What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
When we stop at look at the variety of human accomplishment, it is staggering. There are people that have created immense value to society and their names will be remembered forever. Contrast that with people that struggle to make it throughout the day and live mundane lives.
People are often placed in an identical set of circumstances, such as a sports team, a military unit, a class room, or a place of employment. What separates the historic achievers from those that are stuck in mediocrity? Why can’t all of us achieve extraordinary results? How is it that two people in the exact same situation differ dramatically in the results they achieve?
I recognize I’ve made many mistakes in my past and I will continue to make more mistakes. I have made mistakes in my interpersonal relationships among friends, family, and colleagues. The most damaging mistakes I’ve made have been in my relationship with myself.
My mistakes have set me back personally, professionally, and financially. I’m reflecting upon my mistakes and more importantly upon the root cause of my mistakes. More often than not my mistakes are a result of fear.
Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of shame. It all boils down to one fear: Fear of others judging me.
Evaluating other people around me, such as friends, acquaintances, colleagues, my children, and patients, I sense in them the same fear of being judged.
When I visit with my weight loss patients, especially those who haven’t met their weight loss goals, I never start off by asking them about what they are eating or how much they are exercising.
I try to talk about their life. What is going on in work, family, friends? Some are ready to have this conversation, some aren’t.
We try to move on to what’s holding them back. People never come out and say it, but often it is fear holding them back.
Fear of being judged.
Yesterday I had a patient tell me “I used to say that people that looked at the nutritional labels for foods were ‘diet freaks’, and I didn’t want to be like one of them. But now I am able to look at the label for everything.” She had fear of being judged.
People tell me they don’t like going to the gym because they think people are looking at them. Fear of being judged.
Two days ago a patient told me she has a tough time at social events because she feels the need to have a glass of wine or two with everyone else. Fear of being judged.
Patients have said they can’t change how they eat at home because their spouse likes fried food, starchy food, and other high calorie options. They don’t want to eat to eat a piece of grilled steak with broccoli as their spouse stares at them while eating steak, mac and cheese, and a baked potato. Fear of being judged.
It’s time to own our lives. When we believe in ourselves we have the power to accomplish any task.
As we separate ourselves from the fear of being judged we can take the first step on the path to greatness. When we change our belief set we get great results.