Fear is natural. This emotion is sparked by our innate sense of threat. But how you manage your fear is the difference between overcoming it or falling under its weight. Maybe you need to understand its impact to rise up. Think about the rewards of letting go of fear.
Fear occurs when you’re faced with risk. It could be the risk of harm, failure, rejection, or change. In order to free yourself, you need to understand why you experience it and then weigh that against the reward of letting go of fear.
I use the “What If” approach to beating fear. Ask yourself, “What if I don’t do this?” or “What if I choose that instead?” Imagine the worst case scenario and then combat it with the best one. When you let your fear dominate, you miss opportunities—to learn, to grow, to experience, and to live a fulfilling life.
You will never change your life if you don’t take risks. Are you completely satisfied with where you are now? What is holding you back?
“I was never afraid of failure; for I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest.” John Keats, English poet
Fear of failure
Fear of failure prevents you from achieving goals. In your mind, the possibility of failure is more powerful than the reward. It can stem from insecurities and low self-esteem. “I’m not good enough to achieve that.” Or the need for perfectionism halts your effort. You believe if you can’t achieve the perfect outcome, don’t bother making an attempt. The fear of failure often creates a foregone conclusion. If you believe you will fail, you will.
Stop looking at failure as a bad thing. As hockey legend Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Thomas Edison made 10,000 attempts to invent the light bulb, but he kept going. He said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.” J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling was a penniless, single mom when she wrote the first “Harry Potter” book. Walt Disney was fired from his first job as a cartoonist because his editor said he lacked creativity. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Stephen King’s first novel, “Carrie” was rejected 30 times. George Lucas pitched “Star Wars” to Disney, United Artists, and Universal, all of whom rejected it. Richard Branson dropped out of high school. Milton Hershey failed in two business ventures before starting a candy factory. Abraham Lincoln never won an election until he ran for President of the United States.
Ask yourself, what if these people had given up?
The reward for overcoming fear of failure is limitless. You’ll explore opportunities that have eluded you—meeting interesting people who impact your life, uncovering a passion you never expected, and, most of all, finding joy.
Fear of rejection
In the sales profession, fear of rejection is the most debilitating fear. When you fear rejection, you don’t ask for the sale. Sometimes that simple question to your buyer is the only thing standing between you and the deal. You might not even know how close you came before you stepped back.
A professional makes sales happen by asking for the sale. They accept that rejection is part of the business, and don’t take it personally. In fact, obstacles—objections and rejections—are opportunities to learn and become better. When a buyer says “No”, you probe. You ask questions to find out the reason for their objection. You don’t push, but explore. This is the “discovery process” that new home sales professionals often ignore.
“The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.” Steven Pressfield, author of “Turning Pro”
What happens when you are rejected? Certainly, you feel badly about yourself, questioning why you weren’t “good enough” to be accepted. Shift your mindset from negative to positive attitude. What can you learn from the rejection? How can it pump up your life? And realize that rejection has nothing to do with being “good enough”. It simply wasn’t the right fit. And the wrong fit will always compromise your life.
In new home sales, the reward for overcoming fear of rejection is more than increasing sales. It also results in stronger relationships with buyers. They see you as a trusted advisor and that leads to loyalty, which leads to referrals. Don’t fear “No”. It’s simply a step in the sales process.
Fear of change
The unknown can be a scary thing, if you choose to look at it that way. There’s a big risk in stepping out of your comfort zone.
The bigger risk is NOT moving outside your comfort zone. The result is complacency. When you are satisfied with “the way we’ve always done it”, you commit to living in the past. Every day, we see stories about people who changed their lives for the better. They took a chance and chased their dreams in mid-life or later.
“Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.” W. Clement Stone, co-author, “Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude”
I dare you to attack your fear of change. Start with a small one—like what or where you eat. Try something new. It doesn’t have to be whitewater rafting or ziplining, but some sort of experience you’ve never had. Set goals for yourself to explore a change every week. Track the results.
The reward of letting go of fear of change is living your life with your eyes and mind wide open to the endless possibilities.
“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” Francis Chan
Be mindful of your life. Live with purpose and intention.