In Jack Canfield’s book, The Success Principles, he tells the story of a seminar where he held a $100 bill in the air and asked the audience, "Who wants this $100 bill?"
Almost everyone raised their hands, dozens of people shouted "I’ll take it!" and many more stood up and cheered. This went on for a while, but Jack just stood there and waited. Finally, someone ran up and took the $100 bill right out of his hands. Everyone else wanted the money, but no one else had the guts to take the necessary action.
When Canfield asked the audience why they didn’t do what the one lucky audience member did, most said they thought about it but didn’t have the guts to do it. Fear held them back. Some of the reasons they gave him were:
- I was afraid I might be doing something wrong and then people would judge me or laugh at me
- I wasn’t sure you’d really give it to me
- I didn’t want to look greedy
- I didn’t want to look like I wanted it that badly
- I was too far back in the room
- I was waiting for further instructions
What’s interesting is that these are the same fears that stop us from reaching our goals in our own lives. What actions should you be taking in your business or your life that you’re NOT because of fear?
Let’s face it, there’s a lot to be fearful of these days. Fear is natural. We all feel it. The difference between incredibly successful, fulfilled people and everyone else is how they react to that fear.
Some respond to fear by worrying, stressing out, excessively planning every thought and action. The effect is paralysis in our business and our lives (I sometimes refer to this paralysis or excessive procrastination as "getting ready to get ready"). Often times, this paralysis causes our worst fears to come true.
On the other hand, others respond to fear by using it as motivation to take action. While many have the "ready, aim, fire" philosophy, some realize that the best way to hit a target is to fire first, see where the bullet lands, and then adjust your aim and fire again (ready, fire, aim). Very quickly, you’re hitting the target.
A great way to think of fear is to use the acronym, False Expectations Appearing Real. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
Here’s an idea…
Set a goal to do one courageous thing every week.
- Call that prospect you’ve been afraid to call
- Confront that co-worker you’ve been afraid to confront
- Take a stand on an important issue
- Start that new business you’ve been afraid to start
- Start writing that book you’ve been meaning to write
Turn your fear into action by doing one courageous thing every week. You’ll be amazed at what your business and your life looks like at the end of the year.