What fears have you swept under the rug? Are you afraid of opening up and sharing your true feelings with a loved one for fear of rejection? Have you postponed pursuing a goal simply because you thought you weren’t good enough and had a fear of failure? What’s the worst thing that can happen? Yes that’s right!
You may not be successful in reaching your goal. That is a very real possibility but consider the positive changes you’ll have gone through in the attempt. Often times we become so absorbed in the end result or goal that we lose sight of the journey. By simply taking the first step forward to achieve the goal you’ve taken positive steps and forward momentum. You probably learned a few things, developed self-discipline and perhaps met and nurtured friendships along the way. These are all positive steps in the journey of life. If you were unsuccessful in reaching your goal, you can evaluate what went wrong and LEARN from the experience. Setbacks and failures are a necessary step to improvement. They are part of the process and should not be viewed as failure. Evaluate what you can do different next time and reconfirm your commitment to your goal by developing a new plan or strategy.
One of the most successful companies on our planet is Wal-Mart, here’s what CEO David Glass had to say about Sam Walton “the one thing that stood out about Sam Walton was his ability to admit yesterday’s mistakes and leave them behind, getting on with today’s work. He was a flexible optimist. He trusted others and he simply wasn’t afraid to fail.” Every successful executive and athlete I’ve ever worked with failed in fact they failed many times, they just never quit. They were able to analyze what went wrong and weren’t afraid to come to grips with their weaknesses.
John Gardner writes, “Human beings have always employed an enormous amount of clever devices for running away from themselves. We can keep ourselves so busy, fill our lives with so many diversions, stuff our heads with so much knowledge, involve ourselves with so many people and cover so much ground that we never have time to probe the fearful and wonderful world within, by mid-life most of us are accomplished fugitives from ourselves.” Does this sound familiar? Are you convincing yourself that you’re just too busy and have no time to pursue your passions? This begs the question, how comfortable are you in your own skin? To overcome fear you need to start by looking within. Do a careful assessment of your own strengths and weaknesses. As you move forward, emphasize your strengths but don’t be afraid to admit your weaknesses. As your confidence begins to grow and your successes increase you’ll begin to develop the courage to face those weaknesses and overcome your fears. Seek out a mentor, a coach, or a loved one to help you overcome those self-imposed fears.
I love what Joseph Campbell had to say on the subject “You may have success in life, but then ask yourself what kind of life was it? What good was it if you’ve never done the thing you wanted to do all your life or went where your heart and soul wanted to go?