Pictured: Richmond Indiana Fire Department Firefighter Matt Baker with Brian Benedict
Matt has goals, hopes and dreams. He and another firefighter, Nick Arbogast have started their own company and are taking the initial steps to become successful outside of the fire department.
What do they need? Passion. Vision. A Plan.
What will they have to overcome? Doubters. Negative people. Those who didn’t have enough energy or perseverance to be successful themselves.
What fear will be present? The fear of failing.
Successful people are motivated by the fear of failure. They’ve learned to use fear as fuel.
We’re conditioned at a young age to fear failure. We learn to fear test due to the pass or fail. Many are conditioned to fear the unknown for fear that they will fail. Relatives and friends add to this by telling you not to go for your dreams because you probably won’t make it anyway.
The key is focusing on what happens if I don’t do anything.
“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.”
Take a young child. They dream big and nothing is impossible. They haven’t been brainwashed yet in thinking that they can’t do it.
I’ve discovered five essentials in transforming fear into fuel.
1. I CAN
Ben Carson, the head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, was recently criticized for calling poverty “a state of mind.”
“I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind. You take somebody that has the right mind-set, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there.”
Read Napoleon Hill’s book, “Think and Grow Rich” and you’ll see similar statements.
You can either concede to doing nothing or you can energetically succeed at something. People are programmed to fear failing or they feel like they don’t deserve success. Rather than focusing on what others say focus on your goals and keep your eyes on the prize. Feed your dreams and believe in yourself.
2. Be positive.
In a negative world it’s difficult to bring an attitude of positivity. Turn the TV and radio news shows off. Bad news sells but if you don’t listen to it you won’t be influenced by it.
Don’t fill your head with junk. Stay away from the constant stream of negativity that’s so prevalent inside and outside of police and fire stations.
Why do we fear the what if’s? You have control of what you take in and how you react.
3. What can “U” influence.
Are you focusing on what you can control? Focus on your power and ability to change things for the better. Aim your efforts at what will produce positive results. Let the others focus on filling the negative barrel of sludge.
4. Your future.
Have you ever made a mistake? Of course you have. Everyone does because we’re human. So why are we afraid of making them? Embarrassment? Incompetence? Understanding that mistakes must happen in order for us to learn. Scientist make mistakes all the time. If they stopped at the first mistake we wouldn’t have all the medical advancements we have now.
I’ve made plenty of mistakes. Verbal mistakes, tasks oriented mistakes, driving mistakes and a million others. I have found a few in the fire service that have never made a mistake. Not really. These are the same people that think their ______ doesn’t stink either.
5. Free Your baggage.
Forgive and forget. Not always the easiest thing. It’s a work in progress but one that needs attention. Those that have wronged you and others have the ability to change. Some will never but others will. Try to change your thinking so your mind moves past the grudges to positive outlooks and direction. Not letting others dictate your day or your dreams is necessary for success. Freeing yourself from the baggage.
Think about it. Why would you allow a person like that to influence you anyway?
Your life is filled with opportunities. Focus on the things that you have control over. Life is short. Practice being a person that focuses on possibilities and never let anyone dictate your outcome.