Don’t be Afraid….

I’ve been writing about a great new Walk the Talk book that is full of life and career success advice this week. I really like the people at Walk the Talk, they have published three of my books. Their books are no BS – clear, concise and to the point. Their latest, 180 Ways to Live Your Life Like It Matters, by Scott Black is no exception. You can get it at http://www.WalktheTalk.com.

Point 103 in 180 Ways to Live Your Life Like It Matters says…

Commit to removing one or more barriers from your past that may be hindering your future. Take a look at the following list of common roadblock to personal effectiveness and identify any that you feel might have a negative hold on your life and career.

The list includes…

  • Fear of taking risks
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of being disliked
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of embarrassment

I’ve written a lot about the debilitating effect of fear. Fear can be a real career success killer. Tweet 46 in my career advice book Success Tweets says, “4 steps for dealing with fear that can sabotage your success: identify it, admit it, accept it, do something about it.”

Fear is normal. Fear is common. Fear is human. However, fear is a career success killer. We’re all afraid sometime. Successful people face their fears and act. I’ve learned a few things about fear over the years.

Fear breeds indifference. Indifference breeds self doubt and worry. Often, it’s easier to go with the flow and do nothing than attempt to do something of which you’re afraid. When you say to yourself, “It’s OK, it doesn’t really matter anyway,” ask the next question – “What am I afraid of here?” Identifying your fear is the first step in dealing with it.

Self-doubt is a form of negative self-talk. Our words can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Positive self-talk leads to success. Negative self-talk leads to fear and failure. If you catch yourself saying things like, “I can’t do this; I’ll never be successful; I’ll never get out of this mess,” then you never will. If you say things like, “I can do this; I have what it takes to succeed; I can solve this problem,” then you will.

Worry and excessive caution will paralyze you. Some people spend so much time worrying about the bad things that could or might happen that they never take action and actually do something to prove that good things happen too. Worrying too much can bring you and your life to a screeching halt.

A boat that never leaves the harbor is pretty safe. However, it is not doing what it is meant to be doing. The same is true for people. If you never take a risk, you’ll never know what you are capable of accomplishing.

Here are my tips for doing battle with your fears.

  1. Identify what you fear. Figure out why you’re afraid. Is it fear of failure? Is it fear of making the wrong decision? Is it fear of a lost opportunity? Are you afraid that you aren’t up to task? Once you identify the reason behind your fear, you are well on the way to overcoming it.
  2. Admit what you fear. It’s OK to be afraid. You wouldn’t be human if you were never afraid. A common definition of courage is the ability to feel fear and still do what you need to do, regardless. In 1988, I faced a very frightening decision. Should I stay in a comfortable but ultimately unsatisfying job with a large corporation, or should I start my own business? I was afraid of failing. Failing meant that I would lose my savings and have to start over again, looking for a job in another corporation. However, once I identified and admitted my fear, I was able to take the next step – acceptance.
  3. Accept what you fear. Accepting your fears is important, because it shows that you know you’re human. Once I accepted that I was afraid of failing, I was able to start my business and succeed. In fact, I embraced my fear of failure. It made me work harder; it pushed me to work the long hours and learn the entrepreneurship lessons necessary to be successful as a self-employed coach, consultant and speaker.
  4. Take action. Action cures fear. It is the most important of these four steps. Do something! The worst thing that can happen is that you’ll find it was the wrong thing to do – and you will have eliminated at least one thing from your list of possible actions.

The common sense career success coach point here is simple. Successful people follow the career advice in Tweet 46 in Success Tweets. “Four steps for dealing with fear that can sabotage your success: identify it, admit it, accept it, do something about it.” Action is the antidote to fear. In most cases, you’ll make good decisions and your fears won’t be realized. In the cases when you choose poorly, you’ll find that failure isn’t as catastrophic as you imagined. Successful people learn from their failures. By taking action on your fears, you win on both counts. You win if you make a good decision and things work out. You even win if you make a bad decision and things go poorly, because you have an opportunity to learn from your decision and the subsequent problems you faced.

That’s my career advice prompted by Brad Scott’s thoughts on roadblocks and barriers – especially fear. What do you think? Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment. As always thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success. I value you and I appreciate you.

Bud

PS: If you haven’t already done so, I suggest that you check out my career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained. The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less. The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail. Go to http://budurl.com/STExp to claim your free copy. You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: Have you seen my membership site, My Corporate Climb? It’s devoted to helping people just like you create career success inside large corporations. You can find out about it by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.com.

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