Trader Joe’s calls their newsletter the ‘Fearless Flyer’. I’m not sure what led the company to do this, but perhaps it was their fearless endorsement of some smaller innovative health conscious food manufacturers like Dabecca Natural Foods who makes their amazing Turkey Bacon. The name of the flyer was resonating with me this morning, as I was struck by the thought that in overcoming the mental obstacles that hold me back from achieving my goals, I need to be the ‘Fearless Flyer’ in my own life. I need to take more leaps without worrying about failing. I’m not saying that I’m on the verge of taking up base jumping anytime soon, but the point still stands.
As the famous Wayne Gretzky quote goes, “You miss 100 % of the shots you don’t take”. Working in sales, these sorts of mantras are doled out like candy and regrettably most of them don’t tend to resonate with me long-term. This one has been sitting with me the past couple days, as I have been contemplating my tendency to sit in the preproduction phase of projects and evaluate circumstances much longer than is necessary. While the surface reasons for this stalling vary, the root of the issue is almost always the same. I fear failure. Over time I have learned to not allow this fear to completely paralyze me, but it still has me sitting in idle longer than I’d like.
I think overcoming fear is a long process, like any real change. For me, ‘Fear of Failure Paralysis’ (like that?) was something I was introduced to in childhood. Honestly, I think it will in some capacity always be present in my life, the ugly stepsister to the realistic, practical planner side of me. My goal is to manage it well, like any other obstacle that stands between me and my goals. Although the voice of self-doubt inevitably comes to call, there are two things I’ve learned to do that have helped me see goals come to fruition:
- Push Myself Out of the “Nest”
The application: No more excuses. If needed, physically make a list of the of your excuses, and tear it up. Sound lame? Feel your excuses are more legitimate than those of others? I beg to differ. There will always be a reason why I cannot do something. Buying into this mentality makes me sit deeper in the ‘nest’ of self-pity I’ve set up for myself. I would never urge someone who has never worked out to take on a 6 week boot camp challenge all of the sudden, but we can always do something. Something is better than nothing, and a lot of little somethings add up to the goals we want to accomplish.
- Congratulate Myself on my “Victories”
The application: Set small reasonable goals, and show yourself that you can blow them away. If your goals are too lofty, you will continue to not meet them, thus perpetuating the cycle of self-doubt, and for some self-loathing. Make points to not only acknowledge the completion of your goals, but to celebrate those “Victories”. Use these celebrations as an excuse to smile, and to believe in your ability to accomplish your next set of goals. Literally pat yourself on the back when necessary.
In summary, I want to post this today because I find it easy optimistic on a Friday. With the lure of the weekend ahead, I love relish in thoughts of all the possible ways I can make the most of that time. The world feels like my personal oyster. In reality, I won’t accomplish absolutely everything I have planned, and I need to let that be ok. I often enter into Monday thinking of all the things that didn’t get done, but I can’t let that hold me back from pushing forward. I know we all have obstacles that hinder us from achieving our goals. What makes life beautiful is that there is always more to do, more to explore, and great adventure yet to be had.
Side Note: Yes it was 37 degrees this morning, and yes I broke out the flip flops.
And yes I am having the aforementioned Turkey Bacon with breakfast tomorrow!