Fears and Doubts

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Don’t let fear control you! Don’t doubt yourself! Easier said than done. Right?

I really didn’t want to write about fear this week. But, that is where I am being led, so why not go for it. Seems to be my battle the last few days. And, seems to be what I keep getting pointed to in others blogs and podcasts.

Jon Acuff posted a guest blog by Alissa Circle on the fear of success. A very interesting perspective on fear. It stood out to me because I just had a meeting last week with a trusted advisor about an opportunity. One of the points he made was that I need to make sure I don’t fear success. Never thought about it before really.

Not so sure I fear success. More likely the fear is that I won’t be able to keep it up. Bet I’m not alone in this fear. Fear is tricky and wants to control us. The better we do, the more fear wants to bring us down. So, the fear is that if we are successful, maybe we won’t be able to continue the success. Like a one hit wonder. So why try. That is what fear wants us to believe. But, that’s a lie. Sure, we will have ups and downs, that’s part of life. Besides, I would rather be successful for a period than have no success at all because I was afraid to try.

I had an important demo of a very expensive piece of equipment this week. The cost of this demo was high because it was 350 miles out of town. A few issues that could jeopardize the sale came to light during the demo. Issues that I could have uncovered if not for a mistake in my preparation. Self doubt kicked in as I drove back to the hotel. Then fear got a hold of me. The fear that I was going to loose my job if I can’t close the deal. Fear had a pretty strong argument and I bought into the lie. Then I realized that fear wants me to believe that mistakes and failures are permanent. Unrecoverable. The truth is that we overcome and conquer fear by stepping out and taking calculated risks and making mistakes. Fear wants us to never go after the big deals because we are afraid we will mess it up. Truth is that we can’t ever close the big deals if we don’t pursue the big deals. We learn from the mistakes. Every failure from trying and learning is a step closer to success.

I found a great exercise in Michael Michalko’s book Thinkertoys. “Tick Tock” is the exercise. You list your fears and uncertainties in one column, and the truths in another. I did this in Evernote. I noticed as I got a few fears in, that the Evernote columns were shrinking the fears, and expanding the truths. Very cool message to my mind. Give it try.

I like to refer to scripture when fear and discouragement take hold. Matthew 6:25-34 is great place to start, where the Lord tells us not to worry, to know that he will provide for his people. Phiippians 4:13 is a great pick me up to. And Colossians 3:23-24 keeps me going every day.

Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead-end street.
– Denis Waitley

What fears are you battling? What are your methods for overcoming fear?