Is your biggest fear just a bad dream?

When people are stuck in the wrong job or wrong career path, they know it. When they’re not living up to their full potential or performing at their best, they know it.

The reason they know it is because it hurts. They feel burned-out, irritable, restless or worse. It just feels doggone bad.

So why not do something about it? The answer usually is fear.

On a typical day, I talk to at least one person about self-doubt and the fears that hold people back. One of the real biggies is the fear of rejection or criticism.

Napoleon Hill in his classic book, “Think and Grow Rich,” says that fear of criticism is not only universal, but it is fatal to any personal achievement. Hill writes that this type of fear destroys initiative, decision-making abilities, and expression of individuality and opinions.

Fear can be a wily adversary. We get a thought in our mind that has little or no basis for reality. It paralyzes us and robs us from living a life of passion and purpose.

Will people reject you? Of course. Will they criticize you? You bet. But not as much as you think. And it won’t devastate you like your mind wants you to believe.

Here’s a tip to help you take action in the face of fear.

Instead of thinking about those who might reject you or say no to your request, think about those around you who will embrace your ideas and be positively impacted by your actions.

If you have an idea for a new business or career change, think about those you can help and serve. Even if 90% of people think your crazy, is it worth the risk if you positively impact the remaining 10%?

If you’re in a meeting where 90% of people have an opposing opinion, is worth expressing your ideas if 10% of the room is inspired?

I run a leadership workshop in which I start out by asking attendees to think of one person they’ve worked with whom they consider to be an extraordinary leader. No one has a difficult time coming up with one person who has impacted their career and life. Their stories are moving, as they’ve clearly been inspired to rise higher as leaders.

What if you could be that extraordinary person? You could be the one who changes the trajectory of someone’s life. What if you could be an example and a role model to just one person. Is it worth the risk?

Focus on the one person you will influence, rather than the other 9 who might look at you sideways.

And by the way, a 90% rejection rate is a worst-case scenario.

It’s much more likely that the worse case scenario you’re thinking about is just a bad dream that exists only in your head.

2 replies
    • Marianne Renner
      Marianne Renner says:

      You are so welcome Kyle. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we all feel fear. The real opportunity is in how we respond.


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