Usually when we speak about fear it is in a negative tone. In fact, the phrase “the importance of fear” may seem paradoxical when put in the context of achieving your goals. Yes, it is true that fear can have a powerful hindering effect on you but that is not to say that it is inherently bad. In fact, fear is crucial as you can use it to guide yourself on the pathway to success.
You may be thinking to yourself, ‘what is she talking about? Fear is the enemy and should be treated as such... right? Well, not really. Fear is essentially just another emotion we feel - it keeps us human. What we actually need to do is accept our fear and harness it. Too often I see people and businesses that are crippled by fear. Their potential is stifled. Numerous goals are abandoned. It is disheartening to witness. If you ask me, trying and failing at something is much more courageous than simply letting fear allow an opportunity to pass. If you try something and it doesn’t go your way, at least you can say you gave it a chance. You can even use the experience as a lesson and tweak certain elements so that next time you try it, you can succeed. But not trying at all? That’s when failure really takes shape. Think about it this way: if you were not a little bit afraid of failing at your dreams, would they really be worth your time? Exactly. So go for it! Go for your dreams in spite of fear. If you don’t, you will regret it and regret is so much worse to feel than failure - trust me.
Fear is something I personally deal on a day to day basis. For the first time ever, I recently spoke openly about my agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that can affect people in different ways but is essentially a fear and avoidance of places that could potentially cause someone to feel trapped, panicked, or helpless. In my case, it manifests in a fear of open spaces. If I allowed it to, my agoraphobia could hinder me from doing my job. A large part of what I my job is made up of travelling to different locations and speaking with people about overcoming their obstacles and gaining success. With my phobia, however, sometimes I find myself fighting off a panic attack when I am in new places, very open new spaces. Although these two topics may seem a tad different, the central theme is the same: fear has the power to disable you from achieving anything. You have the power to stop it from doing so.
One video I really admire stated that a hospital study once asked 100 patients on the brink of death what their biggest regrets were. It should not come as much surprise to know that nearly all of them reported regretting not the things they had done, but what they had chosen not to do. If things don’t work out the way you wished, that is experience and experience equals success. When you allow yourself to give into your fears, you are cheating yourself from what is already yours in the first place! Don’t live your life with wishfully thinking of all you could do. In the end, you don’t want to look back and say to yourself ‘if only’. Live your life with the goal of having no regrets.
When you are given an opportunity or stumble onto a new potential path, evaluate how you feel. Afraid? Maybe this opportunity could change your life and propel you to your dreams. If the answer is yes, take the chance. Use fear to evaluate which opportunities mean the most to you and then act on it. After all, if you are afraid, it probably means that this is important to you and if it’s important to you, you owe it to yourself to try.
I would like to hear from you. Which fear is holding you back from moving forward in your life and/or in your business?