Fear: Leaving it Behind
The last couple of years have been tough: the pandemic, economic uncertainty, and world disorder. Fear reigns. Undoubtably, fear has a negative connotation with it. We think we want to avoid all things associated with fear. We are afraid of this, apprehensive about that and uncertain about all the in-between. Yet, when we are honest with ourselves, we expect that we must learn to conquer fear, if we hope to move forward. Otherwise, how are we going to become more than we currently are? We would be destined to exist in inertia. One sage declard, “Do the thing you fear and the death of it is certain.”
We cannot get further from where we have been unless we are willing to confront our fears to move past where we are. Let us just take a minor rewind of life. I am sure at some point in your childhood, you went to camp (or later in life, you moved to college). Now, there are some of us who could not wait to break free of our parents and stay up late, playing pranks on our fellow camp peers. There are others who got homesick – missing the familiarity of their everyday lives.
Now, if a child that was homesick did not continue to embrace opportunities to challenge that awful feeling, he or she is unlikely to ever experience a homesick-free feeling. Right? Taking on new experiences that allow us to confront our fears are the very moments when fear meets courage – and regardless of what happens when these two rivals meet, it is inevitable that an individual will leave that experience better off for bringing a level of bravery to the table. We say someone “grew out of” their homesick feeling…exactly…they moved beyond it.
Moving Past Fear
We have an inaccurate idea of what it means to conquer our fears – I think it really comes down to just moving out of our comfort zone. And whether you are a foot or a football field away from the bounds of your comfort zone, you are increasing your potential. In other words, any action is the product of courage…all inaction is the paralysis of fear. We overestimate how much we must do to conquer our fears, it is often less about doing monumental things and more about taking small steps.
Think of it this way, let us say you were standing at the bottom of a massive mountain. That is a scary spectacle. But all it takes is one step. Then one more. And so forth. Once you reach the top and peer down over each groove you maneuvered, you realize, your achievement was the result of hundreds of tiny steps NOT one giant leap…after all, who is big enough to skip the steps and soar to the top with one big stride? Nobody. Fear has this awful ability to distort our perspective of reality. Fearlessness is not the absence of fear. It is taking a step forward in the midst of it.
What Fear Means
Often, what we think we are afraid https://rickconlow.com/product/real-time-learning-training/of is not even an actual threat. In fact, I once saw the acronym of fear defined as:
F – false
E – evidence
A – appearing
R – real
I am not trying to downplay how serious our fears can feel. I am only encouraging you to take a step back when you are feeling afraid and do your best to assess what small actions you could take to break through your comfort zone into your courageous zone. As Joseph Campbell put it, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” Often, when we identify our fears, we have found our dreams. So, on what fears do you want to take one step toward?
Pulling It All Together
For more on fear, I highly recommend reading Fear of Success, a recent post by Dr. Alice Chan. Dr. Chan is the author of REACH Your Dreams: Five Steps to be a Conscious Creator In Your Life.
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