My six year old Son Tyler came into my room in the middle of the night a few weeks ago and wanted to get into my bed and sleep because he had a bad dream and he was scared. So I let hum crawl into bed until he feel back asleep less then 5 minutes after he first came into my room and then carried him back to his bed. The next morning he barely remember the dream, coming into my room or even being scarred. After I asked him about it he simply went on with his day and I am sure never give another thought to the dream that scared him so much just a few hours earlier.
My oldest Son Brandon who is 16 years old was invited to try out for the football team at a local private Christian school where he was taking a class. He told us about the invite and said he was going to think about it. As the time came to make a decision, he told us he had decided not to play. Brandon’s reasons not to play were nearly all fear based. Some of the reasons included, would he be good enough? (Fear of failure). Would he have more fun if he simply stayed home and played video games or watched TV (fear of loss). To be on the team you had to attend practices or games 4 – 5 days a week and Brandon wasn’t sure he wanted to invest that time. (Fear of commitment). We asked Brandon to spend a little time and create a pro’s and con’s list for us and if after going through his list of pro’s and con’s he still felt he didn’t want to play, that we would respect the decision. Brandon ultimately decided he would play. Brandon started out as a 2nd string player and quickly moved up to a starting portion, which helped him overcome his fear of failure. He also decided that playing football and even going to practice was more fun then simply watching TV or playing video games and not only was he happy to invest the time, he would have happily invest much more time if it would have been an option. Brandon’s team made it to the playoffs and ultimately to the championship game and ended up in 2nd place for the division (which is the best finish this little school has ever had in this division). He even decided that he loved playing football so much that in a few short weeks, we start basketball practice.
I also use to be controlled by fear. I had a deep fear of loss of money. Like many I was poor growing up and as an adult I have experienced massive success, where money seemed to be falling from the heavens. As an adult I have also been very broke. I remember one Thanksgiving not too long ago when my Wife, my kids and I were talking about what we were thankful for, for the previous year, one of the first things my Wife Mariah said she was most thankful for was that she could go to the store and buy food when we needed it instead of having to ask me when we would have enough money for her to buy groceries for the family.
My fear of not having enough money caused me to start making financial decisions for my family and business based on my fear of loss of money. One example where I let fear guide my decisions was in hiring people to take over some of my work. I made the decision to not hire someone and simply do the work myself, unfortunately there was more work then I could possible complete so many projects never got done. Looking back at those tasks and projects even if one out of three had been a successful projects, I would have generated a far greater increase in sales and in turn made more money then all three projects would have cost combined.
I once head a saying that goes something like this… Show me a man who takes little or no risks and I will show you a man who has accomplished nothing.
You can’t run your life based on fear of any kind. When one of your fears does come to fruition, and of course they sometimes will, simply pick yourself up, brush yourself off and try again. If you do, you will likely find you are not only much more successful but in general much happier in life.