I am convinced that most people don’t express their gifts and become successful because of fear more than any other factor.
We know we must work hard to win, but ultimately, we must face the truth that if success were easy, everyone would do it.
Every measure of success comes with a dark side, and the willingness to face that dark side will enable us to experience victory.
Are you holding yourself back because of the fear of:
Don’t let these fears block you from expressing your gifts
1. Fear of Failure
The most common fear that holds us back is the fear of failure.
We know how to do our current job well.
It might suck the life out of us, but we know it, and it is a guaranteed paycheck.
Our family will eat and have a roof over their heads if we don’t rock the boat.
If I risk sharing my gifts and going to do something that gives my soul life, I might lose all of that.
Will my family reject my dreams?
Will I still have a job?
Are my friends going to laugh at me when I fail?
These fears should give us pause.
Fear is not bad in itself.
Consider this fear an opportunity to discuss the possibilities with your employer or others impacted by your choice.
Work to minimize the risk, which might help get you over the fear.
Also, keep your ears open.
The truth may be that others are waiting to see you succeed and will offer other help or investment to allow you to excel at your new endeavor.
Fear of success
I often see this with the men and women I serve at the Gospel Rescue Mission and in previous experience at other missions.
Often these men and women have hidden talents, and they develop them.
Just as they are on the verge of being discovered and may make a living from these talents, they self-implode.
When this happens, I scratch my head and wonder what just happened.
Multiple conversations made it clear they did not feel like they deserved success because of other choices they had made.
Their self-image has been so shattered that any applause is instantly rejected, and they are reminded that they once failed.
Secondarily, I might walk along a fallen tree as a balance beam in the woods.
I think little of it.
But it is unlikely that I would use the edge of a five-story building in the same way, even though it might offer me more width to work with.
The same thing is true in life.
If I fail at my entry-level fry cook job, that is easy.
But if I fall after I have the district manager position, it is much more difficult to rebound.
Consider this fear an opportunity to build up your self-worth.
Take stock of your talents and abilities.
You are worthy, or you would not have these talents.
Yes, you may fall from a greater height if you risk success, but what a ride it will be.
Think of expressing your gifts as an adrenaline rush.
Fear of rejection
This fear, too, is common in expressing our gifts.
I have this incredible talent, but maybe the world does not need that talent right now.
We use this one to justify doing nothing and living a soulless life.
Yes, you will be rejected.
Actors know this better than most professionals.
When you see a star in a movie, recognize that regardless of their talent, they were likely rejected thousands of times before they got to the big screen.
No risks, no rewards.
Fear of change
Most of the world desires change but fears it at the same time.
We cannot control change.
It will probably control us.
If I show off my talent, I will probably lose my current routine.
Life will never be the same if I share my gifts.
This one is true.
No doubt about it, things will change when you express your gifts.
People will expect more, and your old routines will no longer work.
No more quiet evenings at home for you.
But what is in store is a life of significance.
Put that on for size.
Many years from now, when your body is food for worms, your significance will still live on.
Fear of exposure
Now, this is a big one that keeps us from expressing our gifts!
Watch auditions for musicals or some reality shows.
Some men and women believe they have some awesome talent and are actually awful.
As you watch them perform, they are so proud and are waiting for you to give them applause.
They have been told they are talented because the family did not want to hurt their feelings or were possibly blinded by love.
This is what we are afraid has happened to us.
We wonder if this talent we are about to expose is real.
Have those around us been hesitant to tell us the truth?
This, too, we can confront.
Find unbiased people to give us honest feedback.
Plead with our loved ones to tell us the truth.
Seek feedback from service clubs or other strangers.
Let them fill you in on the truth.
Worst-case scenario, you won’t end up on TV as a joke.
Best-case scenario, you receive confirmation of your gifts.
You have gifts, so don’t be afraid to express them
They might be unusual, or you might not understand how they could benefit society, but you have them.
If you take the risk and express that gift, you might improve the world.
We, the people, need you to express that gift.
Our world is waiting.
Tell us about your gifts in the comment section below.
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