“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are we not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world!” − “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson quoted by Nelson Mandela in his inaugural speech, 1994.
One of the greatest fears we have is that we will live a life of mediocrity. We fear that at the end of our days we will look back and be devastated that our time on this earth had been spent for nothing. What if we have lived out our days with no purpose other than our own vain and selfish pursuits? Maybe you have feared that you will make choices to spend your life’s minutes, and hours, and days, and weeks and eventually years, indulging yourself, instead of being poured out for others.
The mind block of fear may have crept in slowly over a number of years. A mind block is “the inability to remember or think of something you normally can do.” In other words, somehow you know in your heart that you have a date with destiny, a place of purpose and it is calling to you. But there is that mind block of fear.
Fear is probably the No. 1 reason we do not go forward to live the life we have always dreamed of. Because of the fear factor, we fail to even write the true the story of our lives. A few of the things we fear are failure, rejection, change, loss, death, old age, poverty, criticism, pain—even success.
All of us have experienced fear. The difference between the people who achieve great success and those who do not is not that the successful people do not fear. The difference between average and awesome is how you handle your fears. Gen. George S. Patton said “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer!” You have to feel the fear and do it anyway.
Fear of change is a big one. You know you need to change, but it’s hard. You eat a carton of ice cream in one sitting (I can do this!) and wonder why you can’t lose weight. You are a sales professional and you have not made a single sales call in two months but yet wonder why your commission income is down. You are a selfish, self-absorbed individual who rarely considers anyone but yourself, and when you are down and out, you wonder why no one calls you. You are addicted to drugs, sex, alcohol, spending, chaos, whatever, and your obsession is destroying you physically, emotionally and spiritually. But to change would hurt.
The late Jim Rohn, the business philosopher, said, “There is the pain of change and there is the pain of regret if we do not change. The pain of change weighs ounces while the pain of regret weighs tons.” I have experienced both. The pain of change and also the pain of regret when I didn’t.
What you need to push out this mind block of fear is a mindset. A mindset is “a fixed mental attitude or a habit.” You must develop the habit of thinking on purpose, with purpose and for a purpose. Know what you want and why you want it, and the mortal fortitude to stick by your guns, and that mindset of purpose will explode through the mind block of fear.
Discovering your purpose and pursuing it with all that is in you is crucial to finding success in your life. John Maxwell in his book “Failing Forward” gives three reasons for individuals not progressing to the life they were destined to enjoy as paralysis, procrastination and purposelessness.
Picture this. You have received a gift. A beautifully wrapped gift, just for you. It’s just waiting for you to unwrap it. It’s got your name on it. But year after year after year, the gift remains unopened. Why? Because deep in your heart, you fear that the box will be empty. You fear that there is really is no “big dream,” no “big future,” no “big promise,” no great life story. You fear that your life is now and always will be lived out as an insignificant event in the course of time and passing.
Remember, the No. 1 fear for most people is that they will live a meaningless life—a life without a purpose. Break through that mind block of fear with a mindset of purpose. Start today by thinking on purpose, with a purpose and for a purpose. It can change the story of your life and you can live with the joy expressed by George Bernard Shaw when he wrote: “The true joy of life: the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”