One of our biggest opponents to the lives we all want to live is fear. Fear kills dreams, robs hopes, and deflates spirits. Fear puts lives on hold.
Since fear is such a formidable opponent in each of our lives, it becomes critical that we get a better understanding of it and how to properly deal with it.
To do this, I am going to take you on a journey through the minds of some of the greatest thinkers and achievers who ever lived. These men, women, and unknowns all faced the same fear that we face today. The difference is that they acknowledged this fear and attacked it with a strong sense of purpose.
As you go through this journey, by following the fear quotes below, think of your own life and how you can utilize this game-plan to get more out of it. Building self confidence is often just a matter of realizing that this self confidence lies within you.
Realize your fears
“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
One of the most important first steps you can take regarding your fears is to acknowledge them. Your fears are there and they are very real. They are causing doubts in your mind because they make you think of negative results. They make you worry about the unknown.
These negative thoughts and worries are holding you back. We all have dreams about what we want our future to be like. There are steps we must take to turn these dreams into reality. It is often our doubts and our fears that prevent us from taking these steps. Therefore, these are the biggest limiting factors in our ability to realize our dreams.
“It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.” -Denis Waitley
While our fears are very real, what they represent is not. Fears represent unknown results. They represent doubt. These doubts are not reality. They are unrealized possibilities. Moreover, they are negative possibilities that take up valuable real estate in our minds.
Negative thoughts take up space that could be held by positive thoughts. These positive thoughts are of the life we want, the reality we desire. By allowing doubt to take up space in our thoughts, we are holding back our potential to create positive changes in our lives.
For these reasons, it is very important that we acknowledge our fears and our doubts and develop a plan to overcome them.
Accept your fears
“Usually a person has more faith in their fear than faith in their future.” -Doug Firebaugh
Often, we think about our fears so much that we begin to believe that they represent a definite truth. This is not the case.
Just because you fear failure or rejection does not mean that you will fail or be rejected. Just because you fear that doing something out of your comfort zone will lead to an awkward or embarrassing situation does not mean that the situation will indeed be awkward or embarrassing.
Taken further, just because you fear failure, rejection, or embarrassment does not mean that these things will necessarily be bad for you.
Most times, doing the things we fear will lead to greater clarity in life. In order to get this clarity, we must accept our fears and proceed with our lives in spite of them.
Do not allow your belief in your fears to cloud your future.
“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” -Chinese Proverb
Many of us actually fear our futures. We fear that we won’t be able to get what we want or where we want with our lives. We fear the uncertainty that lies ahead. We’re afraid that we will not be able to get out of our current situation.
Your current situation is not who you are. It is not permanent. It is merely a result of all the actions you have taken up to this point. Change the way you do things and you change your situation. It’s that simple.
We all worry about the future, but this worry is just taking up more of that valuable space in our brain. We worry that we are not good enough, one way or another, to do what we want.
If you worry that you are not good enough, it means you will hesitate to do the things you should do. This tension holds you back from the life you desire. It is not a lack of ability that keeps you from your goals, it is an overbearing presence of tension in your thoughts.
If you simply relax and be yourself, you will realize that you are more than capable of finding your way to your goals. You are more than capable of accomplishing great tasks that previously caused you stress and anxiety.
Relax and be yourself and you will begin living your life. This is more than confidence; it is YOU.
Acknowledge the Importance of Your Fears
“What you are afraid to do is a clear indicator of the next thing you need to do.” -Unknown
Once you accept your fears, it becomes time to learn from them. They all tell you something about yourself and your life. They point you in the direction of the things you should be doing to move forward with your life.
Your fears are like arrows on the journey toward your goals and dreams. If they weren’t important, they wouldn’t be present. Fear is often passion in disguise. If you are passionate about something, you will often fear not being able to get it. Therefore, to decipher your next step, it is often a good idea to take a look at what you are afraid to do.
We often put aside the things we are afraid to do and give precedence to things we are more comfortable doing. This is why we spend most of our lives moving in circles. We get as close as we possibly can to our fears without risking anything, and then step back into our comfort zone so we are at least doing something.
But are we really doing something by operating solely in our comfort zone?
What we are actually doing is spending time. We are spending time that we cannot get back. Instead of moving forward, we are content with treading water until we are comfortable enough to take on our fears.
Unfortunately, you will never be “comfortable enough” to take on your fears. The time will never be “just right”. Not unless, that is, you change your mental approach.
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy
Stepping outside of your comfort zone, by following your fears that indicate passion, is daring to fail. You are telling yourself that the potential result of your success is greater than the potential downside of your failure. This is the first step toward achieving greatness.
All the things that will provide you with true happiness in life lie outside of your current comfort zone. You must be willing to take that next step in order to get to these things.
You must realize that failure is only temporary. It is not something to allow fear to prevent you from experiencing. It is not something to hide from.
Inaction will not keep you from failure; it will only keep you from success.
The more you wait, the longer you put off your success.
The less you do, the less you experience. The less you experience, the less you learn.
And the less you learn, the less you will be able to do.
Life is about experimenting new ways to get what you want. It is about following your passions with a purpose. It is about moving forward and experiencing each moment for the potential it holds.
Do not hide from your life; live it.
Understand What Your Fears Tell You
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill
When you start to move forward in spite of your fears, you start to live. You start to get a taste of real success, and a taste of failure.
Failure is not an end. It is a learning experience. It shows you a way that does not work and challenges you to find a different way that does.
This challenge is precisely what has inspired the creativity and genius in the greatest achievers in history. People like Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein did not achieve their success through luck. They failed thousands of times, but constantly pursued that one elusive thing that would lead to ultimate success.
Your pursuit of happiness is very much the same. You will fail many times trying to get the most out of your life. The failures should point you in a new direction. This direction may be just a step to the left, or it may be a complete about-face. But until you try, you will never know and will be stuck in limbo.
Failure is merely a stepping stone on the path to great success.
“The great question is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with failure.” -Chinese Proverb
Face Your Fears
“If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been.” -Robert H. Schuller
Facing your fears means living your life. It means experiencing all that life has to offer. Fear is thrilling because it allows for unique experiences. There is nothing like the first time you experience something new. You cannot replicate the emotion this creates, so do your best to enjoy the moment.
Just because you cannot recreate new experiences does not mean you must stop having them. Life is all about new experiences. Each moment brings with it new opportunities. Each second of life can, and should, be different.
If life were the same all the time, what would be the point of living? You would already know what happens.
Rather, life is exciting purely because of the unknown element. Do not allow your fears to prevent you from these new experiences. You never know what you might uncover about yourself.
Until you start allowing yourself to experience life, you will not truly know who you are.
“No man is free until he learns to do his own thinking and gains the courage to act on his own personal initiative.” -Napoleon Hill
Remember, this life is yours. You are the only person who can live it. You are unique, and your life is special.
Treat it as such.
Do not allow others to control your life. Do not worry about what others will think about what you do. You should not allow anyone or anything to prevent you from experiencing your life.
Just be you.
Kill Your Fears
“Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
So how do you kill fear?
Just do the thing you are afraid to do. Once you do it, the fear is gone. Once you step into the unknown, it becomes known.
There is no magic formula for eliminating fear. It is simply a matter of taking that next step. Remember, fear is not a stop sign; it is an arrow pointing you down the path to new experiences.
“Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.” -Basil King
Fear creates hesitation. This hesitation will hold you back. Stepping through the fear makes you stronger. It teaches you courage and gives you wings to soar to greater heights.
Acting through your fears creates a powerful force within your will. It aligns this will with your power and creates a seemingly superhuman force that allows you to do things you never knew you were capable of doing.
It all starts with a simple step. And that simple step is the one you need to take right now.
“They can do all because they think they can.” -Virgil
This isn’t magic, nor is it rocket science. Your life is exactly what you make it out to be. The things you do provide you with your experiences. Your views and thoughts develop your emotions.
While positive thoughts may not guarantee success, negative thoughts can prevent it. Since you control your thoughts, you also control your potential.
If you want something, you can get it. The belief in your dreams is a belief in your life. You are the only person who has the power to tell yourself you can’t do something.
More importantly, you are the only person with the power to tell yourself you can.
Create Your Life
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you imagined.” -Henry David Thoreau
Find your fears and take that next step into them. Discover a new world for yourself. Uncover hidden pleasures.
Explore your world and experiment; for you never know what moment your dreams will become your reality.