|Fear: Your Own Course-In-The-Box
Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile initially
scared me to death.
Did you have a jack-in-the-box when you were a child? They're hard to find now, but I
remember playing with them when I was little. You'd crank the little handle while it played music,
and at some point the top would burst open and out would pop a cloth clown with a plastic head.
Then you'd stuff the clown back in the box, smash the lid down on top of it, and crank it up again.
As young as I was, I couldn't help but notice that when it came to jacks-in-the-box, there
were two kinds of kids. The first kind of kid liked playing with the little toy. He liked the
clown, he liked the music, and most of all, he liked not knowing when that little guy was going to
come out. He'd play with it over and over again with delight.
The other kind of kid hated the jack-in-the-box. This kid thought the clown was creepy and
he found the music unsettling. And most of all, he hated not knowing when that clown was going to
jump out at him. This kid would play with the jack-in-the-box a couple times, but the only part he
really liked was stuffing that creepy little clown back down into the box.
What does this have to do with fear? Well, ask yourself this question: when faced with
an opportunity to change your life, do you avoid it because you don't know how it's going to come
out? Or do you grab the opportunity and embrace the fact that you can't see what's going to
The fact is, every opportunity for growth - whether personal or financial - comes with a
big unknown. We simply don't know how it's going to turn out. Yes, it could be a disaster. On
the other hand, it could be the break you've been waiting for all your life.
Now, I'm not saying we should be fearless. In fact, I think fear has gotten a bum rap.
Fear is a good thing. It keeps us from doing really stupid things, like driving 100 miles per hour
down a crowded freeway, or trying to pet the alligators at the zoo. And naturally and properly
enough, fear makes us move cautiously when we're faced with incomplete information - like what the
future holds, or whether we should invest in a business. It counsels us to get as many facts as
possible before we make big decisions. And fear also helps us get moving - like when we're facing
Unfortunately, too many people let fear paralyze them into inaction. We let it stop us
from reaching our full potential. It's not so much that we fear the footwork we'll have to do.
If we break the work into small enough pieces, there's little we can't handle. No, what frightens
us is wondering whether it's going to work out well in the end. At its worst, fear leaves us
helpless to move forward.
So how can we overcome this fear? One thing we can do is distinguish between good fear
(stress) and bad fear (distress). To let the good stress help you, set goals, create budgets, and
strive for continuous improvement. Get rid of the distress by letting go of the things you can't
control and by focusing on revenue. If a particular task scares you, break it into small pieces
that you can handle. Focus on your successes, do the footwork, and let the future take care of
We all have fears. When it works for us, our fear provides us with motivation and energy.
When it goes amuck, though, it can bog us down so completely that we can't move. If we can change
the way we approach our fear, we may find ourselves rewarded with riches of all sorts. One thing's
for sure, though: if you don't turn that crank, you'll never find out what sort of surprise is in
Don DeRosa provides a 434 page workbook, 10 audio CDs, and two bonus CDs containing forms you
need to be a success. "Making a
Fortune Short-Selling Second Mortgages". Visit DonDeRosa.com on the internet or contact
him at 770-475-1584.
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