Set Yourself Up for Success by Accepting that Fear is Part of the Deal

Jul 29 / Karen Amlin


There is a a common misconception that successful people are somehow "built" different and that their DNA keeps them immune to fear. This just simply isn't true.  I have worked with many owners and leaaders of large corporations and fear was not only present when they started out, it has remained a familiar companion along for the ride ever since.

One of the main differences between those who achieve their dreams, and those who do not, is that those who succeed have figured out how to move through the fear to get them where they want to go, while others allow fear to paralyze them and keep them stuck.

Steps to Managing Fear

1. Fall in Love with your Vision & Visit it Daily.
Before you start chasing your dream, you need to make time for falling in love with a mental picture of your vision.  Ask yourself: What will my success look like when I achieve it? How will I feel? How different will my life be? What impact will my success have on others? What will I be able to do then that I am unable to do today? Involve your senses in the creation of your mental picture of success. Having this detailed picture in your mind, and re-visiting it daily, is one of the most proactive things you can do to counteract the fear, doubt, and challenges when they appear.  Without being in love with your desired outcome and having a deep understanding of why you want it, fear has a much better chance of stopping you in your tracks. Once you have made a 100% committment to the mental picture of your dream, you can begin developing a mindset that is prepared and ready to be proactive, intentional, and solution-focused. 

2. Develop a Growth Mindset
Success requires resilience and you do not become resilient without going through challenges. When you accept resilience as a necessary trait for success, you will reflect on challenges as an opportunity to grow and learn. People with a growth mindset believe there is no failure, only feedback.  WIth a growth mindset, you believe that with every challenge, you will either triumph, or you will learn - either way, you win. The more you learn and grow, the more successful you will be personally and professionally.

3. Don't Push the Fear Away
When fear shows up, accept that its main role is to protect you. Instead of pushing it away, just sit with it, and reflect on what the fear is is all about.  Is the fear based on facts? Can the fear serve a  positive purpose? Ask yourself if this fear is helpful in moving your foward or if it will hold you back from achieving what you want to achieve. Accept fear as being part of the success process, instead of trying to push it away, just sit with it, reflect on it in relation to your dream vision, and find an effective way of moving through it, and past it.

4. Weigh out Best-Case/ Worse-Case Scenarios
Fear is to be expected if you want to be successful; when it appears, you will move through it by weighing out best-case and worse-case scenarios.  Once you understand the worse-case outcome of facing a challenge, you can ask yourself if your desired outcome is worth the risk, and what you can do to deal with the worse-case if it happens.  Once you've exhaused the worse-case scenarios, ask yourself the same questions again with regard to the best-case scenario - is the best-case scenario worth the risk? Weighing worse-case against best-case, you can decide how to move through the challenge to get yourself closer to your dream.

5. Accept that You May Not Enjoy Every Step to Success
Many people fall short of their goal because they quit when things become uncomfortable or unenjoyable. Successful people accept that there are going to be action steps and decisions along the way that are not fun, or pleasant; they just view those as necessary steps for the achievement of their dream and push through them. Think of an athlete training for the Olympics - it is probably safe to assume that he or she may not have loved the excrutiating hours of practice or pain; they just accepted these as being necessary steps on their journey to the podium. This is why falling in love with your vision is so important; that vision is what will get you through the challenging and unenjoyable steps that you must complete to succeed.