Have you ever let fear stop you? I think we have all arrived to places in our lives where there are amazing opportunities before us but because we have fear we decide it isn’t the best choice.
I remember when I really wanted to relocate to Dallas, Texas from Seattle, Washington. I had lived in Seattle my entire life and I had only visited Dallas. I knew I would have to give up green scenery, mountain’s, the ocean and the Puget Sound. But I would gain sunshine, a friendly culture and amazing food. I would be leaving my immediate family and instead connecting with distant cousins, leaving my close friends and having to start all over establish a social life. On top of that I was unable to find a new job in Dallas after two years of trying, that could have stopped me as well.
There are many reasons why I could have allowed fear to stop me. But I decided that the risks were worth it and within a week I had found a new place to live in Texas, I had packed up all of my belongings and I was in my car driving to Texas.
I think when I was younger the fear of the unknown, the risks involved and wondering if I was “making the right decision” would have stopped me. But when we allow fear to stop us from anything in life we really limit our lives.
One thing that I have realized over time is that when we decide that we cannot do something there is usually a moment in time we decide that. If we think back to that very moment that we made the decision that we couldn’t do something it is easy to realize our assumptions are rarely based on facts but fear.
Fear, can be described as false evidence appearing real yet so many times we don’t assess the root of our fears. The reality is that if anyone is willing to put effort into something and learn they can do pretty much anything. Sure we all have our weaknesses and strengths but very rarely do limitations stop people from succeeding, it is usually mindset that stops us.
I want to offer up a solution for you the next time you feel fearful. Some questions you can ask yourself that will allow you to assess if you are fearful based off of legit facts or if it is fear itself:
- Are you too focused on perfection versus productivity?
So many times we are so focused on being perfect we aren’t productive. We want what we do to be so perfect that we limit ourselves and fail. Delaying something because it isn’t perfect is an absolute way to fail. In fact, when I published my first book I thought it had to be perfect and I felt bad that I had created a few different versions after it was published until one day I discovered that most of the best authors out there did the same thing. Perfection is the enemy of success. We can always improve but you cannot improve what you never try.
- Think back to the moment you decided you “couldn’t do this”. Was your conclusion based upon fact or emotions?
So many times we step out and do something and because it isn’t easy the first time we quit. Those emotions of struggle often stop us from succeeding. Can you do it or are you just afraid of effort and afraid of trying?
- Afraid of change? What would you be afraid of if you don’t change?
Often we focus on fearing change but what is more fearful is not trying, not taking a chance and staying where we are at. What would happen if you stayed where you are? Fear not changing, fear what would happen if you choose to just say where you are. One day on your death bed you will look back and either be full of regret or satisfied that you took the chance. Sure change can be a challenge but it means your growing.
- Are you afraid to make a decision out of being wrong and making a wrong decision?
I have seen people be so afraid to make a wrong decision that they try to get everyone else to make decisions for them. In fact, one guy told me once that he had made so many bad decisions that messed up his life he now depended on others to make decisions for him. However, a big part of success in life is learning from past failures and trusting yourself to make better decisions based upon the new information you have learned. Instead of fearing making a wrong decision write down everything you know and have learned from your past decisions in this area. Gain a mentor if you need to gain better insight into good decisions in this area but don’t allow them to make the decision for you. Trust that you can make a good decision based off of solid facts and right information and seek those out yourself, not from others opinions. Making an educated decision is wise, depending on others to decide is unwise.
The fear of being wrong or doing something wrong is one I think that many people face. But when it comes to being successful we have to have confidence in who we are, our own opinions and be willing to go against the flow. The reality is that you will always grow and change as a person and so will your opinions. Having the confidence in who you are is also having confidence to be able to disagree with what you thought in the past and sharing the new information once you learn it. Expecting yourself to know everything right now is to expect perfection and nobody is perfect. It is a paralyzing fear that stops people from their having their best life.
Choose what standard you want to live in your life, what type of life you desire and deserve and put massive action and effort towards it. Look fear in the face and realize that fear is just the emotion of great growth and progress. Choose to fear what will happen if you don't do what you are afraid of and use it to fuel you into a better future.