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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. Murali

    Jul 1, 2012 at 3:36 am

    Thanks a lot for the article. It’s awesome

  2. Lady J

    Jun 9, 2012 at 4:40 am

    Very nice, digestible post. Especially enjoyed the “too little, too late” one. It’s so easy to put things off out of fear, but the knowledge that you’ve completely missed out on an opportunity all because of your own scared nature is probably the worst feeling in the world.

    I feel like we should all do something we are scared of each week, write that action down on a slip of paper, put it in a box, and read the slips every 3-6 months. What a sense of accomplishment!

    I very much enjoyed this post. Thanks for the motivation. 🙂

  3. Greg

    Jun 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Excellent and exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you!

  4. Ziyanda Xaso

    Apr 21, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    This is exactly what I needed to hear. I have been procrastinating and putting off doing the one thing I want to do more than anything by saying that I’m not qualified, I have no experience or expertise although people have told me that they think I am talented. I’ve been tentatively taking small steps towards achieving my goal and now am just going to throw caution to the wind and take a leap of faith!
    Thank you for a great piece.

  5. Xavier

    Apr 19, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    This stuff is awesome. Where have you been all my life! As a coach myself, it is good to have a place to go to get re-charged! Thank you!

  6. Thabo Mphate

    Apr 18, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Limitless,i use your site every morning before i start the day.Im in Sales and i find it a true inspiration.Thanks guys

  7. Ganesh

    Apr 12, 2012 at 4:13 am

    Tips r very good…useful website…

  8. Marcie

    Apr 10, 2012 at 3:49 am

    I was just looking at that book yesterday and was wondering if I should write a book review. I guess after reading these words, I think I should.

    The things that keeps me moving forward on my purpose path is remembering the two funerals I’ve personally attended along with the deaths of Whitney Houston and Rev. Addie Wyatt. My godmother died in February, and I attended the funeral of a 9 month old who lived longer than expected. After seeing that little baby doll in peace, I know I have to do what I’ve been called to do. I don’t want to leave this place with regrets or saying what I should have done when I have nothing but opportunity.

  9. June Miller

    Apr 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    WOW…and thank you!
    I have to definitely ponder this article.
    I have to definitely take a look at myself.
    I have to assess what is needed to change.
    I have to print this article out, and tape it on the fridge, bathroom mirror, and front door, not to forget on the side of my desktop at work.

  10. NPH

    Apr 9, 2012 at 4:11 am

    This article is exactly what I needed. I have been making excuses for why I shouldn’t do so many things but I have pinpointed that fear is what’s holding me back.

    We should all live life as though we are lions: ferocious and fearless, ready to take on whatever crosses their paths.

    It is in that moment when we overcome fear that we can truly be creative, overcome obstacles, and exploit those opportunities presented to us.

    Thank you for sharing. I LOVE this website.

  11. Sheree H

    Apr 9, 2012 at 2:02 am

    “They find opportunities … not obstacles.” I love that saying, I will quote that if you don’t mind 😉 Very good read, thank you for sharing this with us.

  12. Vennon

    Apr 8, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I’m no longer limited by if not then what. Inspiring.

  13. Charlette

    Apr 7, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Hi Sam,

    Thank you for reading the article and for your feedback. Apologies if you thought it was meant that way, I would always wish only good things for people, I have lost loved ones as well and I understand the suffering and pain attached to such an experience. I was merely quoting an article I had read, but, it is also a part of my belief system, fate, destiny which Carl Jung also termed ‘coincidence’, but I do also respect your belief on the concept. Take care Sam : )

  14. Sam

    Apr 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Inspiring and all but I disagree about the grand design bit. There is no such thing as fate, and no universal force allowed those people to survive 9/11, while also condemning thousands of others to horrible deaths. What if the people who survived then died in a car crash 2 days later. Where’s the grand plan then? It’s all coincidence. I guess a grand plan is comforting, but I find the fact that tiny physical forces, atoms, make up all of us, much more reassuring.

  15. Alchemist

    Apr 5, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I really enjoyed read thing this article. Thanks for sharing and keep doing a great job. Looking forward to reading more.

  16. Mohammed umar

    Apr 5, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I have indeed found a cure for fear which causes absence of self-confidence. This article is now bursting my courage in doing right thing in a right moment. Its inspirational to me. Thanks.

  17. Kolton @FMT

    Apr 5, 2012 at 5:04 am

    I believe you can use fear to your advantage. How? Well, by starting a business with fear, you are going to (or should) prepare yourself and do whatever it takes to become successful. Whether or not you succeed, the experience and education that come along with it are priceless.

    I guess I am just elaborating on Dr. Jeffers’ book. Even if you fail, you’ve accomplished something by confronting your fears and learning from your mistakes.

  18. Lisa Raymen

    Apr 5, 2012 at 4:25 am

    This article is great, the best article I have read this year. I will take this advice everywhere I go. Thank you Charlette.

  19. Josh Pangan

    Apr 5, 2012 at 4:25 am

    This is an excellent article. I really enjoyed the line “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.” It really is true, if you want something do it. Simple as that.

  20. Fabio

    Apr 5, 2012 at 4:24 am

    LOVE IT!

    Thanks.

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Life

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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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