A Really Simple Plan to Destroy Your Fears and Begin Moving Forward in the Direction of Your Dreams

If you wish to move forward in life, there is one simple commitment you must make.

What’s the commitment?

To take one action every day—no matter how small or seemingly insignificant—that brings you closer to your goal.”

Without this one basic commitment—made to yourself and no one else—you will forever be lost in a swirling toilet bowl of despair, complaining that you don’t have enough money, comparing yourself to others that are better off than you and, very likely, consistently leading a life of chronic disappointment.

That’s no way to live.

There is no one else to blame

If you’re unhappy with your circumstances—and it doesn’t matter what they are—there is no one else to blame for them; If you choose to stagnate in the environment of inaction, scapegoating, and blame, you will never move forward.

No one is going to give you anything and expecting them to do so is unrealistic.

Sure, there are kind people are in your life that can shed light on your path via their experiences (and you should be grateful for them) but none of them can take the first step for you nor any that follow. 

That’s all on you.

You and only you can change your life. 

Memorize this. Tattoo it on your forearm. Burn it into your psyche. Sear it into your heart.

There are no hidden secrets in life

There is no magic formula that someone failed to reveal to you.

There is no secret principle to getting ahead and making your life work other than the one above…and it’s not a secret. It’s just a principle you’ve been resistant to embrace.

I’m going to repeat it again:

The only way to move forward in life is…

To take one action every day—no matter how small or seemingly insignificant—that brings you closer to your goal.”

So let’s chart a course for taking that first of many steps toward taking action every day for the rest of your life.

Are you in?

No? Then go back to your current dysfunctional mode of living and feeling like a victim. 

Yes? Alrighty then…let’s kick some major ass in the Moving Forward Department, shall we?

But first, a brief reminder from Thoreau:

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Let that sink in. OK, now we’re ready for…

A Really Simple Plan to Destroy Your Fears and Begin Moving Forward in the Direction of Your Dreams

There’s one truth that is often quoted by various people, but it comes down to this:

Circumstances change when you change, not the other way around.”

You can’t wait for circumstances to change before changing your attitude. Life doesn’t work that way.

With this in mind, here are my suggestions for reversing the downward spiral of stagnation and initiating your first of many continual moves forward, no matter what your goal happens to be. 

Step 1 – Create a goal journal. Get a notebook and a pen and dedicate them both to only one purpose – executing this plan as I explain it. I can hear some of you right now saying, “Oh God, there is no effing way I’m going to journal about my feelings and shit.” 

But…. if you want to gain maximum results you will use this notebook, not only for the seven steps outlined below but to honestly explore your experiences past and present. Journaling actually works for both writers and non-writers.

Get over it. Stop making excuses and do what I say. OK?

Good. I’m glad that’s settled. Let’s move on…

Step 2 – State your goal. In the middle of the first open spread on the left-hand side, write down your goal in all caps, i.e., SPEND TIME IN SILENCE, BECOME MORE MINIMALIST, MOVE OUT OF THE PARENT’S HOUSE, GET A GOOD JOB, LEARN ITALIAN, LOSE 20 POUNDS, etc. 

Done? Great, let’s move on further.

Step 3 – List your fears. On the right-hand page create a label, “Fears to Unmask and Disarm” and list every fear/reason why you might not be successful in reaching this goal.

This step is critical because, for everything we wish to accomplish in life that’s important, there are numerous fears that hold us back from starting. Naming these fears—calling them out as it were—can help us look them in the eye and as a result, unmask and disarm them forever removing them as threats to progress.

For example, when I was looking for a new job, the fears that came up over and over for me were as follows:

    • I didn’t feel I’d be as qualified as others who might apply
    • I was too young (years ago) or too old (more recently)
    • I didn’t have the right experience to match the job description
    • I didn’t feel worthy of putting myself out there
    • and many others

Go ahead and brainstorm all of the fears your dread related to moving forward with this meeting this goal. Do it for 10 minutes then look it over.

Done? Very cool! You’re on a roll!

Step 4 – Disarm your fears. Realize that each of the fears you listed in Step 3 is an agreement you made with yourself based on something someone said to you, an experience you had, or some other external reason.

And guess what? These fears only have power if you give it to them.

But what if you didn’t allow the fears to have any power? Ask yourself these questions and write your responses in your notebook…

    • What I broke my agreement with this fear?
    • How would I be different?
    • What if I choose to not allow this fear to stop me and just pushed ahead anyway?
    • Who would I be without this fear?
    • What might be possible if I didn’t empower this fear?

By journaling the answers to these questions you will gain valuable insight into what’s held you back thus far and what powerful dreams are actually within reach. 

Ok, let’s move onto Step 5.

Step 5 – Make new agreements. Now that you’ve unmasked and disarmed your fears and recognize that they can only hinder your progress if you authorize them to do so, make a new agreement with yourself about each of these fears on the next spread.

On the next left-hand page, label the top of the page, “New Agreements to Live By.” Create and write down a new agreement for each of the fears listed in Step 2.

For example, “I don’t have the right experience to match the job description” becomes “No one has the exact experience listed in the job description; the description represents the ‘perfect employee’ and they don’t exist. I’m just as qualified as the next person.”

“I don’t feel worthy of putting myself out there” becomes “I’m just as worthy as the next person. F*ck that, I’m applying anyway!”

Rewrite every fear you listed on this page.

OK with that done, let’s move on to the part where you start taking action…

Step 6 – Create a task list. On the right-hand page create the label, “Action Steps to Take.” With each of your new agreements in mind, create a list of steps or tasks that are required to reach your goal. List them out and look them over. You can refine the order later, but for now, list out what needs to be done before reaching your goal.

(I should mention that unless you complete Steps 1-5, Step 6 won’t be as transformative as it could be if you’ve followed my advice.)

Ok, the last step…but before that, turn off all those damn notifications on your phone or just put it in airplane mode for the next 20 minutes.

Ready, boys and girls?

Step 7 – Identify one task that you can do today. After circling or underlining the one task from Step 6 you can do today, set the timer on your smartphone or computer for 20 minutes and work in a focused manner nonstop on this one task until the alarm sounds. When the alarm goes off, take a five-minute break and then work for another 20 minutes.

This method of getting stuff done in a relatively short time is known as the Pomodoro Method. Google it later. 

If you complete the task, then celebrate with a cup of coffee or text your mentor or parent and tell them! This is huge and needs to be celebrated because it means that despite all those fears you identified in Step 3, you overcame them to complete this one task.

Now just rinse and repeat

Do this for each goal you’ve set for yourself. Create a new section in your notebook for each goal and execute Steps 1-7 for each one. In the course of a week, you’ll be amazed by two new realities:

  1. You got off your ass and actually kicked some major butt toward meeting your goal(s)
  2. You proved to yourself that you aren’t hostage to your fears
  3. Ok, there’s another reality you’ll come face to face with….you will experience a major shift in your satisfaction and motivation…that’s a major win!

Remember, there are no shortcuts

Reaching any goal requires dedication, resolve, and a system that works every time. I’ve given you the system in this post. 

The rest is up to you. You can go back to your Netflix shows or checking Twitter or you can actually start on a path that creates the future you dream about.

So, go for it. You have the tools and a system to follow. 

What do you have to lose except that sense of victimization that you sometimes wear like a badge of honor? 

By Baz

writer | coach | practical buddhist

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