“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Fate loves the fearless.” — James Russell Lowell
What are you afraid of? I’m afraid of LOTS of things! That may surprise some people who know me because they interpret my lifestyle as that of one who is fearless.
I’m afraid of not being good enough at just about everything. I’m afraid of getting into trouble with “the authorities”. I’m very afraid of public speaking. I’m afraid my past mistakes will come back to haunt me. I’m afraid of not having enough money. I’m afraid my kids will grow up and forget me, or not like me, or somehow be screwed up because of me. I’m afraid my boyfriend will leave me and I’m simultaneously afraid we might be together for the rest of our lives… ETC, ETC, ETC!
Being afraid doesn’t stop me from moving confidently in the direction of my dreams. This is key. When it comes to fearlessness, I like Mark Twain’s observation, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not [necessarily] absence of fear.”
Do you have fears that are holding you back? Please consider this:
Many people have made the mistake of habitually interpreting the feeling of excitement as fear and anxiety, and therefore interpreting it as a proof of inadequacy.
Any normal person who is intelligent enough to understand the situation becomes “excited” or “nervous” just before a crisis situation. Until you direct it toward a goal, this excitement is neither fear, anxiety, courage, confidence, or anything else other than a stepped-up, re-inforced supply of emotional steam in your boiler. It is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of additional strength to be used in any way you choose. – Maxwell Maltz, M.D., F.I.C.S., Psycho-Cybernetics
Next time you’re afraid, do what I do. Try to imagine the worst possible outcome if your worst fears come true. How would you feel? What would you do then? It’s highly unlikely that the worst case scenario will come true and yet, usually, even if it did, you’d be OK. However, the more you focus on a negative outcome the more likely it is that it actually will come true, so don’t stay there too long!
Now, imagine the best possible outcome if you do the thing you’re afraid to do. How would you feel? What would you do then? The more you concentrate on the best case scenario, the more likely it is that it will come true. This is the benefit of such tools as Vision Boards and Magic Movie Clips.
I’ve found that if I’m going to make up a story about how things will turn out then, for God’s sake, it’s more sensible to make up a story where I WIN! And the more times I win, the less things I’m afraid of. Yes, believe it or not, my list of neurotic fears used to be much, much longer!
What fears have you overcome? What did you learn? What’s the next fear you’re going to tackle? Share your success stories below to inspire us and share your dreams so we can hold a vision of your future success!