Wisdom Nugget

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"A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner, so if one's life is cold and bare he can blame none but himself."

-- Louis L'Amour, 1908-1988, Novelist

Fear of the Unknown -- An Inhibitor to Success

In the recent past, I have been approached by quite a number of people seeking business/entrepreneurial advice from me but they are not willing to do what it takes to achieve their respective visions.  They desire success and well being but are not ready to move out of their current comfort zones.


One particular individual desired a new, high-income job but was afraid of letting go of his current job in case he did not fit in with the new job leading to an early dismissal.  Another individual did not want to make "too much money" in a business venture because she was afraid to lose some government medical and welfare benefits.


The fear of the unknown is what primarily keeps people in the same position.  Here are some of the examples of the fear plaguing a lot of us:



  • Fear of losing what they currently have; the fear of letting go

  • Fear of what others will say if they take such an “insane” risk

  • Fear of what others will think about them if they made it successfully and moved up to a new status

  • Fear of not being able to handle the success that the new environment brings

  • Fear of this, fear of that and just plain old fear.

The cure of this fear is to boldly face it and take the risk.  What is the worst that could happen?  For me, while using common sense to weigh the options, the risks are almost non-existent.  I don’t even try to visualize a negative outcome of my actions.  What I actually look at is the possibility that something good and beautiful will happen as a result of my actions.   I focus my entire being on seeing what I intend to happen.  And doing nothing only guarantees that I will be stuck at the same zone.


Another big aspect to the fear that most people experience is the fear of asking.  It is quite baffling that some people are too proud to ask for help or guidance, and instead choose to wallow in self pity.  Others are afraid of the pain of being rejected.   Again, what is the worst that could happen?   The worst you will get is a “No” and it will not kill you.  It will only make you stronger and bolder to ask for bigger and better things.


As quoted in the Christian Bible, “you have not because you ask not.”  Oliver Wendell Holmes, American physician, lecturer, and author, once said that “a man may fulfill the object of his existence by asking a question he cannot answer, and attempting a task he cannot achieve.”  The simple act of asking increases your chances of success greatly.  Asking opens up a possibility of receiving while keeping mute assures you of the existing conditions.


No one knows it all.  Let us overcome this fear by doing the simplest thing: asking someone else for guidance.  You never know…they just might be able to help you.  Quoting the famous Nike slogan, "Just Do It!" What do you have to lose?

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