What if Fear is the Only Thing Holding You Back?

Kathleen Byars | October 29, 2016

Do you remember the public service announcement This is Your Brain on Drugs? It shows a guy cracking an egg into a frying pan. The egg represents the brain. As the guy cracks the egg into the pan he quips, “This is Your Brain. This is Drugs. This is Your Brain on Drugs. Any Questions?”

I remember that commercial from my youth. The effect became really clear to me as I learned how to build the trailblazing life I always wanted. Except instead of “drugs,” I substitute the word “fear.” This is Your Brain. This is Fear. This is Your Brain on Fear. Any Questions?

If you’ve ever tried to make monumental changes in your life, you know it’s INCREDIBLY hard.

As business professionals, we instantly gravitate toward finding a strategy.

We try everything. We start a small business on the side. We blog, we network, we fancy writing a book. Yet, nothing seems to work. We desperately want someone to tap us on the shoulder and say “Here. Do THIS…” and viola, we find the perfect strategy that works.

Other times, we HAVE a strategy. We have clarity and know exactly what we want…but then FEAR reaches up and holds us back. Even the simplest things become difficult. So we retreat to our safe zone and rationalize why we can’t change our lives just yet.

It’s odd, but I have found that you can have the best, simplest, most amazing strategy in the world…

…but if you don’t overcome fear, doubt, and self-sabotage…you cannot build enough momentum to reach success.

And earning success on your own terms is AUDACIOUS. It’s scary as hell.

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I’ve seen this ring true over and over again working with clients who are following a traditional path.They have tried all sorts of me-too methods for building success in their lives and businesses, yet they’re still struggling. And they are BONE TIRED.

I totally get it. I ran full speed on that hamster wheel for a LONG TIME, too.

So when my clients sit down with me for our very first consult and I ask them to do things DIFFERENTLY – and invite them to really re-consider their chosen strategies they are scared as hell.

The mind is a curious thing. In it’s effort to protect us, the mind can actually become our own enemy and prevent us from living the lives we want. Instead of enjoying meaningful, blossoming work we choose to keep our nose to the grindstone. Rather than building a flexible life that gives us the freedom to enjoy what is most precious to us, we compress our dearest moments into a few hours each night or weekend. Why the heck do we do this?

FEAR. Fear propels us into a FALSE sense of safety that is hiding under a lifetime of habits and deeply ingrained scripts. We don’t pause long enough to deal with those scripts so we just keep chugging – and hoping – that the perfect strategy will fall into our laps before we fall into the grave.

Think about it. How many of your current challenges are because you don’t KNOW something? How many are because you’re stuck in fear?

As successful corporate executives, business people, and members of the human race we have PROVEN over and over again that we know how to survive, overcome challenges, and build success. If you don’t believe me just look in the mirror. Think of all you have achieved to get where you are today!

Yet, that next step is a doozy – it’s the one that takes you off the beaten path into unknown territory. It’s the path of uncertainty, doubt, and FEAR.

Fear happens; it’s not your fault. We are all human. Yet once you know what is holding you back, then it’s up to you to do something about it.

The question is not, “What if I fail?” but, “What will I miss out on if I don’t do this?”

So what are you going to do about it? If you’re open to sharing, please tell us in the comments below!


I believe we all have a bit of trailblazer inside us, don’t you? It’s my passion to help others create change. I’ve always found that disrupting the status quo leads to an amazing life where nothing is impossible.

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