Self confidence is one of the keys to career and life success that I discuss in Straight Talk for Success. If you want to become self confident, you need to do three things: 1) become an optimist; 2) face your fears and deal with them; and 3) surround yourself with positive people.
Today, I’d like to focus on fear – that uncomfortable feeling that prevents you from taking the action necessary to get what you want in life.
What scares you? What have you done to overcome this fear? Please leave a comment sharing your story. Here’s my story.
For many years, I would tell people that I really wanted to start a consulting business. Yet I never seemed to actually start it. When people asked why, I’d tell them things like, “The time isn’t right;” “I’m really busy on this project at work, and I can’t leave them in the lurch;” “I haven’t put aside enough money to make the break.”
All of these reasons were more or less true, but they masked the real reason for quitting my job and starting a business. That reason was omnipotent. Put simply, I was afraid that I’d fail. Failure meant a lot of bad things: lack of income, loss of self confidence, loss of face and others’ respect. I was afraid of all these.
Finally, the pain of not doing what I wanted to do allowed me to overcome my fear of failure, and I took the leap. I quit my job and started my consulting business. Over the past 20 years it has morphed into a coaching, speaking and writing business, but I’m still at it.
Once I took action and made the leap, I realized that I was in control of my destiny. The simple act of taking the action necessary to start my business, led to the other necessary actions to make it a success. One small action led to many other small actions that allowed me to put my fear behind me. I was too busy working on creating a successful business to be worried about failing.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes over the past 20 years, but I’ve chosen to learn from them instead of letting mistakes dig up old my old fear of failure. In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill says “every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit.”
Over the years, I’ve chosen to look for the opportunities and benefits in the problems I’ve encountered. That’s what you need to do too.
The common sense point here is simple. Successful people are self confident. Fear is the enemy of self confidence. It can immobilize you, making it difficult to reach your goals and aspirations. You can overcome fear by taking action. You’ll probably make mistakes and have a few failures. Don’t fear these mistakes and failures. Use them as to find new and better ways of getting what you want. Remember this simple message: action cures fear.
That’s my take on self confidence, fear and action. What’s yours? Please leave a comment telling us about how you have conquered your fears and achieved things you once thought difficult or impossible. I appreciate your comments and would really like to hear your stories. Thanks for reading.