Change How You View Fear
Fear can be a fantastic motivator.
It can also be a ruthless dictator.
The ways in which we deal with fear is a balancing act. The question we all need to ask ourselves is whether or not our fears are serving us or are we servants to our fears?
Fear can be both a positive and negative force in our lives. It can keep us out of a dangerous situation, it can motivate us to take action and change the course of our lives. But here’s the rub. There are far too many people that have become fearful of change. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what might be. Fear of uncertainty. Instead of choosing to face the unknown. They give up. It’s easier and it’s painless (in the short term).
A lack of patience and belief in the face of adversity prevents many of us from making a change. Patience and belief. Two keywords that continue to resonate with me during times of change. Patience is my Achilles heal. I am impatient and want to take action. I want to see immediate results from my efforts. This is the fear I struggle with. The fear of not knowing if my efforts today will bear fruit tomorrow. I have had to work hard on trusting in myself. Believing in myself and knowing that by putting in the work, the results will come.
Patience is the key.
“The fears we don’t face become our limits.”
– ROBIN SHARMA –
You will never know your inner strength,
until you face your fears.
During the early years of my childhood, I avoided taking my shirt off. As a newborn, I had had many surgeries, leaving very pronounced scars on my body. I was always terrified of being singled out and teased for the disfigurement of my body. Because I looked different from the “normal” kids. I was consumed by not being accepted. I just wanted to look the same as the other children I knew. My fear was social acceptance.
Then came the day, the day I had feared. My mother had signed me up for our local swim club. Well, I thought, it was nice while it lasted. I realized the shirt was going to have to come off. I would have to confront my fear. I would need to stand with the other children, my scars laid bare for all to see. Initially, I shyly took my shirt off in the boys changing room. There were curious glances, but for the most part, the other kids inquisitively asked me about how I got my scars. I would explain what had happened and that was it. But I had built up so many negative scenarios in my mind, that I had built up my own fears of public ridicule. Of feeling unaccepted. Not “fitting in.”
I look back now and realize my fears had been self-imposed. Fear had been controlling my life and had prevented me from exploring interests because of my fears. Over the years, I have reflected on that period of my life and realized everything it had taught me about fear. I learned courage. I learned to be brave. I learned how to be comfortable in my own body. I learned self-acceptance. I learned how to play to win. As it turns out, I am a pretty good swimmer.
“Spend your time running towards happiness,
instead of running from fear.”
– JAMES ALTUCHER –
Replace the word success with fulfillment.
It will change everything.
There are plenty of us striving to become successful or at the very least experience a success. However, we have forgotten a very important element of “success.” We haven’t defined what success looks like. For me, the problem occurs when people view success through other people’s lenses. The whole keeping up with the Jones’ idea comes to mind. Here is a quote I really like; “The grass may be greener, but you still have to mow the lawn.” Someone may appear successful, but in reality, they may be miserable and seeking fulfillment. Don’t follow someone else’s dream.
The first step is to define what success is to you. For me, success is a simple life, surrounded with loved ones and enjoying activities that put a smile on my face. Isn’t that what life is really about? Not a bank account, not a luxury car or a multi-million dollar yacht.
Next, substitute the word “success” for “fulfillment.” Instead of saying “I want to be successful.” Say, “I want to be more fulfilled.” This will move you towards a more authentic path. Leading you to make choices that are focused on your personal fulfillment. The reason I bring this up is that I have been working to become more “successful.” However, I have been sacrificing elements of my happiness and fulfillment in the pursuit of success. It has only recently dawned on me that success for me equals fulfillment. If I am successful but miserable, what’s the point?
In one of my previous blog posts, I discussed the power of changing our words. You can read the post here. The cool thing about changing how you use your words is that it is pretty easy to do. The results can be quite profound. Since I have inserted fulfillment for success, I feel more empowered. My decisions are now based on my fulfillment, which for me equals success. Therefore, with each decision I make, I feel like I am moving closer to more fulfillment. Which in turn equals success.
Lastly, don’t run from fear to find success. No matter the choices you make, ensure you are making ones that are moving you in the direction of fulfillment.
As I close out my blog post I would like to continue with my tradition of signing off with a song.
Are you in your late 30's or 40's and thinking back on how exactly you wound up in the career you are in today? Chances are if you are like me, you took the safe path. You were told to get a job with benefits, a retirement plan and not rock the boat. Work your way up. Move up the corporate ladder. Just work hard and when you are done, retire.
Yup, you played it safe and now, you are questioning what you are doing and where you are going?
Let me ask you, do you remember when you were excited about life's possibilities? When you believed you could do anything. Do you ever wonder what happened? When did you lose touch with your passion? Have you given up on your hopes and dreams? Or, have they simply gone astray.
Sign up to for the Stop the Pity Party. Restart Your Passion 7 Day Change Challenge and begin to rekindle your passion. Reclaim your beliefs to create the life you have the responsibility to live. A life of fulfillment, possibility, wonder, and passion.