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Overcoming the Fear of Starting: Embracing Your Goals and Purpose


Man standing on a mountain excited to reach the top
Embrace your goals and purpose

We all have dreams, aspirations, and a desire to make our mark on the world. We yearn to uncover our true purpose and live a meaningful life. However, the fear of starting can often hold us back, preventing us from taking that first step towards our goals.


In an article written by 1Dimitrios Tsatiris M.D. on the 2Psychology Today website, he outlines the belief as a psychiatrist, that achievement is part of our DNA and that many dreams fail due to fear of failure, which keeps us immobilised. Our mind generates inaccurate thoughts that fuel our fear of failure. By correcting these thoughts, we can reduce anxiety and achieve our goals. He focuses on five common cognitive distortions:


1. Thinking that failure is personal

2. Believing that the cost of failure is too high

3. Believing that there is no benefit to failure

4. Believing that if we fail, we are failures

5. Thinking that we have nothing to lose by staying put.


After reading Dimitrios's insightful article on the subject, I gained a more in-depth understanding of why we often fear starting. As a life coach, I have observed a similar phenomenon in clients who hesitate to work towards their goals and purpose. In this blog, I will discuss strategies to overcome the fear of starting by exploring the following reasons:


1. Fear of Failure:

One of the primary reasons we fear starting to pursue our goals and purpose is the fear of failure. We worry about what might happen if we fall short. However, it's important to remember that failure is not inherently negative; it is a valuable learning experience that propels us forward. Embrace the mindset that each failure is an opportunity for growth, and let go of the fear that paralyses you.


2. Fear of Judgment:

The fear of judgment from others often prevents us from starting our journey towards our goals and purpose. We fear criticism, rejection, and the possibility of being misunderstood. However, it's vital to remember that not everyone will understand or support our aspirations. Surround yourself with individuals who believe in you and your vision, and let their encouragement drown out any negative noise.


3. Fear of the Unknown:

Embarking on a new path is naturally accompanied by uncertainty, and this fear of the unknown can cripple our progress. We may question whether we have what it takes to succeed or if we can handle the challenges along the way. Break down your goals into smaller, manageable steps to overcome this fear. Focus on what you can control and gradually move forward with confidence.


4. Lack of Self-Confidence:

Sometimes, our fear of starting stems from a lack of self-confidence. We doubt our abilities and question whether we are worthy of pursuing our goals and purpose. Building self-confidence is a gradual process that involves recognising your strengths, working on your weaknesses, and celebrating your achievements, no matter how small they may be. Embrace your unique qualities and trust in your potential to achieve greatness.


5. Perfectionism:

Perfectionism can often hinder progress and prevent us from starting. We may set impossibly high standards for ourselves, believing everything must be flawless before we begin. Break free from these shackles of perfectionism and understand that taking imperfect action is better than not taking any action at all. Perfection is an illusion, and true growth comes from embracing imperfections.


The fear of starting to work towards our goals and purpose is something we all experience at some point in our lives. However, it is essential to recognise and overcome these fears to unlock our full potential. Remember that failures and setbacks are stepping stones to success, and the opinions of others hold no power over your dreams. Embrace the unknown, cultivate self-confidence, and acknowledge that imperfections are part of the beautiful journey towards your goals and purpose. The time to start is now – don't let fear hold you back any longer.


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CLICK HERE to book or email hello@shanelybarning.com to ask how we can work together.

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