I was having a conversation with a close friend and eventually the subject of fear came up. He realized that debilitating emotion was the root cause of many of his decisions. These decisions kept him from moving forward with business ideas; it complicated romantic relationships and caused problems with family. It takes a lot of courage to admit that you’re scared. A person’s ego will look for every excuse and justification in the book to keep a blind eye to what’s really causing an issue.
Fear is one of those subtle emotions that if you don’t recognize it, it can literally Dominate. In The Game we say, “The Dominant force always wins,” and what’s meant by that is what is strongest will eventually come out on top. Even if you don’t recognize it’s there, even if you don’t see it or even if you’re trying to ignore it.
According to studies, the fear of success is caused by the fear of failure. It’s the underlying Dominant force. When you fear failing at something, this affects the decisions you make. These decisions are usually decisions that will actually CAUSE failure – it’s a vicious cycle – a self-fulfilling prophecy. You fear failing, it causes sub-optimal decisions and the result of these terrible choices is failure.
As human beings, there are also other things we fear such as being emotionally hurt, not being “good enough” (feelings of inadequacy), not being accepted, not feeling cared about, being embarrassed, being judged and many more. This is all based in fear.
When I started my first business, I was doing a round of cold-calls and left a message with a business owner. I was 17 at the time and still living at home with my parents. This business owner returned my call the next day when I wasn’t home. My mother picked up the phone and the business owner automatically assumed that she was my wife. My mother was wise enough to realize this was a business call and just played along.
When I returned home my mother passed on the message. The business owner wanted to meet with me over lunch and discuss possible future business together. Now, potentially, that was a good thing. But what did I feel about the situation? I felt fear. Here I was, just 17 years old. I knew very little about business and I was scared to meet with this gentleman and possibly embarrass myself. I made the decision NOT to go. In fact, I never returned his phone call.
When I look back at that decision now, it feels silly. Whether that meeting went well or not, I chose not to even TRY. Who’s to say, we could have done business together or at the very least, I could have gained a mentor. That alone would have drastically changed my life. I don’t regret the decision I made, but I do recognize that decision was based in fear and therefore was the wrong choice. Live and learn, correct?
So, what are your fears keeping you from? A better career, owning a business, standing up for your self-respect, looking into something you’re curious about?
Fear is all imagination. It’s a movie or story that you play out in your own mind. It’s not real unless you accept it as something that can BECOME real. Can your fears become real? Of course they can but look on the other side of the coin – what if they don’t? What if what you want is just on the other side of the lie you have in your head? To not even try is to be dormant. You cut yourself off from making your life just a little sweeter.
You can try to lie to yourself, you can make up justifications as to why you shouldn’t try something, but at the end of the day you know why you didn’t do it. It’s rooted in fear – plain and simple.
Don’t allow fear to get the best of you. To change your life, you have to get outside of your “box”; your comfort zone. It’s really simple: the same actions produce the same results; same causes, same effects. If you’re not happy with your effects then you need to make different decisions. Our enemy fear will always be there. It will torment you; it will tell you whatever you want to hear. It will trick you and pull you back into your comfort zone so you can feel safe and secure. And in that place, you will remain miserable.
The choice is yours, it always has been. Either you will or you won’t; you do or you don’t. You can’t play the “victim card” on this one, because nobody is doing anything to you, but you.
In the Game we say, “Life is a series of problems that must be solved,” and one of biggest problems to solve is actually YOU. The way you think and how you talk to yourself need to change otherwise you’re going to have to accept your life not changing. Your life can’t change because you’re not doing anything to MAKE it change. It can’t happen any other way. Think about it.
Until next time…
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