Here’s a nice article on overcoming fear by Brian Tracy (via Curt Rosengren). I especially like the story about halfway through the article where Brian Tracy explains how he dealt with his fear of poverty as well as the “Corridor Principle.”
Life is perverse in the sense that, the more you seek security, the less of it you have. But the more you seek opportunity, the more likely it is that you will achieve the security that you desire.
How very true.
When I stepped up onto the stage last night before giving my speech, I gazed out over the audience and smiled for a few seconds before I started talking — this is something I always do. It’s a reminder to myself that I choose to do this and that I choose to enjoy it. Yet supposedly most people are more terrified of public speaking than they are of death itself. Perhaps it’s because there’s no security once you’re up on stage. You’re totally exposed. But you also have tremendous opportunity — the chance to influence people, to make a difference in their lives, to have an impact. If security is more important than opportunity, you’ll deny yourself some tremendous opportunities, both to help others and to help yourself.
Certain opportunities cannot be grabbed until you let go of your death-grip on the need for security. I think this is what Brian Tracy meant in his article when he discussed the corridor principle. Some opportunities only come online when you’re already in motion, so if you stay put and stick to what keeps you feeling secure, you automatically pass up great opportunities — you won’t even see them. For example, often you must release a dead-end job or a dead-end relationship in order to access something better for you.
It’s hard to summon the courage to value opportunity over security. Very hard. Anyone who says otherwise is probably trying to sell you something. But it’s worth it. So let it be hard, respect it as one of life’s major challenges, and do it anyway.