In this series, our aim shall be to focus on the topic of success, what it means and what we need to do, as well as what we ought not to do in order to attain whatever success means for every one of us.
Simply put, success is the progressive accomplishment or realization of a predetermined goal or ideal. It is setting a plan or goal and following through with it until you get the results which you set out for in the very beginning.
Though some see success strictly in terms of monetary value, success goes beyond money in your pockets or bank account. This, however, does not mean money has no place in the success equation. It just doesn’t occupy the position we think. Money is a reward for following through with your plans and goals. Hence money is one of the rewards for being successful.
In order for us to actually succeed in life, I believe there are a couple of things, from coming up with your plans and goals, right down to their execution, which if not handled properly will leave us frustrated.
In this session, we will be addressing what I think is at the top of the list: the aspect of fear.
Dealing with your Fears
While about 90% of people have very brilliant ideas every now and then, just about 20 to 30% ever act on them. Though we all have plans, dreams and goals, it is rather unfortunate to know that only about a handful of us will actually break the beginning barriers and finally do anything in relation to these goals. Many fail to act either because they were not serious about them in the first place, they only thought they were – those who talk simply because words are free, or find it difficult to overcome the initial barrier to any accomplishments.
What is this barrier we are talking about? It is the inertia barrier characterized by a reluctance to start, usually because of fear. Fear is the primary reason why many actually fail in life and yet they think playing it safe for fear of failure is a smart thing to do. Being afraid to try for fear of failure is already failing indirectly without even trying yet.
Until you overcome your fears, and cynicism, you never will do anything worthwhile in life.
The fear of failure, and of the unknown (not knowing whether or not your endeavors will be fruitful), are two of the major reasons why many fail to act and if you must be successful at anything you are “planning” to do, it would be wise to deal with these barriers before they get the most of you, because, believe me, we all get scared at some point in life with respect to a project or an idea we, at one time, thought was great.
Many think having an idea is the first and greatest step, but this too is not entirely correct. While having an idea might be the first logical thing to have, overcoming your fears and mounting up the courage to act on these ideas is most probably the greatest thing to do. We certainly may have come across a whole lot of people who have told us they have so, so and so idea or project they are working on, but in the end how many actually do anything? Well, like we pointed out earlier: Just about a handful. And what is to account for this? Is it that they had no ideas? Well, they actually did have ideas and believed these ideas were great. Some may say they had no funding and all the like, but in the end, research has proven that the main reason why many fail to start or do anything in life is not the absence of resources, but the fear of failure or the fear of the unknown; not knowing what they will encounter out there, what people will say or how they will react, once they step out.
Fear is deadly, limiting and above all, a killer of potential and innovation. For your tomorrow to indeed be greater, better and brighter than your today, know that it certainly won’t happen at the pace of words only, but of actions inclusive, with the greatest and most important action you will need to implement being adopting the courage to overcome inertia in all its forms.
Fear truly is the number one killer of dreams and ideas, draining every iota of courage and drive out of its victims. If you must stand out and be different, you must act differently. Stop looking for all the ways in which something might go wrong so you give up even before you try, and start focusing on the reasons or one reason why and how they can actually work out. When you find that one reason, make it your focal point. It may be a strategy, or motive or just a word that encourages you in times of doubt. Whatever it is, when you find it, hold on to it.
Success is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to act on ones predetermined goals in spite of the fear or many reasons why they may fail. If you keep thinking failure, know you will live in failure. Change your thinking and your results will change.
The world is desperately waiting for you to win, to succeed and to be great at that thing you have been planning to do for ages now. Nobody ones you to fail – not necessarily, but all the world can do is give you all you will need, but for the courage to start. Resources may come from others, but until you mount up courage to step out there into that new venture, which naturally should arouse a feeling of danger and uncertainty, you never will amount to anything. Stop waiting to be sure. Stop trying to make sure conditions are perfect. That’s what people do when they are driven by fear, they look for an excuse to hold on to and end up doing nothing.
While there is a lot to say about the aspect of fear, the highlights are:
The greatest impediment to the life and success you dream of attaining is not a lack of resources, but fear in all its forms and the failure to act on these dreams in spite of these fears.
Great plans or meetings don’t make great men. Great decisions and the willingness to follow through with them and to do what needs to be done in spite of how you may be feeling inside, does.
Every new venture, every idea or dream bigger than you will always come with a certain degree of fear, but know that God won’t give you an idea if He didn’t know how He was going to bring it to pass. The one thing He won’t give you though is courage. You have to be courageous.
The life and success you are one step away from lies on the other side of your fears. The things you are running away from are the things you must face in order to get what will change your life – to get to the other side.
At some point in life, we have all been fearful in one aspect or another, but what makes the difference between those who emerge victorious and those who don’t even emerge at all? It is how they react to their fears.
For the victorious ones, though they, at some point get fearful, rather than let their fears get the best of them, subjecting them to complacency and mediocrity, they mount up courage and act in spite of these fears. To them, they would rather try and fail than fail to try for fear of failure. If it is a worthy ideal, they certainly will give it a try and give it their all. Rather than back out, they understand that the life they dream of really lies on the other side of their fears and that what they are thinking of running away from is actually what they ought to – must, do or face in order to get to their happily ever after. Though they get hit with failure along the way, most, if not all, testify that if they had not started, they still would have been in their closets, amending goals and ideas, only to throw them away for fear of failure.
Dealing with Your Fears
The Place of Courage
You are born to win. You are a winner, created to succeed. If it were simple, everyone will do it, but for something as trivial as courage, it really appears to be in short supply. Courage is the real deal and for its lack, many who were ordained to be kings, will die as servants. If you don’t deal with your fears, you can be sure of this: they will deal with you. If you don’t resolve to act no matter what the consequences will be, here is what will happen: you always will live an average and mediocre life filled with regrets, why? Because the only things whose outcome we can predict with a hundred percent certainty are the things we already have done repeatedly and are accustomed to and you and I both know that we can’t do old stuff and get new results.
Get Relevant information
Someone once said fear and risk are the things you entertain when you don’t know what you are doing – I think it was Warren Buffet.
Adequate knowledge about what you are doing, how to go about it, what prices will be friendly and all the like will greatly reduce your chances at failure which will in turn reduce fear levels. Though the need for courage cannot be overemphasized, it is important to know that courage with ignorance will do you no good.
Courage without knowledge is destructive. Knowledge without courage is limiting and frustrating.
Adequate and relevant knowledge is priceless with respect to running a successful enterprise. Go for knowledge and hopefully, your fears will be greatly reduced.
Just Step Out and Go For it
I guess that faithful evening when Peter made the motion to join his master, Jesus; the other eleven disciples thought he was crazy. They probably told him not to do it, that he was going to sink. Now, though we may not know how that experience directly contributed to Peter’s life and ministry afterwards, one thing we do know is that the very thing the others were so afraid of doing, turned out to be not very frightful and bad at all. However it only became that way when Peter entertained thoughts along that thought pattern, the fear pattern.
What this story teaches us is that the very things we are afraid of, the final steps, which are often the most important steps are not as bad as they seem. It is true the beginning will be tough and scary – know and expect it to be that way, but know also that it does get better with time – for those who step out, I mean.
Worst case scenario; you give it a try, you fail, learn your lessons and try again, this time with a reduced error margin, and with time your failures make you more aware of what to do and what not to do and before you know it, you start succeeding. Best case scenario, you try, find out it wasn’t as bad as you thought and you, over time start reaping fruits. Here, however, is what will happen if you never try anything: Nothing. The choice always is yours but know that you too will be responsible for the consequences of your actions.
Those who stay in their boats never get to walk on water.
Stop waiting for things to fit perfectly. Go out with what you have and be sure to give your dreams a try.
We really can’t be sure about everything, we equally may not always know how things will turn out, but in the end, it is not about knowing how they will turn out, but about stepping out there and doing all we can to make sure they turn out in the best way possible. Though you may not be able to adjust the conditions, it is entirely up to you to determine your results.
Fear is inevitable, but can be dealt with for the best of outcomes. Many have been left paralyzed by its grip, don’t let this be your story. Step out there and do something always remembering that courage is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to act in spite of what fears there may be.
You were made for greatness, to make a positive contribution to your world. Excellence resides on your inside. But always know that the greatness you seek is often determined by the things or one thing you will be most afraid of doing. That is why not everyone makes it to that side. Some people’s fears just exceed their curiosity of what lies beyond. If you don’t dump your fears and face your giant head on you might live to regret it someday. Don’t let fear keep you bound.
Whatever your hands find to do, do it as soon as you can. A little delay or unnecessary pause serves as the breeding ground for fear and skepticism.
If you are fearful, I believe this message is for you. Go out there and do something, and in the end you will find that, that giant was already half dead before you came. It just needed to see that you weren’t going to turn back and run, for it to completely give way. If anyone things you can do it, well, I think I do. My opinion may not count, but then again, I don’t really think it needs to once you have made up your mind. Be your own motivator and just in case things don’t work out as you would have expected the first time, always remember to try again.
You are not a failure simply because you fell. You become a failure when you decide to stay on the ground. Show me a man who has never failed at anything and I will show you a man who has never done anything worthwhile.
Believe in yourself, your dreams and your ideas and get out there and do something. Don’t let fear keep you bound. Those who stay in their closets never get to experience what life outside holds for them. If you are tired of your present conditions and would want something different, know that change comes only on the platform of difference. Doing something different is key to getting different results.
Staying in your comfort zone will produce nothing but comfort zone results. If you really would want something different, mount up courage to face the fear of the unknown and step out. Remember, the comfort zone is always crowded, but there is ample space for anyone who will dare to step out.
Deal with your fears before they deal with you. If anything, your success greatly depends on it.