Conquering Fear with Purpose and Mission
“Everything I want is just on the other side of fear™” It’s not that far away! It’s just on the other side! How about you? Is fear frustrating your purpose; derailing your mission? You are not alone.
Human beings actually have two minds:
- The Emotional Mind.The emotional mind is reactive, and relative to this topic, is characterized by a “fight or flight” reaction. In the Stone Age, when that Woolly Mammoth was bearing down on you with evil intent, you took your sharpened stick and held your ground or you got the heck out of there. It certainly was not the time to be considering what etching you might scrawl in your cave that night.
- The Cognitive Mind. The cognitive mind reviews, considers options, plans and sets goals. This mind is thoughtful, not reactive. As such, it needs takes. Now, assuming that you won the encounter with that Woolly Mammoth earlier today, you and the tribe probably ate Woolly Mammoth steaks that evening. After dinner might be a great time to finish that latest etching because now you have the time…the time to think.
Each of us has things we should do to become more successful – critical things! Yet we don’t do them or we don’t do them enough. The reason? After putting aside the rationales and excuses, the answer is fear…fear of failure. I’ve heard some clever people ask “couldn’t it be fear of success?” Huh, that’s just fear of failure one step behind.
Now comes the 3rd grade human anatomy lesson. All our sensory nerves, i.e. sight, hearing, feeling, smell/taste first run through our emotional mind on the way to our cognitive mind. While there are not many Woolly Mammoths running around these days, there are emotional triggers (what was that noise?) and tasks that scare us (that board presentation, hiring and firing, job searching, cold calling).
With all the things that can go wrong at any given time, we may be vulnerable to an “emotional hijacking.” After regaining our composure, we might wonder “what happened?” I meant to do this, i.e. critical tasks, but instead I did that, i.e. busy work.
David Sandler, the famous sales leader and trainer said “until the fear of NOT doing something exceeds the fear of doing it, you won’t do it.” Yikes! How do you deal with that? The answer is simpler than you think. You must fight fear with an even greater fear. Now, how does that work?
You must have a stronger purpose and it must be deeply embedded in your mind, heart, soul and guts. You must be on a “burn your bridges behind you” mission with no direction available but onward. Finally, you must have strong people around you who will lambaste your excuses. Remember, excuses are just lies you tell yourself that only you believe.
My lovely wife, Jennifer, is a worrier. (I cleared it with her to mention that.) I often respond to one of her worries by saying “honey, while I appreciate your concern, I can’t afford to give any mental recognition to the concept of fear.” Now, aside from irritating her, was my response smart or dumb or, in the memorable words of Forrest Gump, ”maybe it’s a little bit of both?”
Here’s my answer. On the one hand, if that was a response to every situation, it would be mostly denial and delusion. On the other hand, if I was “on point” with purpose and mission, then it supported my efforts to knock down my fear.
Bottom line – Get purpose! Get mission! Announce it to strong people! Your wall of fear will crumble. You’ll “feel your power” to overcome new fears. YOU CAN DO IT.
THAT’S THE STARK TRUTH™