When does the fear go away? Short answer: Never. Everytime we want to accomplish something new, there is an internal process that we need to go through. There is no shortcut, no getting rid of it.
Fear is normal
Fear is supposed to come, when we do stuff that is bigger than we currently are. The only way to avoid that fear is by not growing. By doing what we always did. We might be troubled by the question: “Can I?”. The reality is, that nobody knows what you can do, before you tried it. No expert, not even you. But we can decide to grow and find out how far we can go.
In his book “The 4CS Formula” the author Dan Sullivan introduces a compelling description of that growth process. Let’s have a look at how he describes the process.
Commitment is the starting point
The first thing that is required is commitment. The goal needs to be highly meaningful to us personally. It has to be truly important to ourselves. And we need to commit to the process of growing.
Commitment really is first. We don’t make the commitment as we see that we can pull it off. We make the commitment before we see that we can pull it off.
Because it requires growth from us, we don’t have the capabilities yet, and that means that we don’t have the confidence yet. So we need to do it afraid.
We cannot be sure that we have what it takes, because we don’t have it yet, we will develop it in the process. Once we make the commitment, our mind will go to work to find ways to carry out that commitment.
Dan Sullivan points out that most people get this exactly backwards. They want the guarantee first, that something will work. But the way it works is that we make the commitment first, and then we will discover ways to make it work.
Courage gets us going
What we are going to do is likely something that we have not done before. It is going to require courage to face ourselves and face others. This requires real courage. Because our current capabilities seem not sufficient for the task ahead, it seems risky and a little scary.
We risk being exposed, we risk looking foolish, we risk doing something wrong. We can rest assured, that this is expected. This feeling does not show us that we are in the wrong place. No, it shows us that we are in exactly the right place. The place where we are growing. A little curiosity might help. When we are in that curious mode, we will look for ways to make it happen.
Capability is developed in the process
While we apply courage we will gain new capabilities. We will experience, that we now are able to do new things.
Confidence is the outcome
Experiencing ourselves being able to do new things leads to greater confidence. It is the outcome, the endpoint of a growth process, not the starting point.
Do not stop
There is one thing we can do with that new confidence, we can start another growth cycle. And try something bigger. And expect fear to show up again. It is part of the process, as long as we are growing. I like how Dan Sullivan puts it: “Being scared is necessary and normal.”
Confidence is nothing that we can preserve in a box. We should not expect to have confidence as we go into something new. We should expect confidence to be the outcome of a growth process. Going through this process again and again leads to great growth in our lives.
How about you? When did you experience that doing something scared helped you develop new capabilities? Let me know in the comments below.