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  • shiv kumar

Fear is the key


During my childhood, I was a big fan of adventure and crime novels of Alistair MacLean and James Hadley Chase. "Fear is the key" was the name of an Alistair MacLean novel, a revenge saga, about a sunken plane with treasure. How true and relevant is that title in our present-day world. The single biggest enemy of success is fear. The fear of failure, the fear of being found out, the fear of being ridiculed. Some people have come oh-so-close to massive success, only to let fear prevent them from taking that last step. A quote by Steve Maraboli "Fear waters the weeds of regret" hits the nail on the head. How often have we all had occasions where we have not taken action on something due to fear of making a wrong decision, and later on cried tears of regret.


The fear of making mistakes, and the guilt over past mistakes, literally suck the life force out of a person, leaving them just a shell of themselves. They stay cocooned in their comfort zone and life just passes them by. Many years later, they realize they have lived a life full of regrets. "I wish I had" becomes the recurring theme of their old age. The famous expression "no gain without pain" is well-known and yet, very few people are prepared to experience any pain for the prospect of gain, however large and life-changing that gain might look.


Learning to accept mistakes and moving on is a very important life lesson. Always remember that you make mistakes, mistakes don't make you. There is a big difference between saying "I failed" and "I'm a failure". Make it a habit of using the word "fail" as a verb, not as a noun. Your identity is a whole lot more than just your mistakes or failures.


Choosing inaction over possible wrong action is a massive mistake in itself! Elbert Hubbard said "The greatest mistake a man can make is to be afraid of making one". According to Dale Carnegie,"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage". Often, a ship is safer out at sea during a storm than anchored at the dock as it is a safe distance from anything it might crash into. As long as the ship is propelled forward with enough power to steer, it can plow through the waves safely. And that is the purpose of a ship anyway. It is not built to be anchored all the time! Similarly we must keep the ship of our life moving forward. Don't let fear freeze you into action paralysis. As Susan Jeffers said "Feel the fear and do it anyway!".

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