Have you ever dreamed of walking up, getting ready in 30 minutes, entering an audience of 1,000 people and delivering a candid, funny, yet meaningful speech? With some people fearing public speaking more than they fear death, it’s so much more important to consider exercise and preparation ahead of every task, big or small – but more importantly if there’s something that we’ve never done before. The first step is, in this example, to practice not just the speech, but the delivery, the room, reactions, joy and fulfillment beforehand through the power of imagination. Our brain doesn’t know the difference between reality and the product of our imagination, which is why worrying scenarios feel so real. So do yourself a favor and put yourself in positive situations by starting with what’s happening inside your mind.
How often did we get paralyzed by the fear that we won’t reach the absolute form of perfection of ourselves through our image or through our work? It happened at least once to all of us and it can be seen in the details – the fiddling with the tie, hours spent on a tiny, unimportant thing, sculpted makeup and the not too strong and not too weak handshake. The philosophy of being imperfectly perfect seems to escape our thoughts at times, particularly when exploring a new territory.
Perfection is a manifestation of fear, the fear of failure or success, the fear of social judgement or letting people down. Remember the times when it used to be fashionable to say at job interviews that a great weakness is perfection because it made us look cooler? Perfectionism is indeed a weakness. Striving to do a great job is different from perfection.
Perfection is an event that requires stillness while us, as human beings, are ever evolving. We can work at our best ability and show up with determination. We can accept inconsistencies as stepping stones towards building up success. We have to overcome our misconception of perfection and take perfection as what it really is – performing at our best, based on the circumstances and our ability at any given time.
This isn’t a Marie Kondo style article. Although physical clutter plays an important role in our ability to focus, often what takes us away from the present are thoughts, worries, assumptions, fears, social media, other people… you name it.
Before going to sleep, when you’re running through mental clutter, is there any wish or thought that stand out clearly? If so, does it reflect our focus and our direction or is it a belittling thing, a momentary happening which takes too much and too often time. Time we can invest wisely.
Writing down one goal for the day that feeds into our bigger purpose helps us not only to see clearly where we are headed, but can be used as an anchor into the present that we choose to live in and build ourselves up towards. Easy wins is still winning. Think big and start small.
When I take time to analyse my plans in an unhelpful way (negative self-talk) fear of success shows up. Unlike fear of failure, the fear of success is absurd in thinking that we’re not worthy of success. We’ve turned the notions of success and failure into abstract terms so much so that we believe we shouldn’t touch them. That we should walk through life feeling nothing, numbing our emotions and hoping for the best. Emotions that failure and success make living worth while.
Fear is the anticipations of emotions. We don’t think about how are we going to manage love when we meet it. But we do fear emotions when we put deliberate efforts into something. We fear separation because we’re working towards togetherness and we fear failure because we work towards success. We fear success because this means that we are worth more than we are made to believe from a young age.
Fear is a friend with good intentions but poor technique. Is a friend who can be taught that it’s safe to fail and it’s safe to succeed. It’s safe to become more of yourself, to have abundance and joy. To have more of life.