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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.

 

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. 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. Avianti

    Nov 15, 2014 at 11:35 pm

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

  3. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Freeze

    Mar 3, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Fear is the foundation of accepting failure before you even try

  9. Maicon

    Jan 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm

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

  10. 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. 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. 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. 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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We all have a God-given destiny to fulfill that we were each born with. I personally believe it is buried deep down within us. The number one secret to success is to let it emerge out of you and release it to the world. What is my destiny you may ask? It is the thing you would regret not doing before leaving Planet Earth. (more…)

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Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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