SLEEP REVOLUTION, with her statement:
“Clearly I’m indispensable, so I must work all night, responding to a hundred emails and then writing a long blog post, while being the perfect mother during the day. This way of working and living seemed to serve me well — until it didn’t.”
“Sleep is an option,” was another saying that I replayed for decades. I could handle anything and everything, even if I was cross-eyed and bumping into things by the time 3pm rolled around. “Naps were for the weak!” I was unstoppable — until life woke me up in the form of:
- Blurred vision
- Memory loss
- Lack of focus
- Cold spells
These symptoms aren’t just textbook talk — these were my personal ramifications in the erroneous prioritizing of myself. I don’t think that anyone realized that I really wasn’t a machine who could do it all, nor an invincible Supermom — not even me. I am human, and I needed to learn. It was time to make a plan, even as a Type A do-it-all character.
Just like Ms. Huffington revealed, “We have to be our own Prince Charming — to wake ourselves up by turning our gaze from the projects and distractions of the outside world to the many miracles within ourselves.” (THE SLEEP REVOLUTION)
“Hindsight is 20/20”
The journey that I have experienced throughout countless relocation assignments as an expat, a professional, and most importantly as a mother of 4 young children, has enabled me to learn, grow, and propel forward with a clear vision of who I am, how I choose to live, my core values, and where I am headed.
This testimonial isn’t just that, however, there’s more. I am not the only one who has learned some of the most vital life lessons through trial and error — these are the waves of managing/balancing work and family life. In consulting with working mothers, fathers, and collective families around the world, I have gained unique perspective in that we all experience similar struggles… but the bigger question is, How do we Thrive?
Survive and Thrive
Now that all of the kids are in school and I no longer have a toddler in tow, I can redefine my identity, reassess my past, present, and future, and realign my priorities.
Perhaps the most valuable question is, how? At the same time, this is such a personal question as well as a common conundrum. Here are some practical top questions I asked myself to first identify life goals:
- At the end of your journey in life, when you look back at your personal story, what would you like to see?
- How would you like for people to remember you?
- If all of your material possessions were to disappear — computer and iPhone included — what would remain of value to you?
- What quality of relationships have you built throughout your life? Are you proud?
- If you could choose any career that could make you truly happy, what would it be?
These were the questions that lingered in my mind until I made another staunch resolution — but this time to focus on myself for once and redefine my true meaning of success.
Put-up or Shut-up
I was on a one-track mission to succeed in every facet in my life. The first step was to identify my objectives and tactically check them off, one at a time, while never losing sight of my true priorities. Here was my plan:
- I developed a mind map of my redefined ambition, goals, and focus.
- I included a few bullet points under each objective with basic steps to achieve that goal.
- I tasked myself with only a few simple, manageable targets for the day — along with my personal ambition in relationship-building and self-care.
- I was no longer stressed nor a “machine.” I felt human again and accomplished — once I could love and respect myself again, I was happier, better at loving others, and more capable of attaining my qualitative and quantitative objectives.
This was success — and the quality of work, ability to achieve more than I thought possible, and inner peace was proof that I was moving in the right direction.
Thrive Global’s mission is to “to end the stress and burnout epidemic by offering companies and individuals sustainable, science-based solutions to enhance both well-being and performance.” In order to truly achieve “success,” we need to refocus on our self and the inherent meaning of that word alone.
Moving forward, I have dedicated my professional ambition toward encouraging and engaging global audiences of various ages, cultures, and backgrounds toward a powerful journey of self-empowerment with a large dose of relatability, humor, and sincere emotion through my blogs, website, speaking engagements, and consulting services.
Today, I feel empowered to propel forward by first loving myself and having the respect and clarity to know when it’s time to sleep, rest, and find personal balance… true happiness. By finding our center and true inner peace, we can then propel forward with true success.
“Loving yourself has nothing to do with being selfish, self-centered or self-engrossed. It means that you accept yourself for what you are. Loving yourself means that you accept responsibility for your own development, growth and happiness. When you love yourself, you pave the way for all you want and need to come to you at the right time in the perfect way.” — Iyanla Vanzant