Before you begin reading, I'd like you to do a quick exercise with me.
Ask yourself one very important question: What is the one thing you're most scared of in your life? Don't answer immediately. Take a moment to think about it and write it down.
You're going to revisit your answer after this article, and something tells me you'll see it much differently.
Let's start by taking a few seconds to define the word "fear." Fear, as most people would probably agree, is that feeling that overwhelms us when we're faced with making an important decision or taking a huge step. Fear tends to make us afraid and causes worry.
I've come to believe that fear is the first and foremost paralyzing agent of progress; it keeps us from becoming who we're truly meant to be in this world.
There are many types of fears out there that disguise themselves as obstacles on the road to success. Fear of failure is the one that comes to mind with the most ease.
Many of us out there are afraid of falling on our faces when attempting to better ourselves in one way or another; it's almost embedded in our DNA to be afraid.
Disappointment is another fear lurking in the shadows. There's something about not attaining a personal goal that makes us hesitate even the attempt to do so, even worse, letting someone down who counted on us to come through for him or her.
Being unwanted is the foundation of the fear of rejection. Whether it is love, friendship or any other topic regarding your individualism, being left out of someone's life has the ability to terrify on many levels.
Not knowing is another fear that is capable of instilling mental horror. Fear of the unknown is one of the most common because we cannot be certain of what the future has in store for any of us.
There is, however, one fear that no one seems to be talking about, maybe because they don't even know it exists.
You always hear people in my field, like entrepreneurs and speakers, addressing the danger fear poses on human existence.
Most fears serve as an immovable anchor, but not this one. This fear, if handled properly, has the potential to skyrocket you to greatness and is one I condone embracing.
I've coined it the motivating fear.
A couple of years back, I was paralyzed from the neck down. Not knowing if I'd make it out alive, you can imagine I fell victim to every fear known to man.
I remember being afraid of every possible scenario. After months of recovery, I noticed that my mindset was steadily changing. I was still scared, but not of the same things I was once petrified of in my life.
Having reassessed my purpose and learned my lesson, I was adamant in righting my wrongs.
I concluded I was now afraid of being nothing more than a medical statistic — a nobody.
I wanted to matter.
My adversity proved to be the push in the back I needed and ultimately a stepping-stone for me to be the man I see in the mirror today.
Inaction is a typical characteristic of the fears many of us harbor, so I used it as motivation to leave a legacy behind for friends and family and to do something important with my life by shifting gears into overdrive.
It sounds crazy, but I embraced this fear and trained myself to think it was way more powerful than all others combined.
Most fears control us. We become their slaves by believing they rule when in reality, it should be the other way around.
Think of where you'd be if you overcame all your fears.
Most of them don't even exist; they're works of fiction your mind made up to keep you from what you want to achieve in your life.
I used that frame of mind to my advantage by thinking of the worst things that could happen and guess what? It's still working to this day, almost five years after my travesty.
You know what the best part is? It's not fading anytime soon. Instead of being held back by this particular fear, I held onto it and that's the only fear worth hanging onto — the one that will provide the fuel to your fire.
Do me a favor; go back to our exercise and read your fear out loud. It doesn't sound so menacing after all, does it?
Before I let you go, I want to leave you with my personal quote, one I've adopted as a motto: Don't let fear take the wheel and steer: it's a horrible driver with no sense of direction.