Your fear of doing something (e.g. entering in a new business opportunity) may lead you to avoid it, but the feeling of fear is something different than the situation which it may caused by:
Every day, we make a thousand little compromises, avoid opportunities, actions and people–all so that we can stay away from the emotion of fear. Note that I didn’t say, “so we can stay away from what we fear.” No, that’s something else entirely. Right now, most of us are avoiding the things that might merely trigger the emotion itself. That’s how distasteful it is to us. The alternative? To dance with it. To seek out the interactions that will trigger the resistance and might make us uncomfortable. Are we trying to avoid the unsafe? Or merely the feeling of being unsafe? Increasingly, these are completely different things. Due to ‘enhanced security’ a recent bike event in New York City forbade the 30,000 riders from carrying hydration packs. No practical reason, just the desire to avoid fear. The upcoming exam doesn’t get studied for, not because studying is risky, but because studying reminds us that there’s a test coming up. We loudly keep track of all the failures of commission around us, but never mention the countless failures of omission, all the mistakes that were made by not being bold. To track those, to remind ourselves of the projects not launched or the investments not made is to encounter our fear of forward motion. (So much easier to count typos than it is to mention the paragraphs never written.)
More importantly, you can handle the situation by setting a specific goal:
You know what? IT’S REALLY HARD. Not having a specific purpose or goal in mind creatively is like paddling in the middle of an ocean with no land in sight. Where do you start? Who is going to give you approval? What is the product you’re trying to sell? And wouldn’t it have been easier to have just stayed on the boat? On the other hand, I guess all of the work I’ve been doing on my house for the past 7 years is client-free creative work, right? Not really, though — at the end of the day, I guess the house is the client. There’s still a goal. It comes down to this: I need to be pushing myself more creatively, and not because someone is telling me to. My fear of making ugly things and failing miserably is pretty intense, but what’s the worst that can happen? There is no worst. Best case scenario? I actually wind up liking my work without anyone’s approval, and maybe there will be a few other people out there who like it, too. What more can you ask for?
But, what is happening if fear keeps you from being really successful?:
When we talk about business, we’re talking about people. We’re talking about the human condition. No matter what your role or position in business may be you didn’t just become a business person. There was a path to get you there. There was a life cycle to get you there. One of the primary elements that keeps business people from success is fear. Is fear keeping you from being successful? I mean, really successful? Let’s go back to the beginning where it starts for everyone on this earth. When children, including yourself, are born they are not afraid. In fact, they’re fearless. The concept of fear hasn’t been developed so they have no sense of fear. Fear has to be something that is experienced, to be understood and to be told about. For example, a two year old picks up the phone because the child likes the sounds that a phone makes. The child is fascinated by what they see the parents and other adults do with phones. But when the child picks up the phone, the parent says, “No! No! That’s not for you! Don’t pick up the phone!” Or a child goes over to the stove and immediately is told, “No! No! Don’t touch that stove! Hot! Hot!” Yet what do many children do? They still have the curiosity and desire to touch the stove which results in little burnt hands in order to learn that it’s really not something to do. These are just two examples of how fear begins to set in. Then as we get older and grow up, fear permeates throughout our life. It could be from the bike we fell off of, the first day of class in a new school, a first date that didn’t turn out as dreamy as we would have liked, not being asked to dance at a party, or not winning the big championship game.
On the other hand, how many of your fears are really true..?
From Fearful to Fearless
In order to make the move from fearful into fearless you need to get real, with yourself.
We are creatures who create some of our most debilitating fears from stressing about what could happen to us in the future.
What if I’m not good enough? What if I never meet that special someone? What if I don’t make enough sales? What if no one likes my site? What if I quit my steady job only to fail in my own business?
These are common fears and they are doing you more harm than good.
And let me ask you this: how many of your fears have actually come true?
I bet not many.
So how do we work on becoming fearless and not fearful?
Finally, it is challenging in personal life or business today to try separate the true feeling of fear, from the real cause of it. And then, embrace it…