For years, I have been paralyzed by fear. I am not a generally fearful person. In fact, I'm not really afraid of anything. I've nearly died a couple of times due to that lack of fear (but that's another blog post). Because my fear was not obvious, I didn't realize it was a problem. I didn't even know it was there...
My great and debilitating fear isn't a fear of death or spiders or clowns, but a simple fear of failure. I read somewhere that, statistically speaking, most people are more afraid of public speaking than death! In simple terms, we would rather die than risk failure! This was the monster that was terrorizing my subconscious.
If I am honest with myself, there are literally hundreds of missed opportunities that will never be anything more than an idea scribbled in a notebook, due to my fear of failure. There are dozens more ideas that are still on my "someday" list. I haven't completed one of my creative projects. Not one! I could blame this on my long hours at work, my responsibilities to my church or my family, or myriad other excuses. The reality is that I was simply afraid of failure. I was afraid that other people would point and laugh at the guy who tried and failed... the guy who just doesn't have what it takes.
Seth Godin writes about our "lizard brain", the primal instinct that says, "don't try anything new, it could be dangerous". My "lizard brain" was Godzilla and I was the little Japanese kid who could do nothing but stand there and scream, just before the monster stepped on my head, flattening my dreams like a pancake... I was helpless. What could I do to win against such a monster? The answer is simple. Find a bigger monster.
Well, I've found my bigger monster. I've built my Mechagodzilla (I know Mechagodzilla was an alien and a villain, but it's my blog, so work with me here...). My bigger monster is the fear of having done nothing.
Now that I am aware of the reality of the situation, I've come alive. In the past couple of weeks, I've finally started my blog. I've started work on some other writing projects. I've ramped up our eBay business and launched another business project into the world. Have I lost my mind? NO! I've found it! I've identified my fear of failure as my greatest enemy and my fear of having done nothing as an ally.
But, what if I fail?
I have decided that I don't care if I fail. In fact, I hope I fail. A lot. The more I fail, the more I have done and the more I have done, the closer I am to success. This is my mantra. I am afraid of nothing but dying in a rut out of which I could have easily stepped.
My greatest fear is not dying alone or broke. My greatest fear is dying with the knowledge that I never tried. I know what I'm trying to do is dangerous and I love it! It feels like lightning in my veins!
This is the life God intended! "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." ~ 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
You have things that you haven't done because it might not work. Today isn't a day for excuses. You know the stakes. Now go out there and find your bigger monster. Put fear in its place. Try something that you've never tried before. I promise you won't regret it!