One of the main reasons people fail to reach their full potential is because they are unwilling to risk anything. They are fearful of losing, failing, or getting hurt and just want to do the things they believe will keep them safe. They simply want to maintain their status quo and avoid anything that might upset the mediocre expectations they have for their lives.
Now, I don’t want you to get the idea that I am making fun of people who have mediocre expectations. Most people have mediocre expectations for themselves, and they come by it naturally. Their experience has conditioned them to believe mediocrity is about as good as it gets, so their expectations match their experience.
What I am saying is that experience is a great teacher but we should never let our experience influence what we think about our potential. Did you know that every human being is created with a purpose and that they have a responsibility to not only discover their purpose but also to fulfill it?
I don’t mean that it is every person’s destiny to be rich and famous, but it is every person’s destiny to do something that will make a positive difference in the lives of others. That is one of the reasons I believe you can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want. I love what Joan of Arc said when she stated, I’m not afraid. I was born to do this.” If you believe as I do that you were born to win, you’re going to have to find your fears and start facing them. Face them over and over again until you have nothing to fear but fear itself.
To discover your purpose and act on it, you will have to take risks. What does it mean to take a risk, and how can you overcome the fear of taking risks? First, let’s consider how you might have become fearful of taking risks in the first place. Most people become fearful because they have been hurt by taking risks in the past.
That is why our experience contributes to possibly limiting what we think we can do or are willing to do. The way to correct this thinking is to realize that the mistakes we made in our past are actually assets that we can use for our benefit today. It is not that we should stop taking risks. It is that we should not repeat things we have done in the past that did not work.
There is a big difference between the two!
Think about all the lessons you have learned from past attempts and then find a way to use them in a new endeavor. By taking risks you open your life up to new and exciting possibilities. Let others sit around and wait for opportunity, you go out and find it.
* This article is an excerpt from Zig Ziglar’s, Born to Win.
Zig Ziglar is a teacher and motivator. He offers a newsletter filled with more of his inspiring stories as well as practical ideas to help you in the areas of sales, marketing, customer service, and related topics. You can visit him at www.zigziglar.com.
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