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Conquering Fear

Jim Correll, director Fab Lab ICC at Independence Community College, Independence Kansas 

We’ve all seen society’s picture of a successful entrepreneur. Swashbuckling, dragon- slaying, fearless. We are led to believe by popular narrative that these people have conquered their fears. I don’t believe I know any billionaire entrepreneurs, but I know several millionaire entrepreneurs and they all still have fears. In an interview on “60 Minutes,” Paul McCartney, one of the most successful billionaires, entrepreneurs and musicians of all times, admits he still has fears. I think we can also safely assume the other swashbuckling, dragon-slaying and fearless billionaire entrepreneurs are not really fearless, we just don’t hear much about their fears. 

If even the most successful people have fears, what does that say to the rest of us? No matter how much we accomplish, how much we help other people or how much money we make, we’ll always have fears. Conquering fear doesn’t mean it will go away. One definition I found for “conquer” is; to successfully overcome (a problem or weakness). Overcome does not mean make it go away. 

If you pay attention, messages about fear and fear of fear are pervasive in our society. If you listen to popular religious music, nearly every song has a theme around overcoming fear. Most of the modern religions of the world seek to help people overcome their fear and live a life of fulfillment and peace. 

But we live in a scary world. I could make a long list of political, environmental, economic and personal safety concerns. Most of the problems in our modern world come about because the individuals in it are fearful. Some are so fearful, they have no hope for a better future and this leads them to make all kinds of bad choices. 

Conquering fear is a matter of choice. 

Jim Correll is the director of Fab Lab ICC at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on the campus of Independence Community College. He can be reached at (620) 252-5349, by email at or Twitter @jimcorrellks. Archive columns and podcasts at 

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