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  • Writer's pictureRaven Bonniwell

Samwise The Fearful: How fear helps AND hurts us.



High achieving people have drive in spades. Their drive enables them to become leaders in their field. In many cases, this drive stems from fear.


It is a fear that says, “I have to do more in order to prove that I am enough, that I deserve this position, that I deserve to be paid what I’m paid, and that I deserve to be listened to.” It is a fear that asks, “What if somebody finds out that I’m just a person? What if somebody finds out that I’m not actually good enough - that I am a fraud.”


This fear is not necessarily all bad. Often, and particularly in high achieving people, it motivates and keeps you going. It encourages you to push yourself and take on more than you thought you could. You’ve been able to achieve all the things that you have achieved because of that little nagging voice says, “Go further, go further, go further…”


Fear is like Samwise Gamgee in Lord of the Rings. Sam is the character that continues to tell Frodo, “No, it’s too dangerous, don’t go any further, please don’t do this.” Frodo just keeps saying, “I hear you Sam, and we’re going to keep going.” Keep in mind, Sam goes with Frodo the entire journey. And in the end, Sam does have to save Frodo! (Spoiler alert.) Samwise the fearful has to step in and make sure that Frodo lives.


Sam is a very important part of the story, as is our fear of failure. But if Frodo had listened to him from the beginning, there wouldn’t have been an adventure at all. And the ring wouldn’t have been destroyed.


Often times, when fear arises in coaching, it isn’t a fear that is serving you. It pops up when you’re uncomfortable and you’re getting out of places you’re familiar with. In these cases, fear is a byproduct of growth and adventure. I ask my clients, “Is that fear coming from an automatic place? Or is it serving you?”


Here’s the thing about fear: You will always have it. You are not going to eradicate fear. Fear is a part of life and it is there for a reason. But we can choose how we relate to fear. We can decipher whether it is serving us or holding us back.


Fear is an important part of life, and you may have to walk through it to get the where you want to be. As a coach, I can help you choose when to listen to that fear and when to say, “I see you there. We’re going to go on this adventure anyway”.


Originally published on Linked-In

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