There is one word which keeps cropping up in my peripherals, one word that keeps circulating. Fear. When it comes to creating a lifestyle and tapping into our true calling, there are many internal and external factors that hold us back from becoming all that we can be. I truly believe everyone is born with limitless potential, to create products that help make life easier, to move technology forwards at such a rate that traveling to Mars will be as simple as walking down the street to your neighbor’s house. We all have the potential for greatness. But why do some of us reach for it and some of us don’t?
In my Lifestyle Design Series, one question I always ask those I interview is: “What are your obstacles to success?”
This is a very important question because there are many reasons why we don’t recognize our true calling or live life in a way that brings fulfillment. It seems we are always compromising our happiness for something, or maybe even someone, else, and a lot of it has to do with what is holding us back. Namely, fear. But what’s encouraging is there are many individuals who have had the same stumbling blocks, who have felt the fear and did it anyway, who dogged the obstacles and kept going, even though everything seemed to be crumbling around them. It’s that tenacious spirit, that stubborn determination that continues to keep them going.
I’ve read about corporate executives who have quit their jobs, right at the top of their game, to start their own businesses from the ground up.
I’ve read about those who left their jobs, not to start a business, but to do what they loved full time and turn that into a lifestyle, a living. But the story that made the biggest impact on me was about a man who quit his job, although he only had $0.69 in the bank, a mortgage, a car and a baby on the way. He had A LOT to lose, which is why, in turn, I believe he built a successful business.
In The 4 Hour Work Week, Tim Ferris talks about fear and actually encourages you to imagine the worst that could happen.
Think about it, if you decide to take steps to live your dreams and fulfill your calling, what is the worst that could happen, and what would you do if it does? One of my personal fears is being broke and homeless, but the more I think through that fear, the more I realize it is highly unlikely to happen. Being broke? Maybe, but being homeless is not something my friends and family would ever allow, and quite frankly, thinking about my personality, not something I would allow either. My commitment to reaching my goals is not to become sloppy or lazy in execution, but each day to put my best foot forward and live 100%. Life isn’t perfect. There will be failures and imperfections and lessons learned, but those are the reasons to keep going and never stop.
Think about it like this, if you go to the person you respect most and ask them their story, or read about it online, or listen to their podcast, you’ll hear about their struggles.
After all, Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, but that never stopped him. So here’s what to do with that crazy, mind-numbing fear, jump right in. It’s only when we force ourselves out of our comfort zone, that amazing things can happen.