When I look back, as a toddler, probably when I took my first step I wasn’t afraid of falling. When I cycled first I wasn’t afraid of falling or getting bruised. But as a grown up the picture is entirely different. Why is it so? The answer is simple I was HIGHLY EXCITED and didn’t bother about falling. The same principle applies even for animals or birds which take the first flight.
As a grown up many of us find taking the first step or taking an initiative very difficult. Is it fear of initiation or fear of failure? I am not sharing any examples or any stories, as I want you all who are reading this to reflect this back in to your own life and become an example for yourself.
We most of the times are pushed/nominated in to leading the initiative rather than volunteering it. Isn’t it? The question is, had we been like this always? Or, this is a gradual fear we have developed or are developing as we are influenced in some way by this ruthlessly competitive world every day? Are we all a resultant of the RAT RACE which is happening in every aspect of our life?
But as we get in to our teens we start having various considerations to take an initiative. Say, your teacher wants someone to make a chart about Mars, how many of the classmates would raise their hands voluntarily? Very few. Rest will blubber, oh let that guy do it he is teacher’s favourite anyways. Some will say, what nonsense, are we going to Mars and lot of other excuses will stop them to take the lead.
You get in to college your complexes start building up more. You become a bit stubborn, ego creeps in, you develop certain choices and interests and due to this you are not ready to take new the first step in to different territories than your interests. Are you scared to venture out? Do you see, you have developed boundaries, limited your own capabilities already compared to your childhood?
When you get in to job, fear of failure is immense, pressure is immense? You start de-risking your activities by being probably a follower, a team member only rather than taking lead. A lot of people are happy being a manager than being a leader. At times your EGO stops you from taking a different terrain which might help our someone else etc. By the time, you are in your 40s, in today’s situation you probably start thinking about just being in job somehow and accumulating some money for retirement.
Are we DEAD before we DIE? Have we LIMITED all POSSIBILITIES? Being Human is a limitless possibility, why we curb it?
Here are a few reasons or our fears limiting human possibility. You decide if these fears or barriers are worth the possibilities which we do not explore?
SENSE of COMFORTAINMENT
Fear of UNKNOWN
Fear of FAILURE
Lack of KNOWLEDGE
Lack of COMMITMENT
Let’s get in to a little explanation,
SENSE of COMFORTAINMENT - I just devised this word by adding 2 aspects of life related to each other. One is COMFORT & other is CONTAINMENT. When you are habitual of doing certain things, you become comfortable doing it time and again and are confident about what you are doing. This results in reduced capability to venture out of your comfort zone and you get CONTAINED in to it. So, in my view this is the first reason of people not too keen to take first step, lead or take initiatives.
FEAR of UNKNOWN – Probably the most common reason which limits possibility is the fear of unknown. Because, people do not know what is going to be the outcome of their step or initiative, people are hesitant to start something afresh. People are NOT READY to EXPERIMENT. To simplify, there could be only 2 outcomes, SUCCESS or LEARNING (some people make call it failure). Chances are still 50-50. You need to decide whether you want to take the 50% or let go the 100%. Barge in to unknown sometimes to make it familiar and to develop faith in yourself. DISCOVERIES happen only in UNKNOWN territories outside our knowledge.
FEAR of FAILURE – Here the expected outcome is known, but we have certain degree of uncertainty which breeds in the risk of failure. Now, the life without uncertainty is going to be robotic life, then what the hell you do with your intellect? Therefore, you need to see, what is your risk appetite? Are you open to possibility of success or confined by possibility of failure?
There is a difference between being afraid and coward “YOU MAY BE AFRAID, but still do it”
LACK of KNOWLEDGE – Now success or failure depends upon how well you execute something. To execute on your plans, you must have the right knowledge else, you are directionless. It is important to take the Risks but the calculated ones. Without right knowledge, your changes to succeed by your efforts are almost ZERO. If you succeed, it might be sheer luck. But, this is an area where you can improvise upon as you initiate yourself in to the process of execution. You can very well create a loop of failing and implementing leanings. However, you need to be careful and without knowledge should consider degree of consequential impact before you blindly jump in to an initiative
LACK of COMMITMENT – Whether in personal or professional life, this is test of character. Commitment is a heavy word to live by. Most of the people have tendency to change their interests or divert from their goals during the journey of their own goals attainment. Lot of people get demotivated and start telling them, this isn’t for me to do. I need to find something else. OR, in some cases even the thought of Commitment deters them from their own goals. Remember the mantra is, “If you have CONVICTION to do something then COMMIT to it and CONCLUDE it” Are you ready for this?
Few Key points to possibly help you take your first step,
Clarify your VISION
Set Short Goals to see early benefits to give you the confidence booster to set long term goals in the same direction
Do Risk assessment and define a degree of risk you are ready to take
Check for priorities and what matters the most to ascertain your risk-taking capability
Be committed to your own goal or initiative and take it to logical conclusion
Yesterday I was hearing Jamie Anderson, a successful business school professor turned a full time cyclist that too at kind of peak of his career. What do you think, for him, how difficult his first step towards cycling would have been considering his family, career, profession and himself?
Boss, this is very simple. You are the call maker. You are the decision maker. It’s like, you jump off a cliff and enjoy the descend and open parachute in right time. Do not jump without parachute.
“TAKING THE FIRST STEP IS THE HARDEST, REST IS FAMILIAR TERRAIN”
“BEST WAY TO OVERCOME ANY FEAR IS TO STEP IN TO IT CONSCIOUSLY AND FAMILIARISING IT”
Take the LEAD….Take that First STEP