CHIE, Honesty, Integrity, Leaders

Use Fear To Success

Use Fear To Success

Fear can be dangerous. It can inhibit us from doing things we should be doing. Fear can paralyze us in the worst time. The phrase “fight or flight” describes the moment of fear. When faced with the most fearful situation, what will you do? Will you stand and fight? Or will you run away? If we can understand fear, we can use it to drive our success.


For this instance of fear, I do not imply using fear and intimidation towards others to get what you want. I would never advocate the use of fear and intimidation in the manipulation of others. That goes against the CHIE leadership model that I hold dearly. You can read more about CHIE leadership here. The fear I refer to here is the fear we have within ourselves.


Everyone has fears they have to deal with. I know I certainly do. Fear is natural and it shouldn’t be something we’re ashamed to admit we have. The bravest of people which includes soldiers and heroes, men and women, all have fears. The stronger and more secure the person is, the more willing they’re willing to admit to their fears. What they don’t do is allow their fears to consume them.


When dealing with fears, there are 4 should and 4 shouldn’t that I think is important to consider. Here are the first 4 things we shouldn’t allow fear to do.

  1. Doing– Fear is very powerful.  It can easily deter us from doing things that we should do.  When you recognize that you’re facing fear and it’s preventing you from doing something, slow down.  Carefully analyze the situation.  If you come to the conclusion that the fear is preventing you from moving forward, understand why.  Reconsider and if the risks to reward makes sense, then reconsider.

  2. Freeze– I introduced the “fight or flight” saying earlier.  Freezing in the face of fear is something even worse.  It’s not fighting or fleeing from the situation.  It’s being so afraid that you’re frozen and don’t do anything at all.  Although this is a rare fear but they do exist.  You shouldn’t allow yourself to freeze and not make decision.  Make the best decision for the best outcome you predict and have confidence in your decision.  Don’t allow fear to prevent you from making decisions.

  3. Blame– A lot of people resort to blaming in the face of fear.  They fear the consequences and, therefore, deflect blame onto others.  As part of leadership and the CHIE culture, we shouldn’t be blaming others.  You can read more about the CHIE leadership culture here, but honesty and integrity is key to leadership.  If you don’t live up to that, then you’re not leading.

  4. Regret– When you allow fear to prevent you from achieving success, you eventually will also face regret.  You regret not pursuing your goals.  You also absolutely regret allowing fear to dictate your actions and decisions so much.  Don’t allow fear to also lead you to regret.


Understanding what fear does and what to avoid is only the first part.  The second part is using fear in a positive way.  Use fear to get you to the success you desire.  Here are 4 things you can leverage fear to get you to success.


  1. Let others down– One of the fears that certainly drives me is the fear of letting others down.  It’s more than just not wanting to let others down.  I fear letting others down.  It’s such a terrible feeling to me that I do what I can to not let that happen.  This is a great fear to have.  Use it.  Allow this fear to drive you to success.

  2. Details– Use fear efficiently.  Understand that the devil is in the details.  When you miss the small details, it will lead to your downfall.  Fear this.  Fear the details.  Use that and the motivating force to focus on the details and make sure you cross your “t”s and dot your “i”s. 

  3. Engaged– When you’re not engaged in what you’re doing, you allow things to slip and you allow failure to occur.  You must stay engaged and fear the fact that without your engagement, bad things will happen.  Don’t allow yourself to disengage.  Stay connected and stay engaged and use fear to drive your engagement to success.

  4. Failure– Everything we’ve discussed here so far ultimately points to failure.  Absolutely fear failure and do everything you need to do to avoid it.  Use fear of failure to your advantage.  Allow yourself to have this fear band allow it to be the driver of your success.


We all have fears.  It is part of our daily lives whether we like it or not.  Fear can prevent us from achieving greatness.  It can certainly be the main cause for our failures.  However, if we understand fear and know how to use it appropriately, it can be a driving force to our success.  Depending on our abilities to recognize it and what we chose to do about it, fear doesn’t have to be all bad.  Use fear to lead you to your success.


Photo by: Simon Watkinson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *