They say that fear is a good thing, because it proves the worth of something you want. Here are twelve quotes on overcoming fear and doubt in pursuit of business goals.
12 Quotes About Overcoming Fear for Business Leaders
“We learn to do by doing.” Denzel Washington
“Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will.” W. Clement Stone
“Bran thought about it. ‘Can a man be brave if he’s afraid?’ ‘That is the only time a man can be brave,’ his father told him.” George R.R. Martin in A Game of Thrones
“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” Louisa May Alcott
“There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.” Andre Gide
“Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing.” Emma Donaghue in Room
The only art we have to master now is, “to look at things without fear, and to fearlessly do right.” Friedrich Durrenmatt
“We consume our tomorrow fretting about our yesterdays.” Persius
“Fear is the mind-killer.” Frank Herbert in Dune
“I understand that fear is my friend, but not always. Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.” Hunter S. Thompson
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Jack Canfield
“Never trust your fears – they don’t know your strength.” Athena Singh
Stats Shed Light on Overcoming Fear in Business
Statisticbrain.com’s data sheds light on the things that make people afraid. Perhaps most compelling when it comes to overcoming fear in business is this: 60 percent of things feared never take place. If you’re a business leader that likes to play the odds, this is good news. If you believed there was only a 4 in ten chance that your fear could be realized in any given scenario, wouldn’t you be more likely to forge ahead?
As human beings we even waste time being scared of things that are irrelevant. 30 percent of the things we’re afraid of have already happened and cannot be changed and 90 percent of the things we’re afraid of are insignificant.
If you’re a business leader who is terrified of public speaking, you’re not alone. About 3 of every four people have glossophobia (the fear of public speaking). Doesn’t it make you feel just a little bit better (and more confident) knowing that most of the presenters you’ve always thought had a natural talent for public speaking struggle with anxiety just as much as you?
We might be under false assumptions about our co-workers, too. Nearly 8 percent of all people suffer from sociophobia – the fear of people or social situations. Other common fears that can affect us and our workplace colleagues include:
- fear of writing
- fear of eating in front of others
- fear of meeting people of higher authority
- fear of using a telephone
These social phobias may be hard to spot in some but can produce heart palpitations, dry mouth, hot or cold flashes and even trembling. Nearly half of people with social phobias will develop Agoraphobia which makes them actively avoid situations that trigger these fears in order to avoid feeling trapped or helpless or – worst of all – actually embarrassing themselves by having a public panic attack.
Perhaps the most important thing you should know is that most people have fears; it’s OK, it’s normal, it’s part of the human condition. Fear exists in part as a filter that makes us pause before doing something we shouldn’t or at least long enough to assess a situation and prepare before going ahead.
As the leader of your business you might have assumed it was important to show no fear; however, if you do so you might be depriving other staff of valuable lessons in overcoming fear. Likewise, if staff believe they are the only ones with fear they might be reluctant to step out and develop as future business leaders themselves. Staff who believe they alone have fears may even isolate themselves, become depressed, suppress productivity potential, and so on.
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
Lots of famous people have phobias. We are pretty sure that most of us would be afraid of a big bad wolf, but did you know that Orlando Bloom is scared of pigs, Lyle Lovett is terrified of cows and Justin Timberlake hates snakes, spiders and sharks? Jennifer Aniston, Cher and Whoopi Goldberg are no different than the scores of business professionals who share their fear of flying. Kim Basinger and Daryl Hannah fear wide open spaces while Uma Thurman suffers from claustrophobia and fear of confined spaces. Christina Ricci is afraid of indoor plants. Sheryl Crow hates scary noises. Madonna is afraid of thunder.
Disneyland’s “What Scares You?” survey of more than 4,000 adults and 1,600 kids found that more than half are (or were) afraid of (non-existent) monsters and 9 out of every ten of us admit we are very afraid of at least one thing.
If you’re a business leader with these fears or others, you’re not alone. You can turn to mentors, advisers, counselors or self-help with books about overcoming fear in general, or overcoming a particular fear. The secret isn’t in never being afraid, but in not letting fear hold you, your professional goals or your business dreams prisoner.
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