“Money lies on the other side of fear.” That statement from one of the self-made, real estate millionaires we were interviewing blew us away. We were writing The Millionaire Real Estate Investor and his wisdom so impressed us we made it a section of the Introduction. We actually came to the conclusion that “opportuntiy lies on the other side of fear.”
Our fears can define out lives. They can put up boundaries that limit what we do. Or, they can serve as a compass for where we go. We get to choose how we use fear – as a governor or a guide.
Early in my life it was a governor, a limiter and a warning I heeded. If I felt fearful about something I didn’t do it. I didn’t take risks. I played it cozy. Even so, in the eyes of the world I was being successful. But, not in my own eyes. I felt weak, compliant and complacent. I wasn’t very confident.
Until I decided to go out for the high school football team as a sophomore. I wanted to be an athlete, I wanted to be picked for the team, I wanted to start and to play and to win. My fears were immense. The older players looked so strong and they were aggressive. During the first week of practice I got whipped. I was embarrassed and I tried to hide my tears of shame.
But, I didn’t quit. I hung in. I took the beatings from the better players and the condemnation from the coaches. And, I made the team, barely. That was the beginning of a path in athletics that earned me starting positions in three sports, varsity letters, all-conference designations and, most important, self-confidence.
Later in life I almost dropped out of the qualification program for becoming a Dale Carnegie instructor. I was deathly afraid of failing, of not measuring up and being rejected as inadequate. With the prayerful support of the local franchise owner, I fearfully went to the final evaluation sessions in New York City. I made the grade and became one of their top instructors.
What if I had let my fears stop me. I would never have gone on to teach sales people, to train leaders, to write books about business and to speak to thousands. I would have lived a lesser life. I would have failed to use my God-given talents. I would not have been able to touch so many lives.
So, fear tells you what to do. If you feel fear it means you were meant to do it. You are just afraid it won’t work out. Where there is no fear, there is no care – no desire, no passion. Fear shows you what you really want to do – what you were meant to do. Just go do it. As Susan Jeffers says, “feel the fear and do it anyway.”
Asking for business, role-playing in front of others, making a cold call, taking on a new venture, leaving a job you don’t like, asking for a date, introducing yourself, speaking up in a meeting, talking in front of a group – if you feel some fear, it is just your inner self saying you want to do it.
In fact, over time you will learn that the fear is actually preparing you to do it – all systems fired up, in gear and ready to go. As they used to say at Dale Carnegie, “if you’ve got butterflies in your stomach, just get ’em lined up and flyin’ in formation.
Get your life going in the direction you want. Follow the fear.