4 Staggering Ways Fear Will Drive You to Fail This Year.

Are you scared?

Are you looking at a list of audacious goals wondering how you can achieve it all?  Is there that one big scary tasks looking you in the face that you need to start working on?

It's important to understand how much fear drives what you do.  It ultimately drives who you eventually become.

Fear has a say in every decision that you ever make.

That's right.

Whether you realize it or not, your brain is constantly sensing everything around you through a little control central in the middle of your brain called the amydala [uh-mig-dah-lah].  Any sign of future (or very present) pain and it goes off like a firecraker - jolting every area of your body into high alert.

And, in pre-historic times, that was exactly the best use of your brain.

Think about it.

Against the wiles of a hungry sabertooth tiger, you were completely unprepared.  At best, you had a crude spear, fire, and a pair of legs.  And despite the Disney movies where you came out on the winning side of one such battle, frankly you weren't about to get too crazy about pushing the limits.  Nothing you had at your disposal was a great defense system against an animal that just wanted "you" for dinner.   Probably the best defense you had was avoiding potential conflicts with an animal like this in the first place.

Your amygdala filled that role perfectly.

The rustling of a bush.  The scent of a wild animal.  The rush of bird quickly flying away from a spot in the jungle.

All of these indicators were very much noticed by your amygdala, where your brain came up with a plan to get the heck out of there.

To stay alive you needed to run.

But you're not in pre-historic times any more.

Thousands of years later, our brains still drive us to act the same way.

The silence of the unknown.  The finality of failure.  The opinion of the crowd as it questions our next move.

All of these indicators are very much noticed by your amygdala, where your brain decides it wants get the heck of there.

And here's what you do:

  1. Make excuses for not making bold choices -- Instead of venturing out and trying new bold things, you decide to stay with what appears to be safe.  You will literally pull back from the edge of explosion and position yourself somewhere more comfortable - where you think fear will leave you alone.  Sadly, it never does leave you alone.
  2. Decide to do an action at a later date -- Instead of beginning right now, you decide to do amazing things -- but all at a later date.  When the conditions have improved.  When people around you are more supportive.  And since that situation never happens, you never begin working on what could have been an amazing next performance for you.  You miss out on the future of your dreams because of your fear today.
  3. Blame others for your mediocrity -- Instead of looking at your own areas for improvement, you decide to blame your attitudes and actions on everyone around you.  You decide that there is nothing you can do about your situation in life.  Part despondent, part fatalistic, you cope by looking around at everyone else and avoid anything that looks like it might require personal responsibility.
  4. Become frantic, helpless, and depressed -- Instead of balancing out fear with perspective, you let it define you.  You become hyper-sensitive, jumpy, and stressed-out.  You buy into the "helpful" lies that your brain tries to tell you.  Every sound, every glance that comes your way is interpreted as doom.

Fear will try to keep you alive.

It will also steal you ambition, your joy, and your dreams...

Fear will drive you to fail.

And lest you think that this is just fluff -- that this doesn't apply to you -- understand this quite plainly:

You will not make any decision, ever, without your amydala (fear receptors) being involved in some way.

That will never change.

Neither will the antidote.

Action.

The left frontal cortex -- the one part of the brain that can tame the amygdala -- is all about action.  Pure and simple -- you being active.

When you start moving, you stop worrying.

You can control your fears and failures by taking the first step away from failure and back towards the edge of explosion.

Are you ready to start moving?

p.s.  I wrote this post for me, a figured a few of you might find it useful as well.  I am venturing out into some new and amazing things this year.  Heck, it's completely scarily, audacious.  But here's to trying...