We have in our house a large basket of computer, phone, ipod and other cables. When we need to charge something and we can’t find the cable, we have to hunt through the basket. It’s a daunting task. We really don’t know what half these cables are for, or if the device that they are supposed to plug into still exists. But we’re afraid to throw out a cable, because we believe that once we do, the next day we will need it.
And, actually, the cables have outgrown the basket. We now have a basket and a grocery bag stuffed full of cables, power adaptors and even a few (computer) mice. Give us a few years and you won’t be able to find us in the house because of all the wires.
Fear is a lot like our basket (and bag) of cables. Through our life, we accumulate a lot of experiences and develop a set of reactions to these experiences. Sometimes, the reactions are based in fear — either something bad happened that we don’t want to repeat, or we’ve been told something bad will happen, so we don’t want to do it. Over time, those fears can grow, wrap around and engulf us. And just like the computer and power cables, the fears are not really tied to anything useful anymore and can be thrown out.
I have found that the biggest challenge individuals and businesses have towards achieving their goals has to do with their capacity to change. And that capacity to change is largely limited by the level of varieties of fear which have been built up over time. It is not easy to get rid of these unnecessary fears. You have to identify them, you have to see if they have any validity and if not, mentally, emotionally and organizationally toss them aside. And, often, you can’t be really sure you are right until you actually do let go. That takes a leap of faith and is, in itself, scary.
The first step, however, is to be curious about how many of your actions or inactions are based more on fear than confidence. Then, perhaps you can begin to unravel them.
Now, where did I put my cell phone cord? It just hope it didn’t make it’s way to the basket!