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Fear (6th in a 10-part Series

“Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.”

—Dorothy Thompson

Number Six of The Top Ten Reasons Good People Don’t Always Win is fear.

Objectives for this lesson:

  • Understand your fears better
  • Examine the fears that keep you from winning
  • Look closely at your fear of failure
  • Re-frame failure

Main Premises

  • Everyone has fears—but most are unfounded
  • Fear CAN be your friend. Fear can teach you. Fear can keep you from doing stupid stuff—But mostly it runs you
  • Fear isn’t something your mind possesses; it possesses your mind.
  • Fears are very sneaky
  • To fully embrace your dreams, you MUST confront your fears

Top Fears
According to some recent studies, these are the top fears people say they have:

  1. Flying
  2. Public speaking
  3. Heights
  4. Darkness
  5. Intimacy
  6. Death
  7. Failure
  8. Rejection
  9. Spiders
  10. Commitments

Number 7 and 8 are closely related, and keep more good people from winning than anything else.

Fear of failure is the biggest killer of big dreams. But not having a goal is much more to be feared than not reaching one. All successful people have failed—usually many times. It’s part of being successful.

From the book (and movie) Dune . . .

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

—Frank Herbert

Identify Your Fears
What are you afraid of? What are your demons? I recommend you write your fears out. Bring them out into the light of day. The mere act of writing them down seems to make them smaller and less scary.

A fear named is a fear half slain.

Most Helpful Questions
What’s the worst that can happen? What’s the worst-case scenario? Exaggerate that worst-case scenario in your mind because it rarely can be that bad. But once you can accept the worst, you can face your fear with courage.

One more question that should get you thinking . . . What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Re-frame Failure
The fear of failure keeps many people from getting excited about their dream—or from even trying. It’s the biggest killer of big dreams.

But not having a goal is much more to be feared than not reaching one.

All successful people have failed—usually many times. It’s part of being successful.

From there you can make a game-plan to overcome them. But as long as they’re in the dark and undefined, they have the potential to overwhelm you.

“A belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses;
it is an idea that possesses the mind.”

—Robert Bolton

The road to success is paved with disappointment. Losers call it failure; but winners call it feedback.

We have to reframe the whole idea of failure. It really is part of achieving goals. We need to get comfortable with failing (learning).

Fail fast and fail often (more feedback)
Ben Zander, in his book, Radiating Possibility, says that when we make a mistake, we should say, “how fascinating!” Because the more you fail, the more feedback you get. And the more efforts you make, the higher the chances of you having success more quickly.

Mistakes are missed-takes. Like the director of a movie making the actors perform many ‘takes’ until he’s happy with the result. And much like Hollywood, the best life movie we’re creating can have many takes as well.

Thomas J. Watson, the founder of IBM, said, “If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.”

And with sufficient desire, you can handle the challenges of failure and setbacks. I like what Willie Jolley says, too: “A setback is a setup for a comeback.”

The important thing here is that in addition to having a clear goal, you also have a goal that inspires and motivates you.

Having a clear and powerful Why can do that. Your big Why can overcome whatever fears you have.

You need to be truly excited about your goals. Get fired up. Enthusiasm is contagious. Because if you’re not excited about your goal, you can’t expect anyone else to be. And big goals need other people. In fact, if you think you can accomplish your goal entirely by yourself, I submit that your goal probably isn’t big enough.

“He who has a Why to live for, can bear almost any How.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

What we must do is to live out of our hopes and dreams rather than out of our fears.

In your life, either fear wins or freedom wins. Choose freedom.

  • Resources
    The Best Life Navigator™ launches soon. It allows you to keep your personal and professional growth front and center. It has the tools you need for your success—all in one place. The Navigator is uniquely designed to help you . . .

    • better understand yourself
    • create your best life
    • challenge yourself
    • track your progress
  • Stay close to SuccessNet. We’ve been helping people and companies grow and prosper for nearly 20 years. Because if you consistently work on improving yourself, you will become someone who attracts success in all areas.

Take Action

  1. List everything you fear
  2. Pick one to eliminate
  3. Make a plan to eliminate it—and execute that plan

Please Tell Us What You Think
I’ve published this article and the previous ones here on my Blog. Please add your comments, questions and suggestions at the bottom of the post. Your feedback and engagement is important. If you disagree with anything, say so. If you have questions, ask. If you have additional insights or resources, please share. I promise to read every one. Thank you.

BTW, you’ll gain even greater value from this series if you have a copy of my book, The Achievement Code: The 3C Formula for Getting What You Truly Want (available in print or Kindle). Details at www.TheAchievementCode.com

Previous installments of this series are located here on my Blog.

  1. Insufficient Desire
  2. Lack of—or Erroneous—Beliefs
  3. Confusion, Lack of Clarity
  4. Lack of Focus and Concentration
  5. Inadequate Support

F-E-A-R has two meanings:

1. Forget Everything And Run, or

2. Face Everything And Rise.

The Choice is Yours!

Inadequate Support (5th in a 10-Part Series)

“You can do anything as long as you have the passion,
the drive, the focus, and the support.”

—Sabrina Bryan

Many people feel very much alone on the road to success. And some people actually are. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to go it alone. In fact, trying to go it alone is a fool’s errand.

Whether you own your own business or work for someone else, you need to have the right kind of support to be successful. Just like a table needs legs and a house needs a foundation, you need to be supported in living your best life.

Do you have the support you need? Are you sure?
Do you know what areas of your support system that need shoring up?
Do you know how to get the help you need?

In addressing this issue, I have the following major premises:

1. If you can accomplish your goal by yourself, you probably don’t have a big enough goal.

2. Everything is easier with help and support—and more fun, too.

3. Having a team increases your confidence and allows you to think bigger.

4. There’s no need to re-invent the wheel.

And these are what I see as the biggest enemies of having sufficient support:

1. Pride, arrogance 

2. Stubbornness

3. Not realizing how important proper support is.

4. Having a “Maverick Complex”

5. Not knowing where to turn

6. Thinking you can’t afford it

Any one of these things can hold you back, and even stop you from creating the support network you need and want.

Our purpose here at SuccessNet is to help great people and great companies to become even better. We exist to support you in being your best. So we are all about support and have been for almost 20 years.

The Inner Circle
Our Inner Circle program provides training, one-on-one access to me and a connection to a powerful network of great people. You can find out more about The Inner Circle here . . .

Delegation
Delegating some of your work load to others is one of the simplest ways to create support. It’s not always easy at first because many times those you delegate to will not do things as well as you do. But it’s essential to leveraging yourself.

Having a personal assistant is most likely the first best step. And this might seem a bit strong, but you either have an assistant or you are one.

Master Mind Teams
You can form your own Master Mind Team. A master mind team is simply a small group of people who band together to help each other achieve their goals. For more info on this very powerful strategy, re-read the chapter on The Master Mind in Think and Grow Rich.

Hire a Coach
Every single successful person I’ve ever studied had a mentor—in many cases, several. Professional athletes have coaches. Why shouldn’t you? Feel free to contact me if you are interested in me coaching you in creating your best life.

Board of Directors
If you own a small business, I strongly urge you to have an active board of directors—or at least an advisory board. People are glad to help by providing their experience, perspective and collective wisdom.

Reserves
Having reserves gives you much more confidence and less chance for fear. Things like cash, good credit, a pre-approved credit line. Budgeting more time than you think you will need is another way to build up reserves.

The important thing is to bolster your life and your endeavors with reserves.

Tools
Having the tools you need, the machinery that’s required and the equipment you want to do the job right is all part of the support game. Buy, rent or borrow what you need to get things done.

Your Environment
The people and things around you have a profound impact on you and your ability to achieve. You must take charge of who and what you allow into your life. And you cannot afford to have negative people and unsupportive physical environments drag you down.

Professional Support Team
Be sure you have access to attorneys, accountants and industry-specific experts.

Lifelong Learning
The knowledge and wisdom you possess is an integral part of your support network. What you know and what you learn are powerful confidence and support builders. Commit to lifetime learning and never-ending improvement. Because the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.

“You can’t learn less.”

—Bucky Fuller

I’ve seen far too many well-intentioned, hard-working, sincere people struggle and even fail because they were unaware or didn’t pay close enough attention to creating and maintaining a winning support system.

Take a hard, honest look at your support system—or lack thereof. Having great support positions you for winning. Not having it sets you up for losing. It’s that simple.

Resources
The Best Life Navigator™ launches soon. It allows you to keep your personal and professional growth front and center. And it’s uniquely designed to provide you with full support at your fingertips. It has the tools you need for your success—all in one place.

Action Steps

1. Identify your top 3 areas of support to improve

2. List 3 action steps you will take to do so

3. Take those steps

If you would like to explore any of these strategies in more depth, we are happy to help. Please contact us via our Help Desk.

Stay tuned for the next installment of The Top 10 Reasons Good People Don’t Always Win. You’ll receive it in the next few days. Do you have a guess as to what might be the next of the Top 10 Reasons?

Please Tell Us What You Think
I’ve published this article and the previous one here on my Blog. Please add your comments, questions and suggestions at the bottom of the post. Your feedback and engagement is important. If you disagree with anything, say so. If you have questions, ask. If you have additional insights or resources, please share. I promise to read every one. Thank you.

BTW, you’ll gain even greater value from this series if you have a copy of my book, The Achievement Code: The 3C Formula for Getting What You Truly Want (available in print or Kindle). Details at www.TheAchievementCode.com

Previous installments of this series are located here on my Blog.

1. Insufficient Desire

2. Lack of—or Erroneous—Beliefs

3. Confusion, Lack of Clarity

4. Lack of Focus and Concentration

Lack of Focus & Concentration (4th in a 10-Part Series)

In every survey we’ve ever conducted here at SuccessNet, lack of focus has always come up as one of the top three problems faced by our readers.

Distractions and competition for our focus has never been greater. TV, eMail, phones, and 24-hour news are all screaming for our attention. We feel tugged at from every direction. Our priorities get challenged and tested, and we must exert extra effort to stay focused and concentrated on our most important objectives.

For many people, chaos has become the norm. They are rarely sure of the next best action to take and they feel put upon, strung out, disorganized and uncertain.

The goal should be a focused life—on ourselves, others, as well as environment and events.

“Only one thing has to change for us to know happiness in our lives:
where we focus our attention.”

—Greg Anderson

That’s why we created The Navigator. It’s number one job is Clarity. And it’s number two job is Focus.

But before we get started on this topic, let’s review where we’ve been.
Note: All previous installments are located here on my Blog.

1. Insufficient Desire

2. Lack of—or Erroneous Beliefs

3. Confusion, Lack of Clarity

Back to Focus . . .
The ability to focus is not something you either have or don’t have. It’s more like a muscle that needs exercise and training. And we want to develop the skill to have selective attention. At the same time, we have to have the ability to understand the big picture AND focus on the small actions that affect the big picture.

  • Enemies of Focus
  • Distractions
  • Tolerations
  • Drama
  • Poor health, low energy, fatigue
  • Focusing on our weaknesses
  • Unsupportive environment
  • Unclear boundaries
  • Disorder and disorganization
  • Multi-tasking
  • Not operating in present time
  • BSO Syndrome

Strategies for More Focus . . .

Selective Attention
It’s about choice. Much of focus is about saying no. We have to be able to say no to things that distract us. And we have to say no to the good in order to say yes to the great.

When Steve Jobs returned to Apple after having been fired from his own company years earlier, they were losing money—a lot of money.

One of the first things he did was to eliminate many of the various models of computers they were building to satisfy requests from retailers. By focusing on fewer products, they could do a better job and increase profit margins. The very next year they started turning a profit.

Concentration is about avoiding the things that distract us and actively directing our focus—sometimes by not focusing on some things.

Clutter & Disorder
Order and organization may not sound all that sexy or fun, but it supports our efforts to concentrate. Being organized simply makes it easier to concentrate. When things are in disarray or out of place, when priorities are unclear, when things are unplanned, chaos rules the day.

Contrary to what some people think, order and structure doesn’t hinder creativity. In fact, it supports it. So de-clutter on a regular basis. Consider hiring a professional organizer to get you started.

“Out of clutter, find simplicity.”

—Albert Einstein

PMA
Having a positive, confident attitude creates a good environment for focus. Your mind operates more effectively and you have more energy. It’s just easier.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

—Thomas Jefferson

Distractions
What are distractions? Distractions are anything that interrupts or diverts our attention, energy or activities away from our intended outcome or actions.

And distractions aren’t all bad. We need some distraction from time to time. We need to take breaks and distractions can serve a positive purpose—so long as they’re done consciously.

It’s the distractions that take us away unintentionally that need to be dealt with.

You can’t avoid them all. Things happen outside our control. The key is to minimize them as much as possible and have contingency plans and tactics to overcome them when they occur.

Tolerations
We all have things in our life that we tolerate. These can be a big source of distractions to us and sap our energy. By identifying them and targeting them for elimination, we improve our ability to focus and concentrate on what will get us closer to our objectives.

Poor Health, Low Energy and Fatigue
It’s been said that health is the first wealth. And I agree. I’ve been blessed with good health. And I hope you are, too. Certainly there is a fair amount of our health that’s not completely in our hands. In those cases, we must play the hand we’re dealt—however unfair it might seem.

Poor health can be a distraction or an outright obstacle in your desire for focus and concentration. It’s incumbent on you to take as good care of your physical and mental health as possible. It’s part of positioning yourself to win.

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

—Vince Lombardi

Getting good rest, managing our energy and healthy eating all contribute to having the energy and vitality to achieve what we want.

It’s mostly common sense. And it gets easier to do when we’re committed to our goals and dedicated to their achievement. Resolve to be in the best physical and mental shape to succeed.

Meditation
Focus requires rest. And meditation is a good way for our minds and bodies to rest and become centered. Notice when your mind wanders—and it will. It happens during meditation and it happens when we are working on a project. The key is to notice—and then refocus ourselves on the task at hand.

Be Grateful
Gratefulness focuses us on what we want rather than on what we don’t. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way toward opening ourselves to greater focus and concentration.

BSOS – Bright and Shiny Object Syndrome
Many innovative, creative, hardworking people suffer from what I like to call Bright and Shiny Object Syndrome. They chase off after interesting, pleasurable, opportunistic ideas and projects—to the detriment of their current goal or project.

Like the two sirens in Homer’s Odyssey, they can be highly seductive. And you must find ways to overcome their temptation. Your next great idea is often poison to your current project or goal. You must steel yourself from the lure of BSOS.

Love What You Do
Doing work you love that’s consistent with your values makes focus much easier.

“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day of your life.”

—Confucius

Power of Three’s
OK, so we can’t always stick to one point. And we rarely can only focus on one project at a time. We need to be able to juggle and manage multiple priorities.

I’ve always believed that three is a powerful number. We find it in some very significant places. The most powerful physical structure is a triangle or pyramid. In fact, it’s the building block of Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes and the Great Pyramids of Egypt. There may be four sides to a pyramid, but the strength of its structure is from the triangle.

As we become immersed in an ocean of information, possibilities and directions, it becomes even more important for us to focus on the things that are truly important to us—the things that will make a difference in the quality of our lives.

Three things can easily be remembered. Any more than that and retention suffers. We can all sharpen our focus and get better results by using the Rule of Three in our daily lives.

It’s quite possible that if you have more than three priorities, you don’t really have any priorities.

Resources

  • The Best Life Navigator™ launches soon. It allows you to keep your personal and professional growth front and center. And becoming Fiercely Focused is one of its goals. It has the tools you need for your success—all in one place.
  • Previous installments of this series . . . www.MichaelAngier.com
    • Insufficient Desire
    • Lack of—or Erroneous—Beliefs
    • Confusion, Lack of Clarity

Take Action

  1. Pick your top 3 enemies of focus
  2. Determine your 3 highest pay-off activities for achieving your goals
  3. Use The Power of Three for your To Do List

“By narrowing your focus, you broaden your horizons.”

Stay tuned for the next installment of The Top 10 Reasons Good People Don’t Always Win. Do you have a guess as to what might be the next of the Top 10 Reasons?

Please Tell Us What You Think
I’ve published this article and the previous one here on my Blog. Please add your comments, questions and suggestions at the bottom of the post. Your feedback and engagement is important. If you disagree with anything, say so. If you have questions, ask. If you have additional insights or resources, please share. I promise to read every one. Thank you.

BTW, you’ll gain even greater value from this series if you have a copy of my book, The Achievement Code: The 3C Formula for Getting What You Truly Want (available in print or Kindle). Details at www.TheAchievementCode.com