What in the world prompted a young man to leave behind his young bride and son in Africa to come to America for graduate studies; without money or scholarships to pay for his studies? This was his first time of travelling out of his home country and this meant living behind all the familiar, sights, tastes, sounds and all he had been used to from birth. With just a single suitcase he borrowed money at 120% a year for his air ticket and embarked on a journey to a foreign country without any guarantees it was going to work. He is neither the first nor the last to embark on such a journey. Many immigrants share a similar story. What prompts people to take such a risk?
By now you may be wondering who the young man is. It was me in 2002. I left Cameroon with a single phone number on me and when flight landed at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the person to pick me was in Oklahoma City. I waited at the airport for him to drive from Oklahoma City to the airport in Dallas; after many hours he showed up and took me home. (See Coming to America: A Journey of Faith page 52).
Fear is a normal reaction when you are faced with uncertainties or when things do not go the way you anticipated. We all have to deal with fear on a daily basis. For example, the fear of losing a job, the fear of not winning a contract, the fear of being rejected and treated as an outside by others, the fear of being different etc.
One of the greatest fears is the fear of failure. This has killed many dreams and caused many people to become stagnated.
Let fear become a motivator for you to do better. You can do this by focusing on the root of issue, for fear is usually a symptom of something deeper. If you confront the issue head on the fear will disappear. Information is an excellent antidote for fear, so make use of the resources at your disposal and overcome your fear. As Winston Churchill said, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”
Get excited when fear shows up, for it is time for growth and expansion. All who have made great strides have figured out how to harness the power that is hidden in fear. Do not let fear prevent you from being all you were created to be. What is the worst thing that can happen if you start that new business or enroll in that program? Failure? Of course failure is not bad itself so long as you leverage the failure and make it work for you. That is a discussion for another day.
Remember you are not alone, as King Solomon said a few thousand years ago, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Do not let fear stop you, instead let it to motivate you to try new things and do the impossible.