Now, we all know I am partial to the odd F-bomb. Yep, I swear. I make no apologies for that, as it’s part of who I am, and I’m nothing if not authentic.
Today I want to talk about a few other F words. Not the sweary one.
I don’t know about you, but I have spent way too much of my life being controlled by these three words and the powerful feelings we attach to them.
Fear. Failure. Forgiveness.
Let’s talk about fear, one of the most powerful emotions. Fear can have a very strong effect on your mind and body.
Yes, we need our bodies to sense fear – to look out for dangerous situations so we can protect or prepare ourselves. Fear is a natural response to a threat. Anxiety, however, is future focused fear – it’s fearing something that may go wrong in the future, as opposed to right now.
In some cases, these fears can take over your life, affecting your ability to eat, sleep, concentrate, travel, enjoy life, or even leave the house. It can be debilitating.
It can hold you back from doing things you want or need to do. It can also stop you from trying new things and taking calculated risks.
So how do you work through your fears? By bringing them into full consciousness and embracing them. By facing them. By getting to know yourself. By focusing on your mental and physical health. By not being afraid to ask for help.
You’ve heard the saying, “Feel the fear and do it anyway”? Yep, do that.
Next up, failure. An emotion often attached to its good friend fear.
I have certainly suffered from a fear of failure, which can cripple you. Sometimes you can be so afraid of failing at something that you decide not to try it at all (interesting fact, this is called “atychiphobia”). Life’s too short for that.
A fear of failure can also manifest in self-sabotage, where you undermine your own efforts in the short-term to avoid a bigger failure in the long-term.
When we allow fear to stop our forward progress in life, we’re likely to miss some great opportunities along the way.
Incidentally, no one sails through life without failing. It’s how we get back up and what we learn from the failure that matters. You will always get up stronger and more resilient for the experience.
So, what can we do to avoid fearing failure?
Firstly, define what failure means to you. A failure for me may be a learning experience for you.
Next, analyse all potential outcomes and look at that worst case situation. What’s the worst that can happen? It’s rarely that bad!
Focus on positive thinking – the mind is such a powerful too. And have a back-up plan.
Love this Michael Jordan quote, “You will miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take”.
Next up on the list of F words is forgiveness. A biggie for me.
When someone you care about hurts you, these wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger, resentment, and bitterness — even vengeance. All incredibly negative emotions.
Being able to embrace forgiveness is extremely powerful.
Research has show that practicing forgiveness can lower depression, anxiety and hostility, reduce substance abuse, and increase self-esteem.
The act that hurt or offended you might always be with you, but forgiveness can lessen its grip and free you from the control of the person who harmed you. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy, and compassion.
It’s not always easy to forgive (or forget), but it can be done. Start by practicing empathy. Then reflect on the times you have hurt others and have been forgiven. Writing your feelings down in a journal and meditating can also help. Be aware that forgives is a process.
You know what’s even more powerful? Self-forgiveness. Forgiving yourself for silly choices and destructive decisions isn’t easy. Be kind to yourself, and to the other fallible humans in your world. We’re all just doing our best.
To learn more about how Loz Life can help with your mental and physical health, head to www.lozlife.com.