Overcoming fear and low confidence in Midlife.
Why do people stumble when overcoming fear in their pursuit of happiness and success?
Because, as a result of low confidence and fear, we don’t believe we can make it happen.
Let’s dive right in the deep end.
There are more divorced and widowed women or flying solo over 50 than ever before in history. Midlife women flying solo are in a position of getting out there again in search of new love, but are daunted by the stories of bad experiences and negative reactions.
Many others in recent times, whether happily married or suddenly single, are finding it necessary to recover finances and start a business or seek a job but are confronted with self-doubt and fear of ageism.
Either way, 90% of any success in overcoming fear, and all the strategies in the world won’t ensure success if we haven’t addressed the fear of failure or rejection.
So, let’s get down to tin-tacks.
Procrastination is a huge sign of a fear of failure and low confidence.
So how do you deal with overcoming fear?
First, stop beating yourself up.
It’s very normal to feel the fear of failure.
It’s very hard for people to get out of their comfort zone if they have a fear of making mistakes. Will they survive? Will they be rejected? Will they be judged, criticised or compared to others?
As soon as you realise from an intellectual level that this is just your brain going on with this as it’s trying to keep you safe even if you don’t realise it, you’ve overcome the first hurdle. Awareness.
Because our brains are plastic you can start to create new neuro-pathways and go out of the survival brain and go into a helicopter position and see what’s going on and be compassionate with what’s really going on here.
So, here’s what normally happens on a daily basis. We wake up in the morning and we either regret what has happened in the past or start to worry about what might happen now or in the future.
The brain needs a job to do, so if you don’t give it one, it will create one.
It will catastrophise if you leave it to its own devices, so instead, what if you created a scene with your imagination of the way you want to feel, see what you want to see and hear what you want to hear and create a little game with yourself.
Our brains will automatically think of the worst-case scenario of ‘what if…’
Imagination and intention are very powerful forces. Focus on where you want to go as what you focus on grows and then you create strategies to create that.
If you have in your mind you are going to buy a red Mazda, that is all you will see on the road. So, if you think you are going to run out of money, you are going to create ways of how you are going to run out of money.
Anything that will calm the survival brain down will enable overcoming fear.
So, write a list of the negative what if’s, and then a counter list of positive what ifs. It might look like this:
What if I do run out of money? (Negative) It’s OK, and I’ve learned from the experience and I move on.
And, what if I have lots of money? (Positive) The brain will then imagine and develop ways of creating money.
But don’t beat yourself up if you keep going back to your old habit. You will develop cognitive dissonance if you have been practising something for 50 years and then you consciously develop a replacement of possibility thinking as a daily ritual.
When you are trying something different you have to build a new muscle.
You will need support by finding a good resource or support group, or watching YouTube videos daily or listening to positive motivational speaking on a different range of topics. Perhaps even hire a coach to fast-track your progress or you will default to the negative if you don’t have some processes underway to counteract them.
What if you are full of confidence and living in the moment instead?
Let’s go there now.
Let’s talk about one of the greatest fears people have, and that is walking into a room full of people waiting for your arrival, all by yourself. All eyes are on you, watching you as you head towards the podium, and you feel this is THE scariest moment of your life.
Step out of your scary place and into a virtual helicopter.
Use your imagination.
How would it feel when you hear the applause, see the smiles and people you love there blowing you kisses? You know what you are wearing, you know you look amazing and how empowered you feel because you know you are going to be giving that audience a great gift, something they are wanting and needing right now. They need answers and you have them. They are going to love what you say and they are going to love you.
By overcoming fear and managing the fear of failing, then confidence will grow.
I hope these strategies and suggestions help you on the way to loving your life beyond 50, at a time when we have so many opportunities to transition into our Second Act. If you are ready to claim your life back and you would like to chat or talk something through, I’m here to help. I’ve been there too.