What are you afraid of?

How many times have you made excuses for not trying something new? At one point in my life, I had a treasure trove of some pretty creative ones; always on hand in case I needed them to defend me from attempts to leave my comfort zone. Mine were categorized; age (too young or too old), time (not enough, too busy), stories (when my friend’s mother’s sister tried it – WHOA – not good); you get the picture. Who was I kidding? The biggest reason was fear of failure; plain and simple. Fear of being different; fear of looking silly; fear of not being perfect, blah, blah, blah. Fear; that four letter word that stops you in your tracks and makes you feel like your feet are rooted in the ground; makes you sweat profusely and suddenly lose all grasp of the English language; and stops you from experiencing, learning  and enjoying something new. It can block your way to achieving a goal.

At some time everyone experiences fear of failure, but when it stops us from even trying something new, that’s another story altogether. Think about it. How many times have you let that fear conquer you? Maybe it was not joining a choir because you were afraid of the audition, or going for a part in a play because you were afraid to put yourself out there.  Maybe it was a missed career opportunity that kept you from moving forward; maybe it was a fear of public speaking that stopped you from giving that big presentation at the company meeting. Funny thing is that not trying can make you feel as miserable as if you tried and failed.

So how do you conquer that fear? Embrace it and learn from it. Consider what’s more important – failing or the opportunity missed by not even trying? What’s the worst that could happen if you fail? Can you handle that? What happened last time you fell short of your goal?  Most importantly, take action. It’s surprising how much easier things get after that initial plunge. It’s like wearing a new pair of jeans. At first, they’re tight, stiff and uncomfortable. The more times you wear them, the more comfortable they get.

Besides, my grandpa always used to tell me that the only people who never make mistakes are people who don’t do anything. He was a very wise man.

Posted by MJ Thomas

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