Treat yourself as you would someone you love. That grad-school application not coming along? Don’t berate yourself or deprive yourself of sleep or playtime. Instead, reward yourself with something like an episode of Orphan Black for every question you complete. Love and respect yourself and you will flourish.
When I started planning my first live show, Maximize Your Life, going onstage seemed terrifying. But I really wanted a direct connection where I could talk to people, look them in the eye, and hug them. So I studied, rehearsed, surrounded myself with a great tour team … and it was as terrifying as I’d feared! But it keeps getting better — now I’m hooked.
It’s been another lesson that the amount of happiness and meaning in your life directly relates to how you manage fear and vulnerability. You can’t get the promotion unless you ask for it. You can’t have better sex until you are open with your partner. And it doesn’t matter whether the hard thing you have to do is physical or emotional — hard is hard and fear is fear.
When I want to do something that scares me, I walk through these steps. Try it — then have that conversation, sign up for that coding class, start training for your first 5K. And then enjoy the sweet victory when your risk-taking work pays off.
1. Figure out your why.
When I ask people why they want to lose weight, they say, “I want to get healthy.” That’s a blanket answer with no real meaning, so it won’t provide any real motivation. You have to define what healthy is to you. Is it looking hot in skinny jeans — getting noticed instead of feeling overlooked? Is it about avoiding health problems you’ve seen in your family? You’ll never tolerate the how — the tough things you have to do to achieve your goal — without feeling a deep, emotional link to the why.
2. Manage the fear.
Psych yourself up for a challenge by thinking through the end game. Imagine three possible scenarios: (A) You do nothing, (B) you do it and it goes badly, or (C) you do it and have success.
Play that out and you’ll see that you have to go for it. Say it’s time to have a talk with a new guy about making things more official. You’re ready for the real deal but nervous! In scenario A, you chicken out. But keeping quiet makes you more resentful, resulting in your original fear — you break up. In scenario B, you talk and don’t get the answer you want, but you can move on to new guys and possibilities. Last, C: You do it and you get the real, honest relationship you’re looking for! You get your why.
3. Be nice.
I used to give my 4-year-old daughter a time-out when she didn’t listen. That worked okay. But when I built a reward system for listening, things improved dramatically! So treat yourself as you would someone you love. That grad-school application not coming along? Don’t berate yourself or deprive yourself of sleep or playtime. Instead, reward yourself with something like an episode of Orphan Black for every question you complete. Love and respect yourself and you will flourish.
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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.