Several years ago, I was listening to a webinar about ways to achieve success in all areas of life and I wrote down the following statement:
“Change can only happen when dissatisfaction with your current situation becomes greater than your fear. Until then, you’re stuck.” At the time, I wrote it down and kept on writing because it was a pretty good speaker and he had lots of motivational tidbits that I was hoping would help me figure out how to get my life on track and achieve more business success.
A couple days later, I went through my notes and that quote jumped off the page at me. I read it, and re-read it. And honestly, it kinda made me mad. When I read it, I thought it meant that I needed to get even more dissatisfied than I currently was and frankly, that was so defeating. I mean, really, at the time I couldn’t imagine getting any more dissatisfied.
But then I saw my problem. To this day, I can almost remember the actual shock that ran through my body when I got it. Do you see it? Look at that quote backward: if you’re stuck, then your FEAR is greater than your dissatisfaction. Whoa! That was something totally different and something I had not even considered. I was going about it all wrong. I was focused on my dissatisfaction, when what I needed to focus on was my fear.
It was a fear issue.
Quite by accident, I had discovered one of the most fundamental steps in solving any problem. You have to actually name or identify the real problem. The real problem wasn’t my dissatisfaction, all the things that were wrong, all the obstacles in my way. For months, I had been trying to fix symptoms, thinking that was going to solve the situation and the problem would go away. No wonder I wasn’t getting anywhere. What I really needed to do was to figure out what I was afraid of and address the fear.
What about you? If you are feeling stuck and not achieving what you want, take a good look at what is happening around you. Maybe, like me, you aren’t addressing the real problem. Maybe you need to take a moment to step back and really look at yourself. Could it be that you are afraid of the next step?
I have discovered that fear often comes in one of three varieties: 1) the fear of failure; 2) the fear of the unknown; and 3) the fear of success. Which one is holding you back?
The best way to overcome the fear of failure is to divide the task, whatever it is, into baby steps and master each one. As you progress, your confidence grows and your fear of failure diminishes. It may never go away completely, but you’ll develop new skills and ways to overcome the fear so that it does not stop you.
The best way to overcome the fear of the unknown is to study, do your research, and talk to others who have done it. Depending on what it is, often you can participate in a mock experience so it’s no longer unknown. The fear of the unknown is always a fear born out of your imagination. It can be powerful, but it can be reduced so that it does not block you from achieving your dreams.
That leaves the fear of success. That one is tough. That one can only be defeated by what’s inside of you. It takes digging deep, pulling out all those blocks and obstacles in your psyche. But if this is the fear that is holding you back, once you dig it up and throw it away, then the sky’s the limit.
Here’s to living a life without limiting fears,