Not that I believe in this stuff. It’s about as reliable as the advice I got from my Magic 8-Ball as a kid. Pure bunk, right? Superficially, yes. Dig a little deeper, though, and it turns out there’s more truth here than most of us would like to admit.
The roadblock is fear. It’s fear of failure that keeps us from moving forward toward the fulfillment of dreams and goals, from running a marathon to branching out into a new product line with your company. It’s that voice inside your head that tells you you’re not good enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re not thin enough, and on and on. It’s worse than the bully who teased you mercilessly at recess, because you can’t get away from it. At least the bully grew up and is now in a prison cell in Leavenworth.
If it’s impossible to shut the voice off, try ignoring it for a while. Put it in a suitcase and send it to the seventh circle of hell, where it belongs. Maybe even buy it a first-class, one-way ticket. Taking aim at a crippling fear is easier said than done, but doing nothing is worse. Inertia takes hold and we end up stagnating.
While I’m passionate about singing, for example, I feel most comfortable doing it surrounded by other (better) singers. But a mentor has been encouraging me to put myself out there and sing – solo. S-C-A-R-Y. She’s been working on me for the last two or three months. I’d been rehearsing a song with her and she told me it was really good. I didn’t believe her. That mean voice told me she was just being kind, and I rejected her suggestion.
And then I started getting a flood of Facebook posts about change, courage and fears. Some of them were inspiring, while others made me want to shout at the writers, “It’s not that easy!” Still, I’m beginning to warm up to the idea of singing that song. Let’s say the jury’s still out. I could stay in my comfort zone, or I could take a risk and see what doors it opens. If it works out, it could be the impetus for tackling some other fears.
After all, what’s the worst that could happen? I could trip on stage and face plant, or I could lose my voice, or I could forget the lyrics. … Or I could stop the fear of failure rising within me and make the magic happen. Being open to opportunities and accepting what the universe provides is a worthy goal.
If you don’t have fears, you’re not human. What you do with them is the difference.
What have you done to overcome your fears? Was the experience a positive one? Let us know in the comments below.