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How to Punch Fear in the Face

No matter if you’re running a company, leading a group, or just basically trying to live life, you’ve probably experienced it—that paralyzing worry that you're not smart enough or even worthy to be successful. But what if you could punch that fear in the face? What if there was a way to get unstuck, blowing past your worries like they're driving a Prius and you're behind the wheel of a Maserati?

According to best-selling author Jon Acuff, it's more than possible. In fact, he believes in it so much, his newest book focuses on overcoming fear and leading a life that matters. Start hit bookstores recently and is already receiving rave reviews. To learn more about it, Dave asked Jon to join him on our latest EntreLeadership Podcast to discuss the book's message of hope. Here's a sampling of their conversation.

Dave: We all have a tendency to get stuck sometimes, including me. How do you get unstuck?
Jon: To me, the big thing is fear. It's something you have to push past. What I always tell people is fear only gets loud when you do things that matter. When you accept ordinary, when you accept common, fear will never bother you. No one ever throws a rock at somebody lying down. You have to dare to stand up as a leader, even when the fear gets loud. Sometimes we think it's an indication that we should stop, but my belief is that it's an indication we should keep going because it's the right direction. There's not anything you can't do when you get unstuck.

Dave: In the book, you talk about ignoring the haters. Can you tell us about that?
Jon: Business owners face this phenomenon all of the time. When you are small or failing, nobody gets mad at you. But as your blog or business grows, you'll run into haters. When you chase your dreams, it reminds other people they aren't chasing theirs. Your loud, bright life is a reminder they're not doing anything with theirs. It stirs up shame. You didn't cause it, but your success kind of stirs the waters in their own hearts.

Dave: How do you combat hate?
Jon: When most leaders get a compliment, they shot block it. But when they get hate, they laser focus on it. I've sat in so many meetings with business owners who spend thousands to make people who are mad at them not mad and ignore the people who love them. Don't spend money trying to turn people who hate you. Spend your money and time turning people who like you into people who love you. That's the segment of the audience you need to focus on. What I challenge people to do is not believe in critic's math: one insult plus 1,000 compliments equals one insult. We have the ability in the face of 1,000 compliments to ignore them all and focus on the insult. Do the math right.

For Jon, overcoming fear isn’t complicated. You simply have to Start. And remember that age is never an excuse for not trying. “We’re all 20,” he says. “We all have the chance to start over and be awesome again.”

For even more of Dave and Jon's conversation, download the latest EntreLeadership Podcast.

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners.