I regularly write about greatness – about discovering our unique abilities and finding ways to use them to make a difference in life and work. But just because we know what makes us great – we know our talents, strengths and passions – doesn’t mean we can put them in action. What stops us from being who we really are and living life the way we want? Fear.
Most of our lack of forward movement happens when we let fear take over. This fear shows up as a distrust in our abilities, our negative self-talk, the lack of support of others, the challenge, failures and threats from our world and the concern that great things happen to other people, not to us. All of this plays constantly in our head – we have a running commentary that activates our fears and keeps them right in front of our eyes. We can’t see past them. They block our road. The result is that we back away from our dreams, our goals and even from living our potential.
I share this because this is what I face most mornings. Just knowing and writing about greatness doesn’t exclude me from the fears that have entered the constant commentary playing in my mind. Knowing our fears just makes them more personal – but they are still there – stopping us from acting and showing up to life on our terms.
Everything you want is on the other side of fear. Battle with it and it will likely take you down. Instead, learn to see them as a gateway to achieving what you want. Fear illuminates the things in us that need attention – because when attended – will open up possibilities and opportunities previously ignored or thought impossible.
My fears wake me early. I now have learned to shift that moment of fear into a reason to get out of bed and read, journal, write or meditate. The fear caused me to act – not to give in to the fear but to use it as a springboard to achieving, growing, learning and adapting. I have learned to set out daily intentions to change the focus from fear of failure to passion to succeed. To shift out of focusing on lack and shift to a focus on plenty, the good, the happy and the successful. Fear motivated me to action.
Fears can stop us from acting – from moving forward on the things that matter most to us. They can shut us down, make us do crazy things and cause us to miss out on our great lives. Or, we can realize that fear is just a form of energy. Work with your fears, not against them. They have wisdom for you. They show you something that needs your attention. They can fuel your action.
How can you use this energy to inspire, activate or engage yourself? How can you use it to power you up instead of shut you down?