“Fears are nothing more than states of mind.” –Napoleon Hill
We live in a box we’ve carefully constructed to protect ourselves. Literally, we have designed every detail of our life to protect ourselves from the fears and internal conflicts we aren’t willing to face.
Most fear comes from cultural accustoming. We have been raised to be careful. Let’s face it, how many mothers have you heard calling out to their children, as they go off to school, “Take lots of risks today, sweetie!” Instead you hear, “Be careful!” in a thousand different ways. No one is out there encouraging us to be daring, to take risks, to experiment, to make mistakes. It is all about being careful, fitting in, and getting it right. So don’t worry, we are all in the same boat. The difference is that some people don’t let their fears stop them.
Fear is not real. It’s simply a mental construct. We control our fears, they don’t control us.
This is extremely important because some of the most talented people in the world never get that idea off the ground, write their first book that they always wanted to write, open up their own business, or do something remarkable with their life, all because of fear.
Can you remember something you once wanted to achieve or a goal that you set for yourself, and the first thought that came to mind was “I don’t think I am capable enough to do this?”
There is a big difference between feeling fear and letting that fear grasp you back. If we want to achieve prominence and reach to full potential in life, one thing is for sure: We have to move past the fear and take action anyway!
That is the whole point and purpose of setting big goals. They help us grow and move out of our comfort zone. If you ask some of the best highest achievers, I can almost assure you that they didn’t let the fear or thought of failure win the battle of their minds.
The more you think about your fears, the more those fears start to define you.
Let us change your view on fear. Is the pain you experience in the gym a negative thing? Or is it just the feeling of your body getting fitter? Fear is only a negative thing if you believe that it is. You can choose to think about it simply as the “pain” your body experiences as your character develop and expand. There is very little growth where there is no pain and work.
The root of our fear is our fear of trying something and crashing and burning. What if I get rejected? What if I fail? These are short-term risk assessments. Yes, there is a chance that you will fall on your face. And if you don’t take the risk, you’re guaranteed not to face failure. But in making such a calculation, you are leaving out the long-term risk, a risk that’s far riskier than any short term blow to your ego. The long term risk is this: The risk of never amounting to anything. The risk of living a completely mediocre life. The risk of looking back in 10, 20, or 30 years and feeling your stomach turn with regret.
Fear is not a rational thing. The best way to do this is to ask yourself this question: “If I do this, what is the worst that can happen?”
What’s the worst that could happen if you asked someone out and they said no? You didn’t have a date then, you don’t have a date now. Nothing has changed.
What’s the worst that could happen if you apply for a job and don’t get it? You didn’t have the job before, you don’t have the job now. Nothing has changed.
However, sometimes people worry so much about imagining the worst case scenario, the problem with that strategy is that you end up focusing on what you don’t want instead of what you do want. We spend far too much time imaging the worst when we really would be better off imagining and visualising it all turning out exactly how we want. Sports coaches have long been using the power of positive visualisation. In fact, they’ve discovered that mentally picturing yourself shooting that ball to a goal can be just as effective as practicing on the court.
Let us see Fear as an adventure. An adventure is anything that takes you out of your comfort zone and into unexplored territory. It can be as splendid as climbing the Himalayas or as basic as talking to a stranger. Conquering a fear, big or small, can be downright thrilling.
Finally, Don’t Let Fear Paralyse You, Let It Motivate You. Instead of letting fear get the best of you, use it as fuel to drive you. If you’re scared for something that is approaching, prepare yourself as best you can. Let fear inspire you to ready yourself for what may happen so you’re the best version of yourself when it occurs. But know that even if the worst case scenario does become a reality, you will still be okay. At the end of the day, worrying is like paying interest on a loan you haven’t taken out yet. Don’t let it paralyze you.
And remember, there is no failure in life. Just learning opportunities. You’ve got nothing to lose. Go for it and make it happen!