Tag Archives: personal development

4 Benefits of Stepping into Your Fear

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The things we love most come with the greatest amount of fear. It’s because you love it so much that fear intensifies. When putting your heart and soul into something you don’t want it to fail. You don’t want to think you can’t succeed doing what you love.

When you choose a path of purpose fear gives you direction, it’s like your inner compass. Fear is good. The unpleasant emotion we feel is when we are threatened or perceive a threat, however in today’s world real, true threats are becoming less and less. When’s the last time you stepped out of your car to find a tiger staring you down?

We live most of our lives avoiding “threats” in our comfort zone. Our brains natural instincts are to keep us out of harm’s way, to keep us feeling comfortable and safe. But, it’s outside our comfort zone that we find a life of happiness and purpose.

Applying all of our gifts to something significant is fulfilling and where we find meaning in our lives. We want to be a part of something bigger and show others what IS possible. Whether you are BEING the change, creating change in others or making a bigger difference in the world it’s how you apply fear that can be the deciding factor between you achieving success or living life comfortably content.

My Fear

For a long time I resisted pursuing entrepreneurship despite my heart being pulled towards it. I allowed my fear to run me off, when instead I should have followed it as a sign. Here’s a quick list of some of the fears I experienced:

  • A fear of the unknown- I didn’t know what’s pulling me in this direction I’ve never explored, what’s to be expected?
  • A fear of what family, friends and girlfriends would think- if I took a leap without knowing what I was doing or getting myself into or even worse failed, how would they view me?
  • A fear of change- If I did this things will have to change and how much work will this be?
  • A fear of missing out- If it’s a lot of work what will I have to miss to sustain it?
  • A fear of rejection or not being good enough- If I do this I want to be excellent, but what if I can’t live up or what if they don’t like me?

10 years I ran from these and a variety of other fears only to see my dreams fall further away and my life crumble the farther they fell.

Step into Your Fear

It wasn’t until I became desperate enough and stepped into my fear that everything changed. And it was then that I learned fear is to be followed, it’s not a deterrent. Here are some of the rewards you can expect from your courage and stepping into your fear.

  1. Improved Self-Confidence– Confidence is a tricky mix of competence, courage and clarity. The great thing about stepping into your fear, there is no losing. Either you win or you grow in knowledge, wisdom, skill or clarity. This helps give you direction and builds greater confidence to take on bigger, stronger fears.
  2. Deeper Connections– We don’t want others recognizing our slight slip-ups, hidden blemishes, or the kinks in our armor. However, it’s in our adversity and vulnerability where we gain virtue and great respect. Sharing our struggles doesn’t show weakness, it reveals strength and it creates deeper bonds with others. People see character in crashing, crumbling and climbing back up. There’s courage in simply sharing truth no matter if it’s sunshine and rainbows or dark and stormy weather.
  3. Comfort in Change– No matter when, where or how you begin; the journey of change is rarely what you wished for. Like a ship at sea, no path is permanent; you’re ever-adjusting until you reach your destination. Sometimes there’s a trail and other times you’ll be called to blaze your own. It’s at this time you no longer stumble upon doubt, uncertainty and shame; instead you take pride, find flow and experience peace.
  4. Creative Freedom– When we’re not isolated by fear we begin think outside the box. We see new opportunities and explore unmeasured methods. We no longer believe in boundaries, rather we push for possibilities. In this sea of possibility you’ll find many of the hidden joys of life.

The majority of people succumb to fear each and every day, you don’t have to be one of them.

Dreams have a greater magnetic pull than fear. Yes, fear can overcome you if you allow it. But, you are strong. Find a reason greater than your excuses, a clear dream over procrastination or an ambition that ignites your inner fire, and you’ll conquer your fears.

Soon, you’ll look back on your struggle and understand it wasn’t that scary after all.

What would be possible in your life if you could run right through your fear today?

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Honest Communication Doesn’t Hurt

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You know the saying, “Truth Hurts”. After we look a little deeper into how honest communication affects us and others in our lives you may challenge the thought.

Have you ever pitched a project to client, received a “no thank you”, and wondered why? Wouldn’t it be great to know why you’ve failed? But why is it, when a friend points out that your presentation really was pretty terrible, or a colleague notices that your proposal pretty much killed any opportunity and tells you about it; we don’t want to hear it?

Like most, we’re looking for encouragement and positive motivation. Of course we all like a little coddling and cuddling. We enjoy when others give attention to our fantasized stories (You know, the I walked 10 miles up hill in a blizzard type work stories) and support our “I couldn’t be wrong” excuses and complaints.

We’ve all done this time and again. We’ve done it in failed projects, goals and relationships. We’ve done the same to friends, family members and coworkers. And, to be honest, we’ve probably done it sometime very recently. But, at what consequence?

Your Responsibility

I completely understand not wanting to come off as rude, inconsiderate and lacking empathy. Being blunt and disrespecting others or destroying relationships is the last thing we want to do. It IS important to use tact when communicating this way, however it’s equally important not to enable bad behavior by a lack of feedback or “sugar-coating” your message.

Are you truly helping yourself or others by being nice and withholding information?

Stephen M.R. Covey once said, “When we talk straight, we tell the truth and leave the right impression.” Despite some initial pain and discomfort, honesty builds a bridge of trust between you and others.

In the big picture, consistently telling the truth builds a bigger and stronger bridge between you and the other person. A well built bridge helps to grow relationships and can withstand time, great distances and the many other storms of miscommunication.

Far too often a lie (including little white ones), despite our good intent, is a lack of personal responsibility. We don’t want to deal with the consequences that come along with both telling the truth and accepting it from others. Being “brutally honest” is being responsible. And responsibility is a huge responsibility.

Below I share 4 opportunities to improve honest communication in your daily interactions:

  1. Find Reality. Be in touch with what is and how things are not what you hope, think, or wish things to be. The only thing that is real and that will be consistently is what is. Once you find reality, it will be easier for you to confront brutal honesty and the facts that are real…such as your faults, weaknesses, failures, etc. Are you lying to protect yourself or others?
  2. Be Mindful. Evaluate the conversations you have with yourself, be consciously aware of your language you use when speaking with others and reflect and review old discussions to see if you were telling the truth. Are you leading conversations with honesty or by your fear and mistrust?
  3. Include Others. Tell your family, friends, colleagues and clients you are trying to improve your communication with them and others. Inform them you would like them to provide clear, honest feedback. Surround yourself with others who care about your growth and success, but watch out for those who lead you to believe in a false reality. Are you allowing others to enable unproductive thoughts, actions and behaviors?
  4. Be Honest. Use tact in order to tell the truth so it cannot be misunderstood without disrespect or leaving false impressions. Don’t beat around the bush, use flattery or have hidden meanings when you talk to others. Represent the reality of the situation as best you can through good communication skills and even better judgement. Are you building trust by telling the truth?

Successful relationships, businesses and dreams are built upon communication, integrity and trust. There is a thin line between honesty and being a little too blunt, but I’ve never known anyone to hate another for telling them the truth. Yet, for many, it’s easier to avoid the “hurt” of being brutally honest by enabling ineffective and unproductive thoughts, actions and habits.

If you’re equally open to your reality and listening to the truth as you are for providing brutal honesty then you’ll never find yourself burdened by the weight of regret. Be a person known for honesty and you’ll find sturdy bridges of connection you when you need them most.

“The consequences of deceit are usually greater then the ones of the truth.” –Dr. Henry Cloud

Take a few moments after work or before you head to bed and write down a few examples to the above questions. Acknowledging these slip-ups will help to put you more in-touch with your reality.

Be Bold,

Brandon Sobotka

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