Fear Is the Biggest Liar

If this isn’t one more piece to the foundational life puzzle, I don’t know what is! 

Here’s what we are taught growing up: 

“Be careful!”

“Don’t talk to strangers!”

“But you might get hurt!”

“They’re all gonna laugh at you!”  (Adam Sandler nod)

“What if you fail?”

“If you screw up you won’t get into a good school!”

What if you…..wait,  what if you CRUSH IT and experience SUCCESS beyond your wildest dreams?!

Shouldn’t we be more prone to asking that question?

I’ve dealt with and coached others through fear of “no” in sales. Fear of “yes” in sales (it’s a thing).  Fear of being judged harshly by others. The fear of the unknown. Boy are we screwed up!

And now in the corporate world, the fear of saying something wrong that might offend someone is at a level that, if left unchecked, can create a dull and jargon-filled mode of communicating that takes the life out of life! And yes, I get it there are improper things to say and do in the workplace. It just gets taken too far like so many other things. We start taking ourselves too seriously, wouldn’t you agree?

There is healthy fear too, right?! Fear of jumping off a large building or diving into a pit of angry crocodiles, well that fear serves us well. The fear I am talking about has more to do with our daily actions in our personal and professional lives.

CNBC.com shares an article by Benjamin Snyder entitled “The 10 Biggest Fears Holding You Back From Success.” Here they are:

1. The fear of inadequacy

2. The fear of uncertainty

3. The fear of failure

4. The fear of rejection

5. The fear of missing out (FOMO)

6. The fear of change

7. The fear of losing control

8. The fear of being judged

9. The fear of something bad happening

10. The fear of getting hurt

First, take a quick inventory. Scale of 1 to 10 on each of the above for you, a quick non-scientific self-analysis might shine a light on where to focus. It is always important to understand where we are currently when we are trying to make a positive change in life and move forward.

Let’s then look at a few of these in quick-hit detail and I’ll give a brief antidote for each. You will see that a common thread through all of these has to do with the preparation of your mindset and skill set. If you commit to continuous improvement, you will find that fear will continue to diminish in your life. Think of an actor on stage who doesn’t know his lines or her lines very well, they are much more likely to experience a higher level of stage fright than the actor who put in the time and work to know their stuff.  Confidence and courage overtake any fears.

The fear of inadequacy

This one is a biggie. We hear it referred to today as imposter’s syndrome. The antidote: Take consistent ACTION to improve skills in whatever area you feel inadequate. Learning and skill building are good and needed. Positive inputs and a solid Morning Kickstart are essential. But ACTION is what squashes this fear. ACTION is what builds your confidence. Do the thing. Mess up a bit. Learn from it. Do it better next time.  Rinse and repeat (without making the same mistake over and over). Practice never makes perfect, but it almost always makes better.  If you get better at something, this fear diminishes. Do the work. And, quit comparing yourself to someone farther down the path than you, they had this same fear when they started out.  

The fear of uncertainty

The scary unknown. This will keep us from starting the business, making the investment, going on that first date, and enrolling in the class. The antidote: Take ONE positive and proactive STEP in that direction, and then you might find it’s not so bad and you will have more insight for the next step. Another way to say this is to break down the big obstacle into smaller, more manageable parts. I refer to this in our One To Grow On community as increasing your Life S.P.A.N. by taking Simple Positive Action Now. To do this, you need to start with a simple step that can be taken when? Now.

The fear of failure

It’s so hard to wrap my head around this one. I still feel it too sometimes, AND I know better. Challenges, failures, obstacles are all precursors to living out your greatest dreams. They make you stronger and they help you get better. If you let them! The antidote: Reframing the concept of failure to an understanding that the biggest SUCCESS lies on the other side of it, not by avoiding it. Avoiding failure is not rewarded, growing through it is.  

The fear of rejection

I see this often in salespeople. You have to just get over it, if I may be so bold with you. I have two antidotes for this one: The first, develop a powerful approach so that you are a magnet for business, and it comes towards you. And second, develop the mindset in your industry that your potential clients or customers need you/your product/your service and will be best served by you and your company. These two antidotes combined lead to serious success in sales. We will have an entire OTGO module on sales and influence in the near future.

The fear of being judged

Please hear me on this. I get it. Even recently this was one I’ve struggled with. One antidote goes back to our last module on “Flock With the Right Crew” and surround yourself with supportive and encouraging people who give you feedback from a place of helping you grow. This other antidote is overly simple:  Stop caring about what others think of you. I mean, others outside of your family and your inner circle.  You want those closest to you to think the most of you. To heck with people who are on the sidelines or trying to keep you down. Care about others, just care less about what they think of you. Care about adding value to others and even about constructive feedback. As for those who pass judgment about you or situations they have little knowledge in… well, insert your own expletive here! Nah, that would have been my advice some years ago. Instead, see our blog on the Power of Forgiveness!

And don’t be that person! Average people talk negatively about others and/or try and keep them down.  Great people lift others up and talk positively about others and exciting ideas.

The accepted opposite of fear is courage. I will agree with my pastor here on this point, that the opposite of fear is also love. When you come from a place of love, it is nearly impossible to feel fear. Does that make sense?

When I am coaching or consulting, or putting out content, that is the filter. Am I coming from a place of love and adding value to others? For me, that is the litmus test when deciding what to share. When I am creating new businesses or making new investments, am I expanding value, creating jobs, adding to the economy in a positive way, does it align with my principles? If these answers are yes – then fear shall not be a factor for me (nod to Joe Rogan).

This is all easier said than done. Some of these fears are ingrained into our programming like etchings in stone.  All fear is conquerable though, it takes perspective. It takes focus. It takes dedication. And it takes courage.  For the OTGO community, if you have taken action on the foundational work by starting your day right to gain confidence, to gain clarity on your Mission, Vision and Principles, and to surround yourself with great people, guess what? Your fear has already started diminishing. Now you have the support group and the positive inputs and know what is in alignment with where you want to go in life.  When taking a step in that direction makes you uncomfortable – well it’s easier as Nike says, to Just Do It.

Life without fear is impossible. Life where your courage becomes greater than your fears is absolutely possible. And that is a life lived well!

Join our One to Grow On book study and activity series to begin a Personal Development Journey

Learn about personalized one-on-one coaching   

Sign up for the Trust Builder Program

Calling all graduates!

For a limited time, join our One To Grow On Community at a discounted rate. Get the personalized tools to master life transitions, build good habits, and kickstart your career today!

Use promo code CLASS2024 at checkout for 50% off your first three months!