Do you like yourself?

Children are born with full self-esteem. They want you to watch them perform their next act of performance. When they fall-over and they get back up. We encourage them to keep trying.

As a child, our approach to learning means trying it, falling over, saying ‘yeah’ we tried, learn from it and do it again. (Trevor Ragan)

At a very early age we acquire a fear of being judged. Social pressures take over. We get laughed at, teased, told to be careful, not to climb on walls, sit still on chairs… the list is endless. So, what do you do? You start asking yourself, “what if I get it wrong?!” And this is where performance anxiety sets in. 

We go to work. We don’t get on a with a team member. We hate our boss. We’re discriminated against.  We’re passed over for promotion. We’re made redundant. We are unhappy in our job. We’re stuck. We’re fall out of love with our career, our job, our life. Life takes over. We get lost. We feel anxious about Mondays, about the meetings we have to attend. We lose ourselves. We decide to look for another job, we don’t get that job. The cycle repeats. We believe we’re failing.

But guess what, you can change this. 

It’s likely that your work colleagues aren’t judging you. It’s likely that they don’t care or don’t notice. It’s likely that they are envious or wondering. They may even be reflecting how they think and feel about themselves.

We pay a heavy price for our fear of failure and fear of being judged. We believe we have to live with it.   When we recognise that parents, teachers, bosses and society as a whole have been judging us and building up our prisons, we recognise those times when you were made to feel bad. In a tech-and customer-driven, fast- paced world, you will hit blips.  That’s ok. Life isn’t one smooth journey.

Quite often, in my client’s coaching sessions, the problem doesn’t come down to the delivery of a project. It’s often a difficult work relationship, stress outside of work, they don’t like being a leader, or their life and purpose has changed. What’s happened is we’ve spent so much time listening to our loudest critic (the voice in our head) that we over analyse and start believing that it’s our fault.

Brené Brown said, if you are going to show up and be seen, then you are going to get your arse kicked. If courage is a value that you hold, you are going to get your arse kicked – this is a consequence.  Remember, that constructive information and feedback is great, but you want feedback from people who are present and valid in your life and who give a damn.

Fear and making mistakes are a powerful obstacle to growth. It assures the progressive narrowing of the personality and prevents exploration and experimentation. There is no learning without some difficulty and fumbling. If you want to keep on learning, you must keep on risking failure – all of your life. It’s as simple as that. (John Gardner)

So, dust off your armour. Because you can find those moments that will make you feel alive. 

If you found this interesting, please like and read my previous related blog: Fear is why we Zoo Tiger. Thank you.

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