One of the greatest challenges we all face is conquering fear and developing the discipline and habits of doing things afraid, and conquering and managing the fear. Fear has its place in our lives, especially if it inspires us toward our goals and dreams. As a professional speaker, I still experience fear every single time I have a speaking engagement. The fear causes me to prepare to deliver an exceptional presentation. I was recently talking with my wife regarding a specific talk I was about to give and the fears I had. Her response to me was that you have been doing this for many years and asked why the fear, to which I responded the fear never goes away because you never know how things will turn out. The fear only disappears when you get started and things go the way you have planned it. Winston Churchill once wrote, “Courage is rightly considered the foremost of virtues, for upon it, all others depend.” Fear continues to remain the greatest challenge for every human being. I believe when Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” he was alluding to the fact that it is the emotion of fear, rather than the reality of what we fear, that is the cause of all the stress, pain, depression, lack of joy, and unhappiness in our lives.
“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown
To achieve massive success, it is important that you begin to develop an unwavering self-confidence that will open all the avenues for you to live your dreams. How will your life be if you were to do all the things necessary to achieve all your goals? What will your world look like if you were to go to the places you want, live in the home of your dreams, meet the people you have always wanted to meet, run the businesses you have always dreamt of having, and doing the things you have always wanted without fear? What a wonderful life that will be! You can learn the habit of courage so that you diminish the impact of fear on your life and further deal with the various challenges that life will throw at you from time to time. Life happens to all of us and it comes to that time in your life when you need all the courage and discipline to move ahead in spite of the obstacles and challenges.
You may want to understand where our fears come from. The main source of fear originated from our childhood conditioning. The fear of failure makes us begin to think that I can’t do it, it’s very difficult at the moment, I will fail like I have in the past, I will be beaten for this, and what will they think if it doesn’t work out? I just have to because I have no choice. On the basis of these fears, we start thinking of avoiding various things that may cause us to lose our investment, waste time, and be overly cautious of investing in our relationships. We want to avoid criticism from others, avoid disapproval and anything that brings discomfort. These fears can stop us in our tracks and prevent us from moving to do the things we have planned to do. Fear can paralyze you into not taking concrete or massive actions toward the goals you want to achieve. Fear can also cause indecision, procrastination, make excuses, cause hesitation and make you feel stuck.
What are you afraid of? What is stopping you from moving in the direction of your dreams? Why are you feeling stuck? Who are you associating with that seems to be amplifying your fears? What have you been told as a child that has become a stronghold in your life and causes you not to move anytime you want to take action? If your fear is the fear of failure, remember that failure is not final and failure is just an event. When you fail at something it could either be the timing may not be right, you did not do your due diligence, or you did not have the knowledge and skill to take on this assignment and do a great job at it. Most of the stories you read about successful people, you note that they have all failed many times before finally succeeding.
After graduating from my Master of Business Administration program, I was given the opportunity to speak to seasoned managers on the topic of problem solving and decision making. I did such a poor job that the evaluations I got from the participants were terrible. I felt deflated and ashamed of myself and disappointed when I read their comments. One comment said, “Never allow this young and inexperienced person to ever deliver a course to people like us.” Another said, “I did not learn anything from the session and it’s a waste of time, it was one deflating statement after another.” I took the comments and challenge seriously and promised myself to improve and be an exceptional speaker in the near future. I had a choice to either sink or swim above the remarks and improve. I developed myself over the years and now can say with all confidence that I made it. Failure is an event and is not final. I have heard various people say that success is so hard and destroys you when you finally become a success. These people cite the cases of various people who succeeded in one area of life and finally were destroyed by their wealth.
Success reveals who you truly are at your core and when you don’t deal with your personal demons, they end up destroying you when you become massively successful. Prepare and develop yourself into that person who can handle massive success so that when success comes, you have a solid foundation to deal with the challenges that come with it. I have not always been a success but can now tell you that having tasted success, I prefer the life I have now than what I had in the past.