We all have emotional demons. Whether it’s that little red devil on your shoulder saying: “It’s okay, skip your workout, eat the cake, what’s the big deal?” Or bigger demons like fear, uncertainty, or doubt preventing you from achieving your dreams. Don’t let those demons get the best of you. Your dreams are there for the taking and meant to be achieved if you fight back.
I was a stressful kid who worried about a lot of things. My parents feared I would have an ulcer before turning 18. I can’t thank my mom enough for helping me deal with my demons. Oh, they still show their face now and then but, she and some other great mentors I’ve had along the way have taught me a few things that have helped me deal with them.
- Lower your expectations. I know this might sound counterintuitive to achieving goals, but it sure helped me to relax. I strived to get all “As” in middle and high school and be the best at everything I tried to the point where I’d work myself into a tizzy. We can’t excel at everything and we’re often stifled to try something new because we think we won’t excel at it. Of course we can’t excel at something we’ve never done before. When I became okay with getting a “B” and took myself a little less seriously, it opened the door to me enjoying life more fully.
- Put things in perspective. More often than not, I would exaggerate my circumstances in my mind. I began to realize that whatever challenge I was facing, it was typically not as bad or as important as I made it out to be. Is that work deadline really worth missing your son’s soccer game? Is the reason to lose 30 pounds to impress the people at your 30th college reunion or should you rethink your purpose?
- Start with the positive. I know very few people who truly look at the positive side of any challenge first. In all the years I’ve coached others I would say that 80% have a tendency to think about their weaknesses first rather than their strengths. Every day you have a choice to be grateful or regretful. You can set out to seize the day or become victim to it. Making a conscience effort to filter out the negative thoughts and be more mindful toward positive, uplifting ones does wonders toward building unshakeable confidence.
- Choose your emotional enemies. Some fears are meant to overcome and others are not simply because you may not be better off for it. If you haven’t started a fitness program because of fear of getting hurt, then you are making a choice to limit or shorten your life. On other hand, if you have a fear of heights that doesn’t mean you have to go skydiving. Face the emotional demons that are truly preventing you from personal growth and development.