Fear. It’s something we all experience. Some fears are small, such as a fear of spiders – a fairly harmless fear. But larger fears, such as a fear of losing or a fear of risk, can hold you back from what could be large successes in your life.
A recent article on Forbes.com listed five common fears that highly successful people don’t let hold them back. I think it’s a good reminder for all of us to take note of what might be holding us back from achieving our goals.
1. The fear of taking risks. This is probably one of the most common fears. Taking a risk means chancing failure. Ask any highly successful person, and they will tell you about all the failures it took them to get where they are today. Remember that failure is OK, as long as you learn from it.
2. The fear of underperforming. Sometimes having too many goals causes people to “freeze” due to a fear of underperforming and not reaching them. Some also set goals that are too easy and don’t move them forward. Set reasonable, yet challenging goals. A goal should always be set to move you forward – not remain stagnant. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.
3. The fear of competition and disruption. Successful people tend to welcome competition. They see it as a way of improving themselves. In fact, a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that competition results in business leaders being more innovative. On the flip side, if leaders ignore innovation, they will eventually be disrupted by those who used competition to encourage creativity and innovation.
4. The fear of change. This one has been a big one for all of us over the past nine months. We’ve all had to become change agents to remain successful in our careers and our businesses. Leaders had to pivot to adjust to the new way of work. This is important during all times, not just challenging times like we are in now. Learning to pivot and embrace change is key to being successful.
5. The fear of irrelevance. I think all business leaders have some level of this fear. But they use it to motivate innovation. For a business to remain relevant, it must constantly be evolving. This holds true on a personal level as well. We must continue educating ourselves and learning new skills to remain relevant in our careers.
We all have fears. It’s how we handle them that makes the difference. Let your fears inspire you to be better instead of allowing them to hold you back. How have you overcome a fear? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.