fear

Allow for Change

[button href=”https://iqdoodle.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/allow-for-change-iq-doodle-wd-background.jpg” icon_size=”5″ class=”” target=”” color=”flat” dimension=”small” icon=”None” animation=”” animate=”” animation_delay=”0″ ]Wide background[/button] [button href=”https://iqdoodle.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/allow-for-change-iq-doodle-sd-background.jpg” icon_size=”5″ class=”” target=”” color=”flat” dimension=”small” icon=”None” animation=”” animate=”” animation_delay=”0″ ]4:3 background[/button] [button href=”https://iqdoodle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/allow-for-change-iq-doodle.pdf” icon_size=”5″ class=”” target=”” color=”flat” dimension=”small” icon=”None” animation=”” animate=”” animation_delay=”0″ ]PDF[/button]

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Allow Room for Change…

While growing up everything probably seemed new and unfamiliar. It was this way because we lacked experience and understanding. However, curiosity and fascination drove us forward into the unknown. We treated every experience as a learning opportunity that helps us grow and understand the world in a better way. Yes, of course we made mistakes and tripped over many times, but that’s expected when entering into the unknown.

Stepping into the unknown is like walking into a dark room. It’s pitch black, so we don’t know what might be lurking around the corner. As a matter a fact we don’t even know what lies beneath our feet. However, over time as we experience this new environment we become more familiar with what is there, and with familiarity comes confidence and self-assurance. In fact, spending enough time within this environment will sooner or later lead us to a light switch. When the lights go on we no longer face the unknown. We can finally see what is there. Yes, there might still be some fear and uncertainty, but at least we know what we’re dealing with.

This is at least how a child approaches their world. Their curiosity and fascination leads them into that dark room. Yes, the room might feel uncomfortable at first, however over time that feeling dissipates and is replaced with understanding and comfort.

So why is it that as adults most of us no longer have that sense of curiosity and fascination when it comes to stepping into the unknown? It just might have something to do with the habits and rituals we develop over time. It might also have something to do with the limiting beliefs that hold us back.

As we grow up and gain more familiarity with the world, we naturally come across certain boundaries and rules that prevent us from moving forward. We are taught that crossing these boundaries often leads to pain in the form of discomfort, disappointment, punishment, unhappiness, etc. In fact, often we might even experience this pain first hand. This of course leaves a lasting impression on our minds and on our emotions. And so we develop boundaries that protect us from experiencing that pain in the future.

These boundaries of course define our comfort zone. Within this zone we are safe and secure. We rarely experience the harshest of pain, however we probably do still experience a painful restlessness that takes us back to our childhood curiosity and fascination with the world. There has to be more to life than this, right?

The sad thing is that nobody ever taught us that pain can often lead to positive change. In fact, any change, even a change for the better is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomfort. And yet most of us resist change and continue to cling onto our comfort zones.

The greatest accomplishments over the course of human history have not been comfortable. In fact, individuals the world over had to step into uncertainty, had to beat adversity, had to break through their fears, and had to overcome their problems to reach their goals. They had to do this because there was no other way. In fact, sometimes they had no choice because change was forced upon them. But as we’ve already discussed, entering a dark room will often stir up some form of discomfort. That’s perfectly natural and okay. It has to be expected. What’s not okay is walking away from the opportunities that lie hidden in the darkness.

These individuals used discomfort as a platform and opportunity for learning that eventually helped them reach their goals. They had to consciously move through the pain in order to create a better life and world for themselves.

[youtube video_id=”5PtRV8c8v4M” width=”640″ height=”300″ ]

Action Points

You no doubt have goals that you would like to achieve. However, lying in the gap between you and your goals is the discomfort zone filled with uncertainty, fear, problems and pain. There is absolutely no way to jump across this gap. You must consciously move through the pain in order to create a better life for yourself. Consider for a moment:

  • How is my comfort zone preventing me from moving forward?
  • What am I missing out on by clinging onto my comfort zone?
  • What goals would I like to achieve?
  • What sacrifices might I need to make to achieve these goals?
  • What adversity and pain might I need to go through?
  • How will I gain value from experiencing this pain?

If you want your life to change, then you must change. And the only way to change is to pursue something that lies beyond your comfort zone. Face the discomfort. Learn and grow from the experience. A better life is yours for the taking.

IQ Matrix Maps

Here are links to complementary IQ Matrix posters that go into more depth about this topic:

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Take the First Step

[button href=”https://iqdoodle.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/first-step-iq-doodle-wd-background.jpg” icon_size=”5″ class=”” target=”” color=”flat” dimension=”small” icon=”None” animation=”” animate=”” animation_delay=”0″ ]Wide background[/button] [button href=”https://iqdoodle.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/first-step-iq-doodle-sd-background.jpg” icon_size=”5″ class=”” target=”” color=”flat” dimension=”small” icon=”None” animation=”” animate=”” animation_delay=”0″ ]4:3 background[/button] [button href=”https://iqdoodle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/first-step-iq-doodle.pdf” icon_size=”5″ class=”” target=”” color=”flat” dimension=”small” icon=”None” animation=”” animate=”” animation_delay=”0″ ]PDF[/button]

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Just Take the First Step…

To do it, or not to do it? That is the question. Yes, that might be the question, but thinking about that question really doesn’t get us anywhere, does it?

Many times we end up stuck doing very little because the goal lying before us just seems too overwhelming and difficult to achieve.

We see the goal as a huge mountain that must be climbed. And of course this mountain is steep and there are many bounders and trees blocking our path. It just seems too arduous and taxing to even comprehend that we will ever successfully reach the summit. However, what if your goal wasn’t at the top of a mountain? What if we could view the goal from a slightly different vantage point?

Let’s imagine for a moment that the mountain suddenly morphs into a giant staircase. Yes, your goal is still far off at the top of this staircase, however the difference now is that there are clearly defined steps that can direct you towards that goal.

Now, of course looking up at this gigantic staircase can be quite an overwhelming experience. In fact, the staircase might be so large and your goal so high that you can’t even see where it ends. Or worse, a fog might set in and prevent you from seeing any more than two or three steps ahead.

This can of course be somewhat concerning. Not being able to see more than a few steps ahead can bring about fear and uncertainty. Who knows what exists beyond that third step? Who knows whether or not there is even a fourth step? What if it’s a really big step that forces you to exude a little more effort? There’s just too much uncertainty there. And uncertainty of course leads to fear. Maybe you should just wait for the fog to clear up… maybe one day… someday… or maybe not.

Why in the world do we need the fog to clear up? Can’t we just take the first step? Do we really need to see the entire staircase before beginning our journey? Even if we saw the entire staircase it would be next to impossible to climb the whole staircase with one step. So either way we can only take one step at a time, so why not take the first step we see?

Take that first step… yes you… right now! What happened? What do you see?

By taking that first step you now have a new vantage point. You are one step higher along your journey and one step closer to your ultimate goal. Yes, of course being a little higher doesn’t mean that the fog has suddenly cleared up, however what it does mean is that you might now be able to see an additional step ahead. And even if it’s just one single step, then that’s all you need to step forward once again.

After every step you take you will gain a new vantage point of the staircase, and sooner or later the fog will clear and you will see your goal in full view. But the only way you’ll get there is to keep stepping forward one step at a time.

Of course every step will not be equal. Some steps will be significantly bigger than others and will require more energy and effort on your part. While other steps will be small and easy to walk over. But then of course you need to be aware of those slippery steps that might trip you up and knock you back down the staircase. This is of course okay and expected. After all wherever there’s fog there is ultimately always some condensation which can cause you to lose your footing. But you will learn from this experience and will know better next time how to navigate these slippery steps when you get to them.

Just keep climbing. Keep climbing one step at a time. The higher you climb the more you’ll see and the closer you will be to your ultimate goal.

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Action Points

The next time you feel kind of stuck, hesitant or overwhelmed with the thought of achieving a goal, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What’s my first step?
  • What one thing can I do right here right now that will help me move closer to my ultimate goal?
  • What challenges might I face when taking this step?
  • How will I overcome these challenges?
  • What’s my next step?

Just keep climbing higher and higher one step at a time. The higher you climb the more you’ll see. You don’t need to see the whole staircase, just take that first step. Eventually the fog will clear and your goal will come into full view. Just trust the process.

IQ Matrix Maps

Here are links to complementary IQ Matrix posters that go into more depth about this topic:

  • Drawing Plan of Action: Create an action plan to give you the confidence you need at every step.
  • Fake it to Make it: There is uncertainty with every step. Faking it can help you handle uncertainty.
  • Overcoming Obstacles: As you take each step you will need to know how to overcome obstacles.
  • Conquering Self-Doubt: As you face obstacles there will be doubt. You need to know how to handle it.
  • A Curious Nature: Curiosity will encourage you to ask better questions and overcome obstacles.

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The 20 Second Rule

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The 20 Second Rule…

Every lifetime is blessed with innumerable opportunities that come flooding our way. Some of these opportunities of course come in the form of problems, setbacks and challenges. While other opportunities don’t really seem advantageous until weeks, months or years later when the fruits of our labor and efforts come to full view.

Often however there is a big problem with opportunity because it’s riddled with uncertainty, risk, the unknown and the possibility of failure, rejection and the potential of getting hurt. As such we often hold ourselves back from grasping these opportunities because we just can’t bear to go through the pain.

Consider for a moment that every opportunity you pass up you may never get again. And if it does come around again, it might not be the same. Yes it could be better the second time around, but it could also be worse. You just never know. As such it’s absolutely paramount that we take stock of ourselves during these pivotal moments of our lives and take full advantage of what life has to offer.

But of course this is easier said than done.

We are all riddled with fears about an uncertain future. It’s of course natural to protect ourselves from getting hurt. But it’s often these things that lead to hesitation and inaction. We of course understand the incredible pleasure we might experience if we take this action, but the short-term pain is just too much to deal with in the moment.

It’s important to understand that anything that leads to uncertainty could potentially be riddled with pain — or not. Because things are uncertain you really never know, do you? You have absolutely no idea how things will turn out if you take a specific action until after the ‘act’. Likewise you have no idea how others will respond to something you do or say until after the ‘act’.

The probability of experiencing some form of pain or discomfort might seem high, but that could have something to do with your imagination. Anything we are afraid of doing we tend to exaggerate in our minds. We expect the worst to protect ourselves against taking action. What if instead of expecting the worst you anticipated the best? How would that change how you view the situation?

Have a think about for a moment the opportunities you failed to grasp over the course of your life. Maybe you didn’t approach someone you liked, maybe you said “no” to something that could have been of value, maybe you didn’t act because you feared making a mistake, or maybe you avoided a problem thinking that it was a burden but in retrospect could have turned into something great.

We all no doubt have these pivotal moments in our lives where we reach a fork in the road. We can turn one way or the other way, or maybe we just stand where we are and decide to go back — back into the cozy confines of our comfort zone. But is this really how life should be lived? Is this really how we get the most out of ourselves and live life to the fullest? Probably not.

At the end of your life you will regret the things you didn’t do rather than the ones you did. In other words, you will regret the opportunities you didn’t take because you were too afraid at the time.

Everyone fails. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone gets hurt from time-to-time. That’s life. Everything is a learning experience. And in order to experience life to its fullest we must be willing to take chances, risks and go out on a limb. And it’s much easier than you think.

All you need to do is follow the 20 Second Rule.

Just 20 seconds of insane courage is all it takes. Just 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, afterwhich you can pull out if you need to. But what you will probably find is that within 20 seconds your perspective of the situation will shift. What might have seemed scary or difficult at first may now look very different, and that’s essentially all you may need to build the momentum to make the most of this opportunity.
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Action Points

The next time you are fearful, feeling embarrassed or uncertain about doing something ask yourself:

  • If I do this, what’s the worst that could possibly happen?
  • How will I deal with the worst case scenario?
  • If I do this, what’s the best case scenario?
  • How could I display insane courage for just 20 seconds? What then?

Whenever in doubt follow the words of Benjamin Mee,

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

IQ Matrix Maps

Here are links to complementary IQ Matrix posters that go into more depth about this topic:

  • A Courageous Heart: Explores what’s required to take a chance and cultivate a courageous heart.
  • Courage of a Lion: Provides you with insights that will help you tackle your fears with confidence.
  • Expand Comfort Zone: Examines how to push out the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • Conquering Self-Doubt: Shows you how to take charge of the self-doubts holding you back.
  • Be a Go-Getter: Explains what it takes to get what you, every time you want it. No fears allowed.

Download 30+ Free Self-Growth Posters

What is Fear Really?

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Uncovering the True Definition of Fear…

Have you ever been afraid to try something new? Have you ever feared taking a chance or pursuing a goal but at the last moment pulled back because you felt uneasy or uncertain?

We have all no doubt experienced some kind of fear at one time or another. These fears rob us of many wonderful experiences and opportunities that we never get a chance to experience because our fears hold us back from doing the things that in our heart-of-hearts we desperately want to do.

Back in the days when our distant ancestors were living in caves and hiding from deadly predators looking for an easy meal, it was necessary to be afraid because fear was the one thing that kept us alert and therefore alive. Without this fight/flight response we would fall prey to our hunters and the human race would today be a fleeting memory — never quite living up to its potential.

Therefore fear has no doubt served us in the past and has helped the human race to survive and thrive in this world. However, life is not exactly how it used to be when our ancestors roamed the world. Today there are no predators hunting us on our city streets, and yet we still experience the same fight/flight response to uncertainty that our ancestors experienced thousands of years ago. The only difference is that today we fear speaking in public, asking a girl/guy out on a date, going in for a job interview, and so much more.

How do our modern fears compare to the fears our ancestors experienced thousands of years ago? Or, let me put it another way: Are our modern responses to uncertainty practical given the types of uncertainties we experience in this day and age? Certainly not!

Severe heart palpitations, extreme sweating, heavy breathing and shock are understandable when faced with a life threatening situation, however these responses don’t serve us when we are faced with modern day uncertainties. In fact they hurt us because they prevent us from doing the things we most would like to do in order to get ahead in life.

Given all this it’s clear to see how we use our fear inappropriately in the modern world. Fear should protect us from danger and life threatening situations, and not from the goals or objectives that we would like to achieve.

When we fear something we tend to indulge in catastrophic thinking. We imagine the worst-case scenario (based on what evidence?) and then vividly live and re-live this scenario in our minds without ever experiencing it in the real world. We therefore experience the fear time and again without any practical experience in the real world. Does that even make any sense?

The fear you experience is based on false evidence that you have made up in your imagination about how things will turn out. But the truth is that you don’t know how things will turn out. You are making assumptions. In fact, most of the time things are never as bad as we imagine them to be. We must just take the first step into the unknown and that’s when we will discover that what we initially feared isn’t so bad after all.

Your imagination is very powerful and can turn the silliest of situations into vivid fears that prevent you from taking action. It’s therefore important to catch yourself in the act before your imagination overwhelms your logical thinking processes.
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Action Points

The next time your imagination gets the better of you, ask yourself:

  • How am I catastrophizing this situation in my imagination?
  • What evidence do I have that this situation will turn out as I’m imagining it?
  • What evidence do I have to the contrary?
  • Are things likely to be as bad and catastrophic as I am imagining them to be?
  • How else could I potentially perceive this situation?
  • What’s the best case scenario in this situation?
  • What can I do to ensure that the best case scenario comes to fruition?
  • What’s the worst case scenario in this situation?
  • How can I minimize the impact of the worst case scenario?
  • And if the worst case scenario does come to fruition, is it really the end of the world, or could I potentially gain some value from the experience to do better in the future?

Just as your imagination works against you, keep in mind that you can just as easily make it work for you by imagining positive and motivating scenarios that will help you feel empowered the next time you step into the unknown.

IQ Matrix Maps

Here are links to complementary IQ Matrix posters that go into more depth about this topic:

Download 30+ Free Self-Growth Posters

Making Moments Count

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Making Every Moment of Your Life Count…

Years from now when we reflect back on our lives we will often regret the things we didn’t do rather than the ones we chose to do.

It’s funny how this comes about. All those things that scared us, all those things that we were too afraid to try, and all those things that we thought we never had the time for come into full perspective when we approach the end of our journey here on earth.

There are just so many things we could have done, should have done, and would have done if we had lived through those events again. But today all that’s left is regret and a bitter feeling in our gut that reminds us we could have done things differently and as a result we could have had a richer, more fulfilling and rewarding life experience.

Yet today we only have regrets. Why is that?

Instead of going with the flow and living our lives to the fullest we say “no” too often, we refrain from taking chances, we wilt away from opportunities, and we get stuck doing stuff that we don’t want to do — all along thinking that we will one day get the chance to do the things that make our hearts sing. But unfortunately for most people that day never comes, and all that’s left at the end of our journey are a set of memories filled with regret and anguish about the poor choices and decisions that were made years ago.

But how do we live a life of no regrets? How do we make the most of every situation to ensure that at the end of our journey we are filled with fond memories and not “what if” scenarios running through our heads?

James Dean put it eloquently:

“Remember: Life is short, break the rules (they were made to be broken). Forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably. And never regret anything that makes you smile. The clouds are lined with silver and the glass is half full (though the answers won’t be found at the bottom). Don’t sweat the small stuff. You are who you are meant to be. Dance as if no one’s watching, love as if it’s all you know, dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.”

The lesson here is not to get carried away with the small and insignificant stuff that often clouds our judgment. Instead focus on the things that make you laugh, smile, and all those things that make your heart sing. They are the things that will bring you a lifetime of fulfilment and happiness.

We must also learn to dream big and then pursue those dreams with an unbridled passion and zest for life. We must act with purpose and live with purpose, only then will life bring us the fulfilment we desire to experience.

The dreams you have for your life should have no bounds or limitations. You must therefore dream as if you’ll live forever. In other words, set big goals and pursue them with all the passion in the world. Don’t be deterred by obstacles, adversity or setbacks. These things are a part of life — a part of everyone’s life. Living your dreams will take work and effort, but it will all no doubt be worth it in the end.

We must also live as if we’ll die today. This means that we must enjoy the moment and make the best of every situation. Don’t get stuck fearing the future, worrying about what will happen, or stressing about the moment. Don’t even give a thought to regretting the past. Instead, enjoy this moment and make the most of RIGHT NOW because life is short and we just never know what tomorrow may bring.

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Action Points

In order to bring these ideas into your life, ask yourself:

  • What dreams do I have for my life?
  • What goals would I like to pursue?
  • What are my true passions and desires?
  • How will I begin pursuing these things starting today?
  • How can I make the most of this moment?
  • What opportunities could I take advantage of?
  • What will I later regret not doing or saying at this very moment?
  • What if I said “yes” instead of “no” more often? What then?

At the end of your life’s journey all that matters is how you lived and whether or not you made the most of every opportunity that life presented you with. There will be no regrets if you dream as if you’ll live forever and live as if you’ll die today.

IQ Matrix Maps

Here are links to complementary IQ Matrix posters that go into more depth about this topic:

Download 30+ Free Self-Growth Posters

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