I received this quote today from a friend, Machen MacDonald, who I respect immensely: “Success is about making your purpose greater than your fear.” I wanted to share it with you because it has certainly given me something to think about. 

In the past I’ve spoken about Mindfulness plenty, being able to know what you are feeling at any given moment. Machen’s quote means that I need to be able, and willing, to recognize and own my fears. If you are like me, there have been times when I have tried to convince myself that I wasn’t frightened of something, I was just being “logical” to avoid it? 

A funny, yet real, example is that growing up in my neighborhood, there was a story that in one of the cemeteries, every night two fingers would stick up from one of the graves. Everyone “knew” that was crazy. However, every night everyone would cross the street in order not to walk by that cemetery, just in case… 

In business and in life, owning our fears can throw us sometimes. It can be a fear of being unliked, of being “too much,” of succeeding, of not succeeding. It varies for each of us. A client I have is terrified of succeeding because it means she would be seen, and people would know so much more about her. She wants her business to succeed nationally while she remains invisible. That really does create a dilemma. In today’s market of social media not much can remain hidden. So, what’s the choice? Fear or successfully living her purpose? It’s a risk and a choice. 

In both my personal as well as professional life, I have seen that not knowing our purpose, or not following our purpose, can lead to depression, anxiety, a mentality of surviving, and a true feeling of being lost. It feels at times as if the car is in neutral and yet you don’t know why it’s not moving. In my experience in the healthcare industry, in the long run it can also lead to illness. 

We all walk with fear, the real issue is not its existence, it’s how much emphasis, how much power do we give it? When fear shows up, what do you need to do to counteract it? Research to get more facts? Practice speaking so the presentation is less terrifying? Preparing yourself so you can walk in confidently? Getting ahead of the story so you are empowered rather than reactionary? Having support and guidance in place so you can avoid many difficulties before they begin versus being overwhelmed by them later? 

Fear can be dealt with. It can be confronted, one piece at a time. Success, as living your purpose, whether in the short-term or for the long-haul, needs to be faced wholeheartedly, with all the passion, peace, and commitment you possess. Nothing is more fulfilling than that! Contact me if you need help making that happen…


About Dorothy

Dr. Dorothy’s life story of coming from an orphanage, being raised in the housing projects of South Boston, becoming a Catholic nun, an international airline stewardess, a wife, mother, graduate faculty member, Clinical Instructor at a Medical School, and so much more provides the perfect backdrop for her message of joy, humor, passion and faith as the necessary tools for life.