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Self Development

6 Thoughts on Why Facing Your Fears Could Help You Achieve Massive Success

Fire-breathing dragons are a good reason to be afraid. Business fears, maybe not so much.

Matthew Toren




Everyone has fears. They’re important, and they’ve helped keep us alive throughout our evolution. Think about the fears characters understandably feel at certain points in Game of Thrones, the hugely successful HBO dramatic series which combines elements of medieval times and fantasy.

We’re talking outrageously murderous kings here, plus scheming lords and ladies. Large men with even larger swords. Even fire-breathing dragons.

We-recommend-tickWe recommend: 4 Ways to Overcome Your Unreasonable Fears

In Season One of GOT, a great line illustrates the point about fears perfectly. The speaker is Robb Stark, eldest son of the lord of Winterfell and generally a good guy, who decides to declare war and march south to Kings Landing, the capital of the Seven (usually warring) Kingdoms and home to a lot more of those men with swords.

Theon Greyjoy, the son of another royal house, asks Stark if he’s afraid. And Stark, his hands trembling, replies, “I guess I must be.” To which Greyjoy’s response is perfect: “Good, that means you’re not stupid.”

It certainly was appropriate for the denizens of GOT‘s medieval era to be afraid, but does the same apply to you? For, while fear was an important factor in our hereditary past, in our modern day and age, our fears today are often based more in psychology than actual physical threats.

Drawing on some of the books I’ve enjoyed, I offer six thoughts on why facing your fears will assist you in creating massive success.

1. Fears help you decide what’s real

I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened. – Mark Twain

When you take the time to actually define your fears, you learn to separate fact from fiction. This is an important distinction. Some things you’re afraid of will be valid, but many will be mental worst-case scenarios that have simply spiraled further in your mind than they ever will or would in reality.

2. Fears help you create appropriate responses

What about the fears on your list that you’ve defined that are actually valid, like losing a client or employee, gettng backlash from a layoff or encountering some other tangible fear? Easy. When you face fears that have merit – now that you’ve defined them – you can come up with an action plan of responses to mitigate the damages.

Think of this list as your “fear emergency plan.” You know what you’d do in the case of a fire or earthquake, so why not enact a plan of appropriate responses you could take against some of your more valid business fears?

We-recommend-tickWe recommend: How Lize Fouche Started with Nothing but Blood, Sweat, and Fears

courageous-knight3. Fears help you develop courage

Bran thought about it. “Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?” “That is the only time a man can be brave,” his father told him.” – George R.R. Martin, series author, A Song of Ice and Fire, on which HBO’s GOT series is based.

Perhaps I’m just missing Game of Thrones in the off-season, but this quote really struck me and is an important facet of facing your fears. You don’t develop bravery and courage in the good times, you develop them when you actually confront fears.

If you were once afraid of starting your own business, but did it anyway, you know the terror, but also the reward, that comes from facing fears head on. Your courage grows with each fear you face.

4. Fears help you develop wisdom

There is wisdom that comes from the experience of working through fears. Some of your fears may have even come true. If you are a business owner and have seen your business falter or fail, perhaps you’ve already lived through adversity.

The silver lining of these experiences is that you learn from them. Wisdom comes from all of life’s experiences, but the fearful or bad ones in particular teach us great lessons. Wisdom is always the by-product of facing your fears, and that’s an important quality to develop.

5. Fears help you develop compassion

Dealing with fears helps your develop compassion. When you yourself have been afraid, you’re more likely to have patience and feel compassion toward others experiencing similar situations.

After all, we all want a good life. When you push hard for what you want, and experience the joys and failures of success, you learn compassion you can use to help others push through their early fears.

We-recommend-tickWe recommend: 10 Fears You Must Overcome When Starting a New Business

You can put yourself in the shoes of someone who is just starting out, and that empathy can help guide that person to have deeper courage.

6. Fears help you develop resilience

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger and more resilient.” – Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Resilience comes from facing your fears. You become better than your surroundings and transform yourself above the fear and into bigger and bigger success. Resiliience starts with you, and it begins in your mind. Face your fears and learn to rise to face whatever is in front of you.

This article was originally posted here on

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.

Self Development

6 Mental Barriers You Must Tear Down To Succeed

The world has few obstacles as formidable as the ones in our own mind.

Timothy Sykes



Mental Barriers

Have you hit a slump in your career? If you are finding it difficult to get ahead, it could be because you’re inadvertently holding yourself back in ways you don’t even realize.

Many of us have unhealthy habits and behaviors that stunt our career growth. By becoming aware of them, it’s possible to begin facing these obstacles head-on so that you can remove potential roadblocks to your future success. Here are 6 surprising things that are holding you back:

1. You don’t know the basics

What if you were to build a house on top of a weak foundation? It might be fine for a while, but one day, it would inevitably cause problems and affect your quality of life. Similarly in your career, if you don’t take the time to form a strong foundation of knowledge in your field, it may keep you from advancing and growing later on. Therefore, it’s vital to learn (and sometimes to re-learn) the basics.

There’s no shame in hitting the books and learning the basics or re-learning them, even well into your career. You know how when you re-watch a movie or re-read a book you pick up on things you didn’t notice the first time around? It’s very much the same in career education. So whether you’re a baker or an investor or a manager, make sure to develop a strong foundational knowledge of your field of work. It will serve you in many ways as your career advances.

Related: Purposeful Work: The Six Barriers To Fulfilment In The Workplace

2. Vague goals

Setting clear and specific goals is one of the major building blocks of career success. On the flip side, without specific goals, you’re more likely to suffer from lack of motivation and aimlessness in your career.

Want proof? Consider the work of Dr. Edwin Locke, who released a still-relevant article in 1968 entitled “Toward a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives.” In this research-based article, he determined that employees were most highly motivated by clear objectives and specific feedback.

Working toward extremely specific goals provided a major source of motivation to actually reach the desired end result, which improved performance. Moreover, specific and difficult goals led to better task performance than vague or easy goals.

3. Caring too much what others think

According to Aristotle, “There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” Are you too much of a people pleaser? If so, this tendency could be holding you back from finding the success you deserve.

No matter what you do, you’ll never please everybody. Yes, you should always make your best efforts in any endeavour, and you should always try to be respectful of the opinions of others. However, don’t let other people’s opinions affect your every move. If you do, you’ll constantly operate from a place of fear and will never achieve great things.

4. You’re trying to figure out everything without a mentor

 Bill Gates, Bob Dylan, Oprah Winfrey. What do these people have in common? They’re all crazy successful…and they all had mentors.

Many people suffer from the belief that to become successful, they have to do the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest alone. However, this mindset is likely stunting their career and slowing down success. Truthfully, seeking out the guidance of a mentor is both a brave and smart career move. A mentor who is further along in their career than you can help advise you, point you in the right direction and help you avoid common pitfalls. There is so much to gain from having a mentor; why hold yourself back by trying to do everything alone?

5. Poor time management

Without a doubt, pursuing a new career or business endeavor takes time. Many people claim that it’s impossible to work toward their dreams because there’s just no time. But is this really true?

The fact is, nobody’s ever going to gift wrap extra time and give it to you like a present. It’s your responsibility to make time. It might involve changing some of your habits like bingeing on Netflix or getting lost on Facebook for hours on end. Or, it might mean that you wake up early in the morning like Apple CEO Tim Cook, who gets up at 3:45 so he can answer emails and take some time for himself before the responsibilities of the day descend. There are always ways to make time for what matters if you’re truly driven to succeed.

Related: Is Your Business Prepared For The Worst? How You Can Stress-Test Your Business

6. You stopped learning

Lifelong learning is a trait of the most successful people. Don’t you want to be one of them? If you think you know everything, then there’s no possible way for you to continue moving forward in your career or even your life.

As Malcolm X famously said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” When you approach the world as if you can learn from every experience and every person, you’ll reap many benefits. You’ll be able to keep improving, you’ll be able to remain mentally nimble, and since you won’t be a know-it-all, people will probably like you a lot better. Never stop learning if you want to keep growing.

Are any of these things secretly holding you back?

This article was originally posted here on

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Self Development

(Infographic) How 9 Creative Minds Got Their Ideas

From doing headstands to drinking 50 cups of coffee a day, check out the quirky things that these nine creatives have done.




Coming up with new, creative ideas can be tricky. That’s why it’s important to find a way to get inspired. After all, it’s our own unique rituals that can bring mental clarity and creativity. That could be a quirky habit or routine such as doing headstands or wearing lots of hats.

Igor Stravinksy did headstands, which he believed helped to rest his head and clear his brain. Author Dr. Seuss felt that wearing lots of crazy hats helped inspire his creativity and overcome writer’s block. However, those aren’t even the strangest routines that some of the world’s most brilliant minds have utilised. Steve Jobs bathed his feet in toilet water to reduce stress levels while Honore de Balzac drank up to 50 cups of coffee a day.

Check out Business Backers infographic below to learn the weird ways that nine creative minds got their ideas.


This article was originally posted here on

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Self Development

15 Traits Of Unstoppable People

Unstoppable people keep their inner fires burning by developing the characteristics necessary to become successful.



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Unstoppable people are like warriors. They are always ready to take on the world. They are guided by a light from within, full of boundless energy and unwavering in their goals. They have learned to activate their natural talents and develop the skills necessary to achieve whatever they aim for.

How do they do this? Where do they find the stamina and strength to keep going? Unstoppable people keep their inner fires burning by developing the characteristics necessary to become successful. Here are 15 traits that will help you go from being a solid achiever to being a truly unstoppable person.

Do you have any yet?

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