Have you ever felt overwhelmed by self-doubt? In this episode of Flow Over Fear, host Adam Hill discusses the psychological barriers of uncertainty, overwhelm, and self doubt that reinforce our limiting beliefs and prevent us from reaching our true potential. He shares how rising above these barriers through conviction, discipline, and incremental growth can help us accelerate mastery and transform our lives.
Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:
- Defining danger fear vs opportunity fear
- Identifying the three core psychological barriers: uncertainty, overwhelm, self doubt
- Finding conviction to rise above uncertainty
- Practicing discipline to overcome overwhelm
- Experiencing incremental growth to build self belief
[07:34] Defining Danger Fear vs Opportunity Fear
Danger fear serves an evolutionary purpose by signaling real threats to our safety, like standing on the edge of a cliff. However, most modern fears are not related to immediate physical danger. Recognizing this distinction, Adam reframed these “non-danger” fears as opportunity fears. These fears don’t threaten our lives but indicate we’re challenging the limits of our comfort zone, which is where growth occurs. By viewing fears as opportunities rather than obstacles, we can overcome limiting beliefs. According to Adam, opportunity fears guide us to extend our comfort zone, acquire new skills and perspectives, and progress towards our goals and potential. This shift in perspective allows us to welcome fears as catalysts for growth rather than hindrances.
[11:14] Identifying the Three Psychological Barriers
- 1. Uncertainty – Adam explains that uncertainty is the fear of the unknown future and what may happen. It can manifest as fears of failure, rejection, or missing out. When immersed in uncertainty, we feel stuck and lack conviction in our dreams. Finding conviction in our values and purpose helps rise above this barrier.
- 2. Overwhelm – Being overwhelmed is feeling like there is too much stimulus or tasks to handle. It often leads to burnout. Adam notes that discipline, not willpower, is key to avoid overwhelm. Discipline means sustaining consistent effort at a pace that is sustainable long-term.
- 3. Self-doubt – Self-doubt is doubting our own abilities and that we are “enough”. It can cause deep feelings of shame. Incremental growth, or consistently taking small steps just outside our comfort zone, is effective for building self-belief over time. As competence grows gradually through experience, self-doubt loses its hold.
[23:21] Overcoming Self Doubt through Incremental Growth
- Adam emphasizes the pitfalls of rapid self-transformation, which can lead to failure and foster self-doubt. He advocates for gradual growth, suggesting a consistent push slightly beyond our comfort zone for sustainable progress. He likens it to mountain climbing, focusing on achievable steps rather than vast leaps. This approach builds trust in our abilities over time through accumulated small victories. Despite the discomfort involved, Adam stresses that this steady growth is manageable, contributing to long-term improvement, preventing burnout, and gradually replacing self-doubt with confidence.
Sign up for my newsletter and get my free Vision/Reflection Retreat Guide:
Follow me and turn fear into flow!