It’s the ghost that haunts the minds of everyone who has a dream. Before you see it, you don’t even want to believe it can happen. But once you’ve seen it, you only hope that you never have to face it again.
It’s not that way for everybody though. People who learn the importance of their failure learn to overcome it and are no longer afraid of it.
But how is this possible? How can someone defeat their fears? It begins with identifying the fears which raise legitimate concerns, and those that are only distracting us from achieving our goals.
Let me give an example.
Say you are afraid of getting in a car accident. In this case, you wouldn’t take the risk of leaving your seatbelt off just to overcome that fear. That would be reckless (and against the law). This is a loose example, but it gets the point across.
Another fear could be applying for a certain job. Maybe you think you’re not qualified and somebody else would do better in the position. But this fear is simply holding you back from acquiring something you want, something you’ve worked for.
For the example above, I would say this.
Have you met all of the candidates? Have you interviewed each one and evaluated them for the qualities the company wants in their employees? Probably not. So just go for it!
This is what I call a fear assumption. It involves accepting the outcome of a certain action before even taking it. We come to conclusions that we couldn’t methodically come to with the information we have. In the end, we are basically claiming to know the future and that is incredibly ignorant.
Opportunity often disguises itself in fear, when in reality there is nothing to be afraid of. Watch out that you don’t make silly fear assumptions, and you will start to find opportunity you had no idea was there.
I always like to say that if you are afraid to do something — like in the situation I described above — it just might be exactly what you need to do.
Here’s a little bit of truth for you.
Everybody fails. Everybody.
If I speak to someone who says they rarely fail, then I would feel sorry for them.
Because either they are lying or they’re not even trying.
In order to succeed, you must fail — sometimes over and over again. Ask Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg, Thomas Edison, Oprah, etc. People who have achieved much success in this world are at the top for a reason.
We may make fun of them or critique them for things that they do, but in the end, they are not much different from you.
Many times the only distinction is the amount of times they have failed. Be real with yourself for a moment. If you had millions of eyes on you 24/7, how hard would it be to live a spotless life?
The point where their life path deviates from your life path is when they are faced with a challenge.
They don’t give into their fear because that would mean compromising the ultimate goal, the prize they have worked for, strived for, and failed for. They realize the real failure happens upon refusing to get up and try again.
It’s a mindset. Every time something goes wrong and defeat is knocking on the door, it’s back to the drawing board. But this time with something more — another piece of the puzzle that will eventually bring them to their goal.
Maybe you decide to go for that job. Completely prepared and more qualified than any other candidate, but you still don’t get the job.
You still have a dream and a vision. Other people can’t always see future value in you and that is OK.
But you can. In fact, you are likely the only person in your life that can see yourself 10 years down the line. You could be the next Bill Gates, but nobody else knows it.
I think we can agree that hiding from reality is essentially pointless. Eventually, it will find us and impose on us whatever implications we deserve — good or bad.
It’s similar with defeat. By simply ignoring it, we are doing ourselves no good in the long run. Perhaps it helps us cope with our failure and move on, but if we get nothing out of it then what was the point anyway?
When you learned to ride a bike, you probably fell many times(maybe not). Afterward, you would contemplate trying again — is it worth it? Won’t I just fall yet another time?
Well if you try again without learning a little bit more about how to do it, you’ll surely fall again.
So don’t simply try to forget fear. Use it. Learn from it so you do better the next time around. Harness it to thrust you on into the future you know is inevitable — and one day — you will get there.
What do you think about this subject? Have you seen this play out in your own life? Leave your thoughts below.