This May Be The Only Thing Holding You Back From Reaching The Top
Ever wondered why you have not achieved something you really wanted? What held you back? What made you think you could not do it?
The most probable answer is simple: FEAR. Indeed, it can be a very debilitating emotion and many of us are living our lives in some form of it. People might not realize that fear drives their actions but it does.
Let’s explore the mechanism of fear to know how it holds you back and techniques to deal with it.
How Fear Works
The most common way in which fear dictates our lives comes from self-defense system. Fear instinctively keeps us from perceived dangers, which is good, because some people have trouble understanding their limits.
However, in many situations the feeling of fear is exaggerated, and people attribute it to events and situations in which it is not a critical problem. As the result, the exaggerated feeling becomes an overwhelming one, and it can profoundly influence physical, psychological, and emotional well-being.
Every person experiences this feeling on a regular basis because our life is essentially a series of calculated risks. It’s clear that everything we do has a margin of risk and we never know the outcome for sure.
Are you often overwhelmed by fear of risk? Do you think avoiding taking risks altogether is the safest approach?
How People Deal with Risks
Of course, playing it safe is pretty comfortable and provides you with a feeling of control and security. There is some downside, though: it kills your creativity, makes you fearful of everything, and eventually prevents you from achieving goals.
Entrepreneurs are an excellent example of people who take risks regularly. First and foremost, they are the kind of people who explore opportunities to make a dent in the universe. That alone involves taking a bunch of risks.
Next, they face:
Fear of failure. Their company could potentially crash and burn at any moment
Fear of being mediocre. Every entrepreneur has to aim for excellence
Fear of losing creativity. No creativity, no ideas, no profits
Fear of taking risks. The world of business is all about taking and managing risks.
Can you imagine being a successful entrepreneur with all these threats? Well, if they were critical, no one would ever start a business, right? But somehow entrepreneurs are able to manage them and still reach tops. Amazing ability? No, just rational understanding of nature of risk, preparation, and willingness to take a chance.
Most people are bad at evaluating risks, writes Eric Horowitz in Psychology Today. According to his analysis, we often overestimate or underestimate the chance of danger and miscalculate it by failing to fully grasp measurements in unfamiliar units.
So, does that mean we’re wired to misinterpret risk? No, we just need to learn how to evaluate it properly because our fear of risk prevails most of the times.
A simple and common example is fear of changing jobs. Of course, there’s lots to be afraid about, like loss of money and pride. A more serious concern is taking that risk to quit the job and start a new chapter in life. It’s paralyzing.
Well, it’s totally okay to be afraid of change. However, when fear of risk starts to hold you back from following a new path in life, you need to do something. You don’t want to experience that “I wish I had done it sooner” moment, right?
The truth is there is a drawer full of fears that appear when you begin to think about doing some serious things like starting a business or changing jobs. Conquering these fears is not an easy task, especially when you have a history of avoiding risks.
How to Conquer the Fear of Failure and Achieve Your Goals
The first step is to, well, take one. Most people are fairly overwhelmed with fear, so they don’t even trust themselves with taking the first step into the unknown. Let’s see how to master the first step.
Let’s suppose you’re thinking about starting a business or changing jobs. You don’t listen to your gut that tells you to stick it out and do it already. Of course you don’t because you don’t even know what success looks like.
Begin by defining the success in your life. Is it more benefits? Bigger impact on your community? More money? Fame? Well, identify and write them down. You have to know them! It’s better than lazily hope for “something better.”
By visualizing what a successful business or career looks like, you can proceed to an objective consideration of all available options. See, no irrational fears here but objective analysis. Suddenly, you’ll realize that some options look more right than others! That’s great because it means that you’re beginning to define what success actually looks like.
The unknown is not so unknown anymore, is it? So, maybe that fear is actually an ally that stimulates to move forward?
The next step is equally important. You might still have some doubts about your abilities and skills but you have to believe that if you get past them, you can make all impact you want.
For example, if you’re about to start your own business, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Just do something you really care about, something you can deeply and emotionally connect with. The way you approach that business will be the unique feature of your business that will help you to stand out among others.
In case you’re fearing to change your job, there are ten excellent reasons why successful people do if often. For example, if you stay in the same company for more than five years, you gradually lose touch with an outside world. Instead of getting to know what’s happening in the industry, you’ll focus on the drama around the appointment of the person above you and other organizational issues. You get the point.
The Bottom Line
The bigger your fear of failure grows, the further your dream is. By carefully and objectively examining your options you might get rid of that overwhelming feeling. And remember: fortune favors the brave!