What are your fears? Public speaking? Going into business for yourself? Spending money that you can’t afford on personal development? Putting yourself ‘out there’? These are just some of the fears I have overcome. Fears that I have carried around for over 50 years. In the last two years I have managed to conquer each one.

How did I do it?

I read, I studied, I researched and I attended many workshops with some improvement. It wasn’t until I undertook some personal coaching and decided to face my fears head on and took action, that I really forged ahead.

We may think we are on track with our life and our goals but somehow we seem to sabotage ourselves. Why does this happen? Well, as it happens we have two parts of our brain that are often in conflict. We think with the CONSCIOUS BRAIN, the part we are aware of, and we set a goal with this part. We feel and remember with the other part, the UNCONSCIOUS BRAIN, which only does what we tell it to. If we don’t have a clear message for this part, it doesn’t know what to do and reverts back to what we remember – ‘the last time I set that goal I made a fool of myself; better not do that or I might embarrass myself again.’ This is how we sabotage ourselves against success. We stay small, frustrated, no growth but, hey, we’re safe. Right?

I picked up the below information on an interview with author, Harvard Psychiatrist and Professor, Dr Srini Pillay, who studies how the brain works and how we can retrain it. He has created a five step system for overcoming your fears and anxieties especially in the subconscious brain. The next time you feel like you are sabotaging yourself, listen to your thoughts and try this technique called CIRCA.

Conference table
CIRCA quote

C – Chunking Down

If you are doing overwhelm over a big goal or too many things to do, try breaking the whole thing into smaller chunks. Break it up into tasks you can do over a month, a week or even a day. When you do this, it becomes more manageable and your brain says ‘I can do that much’.


I – Ignore Mental Chatter

Yes, it can be easier said than done. The best way is to focus on being in the moment, mindfulness and the most practical way is to stop and focus on your breath. Slowly breathe in and out, deep diaphragm breaths, for about 10 minutes. This has an effect on our neurology and can even change the structure of the brain.


R – Reality Check

Know that this anxiety, fear or panic attack WILL pass. Use the mantra THIS TOO SHALL PASS. When you know it is a passing thing and you are not going to burst into flames, you can see the fear and anxiety for what it is. YOU ARE NOT YOUR FEARS. These are only beliefs you have made up. F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real


C – Control Check

Do something you can control like making a cup of tea, cleaning your teeth, doing a small job that you have done many times before. This takes your focus away from what you fear and helps you to refocus. It gives you back a level of certainty.


A – Attentional Shift

It is said that what you focus on, you get more of. When you focus on your fear, on scarcity and lack, on blame and anxiety, you are telling your brain that this is what you want more of and hey presto, you’ll get it. When you focus on finding a solution to your problem or on everything that is not fear, on abundance and generosity, guess what, you get more of that too. You are redirecting your brain and giving it new instructions.

focus on the eye

Your brain is an amazing piece of organic technology. It is able to be rewired, reprogrammed and retrained. This means that all the fears and anxieties of your childhood or even your recent past can be overcome.

  • Connect to a mission or purpose that is greater than yourself …Why do you want this?
  • Give your brain specific instructions.
  • Get clearer on what it is you really want.
  • Set long, medium and short term goals
  • Be aware of your thoughts and when you are holding back and question what is happening
  • Give your brain repeated instructions ie like mantras or affirmations
  • Put feeling into your goals, visualise them as having already happened, speak them out loud
  • Seek out someone who can help you to focus and support you

If you connect with this and want to know more, visit Success Pathways programs to find out how you can have your own personal one-on-one session and be in control of those fears that have been holding you back and have been controlling you.

Experience life as it should be, say yes to those adventures you normally say no to and be your own hero.

Article written by Maureen Wise

Maureen Wise has over 30 years’ experience as an art and social sciences teacher. After seven years coaching women to gain more confidence and clarity whilst exploring or using their creativity, Maureen has created a unique coaching experience for her clients.

Maureen's focus on whole brain thinking (left brain analytics crossing over with right brain creativity and mindfulness), is the core of her Success Pathways and Wise HeART Studio programs.

Drawing on her love of learning and art to bring that unique style of coaching to her business, Maureen is an engaging speaker, a passionate author, mentor, teacher and facilitator.