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Phobias and the fear of not being 'enough'



For as long as I can remember I’ve had a phobia that I find slightly embarrassing. I know that being afraid of bananas makes me incredibly weird as really they’re just a fruit but for years, I couldn’t be in the same room as someone who was eating them. Excruciatingly bad if you’re on a packed tube train and someone pulls out one of those yellow suckers to eat right in front of you.


Many of us have fears that are inexplainable and for some quite debilitating. Atelophobia is something else I have suffered from from time to time and this phobia is much more widespread and relatable to most normal, banana eating individuals. This is the fear of not being good enough or more accurately, the fear of imperfection (comprised of two Greek words: the prefix atelo means imperfect and the post-fix phobia meaning fear).


In a working environment, our abilities and merits are sometimes masked by atelophobia and it’s a tough one to overcome. Here are a few ways to take this on:


Ask yourself why you feel this way in certain situations? Is this subjective or objective? Are you just focusing on how you’re feeling or is based on fact? Look at the times that you have been more than enough and remember these if you can.


We control our own thoughts and the language that we use about ourselves so don’t put yourself down and be confident in your language to others. Instead of saying, ‘ I might be wrong but….’ say ‘i believe….’ You will come across as much more confident and much more than enough.


Sometimes we have to face our fears head on so take a deep breath and fake that confidence. Walk into the room with your head held high. Body positioning is a big give away but if you act confidently even if you’re faking it, you begin to feel more confident as well. The best thing about this - the more you practice being confident, the better you will get and soon it won’t be just an act.


One of the worst things to do when we’re feeling inadequate is to compare ourselves to others. Stop doing this right away, especially if it’s social media related. No-one completely has it together and we all put on an act that everything is wonderful sometimes when the reality is usually far from it. Remember this next time that you catch yourself doing the comparison game.


Talk to people you trust and are in your corner. I mentioned this last week in a post but borrow their belief in you. I help so many (predominantly) women clients who struggle to overcome their negative thoughts where business is concerned. Saying these out loud and talking through the impact they have on us can be liberating.


Finally get some positive morning routines in place. This may be 10 minutes of meditation or getting up early to enjoy a cup of builders before going to work. Doing something we enjoy first thing allows us to start the day with a positive frame of mind. Focus on this as you go in to work and let me know if you notice a difference to how you feel about yourself.

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