I wonder how many dreams have been left unfulfilled because of being held back from some perceived fear? Fear could be defined as, “False Evidence Appearing Real.” Is today’s biggest enemy to success fear? How many of us have heard the quote, “He who hesitates is lost?” Why wait to do what you’ve always wanted to do? Jacques Ellul writes in his book ‘Propaganda,’ “Many studies indicate that fear is one of the strongest and most prevalent feelings in our society. There’s a multitude of factors that contribute to behaviors that are dominated by fear.” Fear keeps many of us from achieving our best performance. John Greenleaf wrote, “For of all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, “It might have been!” However, if we don’t recognize fear, how can we overcome it? In ‘Understanding Fear,’ Bonaro W. Overstreet says, “No other emotion wears so many disguises.”
Fear has dominated our culture. It’s everywhere. The majority of news media reports are saturated in fear. Reports of violence are everywhere. Some reports say that the average adolescent will have witnessed hundreds of thousands of violent acts on social media, T.V., or Video games by the time they are eighteen. On the other side of the coin lies school system programs designed to conform behaviors. This effects people who won’t venture out for fear of ‘peer pressure.’ “After all, “What would other people think?” As a result, we see wide spread symptoms of low self – esteem across our nation because of the fear to be unique or different. Because of fear, we have produced a society of conformity. Experts say that one of the biggest fears is being afraid of rejection. The fear of rejection is so widespread that now many sports programs are being developed where there are no winners or losers for fear of hurting someone’s self - image. Would anyone possibly want to take advantage of a population susceptible to fear? In the 1830’s Alexi de Tocqueville may have answered why governments and their cronies would use fear to keep the population dependent when he wrote, “It does not break wills; it softens them, bends them, and directs them; rarely does it force one to act, but it constantly opposes itself to one acting on one’s own; it does not destroy, it prevents things from being born; it does not tyrannize, it gets in the way: it curtails, it enervates, it extinguishes, it stupefies, and finally it reduces each nation to nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals, of which government is the shepherd.”
Fear induces a mindset that we see prevailing today called “Comfort Zones.” By feeling comfortable we opt out of venturing into new opportunities. Opportunities then slip by. As example, new business start - ups continue to decline. After all, if we are doing good enough why take a risk? We find ourselves failing to reach our true potential. Today, you’ll see many people sacrificing greatness on the altar of good. Unfortunately, comfort zones are deceiving because following our comfort zones most always leads to conditions worse than where we ultimately started.
Change is inevitable but growth is optional. The enemy to an entrepreneur is a routine. Routines are rooted in comfort zones but are camouflaged to us. Routines ensure unimaginative habits that take away creativity inside us, although the ability to create from our imagination is the one thing that distinguishes human beings from the rest of the animal kingdom.
‘LIFE; Personal, Financial, and Corporate', has made information available designed to counteract the influences that hold us back. With the right information we can learn to have a different perception of fear. The right information can also be used to elicit powerful feelings that motivate us to break the bondage of fear. How many of us have heard the quote, “He who hesitates is lost?” Hesitation stems from doubt or lack of surety. David J. Schwartz, Ph.D writes in ‘The Magic of Thinking Big,’ “Action cures fear. Indecision, postponement, on the other hand, fertilizes fear.” Courage is required. We need the courage to dream big enough with the knowledge that we will be tested in the face of fear and do it anyway. In fact, if you’re not willing to face the fear and do it anyway, I’ll say that your dream isn’t big enough. We need to place something out in front of us that motivates us so powerfully that we will be willing to face our fear and do it anyway. Instead of feeling the fear we need to feel the faith. To prove that you have the faith to act, there’s a saying, “Leap and net will appear.”
But that’s just the problem. We’ve been placed in a society where we are comforted just enough that we won’t leap, as author Paul G. Stoltz writes, “These people go only so far,” and then say, “This is as far as I can (or want to go).” “Wearily of the climb, they terminate their Ascent and find a smooth, comfortable plateau on which to hide from adversity. And there, they choose to sit out their remaining years.” Perhaps Henry Nouwen says it better, “He who thinks that he has finished is finished. Those who think they have arrived have lost their way.”
Has life put out the flame of passion that’s required to face our fears and do it anyway? If you were writing the script of your life how would the story end? Are you just comfortable enough to ride out the race coasting, or do you value your creator enough to give it all you’ve got to the very end. Will you face your fear and do it anyway? Os Guinness writes, “A sense of calling should precede a choice of job and career, and the main way to discover ones calling is along the line of what we are each created and gifted to be.” When will you come to that point in your life where you will feel the fear, and with an extraordinary feeling, do it anyway! God Bless, George Guzzardo