Fear is a lot of things to a lot of people. For some people it is enough to stop them in their tracks from taking a step into the unknown. For others, it is doubt and uncertainty about whether they can achieve what they really want in life. For many it is the anticipation of what other people will think and say about them. Whatever fear maybe for you, for all people it is one thing. Fear is, for everyone, potential knocking at the door. The question is, are you going to open the door and let it in?

I have to admit it up front, I cannot take credit for this amazing and empowering quote. It came out of the mouth of this week’s podcast guest, Demelza Fellowes, in our podcast called Say yes with intention. What an amazing lady! It was a random decision to face her fear of attending netball trials as a teenager, when she hadn’t played the sport for years, that led her, just 18 short months later, to selection in the Australian Diamonds Squad. She went on to play high level netball and represent her country for many years. Wow! That fear she experienced was incredible potential knocking at the door. She opened the door, let it in and achieved something that seems remarkable, but it was her just fulfilling the potential already there. This is an inspiring and empowering podcast I want to encourage you to listen to.

I remember the day clearly. It was soon after I had published my first book, and I was desperate to get out of significant debt and retire from personal training so that I could pursue my dream of being a full-time author, speaker, and mentor. I had just started a side business to create an income that could help me to more quickly be in the financial position to leave my personal training career behind and have the time and money I needed to be able to do what I wanted. A major part of business expansion was contacting prospective partners and sharing the idea with them. I had my list of quality people I knew I would love to partner with, and all I had to do was call them to set up a business appointment.

I cannot tell you how long I sat there, with my phone in my hand, looking at that list, gripped with debilitating dread. What would they say? How would they respond? What would they think of me? What if they said no? What if I stuff it up? What if I forget my lines? These were just some of the fear-based questions that were stampeding through my mind. Just then, as I was about to give in to my fear, I thought about the movie, We bought a zoo. I remembered the scene where Benjamin Mee said to his teenage son, Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just twenty seconds of embarrassing bravery and, trust me, something great will always come from it.

With that in mind, it took less than twenty seconds to pick up my phone, dial the first number and connect with the first person on my list. The conversation went well. I scheduled the appointment and I realised that my fear was totally mis-directed, and that I would allow the potential I had in my hands, that was knocking at the door, to come in. That phone call was the beginning of something great. Two years later, as a result of that business, I was out of debt and retired from personal training. Since 2006, I have been able to devote my energy full time to my absolute passion, purpose, and potential. It could have been very different, however, if I had succumbed to the terror that was racking my body that day.

You have incredible potential, and I hope you know it. The challenge is that, by definition, potential is: Capable of being but not yet in existence; latent or undeveloped. That means, it is outside of your familiar or comfort zone and chances are there is fear about your capability of releasing that potential. The question I have for you is this: would you rather live with a failed attempt at something or the regret of never giving it a go because you were scared? If you succumb to the fear, the potential will never be released or realised. If you open the door to let potential in, there is a chance you will not achieve it, make a mistake, look silly and then deal with other people’s opinions. But what if it is realised? What if that incredible potential you hold inside of you, that is knocking at the door, is released and you create the amazing things in your life you have always wanted?

Please don’t allow fear to rule your life and your choices. When you feel it, just know in your heart that it is incredible potential for something great in your life, just knocking at the door. Have the courage to open the door and let it in.