There is only one true opposition to your impending greatness: FEAR

Fear of failing. Fear of public opinion. Fear of love …

But what if I told you that fear is nothing but an illusion that can only be substantiated by your own thoughts and actions?

It is a mind-blocking, confidence-crushing, action-crippling force that is capable of immense destruction only if you allow it to. Paralysis of will is its only weapon. It isolates and pushes you to settle for less than you are worth, and it is up to you to demand room outside of the limited sphere that it prescribes.

The best bargaining power you can have to negotiate yourself out of a fear driven mindset is self love. Fear cannot back you up into a corner if you allow love to permeate your surroundings. The first stride is to demand the absolute best, for and of yourself.

1. Stop nurturing mediocrity

It is so easy to be lured by the seduction of mediocrity.

To not be exceptional means you do not have to work as hard, shed as many tears, break down as many barriers or fight any tough fights.

But to what end?

For a long time, I was quite content with being inadequate until I learnt the hard way, the hefty price of underutilizing my talents. Existing in this very ordinary realm meant that I did not have to put in as much effort into anything that I tackled, but it also meant short-cutting myself from great opportunities.

Many of us lapse into the habit of doing the bare minimum or putting in a fraction of the effort that we are capable of. But to produce anything less than excellence in the things that truly matter to you would be to dispossess yourself of the blessings that you deserve.

With that in mind, let every action that you take, every word that you declare, every thought that you entertain and every relationship that you step into, be in accordance with the most exceptional version of yourself.

2. Step out of your nest

Comfort zones and fear are two branches of the same fruitless tree.

Treading only through familiar waters or tackling only the things that you perceive to be safe, is one of the surest ways to sabotage your personal and professional growth.

Living in a nest with unruffled feathers, poised at the very base of the tree, will eventually lead to a state of stagnancy.

This stagnancy whether it is from procrastination, discouragement, or sheer laziness, does not stop life from happening. The tears that you don’t shed now will be shed later and the hard lessons that you have failed to learn now, may pay you a visit at a far more inconvenient time.

Going in the places that may be too hot for comfort means that you have to be bold, brazen, resilient… Life has an abundance of opportunity for people who step into the ring ready to box above their weight class.

Bear in mind that it’s not at all reasonable to expect someone to immediately step outside of their comfort zone without fuss. It needs to be a natural progression, a one foot in front the other kinda operation.

3. Set goals and never lose sight of the dream

It’s the norm for most people to set goals and resolutions at the beginning of the year.

Am I one of these people?

Yup.

Do I break half of my New Year’s resolutions by mid-January?

Yup.

Is my life usually in absolute shambles by March?

Yup.

But I’ve come to realize that the act of restructuring and refining our lives should be a daily occurrence rather than a once-a-year thing.

Part of making these consistent and progressive steps is to set small, achievable goals on a frequent basis and constantly visualize the end result.

Setting goals means that you know exactly where you want to end up and are more likely to implement a successful plan of action to actually get there.

On the flip side, I wholeheartedly endorse a life led by faith. Sometimes, we get to a place where we are completely clueless about where we are and what to do to move forward. In these times, it wouldn’t hurt to let the winds of destiny take you where you need to go. “Life is a dance between making it happen and letting it happen” – Arianna Huffington.

However, faith fortified with a feasible plan is what will make the difference between an A+ result and a C-result, a potential success and a sure success, a life lived and multiplied and a life wasted.

There is no definitive way to formulate a plan or to set goals for yourself. You do not need to formulate an impossible list.

Let me extract an example from my life.

I started blogging to serve as an inspiration to those who have become dispirited by life, but it also serves as a canvas on which I paint my goals.

Now that I have a platform, I feel an immense responsibility and accountability to my readers and myself to live what I write. Whether you’re a blogger, entrepreneur, artist, teacher, musician, you can use the work that you put out as a standard for yourself. Your personal growth does not have to be divorced from your professional life.

4. Trust your own ability to perform and yield success

Answer this …

Would you bet on yourself?

Can your self-confidence give your fears a fair fight?

None of the steps above would be realized if you have no confidence in your own abilities.

The greatest injustice you can do to yourself is to doubt your capacity to be brilliant.

We tend to feel less important than the next guy who seemingly has all his shit together. No one is all the way together every God given day. You are the one ultimately responsible for your own success so make yourself important. 

The moment that you begin to wear the cloak of confidence, you will realize that it is much easier to break out of the shackles of mediocrity. To the ordinary folk, that self-confidence may come across as arrogance. Do not allow other people’s perception of who you are take the reign. Step out of the restraints of public opinion and revel in self-awareness.

As long as your self-confidence is built on your own inward conviction of your worthiness, and not on the demerit of another, you have absolutely no place trying to reason with people who do not understand your worth.

It is also important to remember that self-confidence is not something that could be achieved overnight. There needs to be a deliberate and surgical attempt to make sure that the words that you speak and the actions that you take will serve only to build you up. The only thing more detrimental than a lack of confidence is confidence that is fragile and irresolute.

While self-worth is an inside job, we are social beings and we do not exist independent of each other. As such, the people that we surround ourselves with have as much to do with our success as our own doing.

This brings me to my last point…

5. Get rid toxic people and toxic mindsets. You deserve a tribe that will support you.

When you decide that you are going to quite being less-than-excellent, you need to get rid of less-than-excellent people who may taint your new perspective with less-than-excellent thoughts.

When you step into a new arena with a changed mind, it feels like your world has been destabilized. Holding on to a person can serve as a security blanket, a way for you to have a grip on the past, just in case that what you have planned for the future does not go according to plan.

Just Let it Go!

Do not hold yourself hostage to the person that you use to be.

Misery and mediocrity enjoy company. It is classic human nature to want to belong to a cause, to an entity, to something that is bigger than us. Some people expect you to stay at your current level. “The moment you decide to be exceptional, you will be at odds with ordinary people” – TD Jakes.

As difficult as the decision may be, you need to respect yourself enough to let go of people who want to keep you at ground zero.

I am not saying that you should abandon everyone in your life to pursue this self-indulgent agenda. I am saying that you need to surround yourself with people who genuinely love you.

You’ve made it to the end!

This post was first published on Conscious Livity .