What Our Fears Are Here to Tell Us

What Our Fears Are Here to Tell Us

What Our Fears Are Here to Tell Us

By John Jantsch

I’m going to get a bit personal today, but I believe there’s a solid business context for the message.

I was sitting around a dinner table with a number of colleagues, which in this case meant people speaking at the same event as me.

Martin Lopatka via Flickr CC

A couple of the folks were pretty engaged in a conversation about another speaker that was not present and suggested that he was a fraud. The sentiment was that he didn’t really know what he was talking about because he had never really done what it is he was advising people to do.

They eventually got around to me to ask if I agreed and I said something like – Heck, we’re all making it up aren’t we? Now, that wasn’t really what they wanted so after a polite laugh they returned to the bashing.

Now, here’s what I really wanted to say, maybe what I should have said, but I don’t know that it would have been received as offered.

I wanted to ask the woman who questioned me why she was so afraid that this person was succeeding. I wanted to suggest that maybe what she really feared was that people thought she was a fraud and that perhaps her deepest fear was that she would be found out if she didn’t keep telling everyone that she was the real deal.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to preach here – I do exactly what I’m suggesting this woman was doing myself at times. The only thing is that I’ve come to understand the things that we judge, dislike or criticize the most in others are probably a reflection of our own fears and insecurities.

This woman is smart, funny and inspirational. I wanted to grab her, shake her and tell her – You’re smart, funny and inspirational without making sure that others aren’t considered as smart, funny and inspirational as you.

I believe that when we accept that as we think about our own businesses, we’ll start to experience a greater measure of peace. The competition is about being the best version of us and not about being a better version of someone else.

The key to embracing this way of thinking is to pay attention to times when we judge something as either good or bad and ask what that thought or feeling is really telling us about ourselves. When you become mindful of how much you’re doing this it will be eye opening and maybe even a little humorous.

The thing is, we don’t just do this with other people. We constantly do it to ourselves and it’s the source of most personal and business friction.

Who am I to think I could blah, blah, blah is the power tool of self-sabotage.

I’m not a good speaker – no, maybe you’re not right now, but consider that we don’t need you to be what you think is a good speaker – what we need you to be is a gift of information that you share with your heart. Who are you not to do that?

I hate to sell – no, maybe you hate to try to force something on somebody that doesn’t want it, but consider that you have the opportunity to greatly impact someone’s life by helping them understand the value that’s contained in something you’re teaching them about. Who are you not to do that?

I could never charge that much – there is no greater example of how our real fears and insecurities mask their existence than in the subject of value exchange – some might call it pricing. Are you charging less than you’re worth? Who are you not to do that?

So, what’s holding you back now?

I believe that every one of us is powerful beyond belief and that our fears are actually signposts that mark the path we need to travel right now. Our fears are here to tell us what to do. Stop handling your fears and insecurities like baggage and start letting them act as your guide.


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