02/24/2014 12:19 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Want Success? Handle Your Fear


Getting a handle on fear is not easy, but it is critical to success. Maybe fear held you back you from calling on a client, investing money in your company, or maybe moving to a new city for a great opportunity or taking a great relationship to a more serious level. Be careful. Fear has a way of keeping people stuck and unable to move forward. One of the most common questions I'm asked when meeting people is, "Grant, how do you deal with fear?" Fear is something I know much about.

In my 20s I was broke. I didn't even have a car. I was surrounded by limited thinking filled with noise about scarcity. I lacked direction, and had no idea what I was going to do with my life. Worst of all, I was afraid... and this fear was consuming me. Even into my 30s after I had started to find my way, fear continued to torture me personally and professionally.

Fear causes millions of people to come up very short, not fulfilling their potential. During the "lowest" times of my life, most people I consulted with or confided in about my situation wanted me to take "medications" to get myself better and handle my fears and insecurities. I didn't like this option for me. It just didn't feel right.

I had used drugs and they never seemed to make me more secure, certain or confident.
The only thing that I have found to truly handle my fears has been action. Doing the very things I was scared of made me stronger and more confident. Without exception, not one thing I have been scared of was as threatening as I had imagined it to be.

Our success or lack thereof is all tied up in how we handle fear. Do you learn of an opportunity and then list reasons why you can't pursue it? Do you look to other outside obligations and people to blame for keeping you stuck? I guarantee you, you're afraid. It's normal. I still get afraid, but these days, I want to get a jolt of fear. When you use fear as fuel, you become strong, clear and driven. You start to look for things that make you scared and ways to avoid playing it safe.

So here's how to start facing your fears and grasp the effect they have on your success.

1. Write a list of your goals.

2. Then write a list of what you fear.

You'll then see on paper, right there in your handwriting, how your fears are the walls between you and accomplishment. Assume all responsibility for why you are not moving forward. It's fear! If you want more money, more freedom, and more goodness in your life, you must learn to use fear as fuel.

Get the sledgehammer and start hammering at them one at a time. It's rough. I went through it. If you stick to it and get really honest, you'll get your fears handled one by one. Trust me on that. When you do what you fear, you'll notice opportunity coming your way and why? Because, when you can handle the fear, you can handle success. More wins start to come for every brave step forward you take.