The Gift of Fear

Since it is the Christmas season let’s talk about gifts for business, school, and personal development.  One of the greatest gifts that gets overlooked is . . . fear. 

Let me explain, most people run from fear and shut it out, yet fear can be one of the best motivators in business, higher education, and beyond.

There is a tremendous power in fear as it motivates to do more, work harder, try new things, and develop ourselves beyond what we thought were our capabilities.  There are many nights I fear that I was not productive enough during the day; I fear someone will out work me; I fear that I am not reaching my potential; and more.  As you read this keep in mind the context, this is not fear for safety or my family, this is a fear that others are working harder than me and will reach their goals while I will not reach mine.

Fear is an incredible force that pushes us beyond comfort to allow ourselves to fail in business and higher education.  Some of the projects that I have done were mainly because I feared not attempting them. 

I went back to school to work towards an MBA because I feared not being able to reach my full potential in life; I started a business because I feared taking a summer internship where I would have not learned much; I have taken jobs that others thought were lost causes because I feared normalcy; and I continue to read, write, and seek mentors because I fear dreams unfulfilled.  Fear can be a gift when utilized correctly or can be paralyzing when embraced too much.

When I visited Haiti on multiple occasions my perception of fear changed; I met many people who feared they would not eat, have clean water, or be able to take care of their family.  One of my close friends is a missionary in Haiti and after hearing his stories my ideas of fear continually change.  

How can I fear public speaking, writing blogs, trying new projects, taking on new jobs, and entering academic competitions when others wake up and fear for their lives, whether they will eat, or if their children will make it through the day?

I owe it to them to move past my small fears and work toward helping them and making the overall world a slightly better place.  What would happen if more people conquered their fears: we would go back to school, start businesses, change how we do business, and follow the correct path that will lead to our dream destination.

What is your fear that is holding you back?  If it will not put you or your family in danger than is it really a fear to be avoided?