What do your fears look like? What pictures, words, or objects would you use to capture your fears?
A construction worker gets busy on a skyscraper. One fellow watches him work sixty meters (about 200 feet) above the ground on the scaffolding arrayed around the outside of the twenty four-storey skyscraper. This fellow feels a nervousness that is making him numb while standing on the ground – never mind thinking of climbing up to the construction worker.
When the worker gets to the ground the fellow asks him whether he ever experiences that queasy dizziness that accompanies fear of heights, even for a moment. “If I had, I wouldn’t be here in one piece now,” the skyscraper worker replies curtly, “In fact, I’d be dead. For me, that kind of fear would be unreasonable, and unhealthy."
Now, just think about the influence of fear on the life of many people – how it inhibits creativity and infect self-confidence. But contained, fear is incapable of harming or controlling anyone: it stays controlled.
Failure to attain a goal, failure to realize a dream, unemployment, business failure, homelessness, poor health, dying and heading for ‘hell’ – people contemplate such calamity all the time, however remote the possibility they will fall victim of these things. People simply harbour and feed the fear.
Think about how fear affects your performance. Fear paralyzes some people – not only can’t they perform at their best, they become unable to perform at all. However, just check it out: the nervousness speakers – and all speakers to be sure – feel before a public speaking engagement. It is a nervousness that does not need to paralyze them. Rather, experienced speakers use it as an energizer. It turns out to give a blast of adrenaline that translates into an extra jolt of excitement in their speeches. It’s true for runners, footballers, and other sports champions too, just as it is for business people poised on the starting blocks. The jitters they experience add to their explosive leap towards their goal.
Fear converted to energy drives us courageously forward, straight towards the thing we’re afraid of. It can help in dealing with reality rather than avoiding it.
Adapted from THINK LIKE A GENIUS by Todd Siler