Fears That Motivate

By Scott Schimmel

As a senior in college I was faced with the inevitable decision to figure out what to do after I graduated. I had been extremely focused on a career in Finance and Accounting, but headed into my last year in college, I began to have serious doubts.

The night before a final round of interviews at a prestigious accounting firm, I had a nightmare that altered the path I took ever since. In my dream I pictured myself in twenty years— I saw where I worked, I saw the suit I was wearing, I saw the car that I drove to work (a BMW 5-series, in case you’re interested), I saw the neighborhood I lived in, and I saw my corner office. Why was it a nightmare? Because I didn’t want to grow up like that. 

Sometimes our fears ought to be paid attention to— they tell us something about ourselves. 

My favorite t-shirt company in Junior High was a brand called No Fear. They had dozens of clever sayings on the back, encouraging young, thoughtless pre-teens like me to do hazardous things. Nike capitalized on the concept, too, with their enduring ‘Just Do It’ campaign. If you’re afraid of something- don’t think about it, just do it. 

Well, a lot of people have followed that advice down bad paths. 

Wise people pay attention to their fears, learn from them, and recognize whether they need to face them, or avoid them all together. 

When I had my nightmare it tapped into big fears for me- fears that I would just be a nice guy, fears that my life would be boring and routine, fears that I would just be ordinary. I had a growing desire at the time to make a world-changing impact with my career and my life, and the deep fears helped me realize what I truly wanted. 

Before you go charging into shark-infested waters, or apply to a prestigious university, or say yes to a job offer, take your fears out on a date and get to know them a bit:

— What am I truly afraid of?

— Why am I afraid of those things?

— What do those fears say about what I truly want?

— What would happen if my fears came true?

Your fears are instructive. Some of them deserve a slap in the face. Others, a nice bottle of red. 

We have developed the YouSchool program to give people an opportunity to explore their fears, to learn from them, and to design a life that puts fear in it’s appropriate place. We have a 1-1 Program or a Group program in a peer setting ready for you to grow. 

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