This is a time of the year we use to set goals, professional goals (e.g. presenting an innovative idea to our boss, showing we are ready for a jump in our career), business goals (e.g. getting in a new and promising market to expand the business) or personal goals (e.g. moving to another country and starting a whole new life).

Why do we set goals for ourselves?

We set goals because we want to meet our potential, we want to meet the potential we know we have inside and we know we need to do it in the time we have available on this planet. It’s like a test… Will I be able to accomplish this?

Many times, the goals we set for ourselves seem daunting, hard or almost impossible to achieve, but we keep feeling that constant push, a strength deep inside that keeps us moving further, a desire to meet that potential, to pass the test.

Humans are creative beings, it’s part of our nature, we have dreams we want to experience, but, simultaneously, we have a brain wired to avoid pain, to keep us “safe”, maintaining us in our zone of comfort.

While facing these opposite forces, what happens to us?

Fear! Fear is what happens, and with fear comes self-doubt and loss of confidence. But is our fear real? If we’re not in a life-threatening situation, like having a lion or deadly snake right in front of us, is our fear really real?!

When related to accomplishing our goals, the fear we feel is not connected to a deadly snake or lion. The fear we feel is connected to something in the future, something that hasn’t happened yet. So, the fear we are feeling is an illusion, it’s not our reality! If something I fear hasn’t yet happened, I can do something about it, right?! I can act right now and do my best to prevent whatever my fear is telling me about a potential problem in the future!

If we think about it, fear is no more than a trigger to action and, as a trigger to action, fear can actually be our friend! It’s worth analyzing what we’re afraid of at every given moment, and from there, take specific action, at the best of our abilities, to avoid whatever we’re afraid might happen in the future. 

This is how we can achieve our goals and meet out potential – making fear our friend, looking at fear as an alert to what needs to be done and act upon it! When it comes to achieving our goals, we are the only ones to act, no one else will do it for us.  

Make fear your friend in 2018, and move forward in achieving your goals!

Cristina da Costa is a Personal & Professional Leadership Developer and Coach based in Atlanta, USA.