What are you afraid of? Are you afraid of being harmed physically? Mentally? Are you afraid of losing your job, your house, your kids? Imagine worrying about these things day in and day out. What do you think that would do to a person?
Unfortunately, many of us do not have to imagine how this feels because we are already living in this scenario. The thoughts of all the bad things that can happen to us controlling our emotions and decisions. What if we didn’t have those constant fears? What could we accomplish?
Below is one of my favorite Les Brown speeches. He talks about how fear, for the most part, is self-created. I read a book by the name of The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself. This is one of several books, videos, etc that I have digested with the same constant theory about fear and how it holds us back from accomplishing our goals.
To put it all in perspective for you I’ll give you what I think is the most important tidbit of information from all my research. YOU are in control of your fear. Seems like common sense but we often forget this simple fact. That’s because fear has the power to overwhelm us.
Why would a bigger person fear a smaller person in a fight if both are evenly matched? Why would a college professor fear a couch potato going up against him on Jeopardy? Fear of certain things is something we absorb as we develop mentally over our life. Once you become an adult many of us don’t remember where our fear of certain things came from but we know it’s there. The only way to stop living your fear and start living your dreams is to accept the fear for what it is…a thought…a feeling.
Don’t try to ignore fear because just like anything else you ignore it’s not solving the problem and it will only make things worse. To defeat fear you must first accept it and then face it. Now, I’m not telling you to go jump off a roof because you fear heights or run around in a Batman suit fighting crime because you fear crime. Fear of either of those is legitimate, but only to a certain extent.
If you fear heights instead of never going past the 6th floor of a building for the rest of your life, hop on a roller coaster with your eyes closed and peek out a few times. When you make it down alive you will realize that you just chipped away at your fear of heights.
If you fear crime, why not ride along with a police officer. This way you could see your fears from the eyes of the men and women who fight against it every day. It might make you feel better, or you could have a better understanding of why these crimes are committed.
Could you die from either of the above or other kinds of “fear fights”? Of course. The roller coaster could malfunction and drop you to your death or the cops you’re with could get into a shootout and you get killed. Stay with me. Both those are highly unlikely. The chance of you getting hit by lightning is probably higher, but getting hit by lightning doesn’t have the advantage of you facing your fears and improving your life.
The moral of the story here; don’t let your fear run your life. If you have goals that are being hampered by the fears of rejection, failure, ridicule, whatever, you’re never going to have a chance at reaching them until you take back control. There’s lots of information and strategies about facing fears available to us. All just a click away. That’s the beauty of living in the information age. Take advantage. Find the strategy that’s right for you. How you ask? Process of elimination.[Feature Photo by Jaroslav Devia on Unsplash]