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  • Writer's pictureMike Miller

Where Does Fear Fit In


We all have fears, but where does fear fit into your success? How you react to your fears will determine your success in life. Public speaking is the #1 fear in America ahead of death! If you have ever turned down or not pursued an opportunity because it would involve public speaking, then your fear controls your life.

There are other fears a lot of us have that may not seem like much, but when they control your decisions, their effect on your life could be huge. Some people fear success/failure, they fear networking (talking to people), they fear leading others or they fear change. When fears like these control your decisions in life they can be detrimental to your success and how you live your life.

Ask any successful person what their fears are and then ask them what it took for them to be successful. I guarantee you every single one of them faced a fear or two or three to get where they are today. There are no free lunches or easy rides. Success is hard, but it is also a choice. Most of you surrender that choice to your fears. Your comfort is worth more to you than your success. That is short-term thinking and you will lose every time guaranteed with no exceptions. If you make fear-based decisions in your life you can't be successful in the long run.

So where does fear fit into your success? If you understand what your fears are and you know you have to overcome them in order to see success in life, then it's pretty easy. When you have that feeling of not wanting to do something because it's uncomfortable you have to choose to do it anyway. That sounds easy. It is except, fear wraps itself in practicality. You legitimize your fears by telling yourself things like, I'm tired, It's too far, it's too late, or I'll get to it later. How many times do you say these things to yourself?

The number one fear that keeps people from success is the opinions of others. This is still an ongoing battle for me. The key is to identify all the ways you rationalize your fear of others' opinions. For me, I didn't like confrontation, I wanted everyone to get along, and I always worried that if someone didn't like me they would intentionally try to hurt me, not physically, but my reputation. When I started my business, I struggled with the fear of others' opinions. My business partner and mentor told me, "Do those people have the life you want to live?" I told him, "No, they don't." Then he proceeded to drop some truth on me when he said, "Then why are you letting their opinions drive your life? You need to become a professional fruit inspector. If someone doesn't have fruit on the tree, the things in life you one day want, then why would you ever listen to them." This statement stuck with me and I use it to help me overcome the fear of other people's opinions. If you don't have the life I want to live, then I won't let your opinions drive my choices because they won't lead me to where I want to be.

Whatever your fears are, identify them and write them down so you can address them. Be honest with yourself and don't rationalize fears off your list. Next to each one, list some of the indicators you notice within yourself that might help you identify when that fear is controlling your decision making. Learn to be a fruit inspector and seek the wisdom from those that have the things in life you are after. Hope this helps some of you out there.

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