Overcoming Your Fears
Do you live your life in fear . . . or do you embrace the opportunities that are before you?
What has fear cost you in lost productivity, peace of mind, and personal enjoyment?
Certainly 2020 lead to the world living in fear. Nowhere else would you have a global event where there is over a 99% survival rate create so much fear. I witnessed and experience so many individuals who were so worried about dying that they were no longer living.
This self-perpetuated condition of fear feeds on itself. Fear takes up an individual’s emotional space and their ability to think straight. Because of their fear, in many cases they no longer able to fulfill their normal responsibilities.
Fear is a destructive force in people’s lives.
There have been many acronyms for fear over the years but one that best describes fear to me is False Evidence Appearing Real. No matter what the truth might be, we allow the situation to manifest itself as fear in our minds.
All of us will have fear at some time or another and at various levels in our lives. In fact, extreme-sport participants love the rush they feel when they are in that state of fear.
But what about our day-to-day lives? Do you want to live in fear? If you do, how does fear affect your ability to make decisions and your enjoyment of life?
Fear can range from a mild irritation to a state of complete paralyzation that prevents individuals from taking any action and moving forward.
The good news about fear is that it resides only in your mind. The research on fear is interesting. It is estimated that 85% of the things that we fear are going to happen never actually materialize. So, the majority of the time, we are wasting our emotional energy worrying about nothing.
Here are a few examples of fears or worries that generally never come about.
- What if I get fired?
- Maybe I’ll never find another job.
- We’ll never find someone as good as she is for that job.
- I’ll fail my exam if I . . .
- My child will get involved with drugs.
- I will die of . . . if I don’t . . .
- I’ll miss my plane because . . .
- Nobody will ever like me because . . .
- What would others think if . . .
Take a moment right now and think about the things you worried about in the past week. What kind of emotions did they stir up?
Note: There are situations where your fear is as real as it can be. But even in those cases, it has been proven that people consumed by their fear were more likely to manifest what they feared most.
There is a greater cost of letting yourself constantly live in fear. It is difficult, if not impossible, to focus on two things at once. Because you are focusing on fear, you are not seeing solutions. How can you embrace success, fun, and enjoyment when you are feeling anxious, fearful, or full of doubt?
Here’s a word picture that shows how you can not – not think of something (sorry for the double negative), once it takes hold in your head.
Example: You are on the golf course, ready to hit your final iron to get on the green. To the left is the next fairway; the center is the green; to the right is a water trap. I want you to not think about the water on the right while you shoot. You are to focus on the green—not the water. Just forget about the water for the moment and shoot.
I know that is a simple example but you’ll find it’s impossible not to think about the water; you start to fear that you will drive your ball into it. Because you are not focusing 100% on the green as your objective, you reduce your probabilities of success.
Many individuals get caught in water traps when the majority of the fairway is lush, green grass just waiting for your perfect shot.
Life will generally bring us what we focus on. I’m sure most of you would prefer to avoid your worst fears so that means adjusting your focus to what you want—not what you don’t want or what you fear.
As a strategy, borrow confidence and a positive attitude from other areas in your life where you have little or no fear. With my court case, I finally said enough is enough. I thought about the fact that I could speak in front of audiences of thousands of people without fear and simply transferred that confidence to the courtroom.
One source of fear is the unknown. To help you on your journey of self-discovery, I am recommending our ecourse The Quest For Purpose a new interactive learning experience so you can live with confidence and clarity.
Follow these Action Steps and complete the recommended resources to help you increase your confidence—and decrease your fear.
Overcoming Your Fears
- What are your fears? Think about all the things you worried about over the past week, month, or year.
- What are your fears costing you in terms of fulfillment and opportunity?
- Think about all the things you feared. What percentage of your fears have actually taken place and what percentage of your worrying was needlessly wasted energy?
- Can you confirm that the majority of your fears did not happen?
- If you reduced your fears, what would be the benefits for you?
- Fears reside in your mind; you are responsible for being able to shift your focus. If your fears actually manifested, what is the worst thing that could happen?
- Confident individuals know who they are and where they are going. To help you and others reduce fear, I encourage you to engage our new online course The Quest For Purpose.
- At this very moment, choose to focus on a goal, objective, or positive outcome. Do not allow fear to take over your mind.
- If you knew your efforts could not fail, what would you be doing? List those activities now.
- All of us will have some fear but the key is not to let fear rule or direct your life. Some fear, if under control, can heighten your emotional state and give you an edge. The key is to harness that energy.
- Just go for it or let it go—either way, notice how you enjoy your wonderful new fear-free moments.
Until next time, keep Living On Purpose!.