How to Turn Fear Into Fuel
How is fear holding you back?
When I ask this question at my seminars or in my consulting work, common answers I get are “lack of funding”, “I don’t have the education”, “my background”, or even “I’m not sure of the next step to take.” What I’ve discovered, however, is that while all of these may be factors that can impact success, they are not the deciding or underlying factor.
Do you know what is shackling people and depriving them of the success they desire and deserve?
It is fear.
You may say to yourself, “Not me, I am fearless” but the reality is fear is innate in human beings. It is there for our protection. There are, after all, some things we should be fearful of. Playing golf in lighting for example or literally swimming with the sharks.
But what about success? We should be embracing success, enjoying toppling goals and accomplishing newer, better, and greater things. Yet fear is a dangerous obstacle, in part, because we may fail to admit its existence.
How to Recognize Fear
Fear needs to be recognized and managed properly or it becomes an anchor. We can become indecisive, have self-doubt, fear rejection, and simply fail to act. Fear may have us sitting on a great concept or idea or it may restrict us from using our true talents.
But what if there was a way to turn fear into fuel?
First, you must realize the role negative thinking plays in feeding your fears. The thoughts may already be there, suggesting “You can’t.”, “You shouldn’t”, and “Yeah, but what if?”
Before you know it, negative thoughts have piled upon one another and have become a seemingly insurmountable mountain to climb. I’m not saying you should ignore reality but most often these negative thoughts are just a boogie man under the bed. When you look closer, there’s nothing there.
Eliminate Your Negative Thoughts
I believe it is much more productive to be proactive in managing these negative thoughts. Instead of allowing negative thoughts to affect you emotionally to the point of indecision or inaction, put your logical brain to work in your favor. Rather than listening to “You can’t”, ask yourself “How can I?”.
Ask yourself “What’s the best way to…” as opposed to “You shouldn’t.”
Change “What if it doesn’t work?” to “Imagine how terrific it will be.”
It can help to be even more specific about this. “What are the eight best ways to raise funding for my project?” or “Who are the five people I know best qualified to help me with this?”. Force your brain into helping you by stretching its thoughts, imagination, and focus. “What are 35 ways my life will be better when I do this?” When you put your brain to work on a positive task, there is little room for negative thinking.
This is turning fear into fuel.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Many of us strive to be comfortable. Letting go of that comfort zone can create real fear. You may worry that by stepping out and doing something you always wanted to do or reaching for more may put your comfort in jeopardy. You may risk your steady income or lifestyle or (gasp) you may not be able to get that 65” flat screen TV with surround sound. If you allow your comfort zone to become a prison, you must recognize it is working against you, not for you.
So how do you get out of it?
Think about the times when you took a chance and were successful. Remember how victory felt and how rewarding it was to achieve a goal. Odds are, it was a time when you stepped out of your comfort zone. Please remember that taking risks and being bold doesn’t necessarily equate to being reckless. I would never suggest being reckless. But I do know that life is often best lived out of your comfort zone. Turning fear into excitement and anticipation is another way to use it as fuel towards your success.
Face Your Fears Head On
One of the best ways to use fear as a fuel is to face it head-on. It’s not embarrassing to fear change or to enjoy your comfort zone.
But, if you don’t recognize its presence, fear can hold you back without you even knowing it. Turn those fears into empowering positive questions your logical brain can work upon. Practice on reaching out from your comfort zone and recognize and face your fears. It very well could fuel you to the next level.
Sometimes, learning how to stay motivated will help you face your fears head on and achieve success. Learn more below.