The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself

Common advice from motivational gurus and experts would normally go along the lines of; “Face your fears and overcome them”.

I think a little differently. I think fear is going to play a part of our lives, no matter what, and we should use it rather than try to remove it.

Fear is a deeply routed emotional state that was created, to help us avoid pain and danger. When fear is in full swing it is a great motivator… it increases heart-rate, boosts energy levels and can improve performance levels. That can be really useful if used in a situation where you need to avoid real and genuine danger!

The common problem we face, is that we attach the feelings of fear to things we have nothing to be fearful of… Things like failure.

If we are fearful of failing, rather than being a helpful feeling, fear can be destructive and debilitating. Fear of failing could easily stop us striving for success. Think about it for a moment – If you strive to be a success, then that means you will have to inevitably take some positive action. The problem is, whatever action you take is not guaranteed to be successful, so therefore taking action produces a risk of failing.

The risk of failing will create fear and as we know, fear will equip and motivate us brilliantly… However, it will be the wrong type of motivation, we will be motivated to not take the action we need to take in order to be successful!

That is not good news for any long-term success strategy.

Fear should not be connected to success or failure – If you currently do, only you can break this pattern.

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What are your rules on failure and success?

Take a moment or two to think about this – It is easy to dismiss this question, but when you give yourself the time and space to genuinely answer you might find some surprises.

What does it take to become a success? What does it take to become a failure?
Are the answers you give to those questions realistic? Are your answers based on fixed criteria (like an amount of money, a certain job or a specific event) or are they based on consistent growth and improvement?

Are the answers you gave, even your answers or are you trying to achieve someone else’s perception of success?

What should our rules be?

The most important aspect to remember is success and failure are both just a feeling… They are not a job, they are not an event and they are not an amount of money either!

You have complete access to your feelings at any given moment. It isn’t an external process, so things don’t have to happen to you in order for you to feel successful. It can be as simple as just deciding and then taking action towards growth.

You are free to decide your own rules on success – my advice? Choose growth and progression. Choose to be fearful of failing to take action rather than fearing the results of those actions.

Choose to feel the fear of failing to take action as much as possible!

2 thoughts on “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself

  1. Great points Dax! I have actually come to realize that my fear sometimes gets me in a more heightened state of focus that allows me to do the job better. I agree with you that we tend to associate fear with failure so I like the spin you have taken on this that we can use our fear in a positive way. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you Malaika, you are right… fear can be useful when needed. We just don’t need it all the time or about things that stop us progressing.

      Like

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