Have you ever woke up and said “I want to get worse today?” Have you ever gone about your day aiming to be a worse friend, spouse, or employee?
Of course not!
You get up and go about your day looking to do a little better or make even the slightest progress. You do it in hope of that next promotion, to pay off that debt, or once again fit in that dress you once loved.
Yet sometimes you find yourself not doing ALL that you need to see that progress. You’re not doing it to get worse, so what is it? What limits you from your full potential?
It’s you. The only thing limiting you from living at your utmost potential is you. Maybe not all of you, but it’s this voice inside your head that creates a story leading you away from what needs to be done for progress.
Nobody asks you to scroll through social media instead of putting the finishing touches on that major presentation.
Sure you may have gone shopping with friends, but did they force you to use this months savings on clothing?
Your family also didn’t make you eat seconds at the holiday barbeque.
Call it the devil on your shoulder, your inner fat kid, or your rebellious side, but that voice is really just the part of you afraid to live as the best version of you.
This voice appears in nearly every area of our lives, but seems to always circle back to fear of three major areas:
Fear of Discomfort
- What Is It: Whether you know it or not, you’re programmed to avoid discomfort. The human body is actually designed to bring everything back to homeostasis, generically known as comfortable. This is seen when you don’t want to try tracking your intake, preparing healthier alternatives, new styles of workouts, or financially investing in a coach. These things are out of your norm, so you avoid them in fear of adding one more thing to your plate that might create just too much discomfort.
- How to Work Through It: You are not made to take the biggest step as soon as you start walking, so don’t. Ease your way into comfort by identifying the smallest step you can take right now. Start there, master it, and grow comfortable with that being a part of your life. Then add the next step.
Fear of Inadequacy
- What Is It: Sometimes you have tried to do something before and failed. Other times you are aware you don’t have the skills or means to do something. Regardless, you’re afraid to put yourself out there because you’re haunted by the past failures. You develop a fear of going all in on yourself because you cannot imagine falling short on something you so badly want. You fall off your meal plan because you then you at least have something to blame instead of evaluating what is truly going on with your body and why you may not be losing weight.
- How to Work Through It: You can always push past inadequacy if you approach it with a growth mindset willing to put in the work to develop a skillset. However, you need to build the mental skills to push past the fear of inadequacy. Accompany your skill development with positive affirmations to move beyond your limiting beliefs and boost your confidence levels.
Fear of Rejection
- What Is It: Rejection never feels good. Being rejected is a direct sign that you weren’t good enough, and is typically followed by criticism. It’s hard to swallow. After you’ve been rejected, it’s hard to put yourself out there again because you’re fearful of more criticism or inadequacy. You commit to a bubble of comfort, and tell yourself to only put yourself out there when you are sure you have the skillset to avoid rejection. You pass up promotions or coaching because nothing scares you more than the criticism that comes with it.
- How to Work Through It: Look at rejection as something that is inevitable – no one can be the best at everything in the first attempt. It’s the only way to grow, so think of rejection as a measuring stick. Utilize the criticism to evaluate where you’re at and determine the areas you can improve to succeed in the future. Once you are aware of what needs to develop, you can study, learn, and grow so that when you try again, you will succeed.
Your inner voice will not ever be completely silenced. That voice may be powered by one, two, or all three of these fears, which are inevitably a part of our lives. The only way to live at your greatest potential is to quiet that voice; therefore, you must commit to a life of building an awareness and building the skills to work through each so you can perform at your best.