Time to take the shackles off!

Lynne Philip, Executive and Business Coach explains to Bristol Woman magazine how bold actions are needed to overcome our fear of rejection. Photography: Olesea Ciumac

Something striking has just happened to me and I have been compelled to stop researching so that I can quickly jot down my thoughts before they vanish from my mind. I can feel my emotions stirring within me as I am unravelling my past.  Some kind of internal volcano is brewing and it’s preparing to erupt as I am taken back in time.

I wanted to write this article about success, so I was intent on finding out what qualities very successful people have in common.  Surprisingly, it didn’t take long to discover a gem; just 5 minutes watching an inspirational video on YouTube. I was suddenly stopped in my tracks as I was struck by a flash of lightning. Whoosh! Take that! It felt like I had been knocked off my feet by a surge of electricity charging through my legs, up my body and out through my arms again.  I am still shivering at the sensation as I sit here at my desk. That’s the power of inspiration and revelation.

My brief investigation uncovered some useful clues to their behaviours – determination, positivity, enthusiasm, energy, creativity, decisiveness and having no fear of failure.  But this wasn’t all. It suddenly dawned on me that it’s not just what these people do that provides their key to success, it’s also what they don’t do that paves their pavements with gold.   Successful people forbid other people’s negative views or events to put them off.  They are committed to being utterly, completely and wholly unstoppable in spite of what others say to them.They deflect all negativity away from them and refuse to be disempowered by anyone’s negative thoughts.

Did you know that Meryl Streep nearly gave up acting after failing to land a role when a director called her “too ugly”?  Are you aware that Oprah Winfrey was demoted from her job as news anchor because “she wasn’t fit for television”? And that Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper because he “lacked imagination and had no original ideas”. Like minesweepers, these people swept those ridiculous, arrogant, subjective comments aside, allowing their journey towards success to continue.

IMG_8102How would you react if someone made similar comments to you?  Has anyone ever said something to you, which blocked your path; that immobilized your thinking as if a huge boulder was dropped in front of you? I am beginning to see some examples in the fogginess of my memory. I am recalling being 12 years old when an English teacher ridiculed me in front of my class by reading out one of my stories in which I had made a very embarrassing mistake. I can almost feel the humiliation now. The class must have found it entertaining too as I can still hear them sniggering and laughing.  As for me, this event created what Nancy Kline calls in her inspiring book “The Thinking Environment”, a “bedrock limiting assumption”.  These are untrue assumptions that we make about ourselves, which limit our thinking and possibilities.   Nancy describes these assumptions as “a rock in the mind, ancient deposits that stop its flow”.

Looking back, I now understand that the event in the classroom led me to unconsciously assume that I wasn’t good enough and definitely not good enough to write, so I buried my love of writing away for more than 40 years. It must have been buried very deep as writing has only started to emerge again in my life in the last year. That’s the power of untrue, limiting assumptions. They are “hard core and dangerous” as Nancy Kline tells us.

Negative comments, thoughts or opinions are ruthless. They snap shackles around our ankles and imprison our talents and passion. They grip us tightly in their jaws and hold us back from being the best we can be. It’s time to take the shackles off. Enough is enough.

The key to personal growth is being aware of what may be unreasonably and irrationally holding you back. I encourage you to be totally unstoppable, to be bold and courageous and to face any limiting assumptions and fears right in the face, whatever form yours may take. Perhaps fear of rejection, disapproval or humiliation; fear of failure or even of success, fear of imperfection or of not being good enough. They come in many disguises but the impact is the same. Deadly.   Face them head-on and triumph over them to enjoy the success and happiness you truly want.

“When our torch shines its light on our fear, it emerges from the shadow, freeing us from its grasp”.

PS – What bold action are you going to take today which will lead you to more success?

For more articles like this, download the summer issue of Bristol Woman.

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