At age 21, I dreamed of writing epic novels inspired by C. S. Lewis. In the twenty some years since I first dreamed that dream, have I written a single novel? Heck no.
And why? Simple: Fear.
Fear leads to procrastination and avoidance. Long-term procrastination / avoidance leads to shame. Shame leads to hiding.
The fear of failure will eventually result in doing nothing.– John Paul Jackson
That’s one take. For some people, fear of failure is so paralyzing that it leads us to hide and do nothing. For some, fear of failure leads to working so hard and so long burning our candle on both ends that we leave nothing left.
If you’re like me, you are probably a mishmashed combination of both. I’ve done nothing with some of my grandest dreams, and I’ve worked myself to exhaustion to avoid failure in smaller, conquerable areas.
But fear is a terrible motivator. Which stinks, because I know some people who have harnessed fear to motivate them for so long that they wouldn’t know how to accomplish their daily schedule without it.
How to overcome fear
Baby steps, baby. You don’t swing for the fences on Day 1. You make one small change – the kind of change you could repeat tomorrow. You continue remaking that decision each day until that change has become part of your daily habit. Then you add another new small change.
Until months later you have added 3-5 new changes and your life is noticeably better than it was.