Can we say that in the name of achieving success, we do not cause suffering to ourselves, others, and the planet?
We, humans, are the only living organisms on this planet that deliberately drain ourselves from energy and bring destruction to the organism that keeps us alive; ourselves and the planet.
We talked about the false perception of self last week and essentially — all detrimental activities are driven by this false perception or misunderstanding of self; its most notable activity is fear.
One of my clients runs a very successful fitness brand and recently shared with me that the commonly known fear-based approaches in this industry really drain his energy and do not align with the leader he wants to be.
And we see this often in leadership to motivate people to take action and maintain a sense of power and hierarchy.
I remember it from my days as a professional basketball player, many coaches used fear to try to motivate us. While it works for a moment, it’s like continuing to squeeze a towel; it eventually dries out. Fear mechanisms always lead to burnout, exhaustion, and dissatisfaction.
Many businesses use it as a sales strategy; so many sales trainers and protocols will say “you must create FOMO!”
What is fear-based thinking?
Interestingly, fear is the energy of contraction. Why would you want to create contraction, especially if you want to grow your business or lead people toward success? Do you see how the conflict between the motivation for action (fear) to the desirable goal (growth) is detrimental to the process?
Fear creates separation, an “us versus them” mentality. Fear is always derived from ignorance; our false perception of self as a separate mind-body!
Therefore, fear-based thinking and decision-making always create separation. We can see it very evident in electoral campaigns; the entire approach is to divide and plant fear about the other party. Yet, they claim to try to create an inclusive and cohesive society. Sadly, it will never happen with the current paradigm; a system that is organized around the false perception of fear and division will never result in inclusion, cohesion, and wellbeing.
Fear, at its core, is just the activity of a mind that has not yet realized its true nature. A mind that identifies itself as an individual mind-body, not recognizing “I am awareness.”
Fear-based thinking creates these top 3 detriments to your performance
- Stunts Growth: Are you afraid of not finding the right clients? Afraid that your business will not be successful? Fear-based thinking will often make you say “yes” to clients or opportunities that drain you and will not inspire your best work. Therefore, it is not the best way to start a relationship. Whether this is client-relationship, friendship, or a significant other, there is no difference between fear-based thinking and how the ripple effect impacts all aspects of life and business.
- Leads to Burn Out: Burnout is the highest risk to all high performers; whether it is athletes or entrepreneurs, business owners, and leaders. The term burnout lends itself to say that something has lost its flame or fire, alluding to the fact that fire is needed to continue onward. Fire is an element that has been revered and explored in many ancient traditions – from the physical fire used in rituals, to the internal flame that lights you up to action. Using fear to continually motivate action may seem like it’s working at the moment but over time it drains your energy and is not a sustainable source of energy. How do you continue to fuel your own energy and fire without burning it out and lead to poor performance?
- Lose your Purpose: Fear is not our natural state of being. It is a helpful mechanism to protect our bodies and pull us back from harm. A constant state of fear, which most people are still experiencing daily, doesn’t allow the body to operate in its natural-optimal state. Freedom and happiness are our essential nature, they are the elements of our being; they are what we essentially are and thus our purpose. Our body is a very intelligent organism, it will not let us go against our nature for too long which is why the body can lead to “burnout” — it’s protecting us. The only true words we can speak of ourselves are “I am freedom and happiness.” Almost any other word that would come after “I am…” would be a limitation created by thought and conditioning created by society.
If we use fear as motivation for action and if we follow the thoughts, words, and actions of the unrealized self, the result will never be freedom and happiness. It is a simple equation, it will never be possible.
As long as you take any action, think any thoughts, and speak any words that are derived from that kind of thinking, it will never result in happiness, freedom, fulfillment, or the experience of success.
In the exact same way, we do not expect the military to bring peace between countries. The military is the mechanism of fear; fear creates separation and war, not peace. More military does not equal more peace; exactly the other way around.
So, how do we lead differently?
I can break down the entire approach into a single choice; the choice is love.
At every moment, with every thought, word, and action we have a choice between love or fear. Love is the energy of expansion. If fear always results in contracting experiences, love always results in expansion experiences. When our thoughts, words, and actions are derived from realizing our true nature, they follow with love and expansion. To that experience of knowing our true nature and aligning our life & business accordingly, we call happiness, freedom, fulfillment, and success.
It is that simple.
An equation that starts will with fear-based action or with false discriminating thinking, will never ever result in freedom, peace, and well-being!
When you are energized and in good well-being and in alignment with your true nature — you feel successful and perform better; it is not the other way around!
How can your career or business be your creative expression of love? Let me know in the comments!