The Good and Bad Side of Fear
Although many would argue that fear will hold you back in life, I see fear as having a good and bad side. Of course fear can slow you down or make you stop doing something altogether, but I believe it can also work for you. It all depends on the situation and your mindset.
The bad news first
In my case fear held me back from writing, and even when I decided to get started it almost stopped me again. I have been writing for years, but in most cases I kept it to myself in fear of what others might think. Even when I was writing my first article on LinkedIn, there was a fear of things not going well. There was also the fear that my current employer might see it, because the article was about another company I wanted to work for. I would also argue that fear of the unknown kept me from doing a lot of things in my life up until now. My life was full of comfort, and anything outside of that seemed too scary to even consider. Will Smith said in a recent speech that fear will ruin your day, which is true if the fear is going to stop you from enjoying your life. As I’ve mentioned above it will stop you or hold you back from doing so many things if you let it get the best of you. I’m a pretty confident guy, but I will admit just like everyone else I have the fear of rejection. Like when I go to networking events I tend not to talk to anyone right away, in fear that I won’t have anything to converse with them about. I’ve probably missed out on meeting some really great people just because I’m worried the conversation may not go anywhere. It may sound absolutely crazy, but fear will mess with your heard and begin building roadblocks in your life. As I’m working on improving my life, I now realize that fear has to be pushed aside in these cases and you need to just take a chance.
There is always a good side
I remember sitting with the CEO of the last company I worked for, and we spoke about fear because I felt that the company was lead by fear, the negative kind. Most of my colleagues seemed to work really hard for the simple reason that they feared losing their job. I explained to her that I thought fear should only be a motivator when the outcome is as extreme as life or death. For example you’re hanging onto the edge of a cliff, and you know if you let go you’ll fall to your death, so fear kicks in and drives you to climb up. So fear is definitely needed in life, but it has to be directed in the right way. In my case I would say that I’m more driven than ever to be successful, and part of that drive comes from fear. The fear of losing my house would be the most obvious reason. This is where fear could either crush me or push me, because of my mindset though it is pushing me. It is a very fine line because it could have just as easily put me into a depression and started to slowly wear away at my life. Learning how to use fear, instead of it using you is not the easiest thing to do but it can be done. I would say in my case it started with looking at everything in a more positive way, which allowed me to see a lot of things differently. It could be said that fear is a necessary evil, as it can affect your life in different ways depending on the situation. If used properly though, fear will assist on the way to an incredibly fulfilling life.
So next time you fear something, ask yourself first how necessary the fear is and second if it can help you in any way. Don’t just let it take over your life, as it will eat you alive if you do.