Success typically is driven by strong emotion.
People who come out on top are generally propelled by energy they literally can’t consciously control; they involuntarily respond to an overwhelming force they cannot deny.
The force gives them purpose; the force gives them strength; the force gives them determination; it gives them resilience.
Fear is such a force, yet it is generally not viewed as a positive stimulus. When you are afraid you most probably run away from the event evoking your fear — your fear is the result of being personally threatened in some way.
We need to change our perspective on fear; we need to start looking at fear not as a negative experience, but as a potential stimulant for positive action — Roy, fearful
Here are 5 ways you can harness your fear to achieve greatness.
Discomfort — Fear forces you out of your comfort zone
The pundits talk about the need for people to branch out and try something new in order to develop themselves. They talk about this need from a planned perspective i.e. that you should plan to step away from what you’ve done in the past and what plays to your established strengths.
But fear doesn’t work that way; it’s not a planned cognitive process. Fear forces you out of your comfort zone without thinking about whether or not you want to do it. You have no choice.
The moment of anxiety gives you no time to think about whether or not to want to venture beyond your comfortable boundary. You’re outside it in an instant; you have no choice but to deal with it.
Fear is the real test of whether or not you are capable of venturing into new waters. If, after a fear experience you’ve survived then you know you can take on other challenges proactively that test your fortitude for the unknown.
Creativity — Fear makes you spontaneously creative
The innovation and creativity benefit of fear goes hand-in-hand with being pushed from your comfort zone.
Fear stimulates the need for creativity. Typically when fear strikes you can’t rely on your signature moves; you know your planned responses to challenges that face you.
That’s because you don’t have time to think about it; your left brain is totally incapacitated; you act — respond — on sheer emotion.
And when you’re in an emotional reactive state, you really don’t have time to plan your next step because if you did, you’re gonna do what you’ve done before.
Fear stimulates involuntary reactive creativity needed to survive current circumstances, and can be an incredible learning experience to guide how you innovate in normal job or personal life conditions.
Reaction — Fear makes you a better reactor
I’ve said it at least a million times before: strategies and plans never turn out the way they were originally intended. Unexpected body blows from out of nowhere hit us and demand that we change direction.
And success generally is rooted not in the efficacy of the strategy but in the ability to respond to what we failed to predict.
Fear is an excellent teacher of how to react quickly in the face of a body blow; it’s all we know in the moment. We don’t have the time to plan out our next move, we just react to the stimuli impacting us.
If we react correctly — and survive the moment — we have learned an amazing competency; if we don’t react the right way — and don’t survive — we’ve also learned.
Flow — Fear teaches us to use momentum to our advantage
In any reactive situation, it’s important to get in touch with the moment; get a feel for where the unexpected energy is coming from, where it’s going and how strong it is.
With the wind at your back, you’ve got flow to help your emotions guide you.
Fear is your friend in this way; fear creates an energy surge that directs you unwittingly forward. Let the current guide you.
The monster— Fear teaches us to tame the monster
Fear is that black hole — the abyss — in front of you; the scary world that can consume you. And the only way to survive it is to gain control over it.
Taming the monster is a life lesson; if you control the inexorable forces that you confront and you control your destiny.
Fear gives you this gift if you rise to the challenge. It can be controlled by those who won’t give in; by those who want to dominate it.
The monster represents control-in-waiting and the ability — because of the incredibly strong emotional component it generates — to better control your life — Roy, monster-tamer
Fear has the potential to make you a better person and a more successful one if you choose to learn it’s lessons.
Run into the storm, not away from it.