Do one thing everyday that scares you. — Eleanor Roosevelt
It may feel like you’ve cast yourself in your own personal horror movie, but there’s great reward in challenging one’s own status quo, by following Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice, to tackle one thing everyday that scares you.
Context is important here. I’m not talking about conquering a fear of heights by jumping off a cliff.
I’m also not talking about developing the negative habit of fear consciousness.
I’m talking about addressing that tiny little thing we avoid here and there because subconscious, niggling feelings cause us to recoil from it, even though it’s perfectly harmless, easily done by others without even thinking about it, and downright garden-variety in terms of most peoples’ ability to cope with it.
Such things as:
Activating your home security system
Talking on the phone (hard to believe in the era of the cell phone, but some people do have this fear)
Cooking food for another person
Taking a photo for a group of tourists with their camera
Accepting an invitation to a party
Taking responsibility for opening up the office in the morning or closing up the office at night
Taking the car for a tune-up
A THREE-STEP PROCESS
Here’s a real simple three-step process:
One — Pick your task for the day. Often this may fall into your hands by fate, so be ready. Now, take the time to recall a moment when you felt absolutely in control and on top of the world. Maybe you won a contest at the State Fair, or cooked a meal that impressed everyone and garnered beaucoup praise. Truly relive the moment by allowing yourself to feel those same emotions right now in the present. Drink it in until you’re really there. This is the frame of mind you want to be in because your mind will now link these emotions to completing your task. So go ahead, ask a stranger for directions, even though normally, you’d have expended a whole tank of gas and hours driving around in circles, just to avoid approaching a stranger and risk being made to feel stupid.
Two — Stay in the moment. By this I mean, don’t over critique or self edit how you’re doing, while you’re doing it. Nine times out of ten you’ll be pleasantly surprised that your task was completed without any negative repercussion.
Three — Even if it doesn’t go exactly as you would have liked, remember that you’re on track, even if others aren’t. Now it’s time to take a cue from Step One and link your accomplishment to additional pleasantness. Reward yourself with some small treat – a stick of gum will do – just something that retrains your subconscious to associate trying new things with reward.
Follow these three steps and you have your own Plan 9, and far from “unspeakable horrors” you can now cast yourself in the feel-good movie of the season.
Plus, you can star in as many sequels as need be!
Please share your thoughts on acquiring new levels of self-confidence by retraining the subconscious, in the Comments section below.
In the meantime,