I hate the word failure! It’s not something I grew up viewing as a good thing. For me, failing meant you were terrible and awful and not good enough. How wrong was I?! Little did I know, the only way to success was through failure. You learn valuable lessons that make you better through the failures and obstacles.
In regards to the creation of the light bulb, Thomas Edison said “I didn't fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” Each failure is a step on your path. What if you had the courage to fail at something 1000 times? Imagine how good you’d be! Let your faith be stronger than your fear of failure. You can achieve all things through God who gives you strength!
Here’s a curveball - maybe the problem isn’t fear of failure. Maybe you don’t want to take risks because you’re not on the right path. You’re not in alignment with who God created you to be. When you’re on the right path it will feel good and exciting. You’ll be excited to do the hard work and fail because it means you get to learn and get better. Have the courage to pivot if you need to.
Failure is a part of the process when you’re in the game. It means you are in action. Michael Jordan is a big time failure. He missed over 9000 shots and lost over 300 games. Yet he’s considered one of the greatest of all time. Noticing a pattern here? You gotta fail big to succeed big.
Change the way you think about failure…
They say fear has two meanings: Forget Everything and Run OR Face Everything and Rise...When you think about your fears do you lean toward one way or the other when dealing with them?
Before I go to deep I want to paint a picture for you of a time I was so scared I literally forgot everything and ran. I was back home in Iowa (where I'm originally from) and I was staying with my friend, Cassidy. She had just moved into a new apartment so I was unfamiliar with the apartment or the area. She worked during the day so she gave me a key to her apartment so I could come and go as I needed.
One night I got home pretty late (all I remember is it was dark outside during summer so 9-10ish). I saw Cassidy's car in the parking lot so I knew she was home. I cheerfully walked into the building and then without using the key (this is Iowa, people are wayyy too trusting so no need for keys) walked into her apartment and saw a guy shoving my friend out of the way. I know what you're thinking - maybe it's her boyfriend. She didn't have a boyfriend and was very anti men at the time so I knew that wasn't the case. I was instantly filled with fear. I dropped the door handle and took off running down the hall as fast as I could, all while screaming as loud as I could. None of this was planned. This was just how my survival instinct showed up.
My plan was to get to the stairwell and then call 911 because I knew if I went in to save Cass myself we would both end up hurt. So I get to the stairwell and I'm about to call 911 and real quick I decide to call her just in case, as a formality if you will. It rings a couple times but I know full well she's not going to answer because hello! she's currently being murdered. And then...she answers. WHAAATTT?!! And way too calmly I might add. So calmly that I was thinking whoever that guy was must have a gun to her head and he's telling her to act cool because she's not ever having a reaction to how frantic I am. She was as cool as a cucumber while I was as tense as a whore in church. After some back and forth I learned that I was on the wrong floor the entire time! Here I thought I was in danger but my perception of reality wasn’t true. I was afraid because my perception was that my friend lived on the second floor. And yet the truth was she lived on the third floor. I couldn't help but laugh when I though about that poor couple that I scared the crap out of! Sorry about that!
I know this is basically a next level, crazy example but stay with me here... a.) I'm and actress so I've always been a little dramatic and b.) it's not that different from the inner fears we deal with every day. Our fears can feel so real that they seem like they’re true but most of the time they are created by us. I want you to think about your fears. I’m not talking about phobias here I’m talking about deep rooted fears. The fears that keep you up at night. For me it’s the fear of not being talented enough, or good enough in general.
Is there a chance that maybe the fear you’ve been telling yourself isn’t the truth? Maybe, like my story, your perception of your fear is on the second floor but the truth is on the third floor. Do you have a desire for more but you feel stuck behind a fear that feels so great that you don’t know what to do or how to overcome it? Here are 5 tips that helped me overcome and push past my greatest fear of not being good enough. I hope they help you do the same!
1.) Get clear on what your fears are and where they come from. Spend some time reflecting and going inward. Get off social media, get away from people, and spend some time with yourself. For me, my greatest fear came from my dad. He never told me I wasn’t good enough but he wanted me to be the best in everything I did, so unless it was the best, it wasn’t good enough. I carried that with me for years and the first step toward change was the awareness of it.
2.) Face it/them head on. Say it out loud or write it down. Go as deep as you can and be as specific as you can. Why are you afraid of this trying this new thing? What would happen if you did? Sometimes writing it down helps you to realize how illogical that fear is. If you avoid your fear you give it power. If you face it I promise it will shrink. Thinking about it is not enough. You have to take the action and either say it out loud or write it down. Be proactive.
3.) Visualize what could go right. Stop saying "what if" followed by a negative thing and start fantasizing about all the amazing things that could happen if you do the thing you're afraid of. You truly never know what it will be like until you do something.
4.) Equip yourself with necessary tools. If you are afraid to give a speech then watch other speakers or practice so that you are confident instead of fearful. Knowledge and preparation lead to confidence.
5.) Take action with your fear. Understand that some form of fear will always be there. As you grow, new fears will come because growth happens outside of the comfort zone and in the unknown. Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote Big Magic and Eat Pray Love talks about when she starts anything new and scary, such as writing a new book, she thinks about going on a road trip. She tells her fear that her and creativity are going on an adventure and she welcomes fear to join the adventure but she clearly lets her fear know it will not be involved in any of the decision making. Only her and creativity are allowed to do so. Give space to your fear but don’t let it make the decisions. You are not defined by your fears. You are the driver of you life!
You can do this! Don't just read these tips and forget about them. Actually take time to apply them. Doing these things changed my life! This blog and podcast wouldn't be here if I didn't apply them. You have to do the work. It's not always easy but it's so worth it. Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear! Face Everything And Rise!
For a more in depth look at all this check out episode 2 of my podcast, Show Up to Fear. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/show-up-to-go-up/id1502535562
Daaaanggg it is a scary time right now. I don't know how it is where you live but in Atlanta full on panic has set in. I went to the grocery store yesterday (Thursday) at 2pm and it was PACKED! Like the night before Thanksgiving packed. I can feel the panic and fear in the air. News of the Coronavirus is everywhere. Basically unavoidable BUT - that doesn't mean you can't be a light during this dark time.
Things are getting canceled left and right but we have to keep moving forward despite these things happening that are out of our control. When there is so much negativity in the world we have to make the decision to seek out positivity. There are things that you can't control and there are things that you can. It doesn't serve you to focus on the things that you can't control. I know there is a lot to be stressed and disappointed about - I booked a national commercial that fell through - but it's going to be okay. I'm choosing to believe that things will work out according to God greater plan and taking steps to live a more positive, hopeful life rather than one of fear because I don't know what's going to happen next so being fearful will only diminish my quality of life in this moment. Instead, I want to savor this moment. So with that being said, here are my top tips to embrace the positive and live your best life.
1.) Start a practice of gratitude - What you focus on grows. If you are focusing on all the negativity in the world, you will see more negativity (and be more unhappy). There is a lot to be anxious about with everything going on but that doesn't mean you have to focus on it. If I've learned anything in my 30 years it's that we are not in control. None of us know what's going to happen next. The only thing you can control is yourself. Yes you can wash your hands more and avoid crowds but I'm talking about your mindset. You are in control of your thoughts. A thought may pop up out of nowhere but you control if you choose to listen to it or not. Don't give power to the negative thoughts. Focus on the positive. Start a practice of gratitude. Every morning make a list of 3-5 things you are grateful for. It will change your outlook. People need your positivity.
2.) Meditate every day. Even if it's only for 2 minutes, start somewhere! So many people are so resistant to meditating but it has truly helped me be more present and let go of so much overactive thinking and anxiety that was weighing me down and making me depressed. It's allowed me to have more mental energy for other, better things. We only have so much mental energy per day so don't waste it on anxiety. Understand it's going to be a challenge when you first start because it's a new thing and anything that's new starts out hard but embrace the challenge and know as you push through it, you are becoming a better version of yourself! Focus on the benefits of how great you'll feel once you make it a habit. All it takes is a couple minutes a day and it's so worth it! Here is a 5 minute guided meditation I used to use when I first started meditating (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utfw-rJUvy4).
3.) Surround yourself with other positive people. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with so if you are surrounded by negative, anxiety ridden people it's much more likely that you will become the same. Community is so important. We are social beings and crave interaction with others. See if you can enjoy the moment with your friends, which will help you forget about the pain of the world right now. Make a pact to enjoy each others company and not talk about Coronavirus or other negative things. I'm not saying ignore what's going on but you don't have to focus on it all the time. Healthy distractions are necessary.
4.) Go outside and enjoy nature. Turn off your TV, get off your phone, and go outside. Slow down and enjoy/appreciate the beauty of the world. There is something so peaceful about being in nature. The plants are still growing and the animals are still living. Maybe we can learn something from them and their simplicity. There is a whole world beyond Coronavirus.
5.) Move your body. There is a ton of research that shows that regular physical activity releases endorphins and is not only good for your physical health but your mental health as well. If you are feeling especially anxious and can't even think about going outside then put on some music and dance for just one song. But fully commit to that one song. You will feel so much better and it will literally change your thoughts and your mood.
6.) Stay hydrated and eat good, clean food. Don't just take care of your mind but take care of your physical body too. When you eat junk food it'll likely make you feel lethargic and apathetic. Fuel your body with quality food so that a.) you have a healthy immune system and b.) you have energy to keep moving forward despite how challenging it is to look forward right now.
You don't have to be fearful! What is that fear doing for you? Fear manifests in a lot of ways including anxiety, lack of rest and sleep, anger, depression, and physical illness. Notice how they are ALL negative. By being fearful you are making yourself more susceptible to all of these negative things. But you don't have to. You have a choice! You can be proactive and intentional! Yes, the Coronavirus is contagious, but so is panic, fear, hysteria, love, enthusiasm, kindness, and joy. Choose wisely! Your friends, your kids, and the world need your positivity.
Let me tell you a little more about my story and my journey. I am the youngest of 4 kids and only girl. Growing up I was a princess andddd spoiled, for lack of a better word. I used to be a beautiful, sassy, spitfire and at some point over the years I lost that. After being told my personality is too big too many times (by some of those I'm closest with), I dimmed my light. I suppressed my natural nature to make others more at ease. I lost myself. I spent my 20s trying to be nice and accommodating, and boy was I! But where did it get me? I was unsatisfied and lacked passion. I hadn't only lost myself but I was lost in this big ol' world.
Even though I was unsatisfied I was always yearning for more. I was definitely stuck but I knew I was capable of more. I started reading personal development books. Some of the first books I read were The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Both of these are classics and totally changed the way I saw the world and began my journey into being a better version of myself. I could feel my mindset starting to shift but was I really ready to change? Could I find success? Am I enough? These are just a few of the limiting beliefs I struggled with. There were MANY! I constantly told myself I'm not smart enough, talented enough, or creative enough. Can you relate? The good news is I was able to change these things and so can you! Before you go after what you want you have to start with your mindset - with these negative beliefs.
Because I wanted more, I stayed consistent with personal development. I focused on the person I wanted to become rather than the person I was at the time. That helped me show up for myself even when I didn't want to. Even when I didn't feel like it. It's kind of like working out. For me, working out not only makes me look better but it makes me FEEL better. When I want to skip a workout because I'm tired or unmotivated, rather than trying to get excited about the actual workout, I focus on how amazing I'm going to feel when I'm done. Focus on the after effect to push you through the challenging thing.
I started a practice of gratitude and meditation every morning which helped me to slow down, center myself, and focus on the positive. My mindset was changing and I was starting to enjoy the person I was becoming. But again, I still struggled with the limiting beliefs I had been telling myself my entire life. I was introduced to Rachel Hollis and, with a month to spare, I decided to go to her RISE personal development conference. One thing to know about me... I do not like to spend money. It can be a good thing and a bad thing but... I am pretty cheap. The tickets were expensive but I knew I needed to go. I knew it in my gut that this was the push I needed.
So I went. I showed up and fully committed to the weekend. Somehow, by the end of the weekend, I realized that I am enough. That I was created intentionally, flaws and all. And most importantly that my voice matters. I have always been an encourager but I was too fearful to create a bigger platform to encourage people. So here I am. That's exactly why I created Show Up to Go Up.
I know that there are so many people and women that struggle with the same doubts and insecurities that I did. Part of my story moving forward is that I help other people overcome the same struggles and doubts that I went through. Although it's an ongoing journey and there are ups and downs, I truly feel like I'm on the other side of fear. I'm doing it. And I know that you can do it too! Trust me, there is nothing that you've thought about yourself that I haven't thought about myself. If I can do it, so can you.
I am here to give you tools and inspiration to help you show up for yourself to live your best life. I can't do the work for you but if you commit to showing up for yourself regularly (regardless of where you are) there is nowhere that you can go but up! Whatever it is you want in life, it's time to go after it! Today is the first day of the rest of your life. I believe in you and I'm so excited for you.
IG @stephygthatsme and @showuptogoup