Travelling across the country I see just how much we are all the same. One thing for certain that we all have in common is fear. We all have it, admit it or not, it’s just what we do with it that makes us different.
What is fear?
It’s different to everyone. When I started telling people about my travel plans for the next year there were many people that expressed their fears to me. If I had let their fears become mine I would not be here. Fear is expressed in many ways: some people avoid, some blame, some get angry, others procrastinate and some simply fade into the background. You have to figure out how you handle yours. If you’re not hitting them head on you need to learn techniques to get past them.
What do we fear?
Fear of losing money. Fear of losing status. Fear of looking silly. Fear of losing my job. Fear of losing respect. Fear of the unknown. In the end it all comes down to fear of FAILURE. If I fail I risk all these things. So why even try.
How can we overcome it?
Be prepared. Think back to a situation that you were afraid of. Maybe a new business, a big move to a new city, a divorce. Look at how you felt about the situation at the time and look at where you are now. Brene Brown says we forebode joy , that we set ourselves up for tragedy rather than good. When things are flowing smoothly in our lives we take a quick jump to something tragic happening, anticipating fear. We could easily change that foreboding to happiness. It will make our lives happier and help overcome fear if we think of the good things that can come from our decision. Almost 8 years ago my life turned upside down; I could have accepted failure and given up. If I had done that I wouldn’t have all the amazing things that have come from facing my fear and pushing through.
We just passed another anniversary of 9/11, one of the worst tragedies of my time. I picked up a book, by a 9/11 survivor named Michael Hingson, Thunder Dog. Michael was working on the 78 floor of WTC 1 on that fateful day. Michael has been blind from birth and was at work with his guide dog; Yellow Lab, Class 606, Roselle, from Guide Dogs For the Blind Together Michael and Roselle and a coworker escaped by walking down 78 flights of stairs. An exert from his book about fear ” We need to dream, to dare and to do. I lived a nightmare at Ground Zero, but even a nightmare can turn into a happy ending if we refuse to give in to fear. Don’t let your fear paralyze you and keep you from all you can accomplish.” ( Higgins,M,178)
Give this a try
Write down your worst fear about a decision you up are thinking of making. Write out all the ways in which it could go wrong. Come up with a solution to all of those possibilities. This will take the fear out of it because now you can see how if things don’t go as planned there are solutions and ways to deal with them.
Now do the same thing only this time write out all the amazing things that could come out of overcoming your fear.
Fear is a necessary part of life it forces us to continue to strive and overcome. Don’ let it kill your passion for something better.
I welcome your thoughts and feedback. Please share with someone you think would appreciate these words.