Fear is something I’ve dealt with for much of my life. I’m certain you’ve dealt with it too.
The dictionary defines fear as a distressing emotion caused by impending danger whether real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
Fear causes you to remain stuck even when every fiber of your being is telling you to go forth into the unknown. You’ve heard the expression that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
To get a better understanding of fear operates just imagine walking around in a set of handcuffs. It would be difficult to complete everyday tasks such as walking, eating, and driving. This is an accurate metaphor for what fear does to a person’s psyche. It causes you to feel as though you’re in a state of mental imprisonment while everyone else around you is going on with their lives as normal.
Fear takes on many forms.
It’s the employee in the closing moments of a team meeting at work. They have a wonderful idea that could make the company run more efficiently. But when the boss opens the floor for comments they refuse to speak up for fear they will be rejected, not knowing that the boss is waiting for someone to voice their opinion on that very subject.
It’s the person who is afraid to apply to their dream job because they fail to meet all the preferred qualifications, not realizing that the hiring manager is just looking for an applicant who is passionate about the position.
In each case fear holds these people back from achieving potential greatness. And that is the biggest consequence of fear. It robs you and the rest of the world of witnessing the greatness inside of you.
Fear has held me back from doing so many things in my life. Sure it feels good to play it safe, but I don’t want to look back on a life that was filled with regrets and missed opportunities.
The good news is that fear can be completely removed from your life. The most important way to combat fear is to face it head on.
Former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “you gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you look fear in the face.”
The funny thing is that we often make our fears out to be bigger than what they really are. In the book Overcoming Anxiety and Fear author Norman Vincent Peale noted that a friend of his estimated that 92 percent of the things he feared in life never ended up happening. Of the eight percent that did happen, he stood up to them, handled them, and overcame them.
My advice to anyone reading this is to not spend another day running from those things that scare you. Face your fears head on.
I’d like to leave you with the following quote: “You can never outrun fear. Try it and you will run yourself down, a pathetic victim of anxiety. Try a better way. Take a long, searching look at your fear. Stand up to it. It probably won’t happen anyway. And if it does, you have what it takes to meet it and successfully control it.”