Last week I went skiing for the first time ever. And loved it. Five days into my skiing career and I’m addicted. So much so, that I’m returning to the mountains this weekend for more.

You might think I’m pretty old to be starting – I sure did, when I saw my boyfriend’s kids (aged 9 and 11) shred super steep slopes through trees and propel off massive rock jumps like it was nothing.

But between switching careers twice, starting surfing just five years ago, and moving continents three times in my adult life, I’m used to looking like a total fool/ beginner. And you know what I’ve discovered? It’s liberating.

There are often two key reasons we don’t pursue our goals or try something new.

Fear of how others will perceive us

How other people will view us when we crash into the snow, or start a painting class, or make a job shift, can be terrifying. Particularly after finishing school/ university studies, which are seen as forums for experimentation, we can become hyperaware of – and concerned with – what other people will think.

Watching my boyfriend’s kids was enlightening. They faceplanted, crashed spectacularly, fell over – then got up and kept going, without a care for what other people thought. They even told me about it gleefully: “I ran into a tree!”

I tried to adopt a dose of this healthy ‘whatevs’ attitude in my own skiing. And every time I did, I stood back up with a refreshing sense of liberation from concern about what other people might think of me. 

Fear of failure

Yep, that ole chestnut.

Starting something for the first time, or starting again after a long break, can cause us to immediately start worrying about screwing it up completely. This often leads us to dismiss the idea outright, before we’ve even tried.

But to expand our comfort zone and achieve our goals, this is one we absolutely have to work on. Understanding where the fear comes from can help, as can working with a coach to let go of the fear.

When skiing, I checked how I was framing my concerns. When a bunch of outrageously negative ‘what if’s’ cropped up, I look at some of the positives.

What if I become a good skier?

What if falling down and getting back up builds my confidence?

What if persevering means one day I can join the kids shredding those black diamonds?

This goes for all kinds of scenarios – taking a yoga class, joining a choir, starting a business. Being prepared, acting with care and courage, believing in positive outcomes are key ways we can overcome our fears and live our boldest, happiest lives.

Curious how coaching can help you be courageous and achieve your goals? Contact me now for a free, no-obligation introductory session!