If we are open and curious to explore ourselves and our behaviours we will likely come face to face with fear at the root of what’s stopping us from moving into the next challenge, or task. But the fear is hardly ever rooted in the obvious thing, meaning, the challenge or task in front of us. It has been there much longer than that new item on the to do list has. We carry fear with us everywhere – a little fear is good – too much fear stops us from moving forward and growing in our lives. It holds us hostage. It paralyzes us. Oftentimes, when we explore our fears they aren’t always rational. Are you afraid to tell your friend or business associate how they made you feel, for fear of damaging a relationship? But you also know that if you confide and share it may actually improve the relationship? Are you afraid to take that risk? Why? Have you considered that maybe – just maybe – giving that person the opportunity to hear you may be good for them and for you?
Fear is an emotional most people have experienced in their lives. It is also an emotion that most people can agree has held them back in their lives from pursuing their passions, dreams and desires. So why is it that fear has such a hold on us, sometimes an irrational one, oftentimes one that we aren’t even aware of.
From an early age our parents hand us a bag of weight to carry off what we should be like and act like. So when we put things off, when we avoid its actually fear that is guiding us – not laziness. It’s fear. Fear stops us from accomplishing our goals because below the surface we are concerned we aren’t good enough, not worthy enough and the fear of failure is so paralyzing that we end up accepting what is handed to us instead of fighting back.
When we see people who have achieved a level of success that we admire – one safe assumption is that they were afraid – as you are – but they did it anyway. In spite of their fears and anxiety.
We all put things off – but a recent study showed that 20% of American men and women are chronic procrastinators. When we leave things off, when we avoid, there is a shame and guilt that is piled on and then we push back even further. We’re afraid we’re not good enough, we’ll never get it done. More avoidance. Not laziness. The answer – just start. One day at a time, one step at a time. Small wins add up to big wins.