Instinctual fear can often save us from dangerous or unfortunate situations.  Self-generated fear can prevent us from attaining our goals and finding happiness.


What I call self-generated fear is the fear of failure, the fear of not being good enough, the fear that the good won’t last.  It is a fear that we create and nurture in our own minds.  We are so nurturing to this fear that it begins to permeate every aspect of our being.


We begin to truly believe that we are not good enough so we begin to take actions that undermine our abilities.  We see the results as evidence that we are less than worthy and thus begin to wear this negativity like a cloak.


It can all start with a simple idea in any situation.  You see a position that you want to apply for, a prospect you want to approach or heck even a recipe that you want to try out – and that little voice in your head says, “Yeah, but…”


That is where the fear starts.  It can be followed with:


“Are you really qualified?”

“Are you really able to help that prospect?”

“Are you really able to not burn toast?”


Some bit of self doubt.  Instead of telling that little voice to shut up or go take a nap we make the mistake of listening to it, opening the door just a bit for it to get its foot in.  Then before we know it, the door has been  knocked off the hinges and it has not only come in, but not it is eating all the good stuff out of the fridge, sitting in your favorite chair and made itself quite comfortable.


And you are just sitting back feebly attempting to counter the onslaught of “not good enoughs” while it continues on the barrage.


Kick it out!


No, you may not be qualified; they may turn you down and the soufflé may drop – but guess what those are all MAYs – not guarantees.


It is only guarantee if you do not try.


I am a low scale adventurer.  I’m not about jumping out of airplanes or off bridges with my life depending on a giant rubber band.  I’m about the every day adventure.


Trying something new because I can – because I may succeed rather than I may fail.


Sometimes people ask me, “What were you thinking?!” when I try and fall flat on my face.  To which I can happily reply, “I wasn’t – I was doing!”  I came, I saw, I did and either I succeeded or failed – but I did!  That gives me a leg up for the next time.


Yes, I made my kids suffer through some horrendous dinner experiences – but that is why there is always the pork fritters and boxed mac and cheese on hand as a back up.


Trying something new or going for something unknown is like falling in love – it is a wonderful adventure or a terrifying experience.  It is a one way or another – you can’t be kinda in love with someone.  You can’t really kinda try.


It can be terrifying if you are always afraid you are going to get hurt.  With that fear in mind you close yourself off and never allow the full experience to envelop you.  You become a continual loop of a self-fulfilling prophecy.  And it gets old, and lonely.


Go after something with the passion of an adventure.  Sure, you might get hurt, but so what?  You just might find a thousand other things that make you grateful for everyday life.


I heard a line in a song and thought it was the most perfect sentiment: “Part of the beauty of falling in love with you is the fear you won’t fall.” – Joshua Radin


Put the fear on the unknown.  You cannot control what will happen on the other side but you sure as heck can control what you do!  So why not give it your all?


Go after that job or prospect but do it with passion and conviction.  Make sure your resume or marketing material speaks directly to the future employer/prospect demonstrating that you are the right candidate; gear your networking speeches to engage others and convert them to your own personal sales force.  Act with conviction, proceed with daring and go forth!


This job may be the love of your life or it may be an ill-fated affair – you just never know!  But what great fun it can be to find out!



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.



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