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How To Make Progress When You Are Terrified

https://medium.com/the-ascent/how-to-make-progress-when-you-are-terrified-1571cdf5a97a

medium.com

How To Make Progress When You Are Terrified
You might not believe it right now, but we're all terrified. All of us who set goals for ourselves. Who want to try something new. Something that feels big. Change careers. Run a marathon. Write a book. Sometimes even the smaller stuff is terrifying. Like writing a brief for a new client.

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Reframe past “failures”

Thinking about our past mistakes usually brings us feelings of despair.

You can stop this by reframing your past failures by recognizing that you did the best you could with the information that you had at that time.

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It’s OK to be uncomfortable

Putting yourself out there is very uncomfortable for most of us.

But try to remember that discomfort is pretty normal. It's just a feeling, nothing more. So allow yourself to feel uncomfortable and accept that the feeling doesn’t mean you should stop trying that new thing your considering.

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One step at a time

New projects can feel overwhelming, so imagining how you will get from start to finish it hard.

But you don't have to do it all in a day. Pick one small thing that will take you closer to your goal. And focus on that.

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Celebrate how far you've come

Everyone has a dream. But not everyone is brave enough to act on it.

Be proud of your courage to start a new project.

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Adam Grant

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Use a Little Healthy Imitation

It can be beneficial to find a role model and engage in some healthy imitation. Done well, it can give you some confidence.

You shouldn’t copy everything about the person. But notice how they act and try mimicking their successful habits until you can adapt them to your own style.

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Taking action = eventual success

Taking action = eventual success

Inaction is the biggest cause of our failures and our miseries. If we could consistently do the things we know we should do, we would be more successful, and our lives would be better. Yet w...

Explaining inaction

Some possible but weak reasons why action is hard:

  • Talent. But the world is full of brilliant stars that flame out and mediocre minds that build empires.
  • Preferences can explain our failure to try, but don't explain our inner struggles with inaction.
  • Capacity for effort. If your capacity for doing things is lower, it does not explain chronic bursts of activity with inevitable crashes in your goals and projects.
  • Motivation. Some people with the most reason have the hardest time taking action. 

Confidence

Motivation and expectation of success create a feedback loop:
  • Your motivation to complete a task depends on the value of the reward and your expectation of success. 
  • Your expectation of success depends on your motivation.

If your projects tend to fail, your expectations are low, and motivation fades. If your projects tend to succeed, your expectations go up, and motivation stays strong.

Motivation is a complex process

Motivation is a complex process

Motivation is a complex process to explain or to realize fully.

Motives are internal experiences that can be categorized into needs, cognitions, and emotions that are influenced by envi...

Motivational strategies that show success

  • Teachers that plan lessons to be interesting, curiosity-provoking, and personally inspiring have better success in motivating their students to read.
  • Leaders have better success in motivating their employees when they take the employees' perspective and invite them to create their own self-endorsed work goals.
  • Parents are more successful when they try to truly understand why their children don't want to do something and then take the time to explain to them the benefits of the activity.

Most successful interventions do not try to change another person's motivation or emotion directly. Instead, they make changes to the person's environmental conditions and the quality of his or her relationships to encourage them to leave behind neglectful or abusive ones.

The basic psychological needs

According to Self-Determination Theory, there are three basic psychological needs which we want to satisfy:

  • Autonomy (self-determination). We are motivated when we have a choice in terms of tasks, time, team, and technique.
  • Competence (capability and effectiveness). Mastery is a mindset. When we strive toward something greater than ourselves, it demands effort.
  • Affiliation needs (association and belonging). We are motivated to form long-lasting positive relationships with others.

External rewards do not work because we don't do rule-based routine tasks. Instead, we need to create environments where intrinsic motivation thrives, where we can gain satisfaction from the activities themselves.