Fear. It does crazy things. It makes our head spin. It makes our stomach churn. It keeps us up at night. It keeps us from moving ahead in our lives.

We want to apply for a new position but we’re afraid of rejection.

We’re afraid of being alone but we’re living a lie in our marriage.

We want to quit our unfulfilling job but we’re afraid of the financial sacrifices.

We want to be successful in our career but we don’t want to ask for the business.

We deserve a raise but we’re afraid to ask for one.

We want to mend a relationship but we’re afraid to say I’m sorry.

We want to go back to school but we’re afraid of the commitment.

We want to lose 20 pounds but we’re afraid to put in the work. 

So how do we outrun fear? We don’t. We need to change our perspective on it and how it controls us. We can learn to use fear as a driving factor in our fulfillment. 

Realize that fear will never go away completely.

While you’re growing, there will be things you don’t know and risks you need to take. It’s a natural feeling when you’re putting yourself out there. With growth comes fear.  When you realize this, you’ll see fear as a natural part of growing into who you are. For me, when it was time to step away from corporate America, fear became a driving force for me. The bigger I dreamed, the higher the level of fear. The higher the level of fear, the more I knew I was doing the right thing. I was growing.

To get over fear, you need to do ‘it’.

Whatever your ‘it’ is, you need to do ‘it’ or the fear will never go away. Once you do ‘it’, it won’t be scary anymore! The point is to feel the fear and do it anyway. There was a gal in my motorcycle class that was so nervous about getting on a motorcycle for the first time… nervous to the point of wanting to throw up. She’d never done it before so she didn’t know what to expect. After 15 minutes, the fear faded away and excitement replaced the nervousness.

Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it. 

Fear can have such a stronghold that the feelings of fear can drown out the reward of pushing passed it. Sometimes we get so consumed by the negative that we can’t even see the potential anymore.  A friend of mine never took a risk unless she could confidently calculate the result. Her fear of loss of control was holding her back in her career.  Over time, she decided that in order to get the job she really wanted (reward), she was going to have to let go of controlling every outcome (fear). She decided to accept the risk because this job was what she wanted. 

What is fear holding you back from? What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Use fear as a motivator. Use fear to get you fired up. Us fear to push you forward. Use fear to spark your fulfillment.