Embracing Fear

Fear is a scary thing. Fear can paralyze us, and fear can energize us. Fear is a psychological drug that affects us all differently. We can fear failure. We can fear embarrassment and we can fear rejection. Worse yet we can fear life and we can fear death. And, with every step we limit our potential.

Fears of these kind then creates Self Doubt. Be afraid long enough and a person begins to doubt their own abilities. Self-talk changes from positive confidence to blame, “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not smart enough.” “I grew up poor.” Or “I didn’t go to college, so my future is limited.”

The result of allowing fear to dictate our life is that fear cancels dreams. In my business coaching practice, I meet struggling business owners and executives, all the time who, due to fear of some kind, have literally forgotten how to dream. They have no goals or vision for the future. They simply survive living a day-to-day life.

I challenge them with the question, and I challenge you, “How big would you allow yourself to dream, if, you knew you could not fail?” Toss out all logic and your current mindset. All me two minutes of fantasy. Heck lock yourself in an office, turn out all the lights, take the phone off the hook so no one will know that you’re there and answer my question. Many have found that they have in fact, forgotten how to dream.
Many will say that Laird Hamilton is the greatest surfer on the planet and much of his success is due to how he sees fear. He said in a recent interview, “I tell people that they should get scared. It’s good for our systems. Our systems were designed to be under threat. Fear makes you better, it makes you hear better, it makes you think better – once you’re used to harnessing it.”

It’s ok to be afraid. There’s nothing wrong with it, in fact, some will say it’s healthy, but you must not allow it to rule your life. Never become satisfied with your fears. Never allow your fears to make you comfortable or satisfied with a mediocre life rather than an exceptional life.

I want you to clearly understand what fear has done to your dreams. Do you still know how to dream? Can you still allow yourself to dream? At some point we must say, enough. Stand tall and shout to the world, “I am sick of being afraid. I must take charge in order to have and achieve my dreams and goals.” You cannot wait for things to change. You do not need permission to change.

Make a list of your fears no matter how petty or big and be sure to be honest. Then, pick one and beat it, overcome it. Then pick another and another. If you’re afraid of public speaking, join a speaking class and surround yourself with a supportive environment. If you’re in sales and afraid to close a prospect because they might say no, make it a game. Tell yourself that every NO is one NO closer to a yes. Most of our fears come from what we believe other people might think or perceive about us, but the fact is most people don’t care and won’t remember moments later. So, what do you say? Let’s have some fun and dream a bit. I won’t tell anyone.

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