Earlier today I was listening to a conference call and the presenter stated, “Let your dreams determine your results.” What a fantastic observation. Most place a hold on our hopes and dreams for our future by age 25. We believe that our future has been set and there is little more that we can do about it. I once thought that. By age 25, “reality” sets in and we decrease what we believe is actually possible. But if you really take a closer look, I think that we will discover that there is a deeper issue. And, that issue, is FEAR.
- Fear of uncertainty: Most of us want comfort, security, safety and minimal risk. But when we do that, we stop growing and believing in possibilities. Our world becomes smaller and we seek protection, not promotion. In a sense, our lifestyle becomes shaped by habitual behavior. Our habits can easily become “bad” or unproductive.
- Fear of not being good enough: Many people stop themselves from taking actions because they doubt themselves and think they are not good enough yet. Some want, to begin with a perfect plan with perfect tools, perfect people and perfect everything. But, in reality, it doesn’t work that way. Most people stuck in such a mindset end up doing nothing, so watch out.
3. Fear of failure: Undoubtedly, one of the biggest fears, is the fear of failure. Failures are learning opportunities. Failures that are experienced yield lessons that can be incorporated into every area of your life.
4. Fear of rejection: Many people fear being rejected by family and friends when we pursue a bigger dream. Yet, we need to ask yourself this question. How will we let someone else define our dreams and our success? Because people will help us define our dreams and success. One thing that I have learned is that I have had to let some people go in my life. Their negativity was disruptive. I lost friends.
Fear is a choice
I once heard a pastor say that 95% of all that we fear never happens. We worry and fear too much. As I thought about his statement, I realized that much of what we experience as fear is actually a choice. We choose to accept something as reality, when, in truth, it is not. Something bad could have happened, we fear it will happen again and we enlarge the scope of the event and give it more meaning than it deserves.
One strategy to overcome fear
To strategy to overcome the fear of uncertainty is to create new habits. Small incremental change, that is sustained, will create the new rituals. New rituals evolve into a new lifestyle.
Ideally, we should strive to live intentionally. We will never be perfect but we strive for improvement. It’s not about making all the right decisions and getting everything right, but improving and learning from the mistakes that have been made. There is nothing in our past that we can change. We can only vow to learn and grow.
“The key to intentional living is making daily actions focused on making a difference, large or small, in someone else’s life.” John Maxwell (Intentional). John Maxwell’s statement rings so true. As we focus our attention on helping others our attention shifts to something bigger than ourselves. We make a difference in someone’s life.
We also need to DREAM BIG. Big dreams provide a sense of purpose and destination. Big dreams, coupled with small decisive actions, move us in the right direction.
One thing that I have learned is that I have had to let some people go in my life. Their negativity was disruptive. I lost friends. But in the process, I also met new people and created new relationships. Enlighten those around you who don’t believe in your dreams. After all, family and friends are important in our lives. But, more than that, have the courage to pursue your dreams. There is something worth pursuing and people who will help.