So often we have great goals, ideals and expectations and yet we fail to launch them. We may get so far, and then stop. Why?
I discovered a recurring theme when speaking with clients about what they feel limits them.
- “I’m afraid of……” they may say. You can fill in the blank.
- “I’m afraid of this”, “I’m afraid of that.”
- “I’m afraid of starting this business.”
- “I’m afraid to try to write a book.”
- “I’m afraid of what people will think of me.”
Then, I ask a question to help them define it more clearly. “Are you afraid, or are you concerned?” There is a significant difference.
Fear is an important emotion that can save our life. It is a survival mechanism that lets us know if we are in danger and if we should run as fast as we can, or stand our ground and face our enemy whatever it might be. Are we about to jump from a building without a safety net, or do we see something dark and scary lurking in the shadows?
Concern on the other hand has more to do with worrying about something we are considering taking action on.
- “What will happen if I do this or I do that?”
- “What if I do the wrong thing or what if I don’t do anything?”
- “Are you really afraid of starting your business or do you have concerns about it being successful?”
- “You really want to write a book but are you concerned you won’t be able to finish it or get it published?”
- “Is your concern that your friends or family may judge you for wanting more in your life?”
Both fear and concern can stop us in our tracks. See if you can differentiate between the two. Concern can cause anxiety and sleepless nights but so often can be resolved by asking more questions and developing a strategy by doing further homework and study.
Next time you feel stuck try to develop the question a bit more. If you are truly fearful then there may be more there than meets the eye and it is important that you know what is frightening you. On the other hand if you are truly concerned, spend a bit more time addressing the unknown areas and questions you have. You may find these can be addressed easily and assist you to accomplish your goals much faster and move past the areas where you previously were stuck.
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