Fear Kills More Dreams than Failure Ever Does

“Do the very thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.”

There once was this criminal who had committed a crime (Because, hey, that’s what criminals do. That’s their job!).  Anyway, he was sent to the king for his punishment. The king told him he had a choice of two punishments. He could be hung by a rope. Or take what’s behind the big, dark, scary, mysterious iron door.

The criminal quickly decided on the rope. As the noose was being slipped on him, he turned to the king and asked: “By the way, out of curiosity, what’s behind that door?”

The king laughed and said: “You know, it’s funny, I offer everyone the same choice, and nearly everyone picks the rope.”

“So,” said the criminal, “Tell me. What’s behind the door? I mean, obviously, I won’t tell anyone,” he said, pointing to the noose around his neck.

The king paused then answered: “Freedom, but it seems most people are so afraid of the unknown that they immediately take the rope.”

I love how this story encourages us to overcome fear. It is a powerful reminder about the dangers of holding onto the familiar even when the familiar is painful. Too many of us live our lives choosing the familiarity of our rope over the unknown.

“Our lives are one long effort to resist the unknown.”

Because we have a slant to resist the unknown, we’re walking around with invisible ropes around our necks, wondering why we feel dead; wondering why we never make progress.

Think about some of the invisible ropes of fear you wear:

  • Fear of commitment
  • Fear of reasonable risk
  • Fear of leaving
  • Fear of staying
  • Fear of saying “no”
  • Fear of looking foolish
  • Fear of being irrelevant
  • Fear of failing
  • Fear of being weak

It’s true that the emotion of fear is a tool to help us escape danger. But we can abuse this “fight or flight” tool and let the emotion of fear paralyze us from doing anything or making positive changes. We stunt growth possibilities by imagining negative outcomes.

Make New Choices

The tipping points for me was when I realized what my fear was costing me.

  • Holding me back from living the kind of life I wanted
  • Having the influence I desired
  • Intimacy
  • Financial freedom

When I felt the rope tightening, I began to approach fear differently. I embraced the warning, weighed the potential risk, and considered the outcomes. Then I leapt. I leapt because the value of living into my purpose and making a difference was greater than the fear of the unknown.

“Do the very thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be an Overcomer

Truth is, fear is always going to be there. That’s not a bad thing. It keeps you honest. Fear keeps you from doing really stupid stuff. Accept that fear is always going to be present in your life. You can’t stop from feeling it.

But, always confront why you are afraid. Take everything into consideration, including the emotion of fear. What is the emotion really saying? Is it only the emotion of fear stopping you? How can the emotion of fear help you make the best choice?

Do you want to talk about your fear and how its holding you back from making progress toward your dreams? Connect here for a free consultation…

Author: Ron Geisler

Living as a catalyst of transformation. Founder of Rebound Life Coaching.