One thing you may not know about a lot of the successful people you admire, is that they are fearful. Just like you. And believe it or not, many of the things that scare them aren’t different from the things that scare you. But are you using this fear to help you make significant progress in your life? Because they are.

It is human to be afraid. And the one thing that most of us are typically scared of is change. Difference. New. Unfamiliar.

Why? Because we aren’t born knowing everything under the sun. And so as humans, we developed a system to help us cope with this “issue”. We learned to adapt.

Right, but how does this apply to your life and your goals? Well, that’s easy. Where you are now, you probably dream of becoming someone very successful and well known. Perhaps to become a successful business person or entrepreneur.

However, you know very well that it’s not as simple as you wish it could be. In fact it’s pretty damn hard. You may need to learn new skills. You may need to establish important relationships. You may need to do things that you can’t think of immediately.

And this is scary. Because after doing all that, You are not sure if it will work out the way you probably expect it to. And what ultimately happens? You quit, for get about chasing your passion and move on with your life. It’s totally okay. I understand.

But this very last part, is the key difference between the successful and the yet-to-be successful. Because despite the fear of failing, the successful keep going on anyway.

You have heard about this before. Some call it taking a leap of faith. Others refer to it as taking a risk. And if you keep asking yourself if this venture, this idea, this dream is even worth the risks you have to take… the answer is really yes. Just take a look at that successful person you admire. They probably seem happier and more satisfied with what they have going for them.

Instead of trying to get rid of fear… use it.

Fear is an indicator that you are aiming for greater things. If you have never used a camera before and you take a picture, you get excited. You are probably asked to take pictures at your cousin’s wedding reception. You might feel a little scared at first, but end up feeling somewhat proud at the end of the day when people are going over your shots.

You probably realize that you have photography in you and decide to take pictures of ordinary everyday people down the street. At first you are scared and embarrassed to do it. But after a month or two of practice, you don’t care what people think of your camera taking poses in the middle of a busy street.

You start to wonder if you could turn this into a business but have no idea how you would get your first client. You are scared. But because you remember your uncle loving the wedding pics you took at the last wedding, you gather strength to call your other uncle. His daughter’s getting married soon and you offer to take pictures during the event… for a small fee of course.

This is fear guiding you through discovering your true passion.

Fear reminds you to not get too comfortable. Just because you think you are okay now, doesn’t guarantee that you will be okay tomorrow. I really don’t mean to turn your day sour, but this is an undeniable fact.

I like to ask myself every now and then, what would I do next if everything I had was taken away from me. I would probably cry for days… on the inside of course :).

But this reminds me to not take everything I have for granted. To appreciate the little things I have, because they are enough to help me get what I desire. So if I was a little lazy, I’d be a lot less. And if I was stalling on a personal project, I’d get right back on it.

Finally, fear allows you to realize opportunities you otherwise would not have noticed. Not only is it good at reminding you about what you could lose, if you are alert, fear also shows you what you could gain.

If you are afraid of losing your job or actually come close to doing so, you first learn to appreciate that you have one. But even more importantly, you begin to look at what you could do, to get better at your work, to secure it for as long as possible.

Or you begin to look at what else you could do (outside what you do) to secure an income, ensuring that you don’t end up in an undesired situation.

As you can see, all this is real and is happening around you all the time. Even in your own life. Whether you are trying to learn a new skill, trying to further your education, trying to secure a job, or trying to become an entrepreneur… the challenges are similar.

Use yourself as a reference on how to tackle a situation when you are scared but have to deal with it. Because you have been in that situation where you needed to take action, you were scared to do it, but you took action anyway. You probably have no regrets now and wonder why you didn’t act sooner.

Take those same principles and apply them to any setback/obstacle preventing you from making significant progress in any area of your life. Your health, personal development, personal finances… and start the life you know you should be living.

I hope this makes sense to you. Analyzing a situation and calculating risk is very important. But don’t kid yourself. There are no facts printed anywhere that say that YOU are incapable of doing what you know you should be doing. You have ZERO experience to back up your estimated risk of whether or not YOUR efforts will help you achieve YOUR goal.

Is your fear of failing greater than your desire to be successful? Share your thoughts below.