The Failure of Fear

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” – H.P. Lovecraft

Beware…the tricks and treats of Halloween are mere hours away! And what better time than Halloween to talk…’Fear’? (cue thunder, lightning, and maniacal laughter!)

One of the objectives of Emerston’s upcoming project is to enable greater change, by increasing engagement across society. We’ll provide you with tools, techniques, and templates to help you drive the Project-based Transformations you most want to see. As mentioned in last week’s post, we need you to bring the Motivation, because that is a key ingredient in getting stuff done. Yet…Motivation alone isn’t enough.

Which brings us to ‘Fear’.

In my experience, one of the keys for personal and professional success is to turn the ‘Fear of Failure’ into the ‘Failure of Fear’.

The Fear of Failure.

It can often feel like there is a Grand Canyon-sized chasm between having a great idea, and bringing that idea forth into reality. The idea might be starting a business, going on a solo vacation, or learning a new subject/skill…really, any one of a million unfamiliar activities.

If I were to ask you to write out a short ‘bucket list’ (let’s say, 5 to 10 items) right now, I’ll bet you could do it. In fact, I AM asking. Seriously. I’ll wait…

Oh, good…you’re back! So, what’s stopping you from following through on at least one of your items? More often than not, in one form or another, the answer is ‘fear’. It might be fear of the unknown, fear of what others might think and say, or the dreaded ‘fear of failure’.

The way one defines failure, perceives it, and responds to it, has a massive impact on the course of one’s life. For example, do you consider failure as a permanent ending, or merely a temporary roadblock?

It’s important to remember that everyone who has experienced success has probably had several setbacks along the way. There is nothing wrong with failure. Failure means you tried. Don’t fear failure…just make sure you learn from it, and adjust accordingly.

The Failure of Fear.

The goal is to start changing your mindset from ‘The Fear of Failure’ to ‘The Failure of Fear’. In other words, preventing fear from stopping you doing what you want to do, and living the kind of life you want to live.

So, how do we start to find a way past fearing failure?

Let’s start by selecting one item from that bucket list. Got it? Good!

  • Build Awareness. Be honest yet compassionate. What are you truly afraid of and why? What’s the worst that could happen, and is it truly that bad?
  • Face Your Fear. Commit to overcoming the fear. You don’t necessarily have to complete an entire bucket item all at once…start by taking any action that moves you closer to fulfilling it. The important thing is to get started.
  • Celebrate. When you succeed, take some time to absorb that achievement. Remember how amazing it feels to have conquered that fear…and think about how it will feel the next time, and the time after that.

When you’re done celebrating, repeat the process. And if by chance you fail…remember, it’s only temporary. Take a moment, and then try again.

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” – George Addair

Please join me each week to read about my experiences, observations, and thoughts related to the project launch, as well as other related and/or assorted goings-on. If you enjoy what you read, please like, comment, and share this blog to help get the word out. Thanks for your time, and here’s looking forward to the next step! Nigel

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