Are You Afraid of Success?

It’s not that you don’t have the idea; it’s that the big F word is standing in your way. FEAR. I spend a lot of time working with my clients on their fears and developing strategies they can use to move past the roadblocks that fear creates. This week I found an inspiring way to look at the fear that may be holding you back.

If you are interested in Entrepreneurship or are ready to finally take the first step toward your ultimate goal, I found some wonderful advice from Jonathan Fields. Jonathan Fields is a multi-time health & fitness industry entrepreneur, entrepreneur-coach, speaker and writer; who started out in the career world as a lawyer. Wow, sounds like a long list! The length is actually an indication of someone who leads his life without fear.

In a recent speech at the Tedx conference at Carnegie Mellon University he discussed how to “Turn Fear into Fuel”. He shared his decision to leave a successful law career to pursue his dream of opening a yoga center. It is a dream that not only came to fruition, but grew into one of the largest and most successful yoga centers in NYC. He often gets asked about how he overcame his fears and has an interesting way of helping others ask themselves the important questions about fear.

Fields says that it is “often things we don’t notice, questions we don’t ask, and things we don’t see that stand in our way”. These are the things that “really take fear, and let it blossom”. We focus mainly on fears of failure, judgment, and success. We create doomsday scenarios that make fiction into reality, then we repeat these fears over and over again; and poof, the dream is gone.

According to Fields what we often miss is asking ourselves how we will recover from failure vs. how doing nothing will feel. He suggests the following:

  • Write out a clear description of what failure in your circumstance would look like. Now create a recovery plan. Give specific details of how you could recover. Giving equal attention to how you will recover disempowers fear. It gives you a sense that all is not lost, it is recoverable.
  • Then ask yourself: What if I do nothing? Look at your life 10 or 20 years from now, what would that nothing look like? Chances are it looks more horrible to do nothing. When you compare doing nothing to recovering from failure, you get a more realistic view of your fear.
  • Then ask your self: where am I going? What if I succeed? What does success look like 5 years from now?  Write it all down. Compare these three scenarios.

Now ask yourself, how great is your fear? Are you ready to move forward?

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