It's been said that 95% of the things we fear never happen. Yet, many of us let fear stop us from doing 95% of the things we want to do.
We fear what others will think: Will they laugh? Will I lose their love or their support? Will they try to sabotage me?
We fear failure: Will I look stupid? Will I lose money? What if I can't find enough business?
We fear success: What if I get so much business that I can't keep up? How will I handle the accounting and the taxes? What if I outgrow this space before the lease is up?
I think when we ask the right questions we can change fear from something that imprisons us to something that can empower us. One of the scariest experiences of my life occured while I was at work on day. I was sitting in my cubicle chatting with my boyfriend about our plans for the evening. After I hung up the phone, I had a thought that literally sent chills down my spine.
You know that you can be in this exact same position next year at this time. Same job (no promotion), same boyfriend (not fiance or husband), same car, same apartment (not a house of my own).
My fear was the fear of an unsatisfying status quo. What if things didn't change? What if I didn't do something different? What if nothing changed?
Six months later, I had left my job and moved to Los Anglees to pursue my screenwriting.
It's been four and a half years since I had that thought. Since then, I've had some wonderful experiences, met some amazing people and done some incredible things. Using that fear to make that major change made all of the difference.
Fear is real and it's natural. The key is to turn it from a fiend into a friend.