Are you aiming to achieve a new goal in your business or personal life
this year? Most of us, if we are trying something new and different for
the first time, say like doing a business pitch, or speaking in public,
or ice skating, would be far happier to try this when no-one we know is
likely to see us. Why is that?
With my coaching clients, if I ask, “what’s stopping you?”, perhaps in
relation to changing roles, or publishing their work, or introducing a
new product or service, or any other goal they want to achieve, I hear
similar answers – I don’t have the time, I don’t have the energy, I
can’t afford it, it would never work anyway… Often, these are just
excuses which we use to protect ourselves from the real reasons. When we peel away the layers of what’s behind these responses, and are really
honest with ourselves, the real reasons are that we are afraid of something – quite often this has a lot to do with what other people will think of us if we fail, or sometimes fear of how they might react if we achieve success beyond our wildest dreams.
The author Martha Beck calls this our “Everybody” … “everybody will
think I’m a failure”, “everybody will think I’m nuts”, “I don’t want to
look ridiculous in front of everybody”. In relation to any goal you
want to achieve but can’t get started, ask yourself “Who is my
“Everybody” “? Take a long sheet of paper; list the names of everybody
who will definitely say you are a failure, everybody who will think
you’re nuts and so on. The list will be shorter than you think, in fact
may only be one or two people – one of them may even be you… if so
then you’re really judging yourself negatively, and believing that
everyone else will respond in the same way you do. Depending on how much
these people may influence what you want to achieve, you can either look
at ways to win their support for what you’re doing, or decide that their
view isn’t that important.
By continuing to listen to the “everybody” statements that we all seem to live by at times, you and what you believe to be true could be
stopping yourself from being the best you can be. Choose a different
message for yourself, such as “Some people might think I’m nuts, but
that’s up to them” – and don’t let “everybody” stop you!