Fear is one of the strongest motivators in our lives. It grips us at the very core of who we are, and holds us back from reaching our potential. It is ironic to say that fear is a “motivator” (isn’t it a de-motivator?), but it is. It encourages us to run from situations in our lives that we perceive as “threatening” or “scary”. In life and business, I have come to recognize the importance of overcoming fear and pushing forward.
Fear in Life
Lately, I have been reading Arianna Huffington’s On Becoming Fearless – in Love, Work, and Life. Arianna Huffington shares C.S. Lewis’ thoughts on relationships and fear:
“‘We many give our human loves the unconditional allegiance which we owe God. Then they become gods: then they become demons.’ So great becomes the fear of losing what we have that many of us rush back to hide under the temporary shelter of convention rather than follow the path of discovery wherever it might lead.”
C.S. Lewis provides us with a powerful insight in the nature of humans. Due to fear, we would rather lead a life half lived, than lead a fulfilling life that exceeds our expectations – that pushes us out of our comfort zones. We give our relationship more power over us than it deserves, extinguishing our potential with it.
Part of relinquishing fear in your life is through authentic relationships with others. Huffington explains:
“Our most meaningful relationships are based on a longing for expansion rather than a preoccupation with comfort and security. To live exuberantly – to fully know and be known by another – we must be prepared to illuminate the dark spots in our most intimate relationships and in ourselves.”
To live your full life, you must be willing to present your genuine self to the world. In relationships, one must be able to trust their significant other; they have the opportunity to act as a mirror, helping you see things in yourself you would not have seen without that true expression of self.
The Largest Fear People have in Business
In business (and frankly, in life), one of the most paralyzing fears that people have is stepping outside of their comfort zones. This includes:
- Public speaking (people)
- Organizational changes (new boss, rules, culture)
- New technologies (knowledge growth)
Most of the fears that people have in business can be summed up in two categories: Knowledge, and People
People fear that they do not know everything they should, and lack the confidence to take control of their career destiny. Life is a continuous learning process. Many believe that once you finish post-secondary you are finished learning; this is farthest from the truth. One gets ahead in life and in business by continuously listening, learning, and applying the wisdom of others. You are only deemed inadequate, when you see yourself as inadequate.
People also fear other people. We fear rejection from our peers and others. We fear making a fool of ourselves because we do not know “unequivocally” what the outcome will be. Part of overcoming this fear is realizing that it is holding us back from experiencing all that life has to offer us. People are far more supportive and forgiving than we give them credit for, and we as individuals are far more articulate, intelligent, and talented than we give ourselves credit for.
In some situations, fear can save us from disastrous situations. This fear can sometimes be identified as “the voice in your head”. One must learn the difference between illogical fear, and wisdom. Huffington explains that “mastering our emotions is a matter of recognizing what our gut is really telling us and knowing when to overrule it and when to heed it.”
Do not allow fear to take a foothold in your life today. Embrace your self-worth and know that you have a destiny filled with potential. Allowing fear to overtake your life will stop you from becoming who you were put on this earth to be. As someone who has pushed through fear, I can tell you, the sense of accomplishment you feel, and the growth you experience is well worth the momentary jitters.
by Brienne Torley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.