Anxiety, Stress, Lack of Confidence and Self-Doubt.

These are our first barriers against efficiency and success. What causes us to react in this manner in the face of challenges?

Many a times, pre-existing beliefs about our own weaknesses and limitations influence our mental frame, which are simply the lenses through which we see the world and ourselves. These frames shape our attitudes and in turn our behaviour in situations, determine our course of action and how we form an understanding of events. Although they are often a product of past experiences, which could be sometimes even be traumatic, the good news is that these frames are never as rigid as they seem. With some simple questions, you can probe yourself to transform your train of thought and subsequently, the frames that define how you see yourself and the world around you.

Questions to negate negativity

1. “What is the outcome I am trying to achieve?”

Good for fighting distraction and panic.

2. “How does success look like? What are its markers?”

Good for defining tangible goals and intermediate milestones to help you reach your final goal.

3. “What are the consequences of this action?”

Guides you in thinking about the long-term results of your actions, which you can juxtapose against the short-term, immediate impact.

4. “How can I mitigate the negative impact of my actions?”

A good strategy involves back-up plans and evaluation of worst-case scenarios, followed by measures to reduce the repercussions.

5. “What is my value in this project?”

Thinking about how you can value-add in your own way helps to reduce how intimidating a project may seem.

6. “What lessons have I learnt that I can apply?”

Revisiting relevant experiences from the past can help generate new lessons for you to apply in your upcoming task, and teach you what to avoid.

7. “Who might be interested in striving towards the same goal?”

Knowing who your potential stakeholders are and engaging them helps reduce the burden on yourself.

8. “Why do I feel this way?”

Finally and most importantly, be willing to confront your feelings and trace the source of your worries. Seek support and help from friends or counsellors if need be, to overcome any negative associations that may limit your quality of life. Remember that mastery of your history is the key to ownership of your future.

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