Fear of risk taking is a topic I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.
Seems like every movie I’ve watched and every book I’m reading has the same theme – how to overcome the fear that blocks you from going for what you really want, rising after failure, doing what it takes to live YOUR life.
I must be either attracting this theme, or choosing to see it everywhere I look. Like that!
My Recent Fear of Risk Taking Movies and Books:
- We Bought a Zoo
- 10X Rule, Grant Cardone
- No Excuses, Brian Tracy
- Tribes, Seth Godin
They all have an element in common, the way the discuss fear and failure (which is the same as fear of risk taking) at some point. Let me take just one – Elizabethtown.
Have you seen the movie Elizabethtown?
I watched it on my computer from Netflix recently and paused the film to write down the inspirational speech Kirsten Dunst’s character said near the end.
A little context first.
The main character (played by Orlando Bloom) works in some kind of creative genius role at a shoe factory.
The year before he invented a shoe that took the world by storm. He became famous for his brilliance and creativity. The company honored him. The world celebrated him.
Then something happened and his shoe flopped. His company lost billions of dollars because of it. He lost his job and was publicly shamed.
He now feels like a failure.
He thinks his life is ruined and is in the process of killing himself when he’s interrupted with a phone call telling him his father has died and he must represent the family at the funeral. The rest is the subject of the movie (which I give an 8: entertaining, fun, unique and with a GREAT message).
“You failed. You really failed. You failed. You failed . . .
You’re an artist, man!
Your job is to break through barriers. Not to bow and say “Thank you, I’m a loser. I’ll go away now.”
Then have the courage to fail big and stick around. Make ‘em wonder why you’re still smiling.
That’s true greatness to me.
No true fiasco ever began as a quest for mere adequacy.”
. . .
[Then, in the voice of a narrator] The Pacific Northwestern salmon beats itself bloody on its quest to travel hundreds of miles upstream with a single purpose . . . sex, of course.
But also . . . life.
Did you hear that?
“No true fiasco ever began as a quest for mere adequacy!” I love what that statement implies.
It implies that fiascoes . . . grand failures are the proof of going for greatness. Failures are indicators of an unwillingness to sit still, play safe, hide and be small.
I’m thinking it’s about time we honor fiascoes, flops and failures of all kinds.
This is going to change the way I think about the next mediocre movie I watch. Instead of criticizing it for the whole ride to the restaurant with Ellie, my movie buddy, I’ll preface my criticism with, “Impressive the way they spent all that time, money and effort on a feature length film. I wonder what got in the way of the filmmakers from bringing their big dream to successful fruition?”
Remember the Peter Principle?
In Tribes, Seth Godin says that it’s not the Peter Principle that stops us from succeeding at a higher level. It’s not that we’ve risen to our level of incompetence.
He says that when we’re blocked, we’ve risen to a level that scares us so much that we’re frozen with fear.
Well I’m ready to break through my fear more boldly than ever before. Not that I’m ready to beat myself bloody in the quest for My Life, but I am willing to take a few hits. To risk a few fiascoes even in my quest to be awesome instead of adequate.
My Favorite Way to Reduce Fear
The easiest way to add the tool of tapping to your transformational bag of tricks is with the EFT manual.
Seth also says we don’t really want to overcome fear of success. He says our real fear is that we’ll be criticized, blamed, ridiculed. I get that. I bet you do too.
Our need to be accepted and to fit in is an ancient tribal survival need. It’s in our genes to fear being ostracized.
This fear of failing even stops us from trying to find your passion in life. And it can make you afraid to try something new.
I think the main difference between those people out there making a big difference, and those of us playing it safe, is that the difference-makers have learned how to let those fears arise, and go for it anyway.
When we’re afraid to try something new, we’re letting that primal need to fit in hold us back.
What about you?
Are you frozen with fear or moving beyond it, in your quest for Your Life?
In that quest, what failure are YOU willing to risk?
Have you ever thought, “I am a failure,” and let that stop you?
Was there a time when your fear totally daunting, but you rose above it anyway?
***Take courage and share with us one fear that blocks you from having either success or a fiasco.