Let Go of Fear in the New Year: Add Risk-Taking to Your 2017 Resolutions

The New Year has arrived and with it comes new hurdles, excitement and opportunities, and . . . if you let it, a time for a new, empowered you!

A primary directive to feeling empowered is letting go of fear. The fear of taking risks could be the single most critical barrier between you and a life of joy, satisfaction and fulfillment. When fear leaves, joy enters. At work, if you really love your comfort zone, absent of any fear – you’re likely not tapping into your potential this New Year. Now is the time to examine your beliefs – what are you afraid of? It’s time to stop playing it safe and thereby limiting your career.

Unfortunately, in many offices today, fear of risk-taking is rewarded: “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.” Or worse, “You did what??” Anyone who has worked for a tyrant of a boss, know this too well. But managers who have unlearned that thinking have made the biggest strides in corporate American and society. They view the worst outcome of risks to be mistakes – but believe that “smart mistakes” are the only way to innovate.

Business leaders we admire follow their heart as a map; the word “defeat” is not in their personal lexicon. As the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “There is no illusion greater than fear.”

Success is a mindset so you can dispel the illusion by managing your thoughts and clarifying what you’re thinking.

  • Are you envisioning a positive outcome?
  • Can you picture getting the job of your dreams or owning the company you’ve always wanted to run?
  • Can you then turn the clock back to today, creating a visual path to that goal?

What else can you do to manage negative emotion? In my first Psychology Today article for the New Year, Let Go of Fear in the New Year: Add Risk-Taking to Your 2017 Resolutions, I take a closer look at this highly complex, self-sabotaging, negative emotion and offer suggestions on how to handle it, including:

  • Using your personal guidance system
  • Examining with whom you spend your time
  • Letting “mistakes” work for you
  • Embracing laughter
  • Loving yourself

By making a commitment to let 2017 be The Year to Overcome Fear, you’ll be opening a new door to a life of joy, achievement and empowerment that you may have never thought existed.