I have always had major perfectionist issues most of my life. I used to think that if I couldn’t do it really well (or be the best at it), then it wasn’t something worth doing or wasting my time on. This, I learned, was really my fear of failure, criticism, and rejection.
Fear of failure can be paralyzing (believe me I know!). Limiting beliefs about our abilities, what others believe of us, and being labeled a “failure” all prevent us from living up to our greatest potential.
One of the best descriptions I have ever heard of this dilemma is from one of someone who has been a mentor and friend to me for some time. She calls it “getting hit by the bus”.
All of us, at one point in time, have stepped off of the curb and into the path of a “bus” and got run over. What does this teach most of us? Not to step off the curb of course! See, what happens is that most of us look at getting run over as permanent. My mentor, however, is one of the few people that will get run over, get up and say “WOW, that didn’t feel good!” and figure out what she needs to do in order to not get run over again.
The key here is that it’s not about stepping off of the curb, it’s about learning how to look for the bus, try to avoid it, and knowing that if you DO get hit you can always go back to the curb and look for another way to cross the street.
Hmmmm, isn’t THAT an interesting concept?!?!
So how can you continue to step off of the curb?
- Remember that fear paralyzes…the best way to break the paralysis is to do something!
- Be persistent…look for other ways to cross the street
- Remember that failure is feedback…it’s not a personality trait
- Be positive…just because you got run over this time, it doesn’t mean you’ll get run over the next time
- Think of obstacles as opportunities…what have you learned from the experience
Remember it’s not the bus to be afraid of, but your ability to step off the curb!
What do you think? What metaphors or analogies do you use in life to keep you moving forward? I’d love to hear from you!