Some fears are real while others are not. Fears that are not real are simply a mental construct. We control our fears, they don’t control us. I like what Georges St-Pierre, UFC Welterweight Champion said, “It’s ok to get butterflies in your stomach; the key is to learn how to make them fly in formation.” This is well said. As a young boy we used to go out to the beach to swim. I was very terrified by the waves. My buddies were very good at riding the waves with their homemade surf boards. When we got to the beach, I played it safe by playing in the shallow waters. Several times my buddies would encourage me to go a little further into the water but each time memories of a dead person washing ashore kept me from going further. I was terrified each time we went to the beach. To make matters even worse, anytime we went to the beach and swam, we were disciplined at home by Dad who warned us never to swim at the beach. Dad was trying to protect us from being swept by the raging waves and killed in the process like others had in the past. We went anyway and were ready for the discipline whenever we were caught. I did not stop going to the beach with my siblings and friends because I loved their company. On this particular day, my friends decided to carry me into the deep end and show me that it was not all that difficult. I thought I would pass out when they threw me into the water, but I didn’t. In actual fact, it felt really great to be out there in the deep end and trying my best to float and ride the waves. After trying a couple of times, I gained a level of confidence and the barrier of fear stopping me from enjoying the time with my friends started to crumble. This is why the statement ‘doing things afraid’ is the way to go in conquering your fears.
You need to start attacking your fears as Will Smith the actor and singer suggested. Will said, “What developed in my early days was the attitude to start attacking the thing I was scared of.” When you start attacking what you are afraid of, the fear will dissipate. What are you afraid of? What belief system has created enormous and gigantic fears in your mind? Had I not tried going deeper into the water after my friends carried me by force to just try, I would still remain at the shallow end to this very day. There are millions of people around the nations of the world terrified to take the first step like I was when I was a very young boy. Unless you break the barrier of fear in your mind, your dream will remain just a fantasy. What you think in your head you will take action on. People break out in a sweat when confronted with the barrier of fear, just like I felt when my friends carried me into the deep water. I was very terrified, because to me, venturing into the deep end might mean death by drowning and this perception was so real I could actually see myself drowning.
“Fears are nothing more than states of mind.” – Napoleon Hill (Author of Think And Grow Rich)
James Allan, in his classic As a Man Thinketh, said that fear can kill a person faster than a speeding bullet. Your barrier of fear might not kill you physically but will kill your ambition of achieving massive success. Destroy in your mind all the things you are afraid of and take the necessary steps. Here are a few suggestions for smashing the barrier of fear and working through your fears: do what you are afraid of; just start what you want to do anyway in spite of the fear; be aware and acknowledge that the barrier of fear will raise its ugly head every single time you want to move forward in the direction of your goals; when fear shows its ugly head, speak to it like you would speak to a person, commanding it to go, then move on with what you want to do; get yourself excited about achieving massive success; and focus on your goals and the activities you have planned and get to work. You don’t defeat fear by talking fear. Review the movie of the life you have imagined and regularly keep doing the things you love to do. Syndicated columnist Ann Landers wrote, “If I were asked to give what I considered the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity, it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life, and when it comes, hold your head high. Look it squarely in the eye and say, ‘I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.’” This is the kind of attitude that leads to victory