Why Fear is Your Secret Weapon for Success

Girl Underwater by Christopher Campbell via Unsplash

What scares you? Some people talk about doing one thing a day that scares them. Others urge us to push past our comfort zone.

Over the years, I’ve made it a point not to let fear get in my way. There was that time that I took a job and had to learn how to drive stick in an afternoon. Or moments in the cockpit flying by the seat of my pants.

While I’d like to say that things always worked out, the truth is that they don’t always. Sometimes you get a few scrapes and bruises. Other times you might even end up in handcuffs, sweating bullets.

But at least, you’ll know — know how things turned out, rather than wonder what might have been. And you’ll grow. “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions,” as Emerson pointed out.

That’s my biggest takeaway from the hero’s journey. It’s a metaphor for this “magical” process. Let’s face it. “Magic” is just our placeholder until science catches up.

Hokey Religions and Ancient Weapons

For thousands of years, our ancestors used things like prayer and meditation. After the Ages of Reason and Enlightenment, we ruled out anything that smacked of superstition from the Dark Ages.

Einstein is often quoted as saying, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.

Now we’ve come full-circle. Jung and Joseph Campbell showed us that the ancients understood more than any of us realized. Embedded in the myths that were written off as fanciful tales is the DNA of success.

Hero’s Journey by Matthew Winkler

Intuitively, the shaman and other “healers” were planting the seeds of success. Mesmerized by stories of heroes and gods, our ancestors had no idea that these storytellers were infecting them with ideas that changed lives.

Of Fog Monsters and Things That Go Bump in the Night

Facing our fears is the key to achieving anything we want in life. Buried within this “riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma..” is this illusion that what scares us are the monsters lurking in the darkest corners of our psyche. But the truth is that when we dance with these demons, we embrace the truth that there is only us.

Instead of the mighty and intimidating Great Oz, our inner Dorothy discovers that there is just this kindly wizard, who wants to grant us our deepest desires. And while there are many yellow brick roads to find him, the question is which one will you choose?

Road Photo via Unsplash

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