Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger—if we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But more often than not, fear arises from situations that are far from life-or-death. We fear looking bad, failing, being rejected, or we perceive ourselves as inadequate and thus hang back for no good reason.
It’s safe to say that we are our own worst critics. We all have that little voice in our head that wants to tell us we might fail, let others down and look foolish, always wanting to inject a bit of fear so we stay safe and within our comfort zone.
Here’s the thing: nothing extraordinary ever happens in our safe comfort zone. Tweet That
Whatever it is you’re up to, that self-scrutiny can be crushing. It can stop you from taking the first step to something great by keeping you separate and unaccountable—keeping you safe. But if you can take that first step, you take responsibility, and when you’re responsible, the fear of failure rests with you.
If you’re fearful about failing at what you’re up to, then you’re probably the perfect person to make it happen. Anyone who cares—really cares—about making something happen will be fearful about the outcome. If you’re not fearful or worried about the outcome, you likely don’t really care about it.
This principle carries across everything that holds value to us; if you care about something or someone, you’ll worry from time to time.
When I am terrified of failing at something in my life, terrified of falling short on commitments, or terrified of leading, I’ve learned to embrace that feeling because it means I care about the outcome.
When you’re terrified of leading, that’s when you should. If you never take the risk of leading (be it in your family, community or profession), then you will never realize your potential—and that is far more terrifying.
Make a stand for something extraordinary, knowing that it scares you because you care about the outcome.
What fears are holding you back from taking action?