March 2, 2012

The Seven Fears of Highly Successful People.

Steps to facing uncertainty and unleashing your potential.

‘We all know fear.
But passion makes us fearless’

~ Paulo Coelho

The Transformation Age is here and we are all going to have to step up our game. Now is not the time to play small; it is time for amplifying your vision, unleashing your passion, unlocking your potential and going after your dreams.

Success = Potential – Resistance

Your ability to create and experience more success is equal to your potential (which nobody knows), minus the resistance. The resistance can be many things but the biggest challenge humanity faces is fear.

The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.

~ Tony Robbins

Your ability to recognize and act wisely in the face of fear and put others at ease will greatly increase your success and happiness in life. All fear results from egoic thinking: “Will I be safe?” But just asking the question can kick-start the fear process.

The normal response is to ignore fear and pretend everything is okay. This doesn’t help because what we resist in life persists.

To succeed today, enlightened entrepreneurial leaders (EELs), often have to think and act counter-intuitively. Successful people experience the same challenges as everyone else but they respond effectively as opposed to reacting out of fear.

Here are seven fears you will have to not only recognize but embrace while creating a successful business and life:

1. Letting the other person be right.
When confronted with an opposing viewpoint, we can often feel the need to argue. The problem with arguing is that it then becomes a competition between egos (see politicians). What it doesn’t do is solve anything fundamentally, because nobody is ever 100% wrong or right—not even you.

By acknowledging where the other person is right, even if you feel it is only a “10% right”, you can then begin to unfold a more co-creative discussion. It also opens up your mind to possible blind spots and opportunities.

2. Defenselessness.
Not coming to your own defense over an issue feels unnatural. It is however, a great way to stop others from attacking you. To allow yourself to be open, you have to transcend egotistic thinking.

Acting on egotistic impulses ironically gets you more of what you don’t want; resistance. It doesn’t matter if what is said against you or your idea is true; the fact is that someone has this perception.

Being more open is also the quickest way to build trust as you acknowledge your known weaknesses and it helps uncover any blind spots in your thinking. By eliminating more of these, you can unleash more of your potential.

3. Stopping.
To accurately predict what people will be doing in five minutes, ask them what they are doing now.

The default setting for the human race is to keep on doing what they’re doing even if the business as usual approach doesn’t work. The ego doesn’t like to be forced to grow.

Stopping to learn new skills and going in a different direction, feels counter-intuitive. Never be afraid to stop (even if it’s procrastinating), reassess and transform.

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

4. Letting go.
At the sociocentric level, humans cling to status, salary, sex and security—the beliefs that support the status quo. Even suffering is clung onto by the ego, in order to stop itself from being exposed to the risk of greater suffering.

You become comfortably uncomfortable in your comfort zone.

EELs are purpose-focussed but once an idea has served its purpose, it is then time to allow it to die as part of the universal product cycle. If you can’t transform a situation, then let it go.

“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”

~ Søren Kierkegaard

5. Accepting reality.
Fear blinds us to reality. I always encourage entrepreneurs to “have a go” because no expert can say whether you will succeed or not. However, I invariably add the caveat that you have to get to reality as quickly as possible and deal with those realities effectively. 

“Life is like a box of chocolates.
You never know what you’re gonna get.”

~ Forrest Gump

6. The unknown.
In the Transformation Age, one thing you can be certain of is that nobody is certain of what will happen next.

Predicting economic trends is a bit like predicting the weather. Sometimes you can forecast the weather 15 days ahead; other times you can’t even predict the next day or the next two hours. The unknown can be confronted with a curious mind, experimentation and testing. By adopting the ‘beginners mind’ you allow wisdom to seep in.

‘In the kind of world we have today, transformation of humanity might well be our only real hope for survival.’

~ Stanislav Grof

7. Transformation.
We think that people fear change but that isn’t actually true. We change continuously, only to remain in the same place. What we are afraid of is transforming because it feels similar to an identity crisis. It can be unexpected and unfamiliar, so we may fool ourselves into believing that by remaining with what’s comfortable everything will suddenly change for the better.

In order for life to get to the next level we have to begin by uncovering and implementing some fundamental solutions.

If you want to get started right away, here are some questions to ask yourself:

Which fear or fears are holding you back?

Can you think of a creative way to turn your fears into excitement?

(To be continued…)

Stay tuned for my next take on enlightened entrepreneurship: “When in Doubt, Soar!”




Editor: Andrea B.
Photo: Unsplash


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