If You Let Fear Sabotage Opportunities, Manage Your Anxiety With This Process

When the fear instinct takes hold, transform it into something more useful

Mike Goldberg
4 min readDec 30, 2021


Fear nearly cost me my opportunity to move to Hawaii. (Photo by Author)

My life has been defined by moments when giant opportunities landed in my lap.

The dream

The first time I visited Hawaii, I instantly fell in love with the place, and decided I absolutely had to live there one day, and I wouldn’t be happy until I did.

As months went by, the dream didn’t fade. Hawaii was all I could think about.

A year passed.

Two years passed.

Three years…

Every passing year, I felt just as strongly about Hawaii. It just wasn’t going away.

And then one day, everything changed.

The opportunity

I went into work one morning to find our representative in Hawaii just quit, and we needed to fill the spot immediately. Management looked right at me. They knew what I wanted.

My dream just got greenlit.

I should have been excited, but instead, I was terrified.

NOW??? What do I do? I thought to myself.

A wave of panic set in.

What, move to Hawaii, just like that? This is complicated. I’d have to sell the house, I’d have to move to a place where I don’t know anyone…

The fear factor

It took me a while to understand I was trying to talk myself out of my dream when it landed in my lap. At some level, fear is understandable. Opportunities come with risk, and our survival safety net could be threatened if things go wrong.

It was Stockholm Syndrome. I wasn’t just held captive by my fear — I became its biggest defender!

It’s the survival part of our brain hijacking us.

When I let fear dominate, it made sense to me to let the opportunity go. I instantly thought up a bunch of justifications of why it wasn’t a good idea to go through with it.



Mike Goldberg

3x Top Writer | Traveler | Real estate investor | Storyteller | Occasional columnist | I talk about personal growth and seizing opportunities.