I love goals, particularly the big, juicy, overly ambitious, impossible-sounding ones. I call these audacious goals: equal parts off-the-charts exciting and terrifying.
The problem arises when the fear gets in the way of you pursuing that scary (but totally badass) goal of yours, leaving you with nothing but a dusty old pipe dream.
Here's the good news: that fear is actually a good thing. When you feel it, it's your brain's way of saying, "Yo! This matters to you! Pay attention!" Fear keeps you on your toes, makes you aware of the circumstances and shows you the obstacles that must be tackled. But we all know fear prefers to take a more leading role and tends to get in the way of pursuits of the more audacious manner. And that, my friend, has got to stop.
The key to making sure your fear doesn't keep you from chasing down your outrageous goals is to confront those fears straight on. And I happen to have some quick-and-dirty steps to help you do just that!
Here's a simple exercise to help you think through -- instead of always feeling through -- those fears so you can get clear on your next bold steps. Looking at one audacious goal of yours, bust out pen and paper and think through the following:
1. What are you really afraid of?
Take a deep breath and just freaking name your fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the unknown, fear of what others might think, fear of rejection, fear of missing out, fear of change, fear of rocking the boat, fear that you don't know enough, and on and on. I've heard them all (and felt most of them myself)! Breaking down what it really is that's holding you back is honestly 50 percent of the game.
2. Consider the worst possible scenario.
Seriously, go ahead and list all the possible absolutely horrible outcomes that you imagine. You're already thinking about this, so just say it aloud or write it down. Getting real about how bad things could go often gives you a massive reality check -- more often than not, the worst case scenario isn't all that bad.
3. Imagine the best possible scenario.
Now, list all the potentially great outcomes, you know, if everything goes your way. You've probably not let your imagination run wild in this area yet, so give it a whirl. What kind of awesome is in store for you if you achieve this goal?
4. Where in this scenario do you have complete control?
While you can't control everything, you surely have control over your approach and efforts. List everything you have complete control over. This could include how much you hustle, whether or not you throw in the towel after a setback, how often you put yourself out there, your expectations of others and dozens other self-controllable actions and inactions.
5. Where in this scenario do you have influence?
List where you might not have control, but you certainly have the opportunity to influence how things go down. Depending on your goal, this might look like: how strongly you make your case, how your presentation impacts perception, or how much you buff up on necessary skills.
6. Where in this scenario do you have no control?
Some things are just out of your hands. Put that down on paper, too.
7. Make a decision already.
Now that you've looked at your fear from all these angles, it's decision time. So, what are you going to do about it?!
You and you alone are responsible for creating your life, and you deserve one that's filled with all the incredible, outrageous and exhilarating things and experiences you want. Yeah, fear is scary. I get that. But so what? Fear ain't got nothin' on you!
Stop feeling your way through this fear thing and put your brain in the driver's seat. Take the time to examine what's really got you stuck, get real with the best and worst possible outcomes, look at the possibilities from every angle, and then, finally, decide for yourself which is going to reign victorious -- your fears or your audacity!