“My heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me, and that misses me was never meant for me.”, Imam Ash-Shafi’i.
Fear. It’s the number one barrier to living confidently.
We all have fear – it’s an emotion that’s as normal as breathing.
The problem is that most people cling to their fears, and are therefore unable to move forward in their lives with necessary change.
“I have learned a lot about fear in my life as a professional musician, and I’ve learned that the only difference between people who achieve greatness and those who do not is that the former ditched their fear. Many of the methods I have used to prepare for huge performances have helped me to conquer fear in other areas of life.” – said Anthony Mazzocchi.
You experience it everyday in small and large doses. You don’t do something you want to do because you are afraid. Fear is the little demon that sits on our shoulders, holding us back from growth, success, fulfillment and happiness.
In our modern world, most fear is unfounded. Sure, it’s normal to be afraid if you are being mugged or in some other situation that causes real or potential physical or psychological harm. But we are generally safe from that kind of danger.
Our most common fears come from amorphous things.
“I’ve thought a lot about fear in the past year as I lived with the consequences of decisions made because I was scared or doubted myself. Not the don’t-go-down-that-dark-alley kind of fear, but little voice inside that says, “Maybe you’re wrong” and “Really? Are you sure?” or “Is that really worth the risk?”. On the one hand, it’s a good voice to listen to because it can help us see another point of view or keep us from disastrous choices. On the other hand, blindly obeying it can keep us safe–with a steady heartbeat instead of a racing one, with sunshine through the window instead of warmth on our faces, with the pulsing energy of the city somewhere out there instead of all around us.”, said Maya Rodale.
Sometimes our fear is about overcoming fear. We don’t want to succeed because it requires so much, and, of course, we might fail. The poet Frederick Seidel says it all with these lines:
“Don’t cure me. Sickness is my me.
My terror was you’d set me free.”
If you want to live fearlessly, you absolutely must let go of some beliefs and actions. Here are some of them:
- What other people think of you. You will never please everyone, and it is rarely worth sacrificing yourself to accommodate some other person’s beliefs about who you should be or what you should do.
- Fear of failing. You will fail. Again and again and again. Failure is the pathway to success. It is an inevitable part of success. Accept that, and failure won’t be so intimidating.
- Your status. This is pure ego and part of what other people think of you. Your status isn’t based on anything real. Just perception. Is it worth giving up real happiness for status?
- The discomfort of fear. Fear is uncomfortable. No one likes to be sitting in fear. We’ll do just about anything to avoid it. But you must know from experience, it is temporary. And it doesn’t kill you.
- Embarrassment. Sometimes we may look stupid, silly, out-of-touch, inexperienced, fumbling, weak, or vulnerable. It will happen, but you must not let it hold you back. People forget your foolishness long before you do. They are far more interested in themselves!
At the end of this article, we present to you a video from Ralph Smart: What Does It Take to Become Fearless?