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You can’t stop being afraid just by pretending everything that scares you isn’t there. ~Michael Marshall

Fear is not your friend.

Yet sometimes we greet our fears like familiar companions and treat them with almost affectionate respect.

Think about it.

We make allowances for them. We change our lives around to accommodate their requirements. We let them advise us, control our actions, and inform our decisions. We even assess our compatibility with others by the way in which their anxieties and inhibitions match our own!

You can’t be in business or participate in life full on and recover from adversity without experiencing the energy of fear. And you can’t learn and grow from your experiences involving fear until you can acknowledge and confront it directly.

Have you been letting the wrong forces, such as fear of the unknown, shape and control your life? I hope not.

We’ve all been there at one time or another though. Finding yourself suddenly faced with adversity and other life challenges and obstacles can do that to you if you allow it. But when you can name that which scares you and embrace the challenge of fear by connecting to rather than running from it, you will find the courage to keep moving forward. Regardless.

My secret fear is my brain is going to kill me before I’m ready to die. The risk of suicide is extremely high for those with brain injuries, even with all the medical treatment used to prevent it. It isn’t well-publicized that many experience the complication of suicidal compulsion. I wasn’t prepared for the shock and intensity of having to deal with it.

Fear speaks to us. But most of us run from it. Its message is we are not ready yet and may be unprepared for what’s waiting for us on the road ahead. Hidden in fear’s message are clues that guide our next steps. Be willing to talk to others about your fears. Let yourself see it from all angles; be honest about all its aspects. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

I listened to my greatest fear and this is what I learned from it:

The key to overcoming whatever you are afraid of requires just three things:

  1. Stay open.
  2. Stay connected.
  3. Stay resilient.

You can use this strategy to drive and measure your success every day!

Looks too easy, I know. Don’t be deceived. It actually isn’t. However, it does work and plays a critical role in all success regardless of the business or life challenge you have. It’s also why I’m still alive and why I highly recommend it to you.

We all have fears. They are impotent without a voice. And powerless when we acknowledge them. Truthfully, I was afraid to write this blog post. But I was more afraid not to. So I struggled over it all day and here it is for better or worse.

When it comes to your own life and business, what are you most afraid of? Whatever it is, take that next step anyway. You will begin your own journey to empowerment that ends in freedom from fear of the unknown. Fear may not be your friend, but it is a wonderful teacher.

I may have pushed myself too hard today. I am exhausted! More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.

PS I hope you’ll find the new RAISING THE BAR series inspiring. If so, please share this post with friends and followers. You never know what burdens others are carrying or how much their load might be made lighter by doing so. ♥♥♥


Raising The Bar is a new series for the SMARTSTART community that has been taking shape in my head for most of the time I’ve spent working to recover from catastrophic brain, spinal cord and psychological injuries resulting from a near fatal accident in 2009. Success, whether it’s in rehab, business, relationships, or life, hinges on our ability to master this simple formula: Belief (B) + Attitude (A) = Response (R).

I’m excited to be sharing it with you now as a next step in my injury recovery. Consider this your invitation to join me on a grand adventure. Oh, the places we will go! Including all the places that scare us most. For that is where the greatest opportunities for joy and happiness — the true measures of success — reside!