Fears: A Detour on the Road to Success

by Boris Vene

If you are like most people, you are often confronted with fears that hold you back - consciously or subconsciously. Although you weren't born with them, you are under the strong influence of the environment that implanted them. You might even be tempted to think that worry and fear is the primary base from which your actions stem.

Salespeople know of this powerful influence. People buy truckloads of insurance in preparation for some disaster that "might" happen. "It is better to be safe than sorry." Do you have an extra set of keys (or two) for your house or car? Do you buy food, drinks or even pills that will help you improve your complexion or lose unwanted weight?

Whether it is a fear of losing something good, or getting something bad, fear is a driving force that is always there ...

Why does someone behave rudely or arrogantly?

Because he or she is afraid of losing their "feeling of" authoritative power, which would destroy or undermine his or her position in society. You already know where jealousy stems from - out of fear for you, wanting or losing something you think you cannot have or the fear that someone else will get what you feel "belongs to you."

New situations in life force you to confront a new set of fears. You may even comfort yourself by saying it isn't so bad. Have you ever made a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment or a hairstyling appointment only to arrive in the respective waiting area with no pain or the best hair day you've had in a long time? Now you want to go home. Fear is a powerful motivator.

Some of the more common fears are:

1. Fear of the Unknown
2. Fear of Failure and Rejection
3. Fear of Loss (losing what you have)
4. Fear of Facing Reality
5. Fear of Disapproval

You have to deal with ALL of these fears if you want to succeed.

You cannot deny them or banish them to your subconscious, as that will only add fuel to a fire that will probably and suddenly burst out beyond your control. Like fires, fears are easiest to squelch when they are still small.

Confront your fears and banish them forever!

Start with ...

THE FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN

There isn’t a person alive that isn’t apprehensive, nervous or even fearful of entering new territory, wandering into the great unknown. What will it hold? How will it change you? Will you be able to handle the situation or complete the task? Will you know what to do and have the ability to do it? Will you be laughed at? Will it be worth it?

One way of confronting the unknown is to recognize that without action you will never escape mediocrity. The primary difference between people who fulfill their dreams and those that don’t is action – the former move from words to action, the latter never get beyond the words.

Ask yourself:

What could I lose if I begin to act? Answer frankly. Typical answers are time, pride and so on. You should note that these answers are merely superficial.

What could I gain? An experience that will, without a doubt, make you richer (maybe financially) and one that will bring you closer, above all, to success. You shouldn't forget that it is self-confidence, overcoming your fears and changing your habits or undesirable attributes (like transforming yourself from timid to outgoing) that bring you a step closer to attaining your desires. I remember a case where a young entrepreneur was taking an exceptionally long time to decide whether to start a new business that excited him, or not, because his mind told him that he wouldn’t succeed. After a conversation we had, he decided to start the business because he felt this was his path. He didn’t succeed; in fact, the results were pretty awful at first.

I was surprised a year later when I received a kind letter from him thanking me for the time I had spent with him. He wrote that he has been a changed man since then and that he is enjoying what he is doing for the first time in his life. He wasn’t doing well, financially, in the beginning, but gradually he built a firm foundation and is now earning well.

“If I hadn’t made the choice and taken that first step,” he added, “I wouldn’t have known that work exists that can bring in both money and pleasure. My first financial failure was a small price to pay for such awareness. More importantly, it enabled me to identify the fear that had been present in all my business and personal decisions in the past. Today, I laugh at the limits I was living under then. Now, I’m happy to meet new challenges and I have been succeeding in everything I do lately.”

In 1991 my partner and I started construction of a large corporate building. We put all of our savings into this project. During that time there was a war in Slovenia and alarms signaling a bomb attack often interrupted our work. People asked me several times if there was any point in continuing construction while the war lasted – what if the building was destroyed? We decided to continue with our project. Had we stopped construction then, maybe that building wouldn’t have been finished until today, if ever. However, by following our own instincts and remaining true to our vision, that building has been serving the purpose it was intended for, for more than ten years.

Is it worth it to miss an opportunity? Think.

If making a decision appears too difficult, take a piece of paper, divide it in half and write out the pros and the cons. More often than not, the “against” side is filled with “circumstantial objections,” like “a lack of self-confidence,” or “I don't have enough money or time.” The substance of these objections cannot compare to the reasons “for” doing something.

Most of your reasons for not doing something are probably based on weak excuses. If you are afraid of doing something, your mind will find a way to make sure that you don't do it, will even stand in your way and prevent you from doing something that it perceives you do not want. Be sure to address all your fears first and then take that piece of paper in your hands once again.

Chase your fears away and consciously decide to take a chance in life. Trust me, it's usually well worth the trouble!

Of course, the decision (as always in life) is still yours.

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