Nothing paralyzes us more than fear. Besides love, sex and the drive to survive no other human emotion is more potent or pervasive.
We are all afraid. Afraid of being alone. Afraid of death. Afraid of failure. Whatever it may be our fears never go away.
Just recently I had engaging conversations with two friends of mine who confided in me that where they were in life, if you had told them they would be where they are now, 10 years ago, they would not have believed you. They saw themselves as intelligent, smart and college educated go-getters ready to take on the world. But somewhere between then and now plans didn’t quite turn out right.
The jobs they have are dead end, have them miserable, and don’t really allow them to apply their real and true talents. Yet for one reason, and one particular reason only, they stay where they are.
They are afraid to leave their jobs. They are afraid of not getting a paycheck. They are afraid of the unknown. So fear keeps them in a place where they are utterly unhappy and unfulfilled. This story is by no means unusual. Thousands if not millions of people everyday don’t live the life they want because of fear.
What’s the kicker is that fear will never, ever go away. The trick is learning how to embrace your fear and make it work for, not against you. That, my friends, is not easy though. It takes constant confrontation of fear, daily facing it in the mirror, religiously kicking it’s ass and refusing to let it wrestle you down and then pin you to the ground. It’s an incessant effort to keep it from swallowing you whole – day in and day out.
During one of my more recent fear conquering moments I decided to attend the 99% conference by myself in NYC this past April. Now anyone familiar with NY knows that it can be one the most intimidating cities in the world. Its big. Its fast. Its unapologetic. It doesn’t stop to hold your hands, pat you on the back and help you cross the street. While at the conference I met a phenomenal woman named Ishita Gupta who told me that she was participating in Seth Godin’s alternative MBA program. I found just the sound of it fascinating. In the process of informing me about his program, she also told me about the project she was working on – an ebook called Fear.less. I loved the idea. Stories of what fear means to people and how they overcome it. After the workshop we were attending ended, me, her and about 4 other attendees convened at a nearby cafe in Soho and conversed about the art and science of vanquishing fear. A surreal moment I’ll never forget.
Is fear imprisoning you? Is it an obstruction between where you are now and ‘something’ on the other side that could dramatically change your life? There’s a thousand different first steps to begin remedying this problem. One of them could be to sign up for Ishita’s e-book (soon to be released). I mean participating in a MBA program that’s new and one of a kind is an awesome lesson itself in being fearless. I’m thinking it just might be one hell of a book.