Do you fear looking a fool or not being good enough?

How often does the fear of not being good enough or “looking a fool” stop you from doing something?  Whether asking a question in a business meeting, signing up for a new class or taking the leap to start something new?

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the expression “what if I can’t do it?” or “what if it doesn’t work?”  So often we want to do everything well the first time we try and are afraid that if we can’t we look a fool.  And yet, logically we know that the first time we do something it may not be the best but that each time we do it, we will get better and better.

When you watch a small child learning to walk, you do not expect them to go from sitting to striding purposefully in one swift step, nor do you think “oh dear they’ve fallen over so perhaps they shouldn’t try again”.  You know that each time the baby tries; they will get better and better and be able to toddle for a bit longer and a bit further.  So why, oh why, are we so hard on ourselves?

In my previous career, as an Accountant and Project Manager I used to strive for perfection in everything I did because I did not want to look a fool or give anyone the opportunity to think I was not good enough.  This really took its toll on me personally and my health as I would continue to try to deliver more and quicker even when it was not within my control.

Since running my own business, I see this trait in clients regularly and one way to help them consider this from a different angle is through my story.

When I started thinking about running my NLP training courses and other business workshops there would be the usual voice inside my head saying “what if you forget what you want to say” or “what if someone asks a question that you cannot answer” or “what if people don’t think it’s very good”.  As always that was my ego talking; I was thinking about the course in terms of how it was for me.

And yet when I took a step back and thought about why I was running the courses, I realised that it is about sharing NLP tools and techniques with others so that they can learn more about themselves and how to achieve the success that they want.  What is really important to me is that the attendees are engaged, that they learn something new and that they have fun.  And when I think of the course in those terms, it is much easier to change my approach and turn off the egotistical voice inside my head.

Yes, sometimes I do forget what I want to say and yes sometimes I do have tricky questions and as yet no one has told me that my training is not very good; on the contrary the feedback I receive is always very positive.

Next time you want to take a leap into the unknown or try something new or different and you hear that ego voice from inside your head that asks “what if I can’t do it” or “what if it doesn’t work” think about your purpose for doing it. 

When you understand the reason for taking the leap and you push through those fears, the rewards are better than you could dream of.  So when you start to hear that voice, drown it out with questions like “what if it goes really well…then what?”

If you want to know more about how to overcome your fears, then sign up at www.tracywardcoaching.co.uk and learn how I can coach you to confidence by one to one coaching or my training courses.

Tracy Ward

Your Catalyst for Change