My Worst Fear Is My Biggest Strength


My Worst Fear Is My Biggest Strength

When people ask me what drives me most, my answer is never what they expect.

They may be waiting for me to talk about how passionate I am about my business and everything I do. But it’s not raw passion that pushes me to succeed.

Maybe they’d expect my drive to come from a desire for financial success and complete freedom in being able to purchase whatever I want. Money’s a decent motivator, but it hardly plays a role in getting me out of bed every morning.

Some suspect it may be for the praise and external validation that comes with pursuing ventures with inherent risks.

What I tell them is that it’s actually the possibility of my biggest fears coming to life that push me further than passion, money, or even the admiration of others.

My biggest fear, where my drive truly comes from, is that everything I’ve built up will come crashing down.

It’s the fear of failure or being put on the streets because I can’t afford to pay rent (or having to move back in with my parents because I could no longer be self-sustainable).

I’m so terrified of things not working out that it makes me spend that extra day, week, or month pressing on, whereas someone else may have quit as soon as they hit the wall.

The thought of potentially not being successful pushes me to become successful.

If I ever have any doubts about my own abilities then I might let it bother me for a while. Maybe I’ll even mentally drift away from a good conversation as I let the worries sprint around my mind a bit.

Then I snap back into reality and iterate. I figure out what my weakest areas are or I analyze the current task at hand, asking myself how I could make it better.

I tinker. I make adjustments. I stumble and fall but I get back up, because I know if I stay down or if I half-ass anything then the potential for disaster is there.

The fear doesn’t keep me up at night. It never adds unnecessary stress that affects me in the long run.

No, it’s just strong enough to kick me into gear in the present. It’s the very necessary shock that reminds me to keep my eyes on the prize.

It pushes me to go after what I want. And it gives me the energy to get it too.

My biggest fear is my biggest strength.

It’s my key to sanity, success, and happiness. It’s what keeps me from living a subpar life and what motivates me to create the lifestyle that I want.

What drives you?

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Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

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17 responses to My Worst Fear Is My Biggest Strength

  1. A nice topic I would say.
    What drives me?? Hmm?
    There are couple of things and circumstances which drive me.
    No 1 will be the way people treat me,not the friends or anyone(well they include too) but mostly like people you just know or came to know,I have a bad experience of people looking down on me.
    I want to work hard and show them that they were messing with the wrong person(not that I’m going for revenge)making myself better and successful will be my revenge.
    2nd Money definitely is.From when I was a kid,I’ve always seen my parents struggling very hard so just they could give us proper education and every basic need.
    Seen them in pain makes me want to work harder and help them in the future.
    3rd I want to challenge myself.Even though I do give up easily but then I stand back up easily too.I want to see how far can I go.
    I’m a girl and girls in my society get married at about to 25.When a girl turns 25,her parents are likely to just get her married,they start to get worried and mostly girls here are quite happy and satisfied with this.They mostly do bachelors or BBA and they know they’ll just get married and all.
    I’m working hard and I want to work more harder so I can get out of this system.I don’t want my parents to force me into marriage with some stranger(it’s not their fault,this is how my society works where every girl should just get married before 25),I want to make my place,I want to get recognition,thinking about this makes me want to work hard and not give up.
    I’m 21 and a 3rd year Med student.I always wanted to be a doctor and maybe I chose this field because I can go really farther in thus one.

    Sorry for saying so much.Looks like ranted.

    • Try to wait a little while longer then 25 to get married. Being single is loads of fun while it lasts! You want so much. Find time to find out what you really need.

    • You earn people’s respect by bringing results, plain and simple. There’s no magic word you can say that will have people admire you. People admire action.

      Keep doing what you do and do it well. You’ll find that no one will be looking down at you for long. 🙂

  2. Growing up I had a lot of ideas about what I wanted to be. These would change many times during my youth and as a young adult.
    When I turned 35 it dawned on me that “what” I was doing for money or as a hobby, what I did didn’t matter so much as what sort of a person I was being while I was engaged in the activity.
    For too long I’ve been in a hurry to “get it done” and “check it off my list.” As a result, I have many accomplishments with a few memorable moments.I’m talking about the ones where I had a lucid moment of “Wow!! This is what I needed to learn amd why I needed to learn it.” Quite often it wasn’t the task itself but, an attitude, a way of perception that I had the opportunity to change during the learning process.
    My biggest fear: a life of dusty tropies and certificates with only dim memories.

    • You’re so right Kathlynn. Stuff ends up being just stuff. Staying in the Now lets us observe and be aware.

    • Glad you brought this up.

      I’ve realized over the years that I have trouble celebrating the small wins. Going through the list, checking the boxes, doesn’t leave a dent in your long-term satisfaction if you can’t slow down and enjoy the process a bit more.

      A good friend of mine told me about the “Money Dance” he does every time a client pays him. He’s been doing this for decades now and even though he’s well off financially, he reminds himself to celebrate the small wins every day.

      Now I do the same!

  3. Like it Vincent! Good reflection.

  4. As someone who has suffered from anxiety in the past (thank goodness it’s over), I can say that in some cases, fear is paralyzing and not a good thing. In less intense cases, however, it can definitely be a motor. I would say my main fear nowadays is to not live life to the fullest. As a consequence, I regularly reflect on the ways I spend my time and energy, making sure I use those resources in the best possible way. Nice post!

  5. ”SUCCESS comes to those who are SUCCESS CONSCIOUS, while FAILURE comes to those who are FAILURE CONSCIOUS”(from the book of Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”), but what if we convert our greatest weakness into our greatest strength? Another great topic Kuya Vincent! 🙂 there are times that we have to accept our TEMPORARY DEFEAT, LEARN from it and then take necessary actions to overcome these roadblocks. We must not QUIT. I hope my grammar in this comment is all correct.. HEHE..

  6. Wow, great post! I agree with you in that my worst fears are also my biggest strengths. I have become a very motivated person by setting goals for myself. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Hey guys. This is my first post on any website, I don’t express myself so much because every time I tried to do it everyone told me that I was crazy, still happens. Anyway what I want to shear might be irrelevant to the post but it boosted my emotions, I am so depressed for like almost a year I never told it to anyone I just want to get loads of my chest. I am 20 now and I was doing engineering till last year but for some reason I had to quit.  Then I didn’t know what to do. I got job in Engro fertilisers last year.  I am still doing it but I don’t really like it. That’s not the kind of life I wanted. I want to quit this job but my parents are happy for me being there and I don’t want to hurt them. My dad shrugged throughout his life to give us the lifestyle he never had. I love him so much. Someone told me to flow my dream but I don’t know about I want to do. Everyday is a suffering for me. Please help me what should I do. There is so much i want to tell but its been already long enough for you guys to read. ‎

    • The only advice I can give is this:

      Live life according to what gives you the most satisfaction, not by what gives someone else something to brag about.

      You can stay in your current job while building something on the side. Take an hour every night before you go to bed to think about what lifestyle you want to lead. Then figure out who’s living exactly that lifestyle. What can you learn from them? Even if they’re far away, you can learn something from afar.

      Change can be gradual. You don’t have to cut ties with your current position right away. Chip at the well slowly.

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