Standing on boards above a city

I want to present an upside down idea to you, one that could change your life for the better; you will have much more success if you come to see the value of fear, doubt, and insecurity, and make them your three best friends! Courage pushes fear to the background and helps you take the next right step. I have become clear on this connection over the years. What I’ve come to understand is that the better the relationship I have with fear, the more success I experience. The ability to walk with fear opens opportunities that I would have had to turn down otherwise. The same is true for you and anyone else.

The ability to be courageous is a leadership trait. I attended a workshop a few weekends ago, and there was a statement made that courage is a masculine trait, and tentativeness a feminine trait. As you can imagine, I was confused. I contained my frustration and tried to change their mind by opening the subject up to debate, but it didn’t work. Why would a smart woman not want to tap into the life-changing attribute of courage? Still, it doesn’t matter. I work with men; I work with women. The human condition is such that we are often in a state of fear, doubt, and insecurity, and we need courage to help us tackle that on a day-to-day basis. Neither men nor women have a monopoly on courage.

Many of our thoughts are a result of fear. You can always tell when your thoughts come from fear because they are usually catastrophic, unrealistic, and stop us in our tracks. Imagine that there’s a wall in our consciousness, and you want to demolish this wall because you know that everything you want is on the other side. That wall is fear.

Wall with a graffiti saying "Fearless Badass" broken by a punch

One symptom of fear is that when we want something we simply wish for it and make no effort to acquire it. Courage is based upon action. If we cannot act, we exist in the grip of fear and live an illusion rooted in this fear. To overcome our fears, we must take risks and on the other side of risks are rewards. These rewards require a change in thinking on our parts. Fearful thinking is catastrophic thinking. You can always tell when fear is operating in your mind, because fear gives you one option, and that option will always be to stay stuck.

Fear is an entity. It doesn’t want to leave, so you really must wrestle or outfox it. Another insidious quality of fear is that it wants us to share it with someone else. It wants to spread like a virus, to pass fear, doubt, and insecurity to everyone we meet. Fear wants us to perpetually ruminate and not act. But if we act, despite fear, we act with courage. Imperfect action, with a perpetual test and modify process, is the defining factor in 99% of the successes stories that you have ever heard about. Anyone who achieved success first took an inordinate amount of action and experienced setbacks…some even say that they failed their way into success!

Fear cycle graphic

If you begin to understand the motives behind fear, it makes overcoming it easier. Fear wants to keep us in our comfort zone. When we can invite fear into our lives, we take risks and experience loss but we also take risks and experience rewards. When we learn to embrace fear, we lead a more robust and exciting life. We have fun, we live life to its fullest! Boring people almost never take risks. Boring people need to feel safe. They always want to be in their comfort zone. For those of us in the sales game, risk-taking is the only way to get the next reward. Boldness has attraction in it but fear would tell you otherwise!

This article is an excerpt from my upcoming publication:

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Sara Haynes, P. Eng.
Sigma Solutions

“I took advantage of Alice Wheaton’s offer for a free 30-minute consultation…but we chatted for almost an hour, during which I had several epiphanies that have inspired and motivated me to move forward. These were ideas that I could immediately start working on to help me get new clients and increase recurring revenues. This is what I call Value on Steroids!”

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