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What Are You Afraid Of?

What Are You Afraid Of?

I have a tee-shirt that says, “I drink, I smoke cigars, and I know things.” I think it’s a “takeoff” from Game of Thrones. I’m not a clinician, but I’ve been watching people in organizations and as entrepreneurs for decades, and I do know some things.

Most people are not as successful as they could be. I don’t mean in terms of more income, I mean in terms of the quality and importance of their work. That’s because they “hold back,” consciously or unconsciously, avoid risks, and aren’t fully confident. That’s because they have self-esteem issues. And those are because they’re scared.

They’re scared of rejection; of refusal; of critique; of normative pressures and not adhering to them; of others doing even better by comparison; of things they heard from their parents 30 years prior; of guilt.

Life is too short to go through being scared. You should be scared, of course, of a tornado approaching, or someone with a gun, or a plane engine on fire. But you shouldn’t be scared by a buyer’s office, a threat of rejection, a differing opinion, even of being wrong.

Work out your fears. That’s where to start on the road to true success.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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