Don’t Let Fear Wall You Off From the Success You Deserve

Recently, I picked up an old issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. The cover story was called “Face Down Your Fears.” Amy Cooper, Entrepreneur Editor in Chief had this to say in her column.

“It all boils down to this. When fear shows up and threatens your curiosity and enlightenment, look it square in the eye, acknowledge it, own it and move on. Don’t let fear hold you back from greatness.   The greatest thing to fear about fear is the inaction that often accompanies it.”

I agree. For some time I have been telling members of my career mentoring site that procrastination is the physical manifestation of fear. I tell them that whenever they find themselves procrastinating to ask a simple question. “What am I afraid of here?” Once you have the answer to that question you can look your fear in the eye, acknowledge it, own it and do something about it.

Fear builds walls – the kind of walls that stop you from reaching your potential. It’s easy to fear something that is new or different to you; something out of your realm of experience. An easy – but unproductive — way to deal with that fear is to wall it off. For example, don’t interact with strangers because you might get hurt.

On the other hand, if you are open to new and different people and things, you won’t build those walls – and your world will become richer. I embrace new and different people, places and things. And you know what? My life is better for it. When I go someplace new, I always eat the local food. I’ve had some stuff I didn’t like very much, but I’ve also found new and interesting dishes and flavors.

When I encounter a new technology, I do my best to learn all I can about it. I began blogging almost 10 years ago. I will be releasing a series of career success videos in the near future. This has helped my business. But more importantly, I’ve grown because I’ve learned something new. I must admit that I procrastinated on video. I finally asked myself that important question and I realized that I was afraid that I would do a poor job with video. Once I figured this out, I was freed to jump wholeheartedly into producing videos – to share my passion for helping others succeed, and to help build my success coaching business.

When I am in a conversation and find myself thinking, “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard,” I have trained myself to listen really hard – because those are the conversations where I am most likely to learn something. In other words, I embrace my fear of the unknown in the hopes that I will learn something. I don’t let my fear will me in.

A while back I saw a movie called “The Other Son.” It begins when two families, one Palestinian one Israeli, learn that their sons were switched at birth. An Israeli child was raised as a Palestinian, and a Palestinian child was raised was an Israeli. The mistake was discovered 20 years later when the boy raised as an Israeli attempts to enlist in the army. His blood type did not match that of his birth certificate.

The rest of the film explores how these two families work to overcome the walls – literal and figurative – that have led to so much mistrust and fear between Palestinians and Israelis. It’s a hopeful film that shows the power of breaking down the walls caused by fear and mistrust.

Let me wrap up by asking you a question. We’re nearing the end of 2015. What did you hope to accomplish this year that you didn’t? Did fear play a part in holding you back from getting it done? If so, what will you do about it? I suggest you follow my four tips for dealing with fear. 1) Identify what you fear. 2) Admit to what you fear. 3) Embrace your fear. 4) Look your fears in the eye and conquer them. You can do it. I know you can. Don’t let your fears wall you off from the life and career success you deserve.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.

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