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5 Ways To Destroy The Illusion Of Fear

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Can you remember the last time you really wanted to do something, but didn’t? What stopped you, what changed your mind? Was it that voice inside your head? Have you ever stopped to question, who and what that voice is? Fear. Fear is the catalyst for inaction. Fear is the voice that tells us, if we try, the probability of failure will be higher than that of success, that rejection is more likely than acceptance, fear is the impetus that makes us do nothing instead.

In his most recent novel, ‘Aleph’, Paolo Coehlo says that, it’s in fact, not courage but willpower that leads to success. He says that willpower provides us with the determination and dedication required to pursue our dreams and not the absence of fear.

If we look at all of the successful people in the world, Ghandi, Steve Jobs, Mandela, Donald Trump, above all else, they possessed the fortitude to keep going. They all experienced issues along the way, however, when they embarked on their journey, they never anticipated the road to be a smooth one. So any problems they encountered, motivated them more, they chose to keep going when others would have given up, they chose to fight not retreat, they chose … freedom.

Here is a list of points to help you overcome your fears:

 

1) Feel the fear and do it anyway

You might remember this title from the best selling book by Dr Susan Jeffers. In her book, Dr Jeffers talks about developing assertiveness and challenging our negative thought patterns. She also talks about how we can extend our comfort zone by taking risks. The message to be learned then is that the only way we can overcome our fears is by confronting them. Put your fear aside, and just do it.

 

2) Go beyond reason

I recently watched the film ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’. Following the movie, I was researching the events of 911 on the Internet, and I came across an article listing accounts of several people who were delayed on that fateful day. People lost their car keys, others were caught in traffic, one woman was late for work because she forgot to set her alarm, another man got stuck on the freeway because of an accident … the stories are endless.

Sometimes we’re not aware of the master plan, the grand design and it isn’t until some time has passed, when we reflect back, we possess an understanding of why we met someone, why we missed that train or that an unforeseen obstacle or delay was in fact a blessing in disguise or the universe conspiring. Call it destiny, serendipity but regardless, remember, there is always a reason why things happened, even if we’re not aware of it at the time.

 

3) Too little, too late

Eight years ago my father was diagnosed with reflux. After a further year with no resolve, he decided to seek a second opinion. However, it was too late, the doctor diagnosed him with liver cancer which was in the advanced stages, and he was given 2 months to live. That was in November of 2004, by January the following year, he had passed. When my sisters and I were sorting through his papers, we came across a visa application for Burma. My father had left his home town 35 years ago and had always vowed to return. Have you heard the expression ‘too late she cried’? If my father had sought a second opinion sooner or not waited 35 years to return to Burma, perhaps this story would have a different ending. That holiday you’ve never had, the language class you never enrolled in, the friend you never made amends with, don’t find yourself saying, ‘I always wanted to … ‘ instead, write your bucket list and start planning your goals.

 

4) Regrets

If you ever speak to those that are somewhat older and wiser, they will tell you that, in life, we usually regret the things we didn’t do, rather than the things we did. If you spend your life procrastinating, you will never know the outcome. And remember, no result is a negative one. It’s what you make of your experiences, every moment, every encounter shapes you, bringing you to the point in your life, you’re at now. A wise man once said,

“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret for the past and fear of the future.”

 

5) Finding Obstacles

How many times have you found yourself making an excuse for why you haven’t done something? ‘It’s too hard … I’m too tired … I haven’t got time?’ Does that sound familiar? We are all perpetrators of that mind set at one time or another in our lives, however, successful people invest the time and effort even when they don’t feel like it. Successful people do things the things that others find difficult. They take calculated risks, they are accountable for their actions, they have initiative are motivated, passionate and encourage others. They weren’t born successful or ‘lucky’, they achieved their goals through determination, hard work and by being fearless, they have courage of their convictions. They find opportunities … not obstacles.

Serial entrepreneur Neal Taparia, who recently launched gaming site Solitaired, sums it up nicely. When facing obstacles he says, “Think about Nike’s slogan, Just do it. You’ll always face obstacles. Nothing is ever easy, especially making money and becoming successful. The harder something is, the more likely it’s rewarding. The key is not to overthink anything. Just do it, and see where it leads you. Your worst case scenario is you will have gained invaluable experience. When we launched our solitaire and brain training site, we knew it was going to be hard to acquire users and we’d have to figure out how to overcome this. Six months later, we’re getting thousands of games being played a day.

Feel the fear, and do it anyway.

Charlette is a qualified Social Worker and lecturer in ESL, and currently teaches refugees and migrants from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Charlette would like to use her writing as a catalyst for social awareness to empower, motivate and inspire people and make a meaningful difference. Her writing is informed by her increasing knowledge from her work, volunteering and activism, which contributes to her writing.

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33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Janet

    Aug 13, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    Fear doesn’t necessarily mean you should back down… it’s just an indication that you are working on something exciting… and which ultimately make you better at something. Even if you don’t “succeed” in your first attempt, at least you will be less fearful in your subsequent attempts. Fear is good when it doesn’t stop you from keep trying something.

  2. Avatar

    Avianti

    Nov 15, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    SO true! and Very well put together! Great advice! Thank you!

  3. Avatar

    Denise Bahs

    Jan 17, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    The first time someone challenged me to consciously stretch outside my comfort zone, I was an adult. I really think this should be taught to kids in school and out. Otherwise we are all just reacting to our fears in avoidance. That’s not really living. Great post! Visit my blog for similar stuff!

  4. Avatar

    David Donkeke

    Sep 14, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    i will say that is what am facing right now fear. thank you for your words they will help me alot.

  5. Avatar

    Paul Bond

    Aug 7, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Every person in the world will face the fear, but challenging and overcoming the fear is important. Understand your fear and what are the cause of your fear and find some solutions for them. Breathe deep will helps you a lot.

  6. Avatar

    Maciek

    Apr 25, 2013 at 11:28 am

    It is the fear of doing something that if we beat and we will do what we had feared, then feel of fear relieved. Sometimes, however, the fear is due to the fact that we are not sure whether what we have done is correct. For example, we are responsible for the success of the project or the safety of others.

  7. Avatar

    Godwin

    Mar 6, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    fear is a sign of danger,but sometime it is not.you cause Fear yoursef No one else but you,………Solution is by confronting it.and go ur way

  8. Avatar

    Freeze

    Mar 3, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Fear is the foundation of accepting failure before you even try

  9. Avatar

    Maicon

    Jan 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Beautiful and inspiring article. The phrase about regrets and fears particularly made me think.

  10. Avatar

    Richie

    Aug 25, 2012 at 2:10 am

    Love the themes on this site guys. Inspiring and thought provoking.

    Inspired a post on mine: “Is Your Comfort Zone is Killing You?” http://richielewis.com/is-your-comfort-zone-killing-you/

    Hope you like it.

  11. Avatar

    Ivar

    Aug 22, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    It is all about what Meaning we link to an event or for instance the fear we feel.
    We are meaning makers, so we are in charge of what things mean to us.

  12. Avatar

    patti

    Aug 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    My motto for this summer has been “no regrets”, I have tried things I never would have tried before, met some fantastic people, and have had the pleasure of some wonderful opportunites. Just the other night, I got invited to a private event in NYC with Ramit Sethi, talk about serendibity! It’s that not I don’t have the fear, I just keeping telling myself to go for it, no matter what “it” is!
    thanks Joel, love this stuff.

  13. Avatar

    Erica

    Jul 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Feel the fear and do it anyway! Love that.. It is my life motto! You’ll ALWAYS regret more the things you didn’t do than the things you did..

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