How You Can Bypass the Fear of the Unknown and Learn to Enjoy Uncertainty Without Catastrophizing.

Do you have love sharing your story but fear people have heard it too many times and are bored? Do you get excited at a new concept you’ve come up with but put it on the back-burner because you’re not sure how to make it a success?

This is one of those things that every entrepreneur will face, pretty much on a regular basis. I’d like to share with you guys my own experience, and how I deal with these situations now as a result of what I have learned from years of studying failure.

Let’s set the scene…

A while back, I had just done a photoshoot for images for my new website. I was so excited with how they turned out. They were really natural, and I felt they summed me up pretty well!

I’m one of those people who always has to share the things I’m excited about, and so I sent my photos to my family and a couple of friends for their thoughts. I couldn’t wait to hear what they had to say!

Radio silence.

So I sat and waited…

And waited…

And waited some more…

My phone eventually rang. It was one of my friends to tell me how much they loved the photos and couldn’t wait to see more, and how proud they were of me.

Awesome, right? Wrong.

At this point, I had already created at least ten different reasons that no one had replied. Let’s list a few here, shall we?

  1. They hated them.
  2. They thought they were too cheesy.
  3. They really weren’t as excited by them as I was.
  4. They didn’t really care about my new website.
  5. They didn’t really care about my business in general.

On the left was where I was, and on the right was where I should have been.

Photo Credit: PD4PIC CLIPART.

You get the picture. So when my friend gave me this amazing compliment, I didn’t even hear it. It never made it through the negativity barrier. While it sounds a bit crazy that my brain went straight to this place, this is what we naturally do as humans. Just not every one will admit it!

It might be on a much greater or smaller scale – You might have finished the presentation of your career and there’s a moment where people don’t applaud leaving you unsure whether they loved it or hated it…oryou might have cooked a beautiful meal for your relatives from out of town, and no one has said it tastes good, yet.

The point is, life is filled with these moments of uncertainty. Where we just have to wait and see. It’s not always easy to do this, and the story above is an example of when my brain really struggled with just chilling out and embracing the uncertainty.

So what do I do now with my (complete Bulls**t) Negativity Barrier?

There are many different strategies for dealing with uncertainty and the negative thought patterns that creep in. I’m not going to share them all with you now, but the concept below will change your view of uncertainty completely, if you truly take it on board and implement it in your own life and business.

Focus on the Predictable.

When we engage in a pattern of negative thinking, we begin to catastrophize, or view the situation in a way that is far worse than it actually is.

Your brain will always go to that place of worst-case scenario if you let it, so focusing on the predictable aspects of the situation is one way to remedy this.

Whenever you experience something, your brain tucks this experience neatly away in the form of “schema”. So for example, if you get attacked by a wild boar in the woods (and live to tell the tale), your brain will store this experience away as one you wouldn’t want to repeat in the near future.

Then, when something similar happens, like you meet another wild boar in a different part of the woods (unlucky…), your brain will automatically tell you that this is not a good place to be and that you should run!

This is seriously useful, and keeps you safe and out of harm’s way in dangerous situations. However, your brain can create schema which do not serve you. There are several types of schema, but event schemas in particular occur when predictions are made about how a situation will turn out.

So if you had one bad public speaking experience, your brain may create a schema to predict the outcome of future public speaking experiences, resulting in the crippling fear of uncertainty about how successful your presentation will be.

The main way you can use schemas to your advantage is just by being aware of them and of the processes at work in your brain.

brain1.png

Photo Credit: Brainfacts.org.

So, going back to focusing on the predictable. You’ve delivered a sales pitch 1,000 times about your business, what exactly you do, and how your system or product works. It’s really, really effective and inspiring.

Now, let’s throw a really awful day into the mix, where your sales pitch is awful, no one buys, and you go home feeling a bit miserable.

You now know that your brain is busy at work filling in the blanks and catastrophizing, creating a self schema which says you’re a terrible public speaker and an event schema which predicts that every future pitch will be awful too.

But, armed with this knowledge, you can see this process at work, and you can change it. If the last 999 attempts were pretty excellent, you’re more than likely going to return to this high standard, regardless of one bad day.

It is your mindset that stops you from achieving excellent results again, as you accept the self schema and event schema of inadequacy and fear.

So, focus on the 999 positive aspects of your story, and the fact that these are a far more predictable outcome than the one negative aspect. This will completely unlock your potential, allowing you to remain cool and collected if things don’t go to plan, because this is your 1 in 999, and that’s okay!

Even computers make errors, so it’s pretty acceptable for you to have some here and there!

To go back to my photoshoot once more, I let the uncertainty get to me, and immediately went to worst-case scenario. Now, I only work with what I know, and this allows me to embrace the uncertainty and be confident in my own position.

If I mess up, if you mess up, that’s great. We can just return to what we know, which is being awesome at what we do and not let one event dictate our future performance! So don’t let your fear of the unknown hold you back – always move forwards and if you do one thing, remember to only focus on the positive and predictable aspects of the situation.

If this is something you love and are good at, do not let one moment of uncertainty or fear drag you down. Uncertainty teaches you to possess confidence in yourself, and being an entrepreneur is full of situations where you won’t always know the outcome, so it’s a great place to learn.

I hope this resonates with you, and I would love to hear your uncertainty stories and how you overcame them!

As always, you can get involved in the Free Facebook Group that I created for The Mindstein System (https://www.facebook.com/groups/mindsteinsystemfreegroup/), and begin your move towards fulfilment today.

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Lisa.