It was also prompted by a discussion my wife and I had with our teen-aged daughter this morning who really wants to go on a trip, by herself, during the University holidays, but who it seems is paralyzed from acting due to her fear - but I ask her; fear of what?
Although some people do make a conscious decision to embrace the physiological fear and overcome it, for example mountain climbers, big wave surfers, skydivers et al, in general terms it is fair to say that physiological fear is good for us and warns us of potentially dangerous situations that we may choose, or not, to avoid. Physiological fear is a good thing - it helps to keep us alive.
We've all read and heard of people who are so crippled by fear that they cannot even leave their own houses (agoraphobia), others who have a pathological fear of water (aquaphobia) and those too frightened of heights to even climb a set of stairs (acrophobia), but those with phobias this extreme are best assisted in overcoming them with professional psychological counselling and treatment.
For most of us the fears that cripple us are just simple psychological fears that we have allowed to become the ruling paradigms in our lives. These are fears that have been drilled into us over the years by the people we have most trusted to guide us in our lives; our parents, our siblings, our teachers, our friends, our work colleagues and indeed society in general. We have, like a good and faithful dog been exceeding well trained. The problem is that these fears have become so ingrained in our subconscious that they can stop us from doing things we WANT to do and things we SHOULD do, to grow as individuals and experience the awesome life that we were born to live. So what are these fears that hold us back from achieving our greatness?
That insane little monster in your head (your ego) starts chattering back to you. "Who do you think you are?" "What makes you think you can do that?" "You tried something like that before, remember? God, what a disaster that was!" "No, you stick to your knitting - you do what you can do" "Don't you dare have the temerity to try something new - you know you're a loser, you're bound to fail." "Best you just go and have a beer ha!"
But why are we so afraid of failure? Failure is the first step on the road to success. It doesn't matter which successful person you interview, you will always find that there is failure written in their story. In fact successful people literally "celebrate" their failures. Here, I particularly like the comment of Robert T Kiyosaki (Author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad); "Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure, also avoid success."
If you are to be the greatest you that you can possibly be - you need to overcome this fear of failure. Whatever it is you want to do - you first of all need to make a start and from then on the key is persistence. Don't be off-put by the ego that keeps telling you, you will fail! There is an old truism - "if you don't run the race; you can never be the winner!"
And even if you don't succeed initially; then you will have at least gained two wonderful things:
2/ You will have so much more experience than you had before. The mistakes you made this particular time will serve you well in your future endeavors. I guarantee you, you won't make those same mistakes again. As Heston Blumenthal said; "I learned more from my one failed restaurant than from all the successful one's put together.";
So don't let a fear of failure cripple you and consign you to living a live too ordinary. You were born to excel - you were born to be great. Just take that first step down the path that you long to venture and embrace any failures as part of the process of growing your greatness.
The biggest problem I encounter is that instead of people loving themselves for who they are - a unique individual with talents that are completely unlike those of anyone who has ever lived, or will ever live - they indulge in fruitless and debilitating episodes of self-loathing and then have to seek validation for themselves, from others.
If we truly love ourselves and embrace our own uniqueness with passion, then why should we need validation from anyone else. "To thine own self be true." If we are going to spend our lives seeking acceptance from others and seeking their plaudits then we will waste so many opportunities to experience the joys of life that make us happy and can fill us with bliss. Fear of what others may think or say is extremely limiting and can paralyze us from action.
YOU deserve better than that! You deserve to fulfill your own dreams and desires, not someone else's perception of who you should be, or what you should do. Take control of yourself, your own destiny and live for you - forget about what others have to say. The time they spend trying to drag other's down and limit other's potential is wasting their own opportunities to grow and experience everything that this amazing life has to offer. Don't fall into the trap of pandering to their small-minded needs. Go out there and be the best you can be; doing the things you want to do.
First and foremost you need to understand that the unknown is somewhere out there, in the future. The only thing you can do to control the future is what you do TODAY - here and now.
I am telling you - here and now, today, that if you focus your mind on all the potential problems and pitfalls that the future may hold for you - that is exactly what your future WILL hold. You will actually attract to yourself the very things you want to avoid.
You need to accept that you live in the PRESENT , not the past or the future, and whatever you think about and do NOW, will be what your future, manifests in your life. I think the best description of how this all works comes again from Andy Shaw. His philosophy is this; you decide NOW, what it is you want in the FUTURE. You then experience that in your own mind until it becomes your reality. That having being done, you then work diligently to bring it into everyone else's reality.
I strongly believe there is no such thing as luck or coincidence. Everything we experience in our lives is; 1/ Brought about by our own thoughts and actions of the past and 2/ Ultimately for our own good. In other words I believe; at any given point in time we are exactly where we are meant to be; doing exactly what we are meant to be doing; with the people we are meant to be doing it with. Don't let the fear of the future cripple your ambitions. Embrace the present - be the person you want to be today, and tomorrow will take care of itself.
I couldn't agree more. We all have within us the potential to achieve greatness, whether it be just within ourselves, within our families, within our community or indeed within the world. We are not limited by anything except our own choices and our own fears.
Have a great life and spread the love!
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