The biggest obstacle between you and success isn’t your competitors, the economy, the exchange rate, your search results ranking, that one thing you need and don’t have, or any other external factors. No. The biggest obstacle between you and success is your own fears. Fear paralyzes. Fear inhibits action. And if you let your fears take grip, they will highjack you and prevent you from doing the things you want.
As yogi master Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev says so eloquently in an interview I recently saw, your fears are not even real! “Your fear is in your own mind. Your fear is always about what is going to happen next which means your fear is always about that which does not exist. Your fear is imaginary. Your fear is rooted in your mind, if it were rooted in reality, there would be no fear”.
IF YOU HAD NO FEAR, WHAT WOULD YOU SET OUT TO ACCOMPLISH?
Think about that for a minute… If you knew there was absolutely zero chance you could fail – what would you undertake right now? If your fear is your greatest obstacle to succeed, how can you overcome your fears?
Define your fear: To overcome your fear, you most first identify it. So what exactly is holding you back?
For many people, fear of failure ranks at the very top. Yours, of course, could be wildly different. There’s a full spectrum of fears that could be preventing you from moving forward.
My greatest fear is to be judged. It can be debilitating a times. I frequently find myself indecisive about sharing my work because I fear of being judged by others (by family, friends, and peers especially but also by people I don’t even know). It’s silly, it’s irrational, and it’s all in my head, yet it gets in the way of achieving my goals.
But simply being aware of my fear enables me to put it perspective and overcome it more easily.
Define the worst case scenario: When I decided to start my own consulting company I was afraid I would fail (and be judged by the people I care about most). I knew what I wanted to do but fear was holding me back from taking the plunge. I took Tim Ferriss’ advice and envisioned the absolute worst case scenarios in the greatest amount of details. I took a piece of paper and wrote down all the worst possible scenarios that could happen. In a second column, I wrote down everything I could do to prevent those things from happening. In a third column I listed everything I could do to reverse the outcomes or minimize them. It made me realize that the worst case scenarios weren’t as bad as as I had envisioned.
By turning the vague fear into workable solutions, nothing seems as scary and you can then move forward.
Consider the cost of not acting: We’re often afraid to act because we don’t want to lose what we already have. But consider what you are losing by not taking action right now?
Most people are prevented from doing the things they want because their fear is poorly defined.
What are you most afraid of? Failure? Ridicule? Losing money? Making mistakes? Not doing it right? And what are you doing about it? Please share in the comments (don’t let fear hold you back)!