Follow Your Fear If You Want To Grow

December 21, 2017

Categories: Fear

“Find out what a person fears most, and that is where he will develop next.”

-Carl Jung

Fear is Powerful

I love this quote by Carl Jung, because it touches on a deep truth that permeates our lives. Fear is perhaps the most powerful emotion we experience. When we experience fear, our natural tendency is to escape or avoid the thing we are afraid of. If we are afraid of flying, we stay close to home and don’t travel. If we fear commitment, we avoid relationships and marriage. If we are scared of speaking up to our boss, we avoid conflict and don’t ask for the promotion we deserve. And so on.

Fear Can Signal Growth

But here is a deep truth about fear: If we are open to it, fear can act as a signal for the next step in our growth and development. Fear can be a lighthouse in a dark, stormy sea, guiding us to where we need to go next.

That is, of course, if we want to grow and develop.

The unfortunate reality is that most of us, if we’re honest, like to stay where we are at, where it’s comfortable.

I was listening to an interview with actor Jeremy Renner, who said he realized from a young age that fear was the most powerful of all the emotions. So each day, he resolved to do one thing he was afraid of.

How awesome is that?

Instead of experiencing fear as a trigger for escape and avoidance, what if we experienced fear as a beacon or signal to guide us toward our next step of growth and development?

What is Your Next Step?

Often people are confused about what to do next. What job should I take? What should I do about my relationship? Where should I go? What should I do?

What if we let fear be our guide and do that very thing next?


Related Thoughts


  1. […] important to see negotiation as normal and not something to be afraid of. It’s essential to enter into negotiation fully, rather than back away in […]

  2. […] I was watching an interview with actor Jeremy Renner. The interviewer asked about Jeremy’s process when facing his fears. I loved his response. He said that when he was young, he recognized fear was the most powerful of all his emotions. He made a decision that he didn’t want to let fear run his life, so from ages 22-32, he tried to do one thing each day that he was afraid of. […]

  3. […] My inside and my outside didn’t match. Plus, the reason I didn’t say anything had to do with fear. I was afraid of conflict. I didn’t want to make a big deal of it. I avoided an opportunity to […]

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