I was inspired to write this article when I met Mr. Page at the gym. He’s not your typical gym goer and it was very evident that he hasn’t exercised in years. Every bit of him was completely out of his comfort zone, yet he was working out hard regardless of how he felt. Above all else, he was wearing a shirt with a picture of Buda, which said “I have the body of a GOD.” When I saw that, I immediately thought to myself “I wish I had his courage.” I knew he was afraid, and I admired him for taking action despite his feelings. I’ve seen him in the gym regularly, working with a personal trainer for over a month now and can safely say that he’s no longer out of his comfort zone in the gym. When I asked him how long it took him to finally take action and come to work out, he said “six years!” This just goes to show you that “you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” — John C. Maxwell
We all have our fears. Whether it’s the unknown of meeting someone for the first time, starting a new business venture, improving our health, or following a dream. There are constant voices within us that give us many reasons why we won’t succeed. Many people want to write a book (I’m one of them) yet most will never do it (I will not fall into that category). Why? Because something inside them tells them silly things like:
- No one will ever read your book
- You’ve never written before, so you can’t write
- People aren’t interested in what you have to say
And so on and so forth!
Many people have a dream to start their own business, but they don’t because they fear failure. Or even worse, they think their friends won’t approve. These fears literally stop us in our tracks. The crazy thing is that they’re probably not real! In his book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” Robert Kiyosaki defines fear as False Evidence Appearing Real.
Think about it, all of our fears are only fears until we start taking action. Being afraid means that we’re growing and getting out of our comfort zone. If you’re not afraid to do at least one thing ever day, you’re most likely not stretching your ability, you’re doing something pretty routine and comfortable. Hence, you’re not growing!
The mind blower here is that whatever you’re doing today…was fearful to you at some point in your life. A good example would be a seasoned sales rep meeting with a CFO of a large organization. Most likely this rep is not afraid and is pretty comfortable meeting with a C-level executive. However, rewind the time back to the very first C-level meeting, and I’m pretty certain that rep felt like his stomach was having a salsa party! I know mine was!
Whatever it is we dream of doing, we have to get passed our terror barrier, the fear factor, the self limiting belief, that something real is actually holding us back. It’s been said that “you can’t feel yourself into action, you can only action yourself into feeling.” What a powerful statement! This means that when you’re making excuses of how you don’t feel like doing something right now or maybe it’s that you’re going to fail and therefore you want to learn more before taking action. You should stop, analyze your feelings, smack yourself a few times and just GO FOR IT! Do it afraid! Fairly quickly, you will realize that your fear was false to begin with.
There is something right now that you’re putting off doing. Why? The tricky part is that if you don’t take action, you will only succumb to your fear, which may not be real. The only way to move forward is to do it with fear. John Maxwell once wrote “the difference between those who do it and those who don’t do it, is that those who do it, DO IT.” I’d like to add that they do it with fear!
Whatever it is that you’re thinking of right now, go for it. I encourage you to think about the best possible outcome of accomplishing your goal with fear. How wonderful would you feel after you write that book or go for the run or call that client who’s been holding on to your proposal without feedback for weeks? I can feel that sense of accomplishment and the feeling of growth already! Can you?