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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.

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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!

My Declaration of Interdependence

In the course of human evolution it becomes necessary to acknowledge that we are interdependent beings living in a complex and interconnected world. I’ve learned that we move from dependency to independence to the awareness and appreciation of interdependence.

I hold these truths to be self-evident:

That all people are created equal, that all men and women have the right and the responsibility to use this equality and their talents to better themselves and their fellow Earthlings.

No one is an island unto themselves. We need people and they need us. We’re all valuable and important in the grand scheme of things.

Everything I do affects everything else—even though I may not know what my actions, beliefs and presence will ultimately influence.

I therefore declare myself a free yet interdependent man.

I commit to doing my best in making my life, my family, my community, my country and my world a better place.

I promise to value and acknowledge the contribution other people and organizations make to me, my life and my mission. I pledge to regularly thank and appreciate everyone who adds value.

I will focus my talents and resources in order to effectively help people to increase their performance, profits and potential.

I vow to be a life-long learner. I pledge to seek out the teaching in every person, event and experience—to learn and to share my learning.

I commit to optimizing the hard-earned freedoms we enjoy—and often take for granted—in order to fully realize the dream of our founding fathers. I will do all I can to promote and secure our God-given, inalienable rights for all members of “Spaceship Earth.”

And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, I pledge my life, my fortune and my sacred honor.