Fear is a friend with limited information. "He" is the manager on the team that is often a little overzealous in his responsibilities. He acts out of compassion but often without evidence to warrant his claims. He attempts to keep us "safe" at all times. Since he doesn't have much information, he bases his conclusions on assumptions derived from past experiences, perceptions and observations. He doesn't like to be ignored and can become rebellious if we attempt to repress him. The bottom-line is that fear is NOT the enemy (what keeps you from putting your hand on a hot stove?); it simply needs to be managed.
One of the greatest temptations of fear is to get caught up in "why mode?" Why do I do this? What in my past has created this fear? Why do I feel this way? This is not to say that the answers to these questions will not provide some useful information for managing fear in the future, but they can also become a way to validate inaction and paralysis, making a fear a victor in its attempts to maintain the comfort of the status quo. A more effective approach might be to deal with the effects of fear, rather than the cause.
Ask yourself, what evidence do I have to validate this assumption? What is the best thing that could happen? What is the cost of operating on a negative assumption (both to me and others)? What am I going to do, right now, to move beyond it? Easier said than done in many cases, I realize.
For me, it always comes down to this question: is the pain of where you are greater than the discomfort of what it is going to take to move you out of it? We answer that question everyday with our thoughts, words and actions. Be mindful of the choices that you're making. Do they serve you and your intentions?
A helpful exercise: Create a conversation between "Faith" and "Fear." Write a minimum of 3 pages without lifting your pen from the paper (yes, PAPER, not on your computer!). Begin with "Fear" speaking, as if you were writing the dialog in a play. Let the thoughts/conversation flow without stopping. Example:
Fear: Mark, you should not be applying for that job. You know that you're not qualified. They are never going to hire you.
Faith: But, I have the skills to do the job. They will see all of the gifts that I have to bring to the table.
Fear: You are delusional. When are you going to stop living in a fantasy world and start existing in reality?
Get the picture? You may be surprised at what you find.
Success or sabotage? Continue to direct your faith toward an assumption of success. What if you believed that everything was indeed happening FOR you instead of to you?
Is this going to be an incredible day? Set your fear aside and entertain the unlimited possibilities of the day.