I like to think of fear as a catalyst. What it is a catalyst to, however, depends. It depends on you and how you react in the face of fear. I like to coach clients on using fears for success. It’s not always the obvious way to deal with fears but can be very useful.
When fear presents, there are a variety of outcomes that could result.
- Fear could compel you to action
- Fear could lead you to failure
- Fear could contribute to your success
Let’s briefly discuss each of these.
Action – at times the status quo seems comfortable. You don’t see the need to change things because all is going well. Then a triggering event happens and you become fearful of the potential outcomes of inaction. A basic example here might be you have received a final warning at work. The tone of the last meeting with your manager suggests your employment here is coming to an end. You consider an immediate job search because not doing so risks becoming unemployed and impacting family finances.
Failure – there are times when fear can be crushing to the point where it immobilizes you or prevents you from processing and executing in the best possible manner. If you are not able to execute, there is a real danger that failure may result. For instance, a new opportunity is available at work. You consider applying but you hesitate. You are not sure if you have the right education, experience and qualifications. What will others think if you apply? Will you get the support you need? While you continue your internal battle, a co-worker applies and is awarded the position.
Success – another possibility when facing fears is for the flight-or-fight response to kick in. Instead of running away, you can choose to stand firm. Dealing with the fear forces you to focus and tap into new skills in order to move past it. Every new skill you add to your toolbox helps you make progress that can contribute to your success. Let’s say for example you have a goal of becoming a public speaker. Yet, you have difficult speaking in front of large crowds. You have received an offer to speak in front of a large group. Instead of declining the offer, you decide to take on this challenge. It scares you to death. But, you spend the next 4 months doing everything in your power to prepare. At the event, you start off a little nervous but soon start to settle down drawing a sense of comfort from all of your preparation. The event is a hit!
As you can see fear is a powerful emotion. Don’t let fear stand in your way. Make the choice to embrace your fears, overcome them and apply your new skills to your arsenal to help propel you to success. Make using fears for success a habit that becomes second nature.
Let’s move from the life you live, to the life you love!
All the best,