Your Best Self in the Face of Fear and Failure - Part 3
PART 3 - Published in Best Self Media
(This is the third in a 3-part series. Click here to read Part 1. Click here to read Part 2.)
In short, our ability to transcend fear is a function of our relationship to self.
This includes our belief in our ability to succeed, how easily we recover from mistakes, using self-referential standards as our measures for success instead of comparing ourselves to others, brutal self-honesty, narrowing focus to only those factors we can control, believing we are the ultimate source of our success and failures, and having an inspiring vision to pull us forward.
Detecting our flaws in thinking requires three practices:
Observing our thoughts in the moment
Reviewing our thoughts after-the-fact
Upgrading our thinking by reframing or replacing disempowering thoughts
Each of us has our own individual patterns in thinking that sabotage us and weaken our relationship to self. Through the practices of self-awareness and self-reflection, we often discover that our thoughts and beliefs — which we assume are grounded in wisdom and reality — can be faulty and surprisingly immature. Lies.
Each time we detect a flaw in our thinking, whether in the moment or after-the-fact, we have the opportunity to rethink.We disrupt the pattern of favoring the negative over the positive by doing the opposite. We think the thoughts only our best self would think. Eventually, the thoughts we intentionally think through practice become engrained to form new and desirable habitual patterns in thinking and reacting. That’s when our best self cheers!
Of course, developing a consistent practice can be every bit as challenging as breaking a habit. Both take time and repeated effort. At first, it is cumbersome and feels unnatural, but eventually, repetition yields a habit we can do unconsciously, or a practice we can benefit from doing with attention and intention.
Winning is a habit. So is losing. So is playing safe.
When our performance suffers, or stakes are high, self-doubt is likely to creep into our thoughts without us noticing. An automatic response to self-doubt is to suspend action or take only timid action. Both honor fear, rob us of our natural power, and suppress our best self. Rather than insert caution into our behavior, we should insert caution into our strategy. We should take steps we are sure we can execute so that we move boldly into action.
Each small success fuels the confidence-building momentum we need and frees our best self to take over. Resilient self-confidence requires battle-tested experiences to overcome even greater obstacles. It is through future high-pressure situations that the effectiveness of our practices is revealed. The quality of our performance will be equivalent to the quality of the habits we developed through practice.
In the words of the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, “From caring comes courage.”
Those of us that work for a heart-centered business have a huge advantage to overcoming fear because clarity in purpose and devotion to something greater than yourself makes it far easier to elevate the needs of others above concerns for personal safety (or expedience).
You will be ready — and your best self will lead the way. She is there. Always. Your heart is on your side, and your heart indeed is your best self.
Interested in learning more about tapping into your best self? Check out Sheila’s first novella, Journey Back to Me: Touring the Landscape of My Mind. Consistent with recent research in brain science on fear and happiness, this imaginative tale giftwraps all the power of a groundbreaking self-help book into one rollercoaster of a story. Colorful, thought-provoking lessons stay with the reader long after finishing the last page.
Happiness is just a thought away…with practice.
The book serves as an ongoing resource for those interested in the art of intentional living.