Fear can be a very powerful force – but it can also be a farce. Fear can disguise itself in many ways to convince you that you are being wise to avoid risks so you can avoid making mistakes…. but when you avoid risks, you may be losing out on the reward taking the risk could provide. How do you know if you should forge forward into the unknown, or stay where you are safe? Are you missing opportunity, or avoiding disaster?
I’ve never been one of those “leap and the net will present itself” risk takers. While I do believe opportunity comes along when you are ready for it – I don’t believe in jumping off cliffs in hopes that your parachute will magically manifest itself in mid-air. I believe in weighing the risks and the rewards, managing fear, and then taking the leap.
How do you weigh the risks and rewards, and manage fear?
1) Identify the fear.
What are you really afraid of – and is it real? Often, our minds can conjure up some doozy ghost stories to keep us frozen in fear – but when you shine a light on what you are afraid of, it dissolves. Determine if your fear is a true threat by writing down the fear, and anything that may cause you physical, emotional, financial or spiritual harm. If your list comes up short, go to step two. If you deem your fear valid…. go to step two anyway.
2) Educate the bogey-man.
Fears stem from the unknown. If you are afraid to start a business – find resources that will help you learn about how to start a business. If you are afraid to commit to a relationship, learn about good relationships. Be careful in your quest for education – avoid the horror stories of others. Stay empowered by learning about successful outcomes – the easiest way to successfully climb a mountain is to follow the path others have blazed for you. You can’t hope to reach a summit by running towards a cliff someone fell from previously.
3) Weigh the risks and rewards
Create a two sided list – on one side write down everything you have to gain, and on the other -write everything you have to lose. Look at the gain side. How would your life be different if you chose to take the risk and were successful? Look at the lose side – how can you tether your fears and forge through?
4) OHHHHMMMMMM…. Screw it….. I’m gonna do it anyway…
Once you have identified your fear, educated the bogeyman, weighed risks and rewards – it’s time to leap. What? Yes – I said leap. But I’m not envisioning a flock of bluebirds to fly in with a net in their beaks to save you. You’ve done the work – and now it’s time to fly. You have weighed the risks, educated your fears, and faced your demons. You created your own net – jump into it.
If you’d like more information on having courage to take risks and reap the rewards – sign up for my monthly e-zine – “Access Points”, and you will receive the online self-study program “Courage Risks and Rewards” as my gift to you. (It’s not a bluebird with a net, but pretty darn close)
Until then, Hit the Heights!
Priscilla Hansen – The Natural Leadership & Business Guide