Hi friends, thanks for joining me for another episode of the podcast and blog! In today’s episode, I am talking about how to handle feelings of doubt and fear of failure when you are pursuing your goals.
But first, I want you to know that I take your time seriously. Through the Primal Potential podcast, people bring me along for walks, they bring me into their living rooms while they’re cleaning the house. You have a million options for podcasts you can listen to and blogs you can read, so thank you for being here.
Today, I have been dying to share the ah-ha moment that I had a few weeks ago with you. Listen or read along with me below.
A friend of mine is a business owner and podcaster who also works with clients. She came to me for advice because she had 2 clients reach out to ask for refunds for the first time. Here’s what I told her.
It doesn’t happen often, but 100% of the time, when people come to me to ask about getting a refund, what they are really looking for is reassurance. This is fear and doubt in play, and it is a huge opportunity for that person!
If we had full faith in ourselves or whatever we purchased to pursue our goals, we wouldn’t want our money back. If we knew we were going to do the work that comes along with investing in our program, we wouldn’t want a refund.
What people need is reassurance—sometimes it’s a lack of faith in themselves, sometimes in the program, sometimes it’s both, and all of them can be worked on.
I see this with clients but I also see this with myself. Literally every single time I have hired a coach, and when I decided to join a mastermind, there has been a moment of panic. Maybe I don’t verbalize it but I sink into thoughts of, “on second thought, maybe I shouldn’t have done this!”
I encourage my clients to not shy away from these tough moments.
4:00 Giving Doubt a Voice
We all know that sick feeling of doubt. It’s super uncomfortable to think that maybe you made a mistake by investing in yourself. It’s uncomfortable to admit that you don’t trust yourself enough to take advantage of an opportunity.
We don’t want to run from this feeling. Your doubt is telling you something. I don’t ever want to let a client run from this opportunity to face the fact that they need reassurance or to create more trust in themselves or whatever they are doing to pursue their goals.
“I don’t know if this is right for me.”
If you have ever had that thought, give your doubt a voice. Explore it. Sometimes you’re doing something that is not good for you.
Borrowing an example from my own life, let’s say you opt-in for some rigid, extreme diet and two weeks in you realize that you are miserable.
In that situation, giving your doubt a voice allows you to see if that feeling is coming from a pattern that you need to change or, maybe, that feeling is an indication that your decision wasn’t healthy or sustainable, that it’s not something you want to stick with it for the rest of your life.
Most times we say yes to something that we consider to be a great tool for growth and then the buyer’s remorse creeps in, this comes from doubt.
I don’t want to give the impression that we can’t ever course correct—we absolutely should—but I encourage you to lean in and explore what it is that you’re doubting.
Start with this quick exercise:
You might say, “I don’t trust that I’m going to do the work.” This is something we can work on
What do you trust?
What exactly is the work that you are second-guessing? Come up with 5 things.
Can you do that just for today?
6:32 Doubt Is a Powerful Compass
Sometimes we throw out entire opportunities that could transform every aspect of our lives because we don’t simplify or define what success looks like. We get overwhelmed and sidetracked by doubt and we can miss out on an opportunity.
I’ve straight up done that before. I have let that initial feeling that I don’t trust myself turn into a closed-door, turn into a no, turn into giving up.
Doubt is a powerful compass that can point us at something that really matters.
When we have this doubt or fear of failure, that tells us how important our goals are to us. They are so important to us that we’re afraid we will fail, so important that we question whether we can do it or not.
So we need to take some time to build confidence and set up for success. When people are working with me, I want them to give voice to their doubts to me, with me. Verbalize them. Give your doubt a voice in the Primal Potential Facebook group if you need a place. Give it a voice.
Ask yourself what else is true. If you feel doubt around yourself, the program, or a tool, ask yourself what else is true,
Maybe it’s true that you weren’t consistent before but that doesn’t mean that you will be inconsistent now. This feeling might be part of your process for change. In the past you turned away, this time give it a voice by asking what else is true. Don’t run away from that.
I use this tool often in business. My team and I ask this question for Primal Potential, for example, what would it take for us to feel confident in a new product?
Too many of us are stopping when it’s hard or scary. I want you to see doubt like we see talk about fear, as a doorway. When you recognize that you have doubt, like in your ability to do something, think of that doubt as being a doorway.
9:13 Fear of Failure
You can stand in front of that door, doubting yourself, or you can see every doubt as a doorway you must walk through. Pass through the doorway to get to the other side and see what is there.
This was very true for me when I started thinking about Crossfit. It looked cool. I was interested in weight-lifting and—above all—I was super excited by the community aspect, but I had the biggest doubts before I tried it. I thought, “I’m not fit enough for Crossfit or strong enough; what if people judge me because I am the weakest or slowest, I won’t be able to keep up.” Those doubts could have kept me out of a community that I love!
I don’t want to see people standing on the side of doubt and fear. I want us to see doubt as a doorway, as something we can explore if we take a step forward and see what else is there.
A lot of times, what drives doubt is what-if thinking. Maybe people don’t experience this as doubt but as panic or the feeling of being behind. This comes from putting energy, faith, and fear behind the wrong what-if. “What if it doesn’t work” is as powerful a question as “What if it does?!”
11: 30 Don’t Kill Yourself with Questions
I had such a breakthrough when my friend came to me about a network marketing opportunity. At first, my strongest thoughts were only around doubt. I’m not that kind of person. I don’t want to do that. What if it’s a waste of time? These thoughts were only one half of the equation.
I realized that If I was going to entertain all the reasons why it wouldn’t work, then I owed it to myself, even if it didn’t change my decision, to consider all of the reasons that it would work. Let me tell you, I had some work to do.
I thought, I know the 7-or-so reasons that I think it’s a bad idea, I owe it to myself to be a better thinker and explore the other side of those seven reasons. It turned out to be an incredible opportunity. As my husband Chris says, the first thing he learned in military basic training is don’t kill yourself with ‘what-ifs.’
Before my ah-ha moment, I had all of these different pieces in my head:
- When people experience doubt, they need to give it a voice, they need reassurance.
- Chris’s voice in my head saying, we don’t kill ourselves with questions.
- What-if statements work both ways.
Meanwhile, as all of these pieces revealing themselves to me, I am having a repeated conversation with my business team. Inevitably there are a million things going on in the business and when we set goals they can sometimes feel like a pipe dream. From our doubts and fear, we move to talking about what it is going to take for us to feel more confident in a decision.
We started using this tool with clients who are facing doubt. Clients ask me, what if I have been super inconsistent? I ask them, what if this is the time when everything changes? What if now is when everything cracks wide open for you?
What would it take for you to have more confidence in your ability to succeed? Answer that question. What would it take for you to have more confidence in your ability to change your behavior?
Don’t give a quick response and think that you’ve done the work–you haven’t. Give it a voice. Explore it.
Write this down and answer the questions:
If what-if works both ways, what are both sides (be specific)?
What would it take for me to have confidence in this outcome, in this process, in this change?
What would it look like if it was easy?
It would be easier if what?
18:30 What-if Goes Both Ways
As I was putting these ideas into a document, I was listening to an Elevation Church Sermon by Pastor Steven Furtick, who said, “Fear is faith in the wrong what-if.” We are putting faith in the wrong side of the equation. So what would it take for you to believe a little bit more in the other side of the equation?
This is a choice, so stop imagining scenarios that don’t favor you.
Don’t put all of your resources in the what-if that doesn’t favor you. Don’t put your faith in the ‘what if it doesn’t work.’ Your life will change dramatically and your results will be different when you put your faith in the what-if that favors you. 20:14
This is going to hinge on your willingness to think differently and on the action of voicing your fears and doubts while also realizing that it goes both ways.
It’s not over. This year is not over. We have 15 weeks left in the year, more than 100 days left in the year. How much could you change your life in that time?
You get to decide which one version of the story you fuel with your attention, which you pour into, and which one you starve. Which what-if wins? Whichever one you feed.
We talk about this a lot in the 12 Weeks to Transformation. When you change the way you think you open doors to new opportunities, you also close the doors on your fears and past patterns, and it all hinges on the way you think.
What-if works both ways. Choose to tell the story that favors you and refuse to continue telling the story that doesn’t. Make today amazing.
To learn more about the 12 Weeks to Transformation visit primalpotential.com/transform.