5 Ways To Destroy The Illusion Of Fear

5 Ways To Destroy The Illusion Of Fear

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.

32 COMMENTS

  1. 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. 🙂

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. “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.

  7. 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 : )

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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.

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