"You must do the thing that you fear until the fear of that thing becomes no more."
- Brian Tracy
One day, not too long ago, I was in the middle of a 5 day fast. I was looking for spiritual answers to some situations that I was facing. On the third day, I got hit with the truth: my attention that my life and motives had been based on fear. I had feared that people would not love me if I stood up for myself. I had feared that people would not understand me when I needed them to. I had feared that failure would always overtake my efforts in life no matter how well I performed. Ultimately, I feared being a complete and total failure in life.
It was very shocking for me to come to this realization. I had always felt that I had a natural zest for life, but there was always a "glass ceiling" that I just could not seem to break through. I could always "see" what I could be, but actually becoming that person often eluded me. Fear is a great paralyzer. It lulls one into believing that gloom and doom are always "inevitable." Fear causes great people to accept mediocrity. It also causes death and destruction to lives and dreams of most people. Where there is overwhelming procrastination, there is fear. Where there is great anger, there is fear. Where there is extreme hatred, there is fear. Where there is complacency, there is fear. Where there was failure, ultimately, fear was there.
That brought me back to something else that I never consciously realized; that fear is a mind-set. Thus, anything that is set in your mind got there from a thought or set of thoughts. However, thoughts can be corrected by consciously choosing to think better thoughts. If you constantly fear that you are going to be "sick," you are going to be "sick." So to correct your "sickness" before it happens, start consciously choosing "healthy" thoughts.
This ideology holds true in most walks of life. Henry Ford, world-renowned industrialist and automotive pioneer, once stated, "Whether you think that you can or you can't, you're right." Ford often successfully overcame fear. You see, he only had a sixth grade education. By most standards, he would have been considered illiterate and ignorant. Mr. Ford was so "ignorant," that he committed himself to the "outrageous" dream of building automobiles with little formal education. Ford was so "ignorant," that he pioneered the "V" shaped engine, something that his "smart" engineers said "couldn't" be done. In essence, Ford was so "ignorant," until he forgot to "fear" things that most people with his set of "limitations" were supposed to.
I'm pretty sure that there is somebody out there right now driving their family vehicle to a job that is murdering their dreams of greatness. These people are probably 1000 times "smarter" than Henry Ford was. So "smart" that they think "security" is going to come by working for someone else the rest of their lives. I sincerely believe and teach people to be bold in their journey through life. Boldness breaks the bondage of fear. Boldness is defined as the willingness to face risk fearlessly.
What do you have dreams of doing or being? What is holding you back? For the first question, I know some people will answer things becoming a singer, writing a book, starting a new business, buying a new car, and etc. However, for the second question, I know that tons of fear-based excuses will come up. Things like, "I'm too old," "I'm too young," "I'm a woman," "I'm Black," "I don't have a lot of money," and the like. In this article, I have been spiritually led to tell you the truth. Your boldness will lead you to the result of question one, and defeat the untruths of question two. World-renowned writer, speaker, and pastor, Joyce Meyer, describes fear as "False Evidence Appearing Real." The truth of the matter is that success knows no such boundaries as race, sex, age, gender, creed, or religious preference. Thus there is no reason for fear to keep you in bondage anymore.
The following are five steps to unleashing your power over F.E.A.R.
5 Steps to Unleashing Your Power Over Fear
Become "ignorant" to fear Don't let fear have time to think Always speak faith and belief Create and maintain a positive outlook of yourself Continue to execute the thing(s) that you fear until fear disappears
Become "ignorant" to fear:
Fear appears in many different forms. It can come from negative self (i.e. "I can't do this," "I'm not good at this," etc.). It can come from negative media forecasts (i.e. bad predictions of the economy, bad weather reports, reports of murder, etc.). Remember the story of Henry Ford? He could have been nothing in this lifetime because of what he could not do, but his fears took a back seat to his ability to ignore any ideas that were not in congruence with his dream. Therefore, you must mute the voice of fear by limiting (or completely eliminating) your contact with fear-causing entities.
Don't let fear have time to think:
Thoughts are powerful. A single thought can be responsible for life or death in this world. And anything that you think about long enough will find its way into the physical realm. Therefore, if you were to spend time thinking about the things that you want out of life (I mean conscious concentrate), you begin to see them. Conversely, the same is true for the things that you don't want in life. Commit your time to faith and believing, not fear and doubt.
Always speak faith and belief:
To frame your own world free of debilitating fear, always think, act, and speak positively in faith and belief. Be bold and say things as you want them to be in your life. If it is a new house you want, say it! If it is a new car you want, say it! If it is a successful family life you want, say it! If it is a better job that you want, say it!
Create and maintain a positive outlook of yourself:
I have a motto that goes like this: "If I know who and what I am, no one can tell me who and what I am not!" No matter what the world has decided to think about me, I have decided to think great thoughts about myself. Therefore, I am free of world's often limiting belief system. I don't worry about things like weather reports, poor economic forecasts, what celebrity just went to jail, and who does not believe in my dreams, because if God is for me, who or what can be against me (Romans 8:31)? Decide who and what you are right now and do not be moved negativity.
Continue to execute the thing(s) that you fear until fear disappears:
Success is active. Action dispels fear. If you sit still, fear has the time to paralyze your abilities and efforts, ultimately causing you to fail. Continue to move toward your goals with great diligence and great courage!
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond imagination. - Marianne Williamson
Fear. So often, it holds us back from achieving our true potential. We like to make a display of bravado and bring forth a plethora of excuses – money, commitments, and so on. But deep down, behind many of our excuses lies fear.
Fear can paralyze us. It can strike when we least expect it. Just recently, I was due to give a speech about, of all things, learning to move beyond our fears. That morning I realized I was afraid of giving the speech! I was trying to convince myself that I was not prepared, that I should cancel, perhaps I had a headache coming on. Fortunately I was able to recognize the feelings of fear and take action to move past them so that I could deliver a successful and effective speech. Had I not dealt with the fear, I might have been tempted to make my excuses and cancel the speech. Then, the next time I was invited to talk to a group, the memory of what happened and my reaction would have resurfaced, allowing the fear to grow even more.
Fear in itself is not bad. It can be a powerful catalyst that propels us ahead to create the change we want in our lives. Alternatively, it can be the emotion that prevents us from doing anything, causing us to become stagnant.
So how do we ensure that we don’t lose ourselves to fear? (Fear in the context of this lesson does not refer to full-fledged phobias that require psychiatric help, but rather to common anxiety and nervousness.)
The key is to recognize your fear. Learn to recognize its symptoms. Sounds simple? It is not always so. Fear, like any other emotion, can manifest very differently from one person to another. For example, when I get nervous or afraid, I giggle. In confrontations, the angrier the other person gets, the more nervous I become and the more I giggle. You can see how this could lead to misunderstandings with others who mistake my fear for mockery. Someone else might experience fear by withdrawing into herself. Another might display anger, hyperactivity, nausea… the list is endless. Until we recognize how our own fear manifests, we cannot learn to embrace it.
That’s right. I said we need to embrace our fears. Remember that fear is not bad. It is only when we allow fear to control us that it becomes negative. We should also remember that a certain amount of fear is actually good. I would be more concerned about someone who claimed to never feel fear. No fear suggests an unhealthy disengagement from the world.
Since we are learning to embrace our fears, it is extra important that we not view fear as a negative. There is nothing wrong in admitting that we are afraid. In so doing, we open ourselves up to the possibility of healing and of finding support from those around us.
Once you both recognize and embrace your fear, you can deal with it. When you do, the fear will lessen. As the fear dissipates, you will feel more positive about yourself and pleased that you have conquered it. Energy feeds upon itself. Fear can breed negativity, but one positive step forward can lead to another. You can stay rooted in your fear, or you can try the action steps outlined below and allow yourself to explore uncharted possibilities. In the words of Rosanne Cash, “The key to change… is to let go of fear.”
1. Make a list of five times in your life when you have felt afraid or nervous. Try to remember the cause of the fear and how you felt at the time. Jot down any physical and emotional symptoms. Look back over your list. Do you see any commonalities? Do you notice the same symptoms each time, or do the symptoms vary according to the type of problem? It is important to learn this about yourself so that you can teach yourself to spot fear when it first comes calling.
2. Once you have learned to recognize your own symptoms, spend a couple of weeks paying close attention to the reactions of those around you. Notice your work colleague’s sweaty palms as she or he gives a presentation, or your best friend’s stomach pains before a family get-together. Try to maintain your newfound awareness even after you have completed this exercise.
3. Every time you feel afraid, remind yourself that fear is ok. If you beat yourself up each time you feel afraid or nervous, you won’t be able to move on. Try telling yourself, “OK, I’m kind of nervous right now. I’m afraid that… (fill in the blank). That’s okay. It’s good that I know this. Now I can deal with it.”
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