High Performers have powerful inner conversations.
These conversations are the spring board of their decisions, actions and ultimately: their success.
I would like to introduce a series of 3 articles to raise the quality of your inner conversations. These articles will take you backstage to the core of success.
In the first article, we will take a deep look at fears: Why is Fear your most powerful asset to reach success? The second article will uncover why and how serious failures build serious successes. Our third article will display 7 powerful insights to create deep self-confidence. These articles include thoughts and reflections from hundreds of coaching hours with High performers from various countries.
On the road to success (1/3)
Fear: The wild horse that will make you win the race.
When I was 6, I experienced a deep fear. A fear which I still vividly remember today.
It was early morning; I was playing football in our garden and sent my ball into our neighbours’ backyard. On the way to collect my ball, I noticed a huge dog, lying in their garden. I was terrified. I calmly picked up the ball and started walking back. I then looked at the dog to check he was still at ease. Simultaneously, I accelerated my pace. The dog, sensing I was not confident, started to bark, and even worse, started to chase after me and my ball. I threw the ball in the air and started to run as fast I as could. My fear level was so high, it felt like I was running an Olympic 100 meters in 7 seconds! The dog ended up catching me and did bite me a few times. Luckily, I recovered quickly from this encounter.
This simple story tells us 2 things: My initial fear is what created this dramatic situation. The same fear took my body to a high performance I could not have imagined.
Fear, who are you?
In any situation, whether it is a triumph or a defeat, you first create an outcome in your mind. If I did not express fear, the dog would not have moved. I created this reality from my uncontrolled mind.
Fear often starts as a deep déjà vu. A call back to an old memory. Your entire body feels it, as a call to survival. Fear has an excellent memory and comes up as soon as there is danger. Fear is extremely good at painting the worse future possible. It can entirely derail a simple project, or even totally prevent you from living the life you want. Fear plays by its own rules without asking for your permission, it overrides your system, fear exists to protect you.
Fear can be like a worried parent who wants you to be safe, or maybe a frightened kid. How do you want to manage this relationship?
When you are 2 years old, Fear has a limited presence. For an adult, however, fear often stays with its feet on the desk eating popcorn and telling you what to do. Personal growth and Fear are competing parts inside you. Sometimes Fear is right, sometimes Fear is overprotective. A conversation is needed with Fear. Seriously, have this mental conversation when you feel fear. Questions you could ask: What are you preventing me to do….? Why are you coming up right now? Your Inner relationship with Fear will grow and you will quickly learn from each other.
“Fear rules when you fear Fear”
How do I know when Fear is present? Your brain becomes hyperalert, pupils dilate, breathing accelerates. Heart rate and blood pressure rise.
Slow down when Fear signals are coming, breathe deeply – Send oxygen to your brain, then you can more clearly decide what to do.
Rejecting or ignoring Fear is unlikely to help you High Perform – I believe in partnering and understanding its needs. Having Fear by your side is a guarantee of higher Performance. In my example with the dog, I experienced the power of Fear – running like the wind. The risk was not a death risk; but my impulsive decision to invite Fear did cost me. Should I had been more aware and connected with my fears, I would have likely made a different decision.
A Winning relationship
Elite athletes, stage artists, soldiers and surgeons deal with fear constantly and have learned its power. Higher focus, full awareness, faster decision making, higher physical capabilities, acute creativity and so on.
“Get your butterflies to fly in formation”
It takes mental work to raise your level of self-awareness and master this relationship. Fear will remain free to speak; that said, you always retain the power to decide how you want to react. Fear is not to be feared, fear is to become a close ally to be partnered with. The world\’s top performers achieve top performance whilst they are afraid!
In my next article:
Fear grows because you let the risk of failure dominate your thoughts. The idea of failing creates personal and social embarrassments… It also creates what millions of us suffer from: Anxiety. What if failure was approached differently – in a way that would free you from anxiety?
This will be covered in my next “On the road to success” article
Alex Kergall supports his clients to raise their game. They are Elite Athletes, Executives and Emerging Leaders. What do they all have in common? A deep desire to grow.
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