This month we’ve tackled a dysfunction that affects all of us personally and professionally “I’m afraid to make the changes in my career and life that I want to make.” Who can’t relate to the debilitating effects of fear. Our fears are always bigger in our minds than they really are. We give them pointy teeth and terrifying claws. And the costs associated with listening to our fears are high – in many cases costing us our very souls. That’s a price none of us should be willing to pay. In fact, just yesterday a client of mine told me that she feels “condemned to this life.” Wow. Fears are powerful stuff. So what can we do?
Here’s your prescription for overcoming fear in your own careers and life. Mix in equal parts and take daily.
One dose of Purpose
You need purpose to overcome your fears. Simply put, we can define purpose as it relates to our careers as “work that provides us meaning and fulfillment in our lives.” Who doesn’t want that? Purpose is essential to overcoming fear because it helps give us the strength to stand up to those scary monsters under our beds (our fears) on behalf of something bigger. Have you discovered meaning in what you do? You can find it two way: either in the “what” of your work or the “how” of your work. Either way, if you can find meaning in what you do, it will help you look past your fears at what really matters and that can give you the strength to take action.
One dose of Courage
Courage is the second of three critical ingredients to overcome fear of change in our lives. Do you have the courage to make the changes in your life you want to make? Let me rephrase that… have you discovered the courage inside of you to make the changes in your life you want to make? It is about reaching down inside of you and taking action. How do you find courage? Three ways: get mad, stand up for the innocent and say “no”. You’ll find out you are stronger than you think you are. Get courageous and unleash your inner hero. The world needs more heroes and heroines. The world needs you.
One dose of Faith
Faith is essential to facing our deepest fears. The individuals I have worked with over the years who have “faith” might still be afraid, but their faith helped them to confront their fears and take action. On the flip side, those individuals I’ve coached that didn’t have faith were less likely to move from their “stuck” place. They would analyze the situation, look at it from every angle, exhaust all logic and stop at the point where the “unknown” would begin and logic would end. And there they would sit – on the edge, unable to make that first step waiting for a clarity that will never come. Three faith questions for you:
Question #1 – Do you see yourself as meant for something bigger?
Question #2 – Do you believe that things will work out in the end?
Question #3 – Do you believe in something bigger than you?
Like Indiana Jones, facing fear almost always comes down to a leap of faith.
There you have it: the prescription to overcoming fear and making the changes in your career and life you want to make. And like any good prescription, I should also include the usage instructions, warnings and potential side effects.
USAGE INSTRUCTIONS (Read Carefully):
Expiration Date: This prescription will lose its strength over time. While it will never “go bad”, it’s effectiveness in helping you live the life you’ve always wanted decreases with each passing year. For best results, take immediately and regularly.
Risk of Death: This prescription will NOT result in death. I promise you won’t die by confronting your fears. However, it is also important to note that life is short – you will die eventually. The question to ask yourself is this: “Do I want this to be my life if I died tomorrow?” Do you?
Potential Side Effects: Growth, fulfillment and the life you’ve always wanted. Specifics results vary from person to person.
So what are you waiting for? The clock is ticking.