Overcoming Fear

Life is a journey, an adventure into the unknown much like an experiment. We have ideas, we put them to the test, we record our results and we conclude to help for future development. Like an experiment, in our lives we don’t always know all the answers, or know what the outcome is going to be. We must constantly keep testing ideas using our results or learning from others results. “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” (Isaac Newton) Learning is a great feedback loop. If we are able to approach failure and rejection like an experiment, we can then conquer our fears, control them and not let them control us.

Overcoming our fears is no easy task, and for some it can take days, others weeks and some years, but eventually this fulfillment enlightens you. Out of enlightenment comes over whelming joy. So why not overcome your fears quicker and avoid the need to live in regret?

I was at the airport last month, flying from Vegas in to Philly. I arrived at the airport early and saw a pilot sitting down eating. I approached the man and started speaking to him about being a pilot. Bill was his name and he has been a pilot for over 30 years. I found out that he is afraid of heights, so his choice of occupation was confusing to me. We continued to speak. The reason he was able to continue flying and face his fear day in and day out was because he “wanted it bad enough”. His determination to become a pilot was far greater than his fear of heights. In other words, his fear of not being a pilot and chasing his dreams was stronger than his fear of heights.

When you have a passion and a hunger for something, then fear won’t stop you from achieving your goal! It won’t stop you in your pursuit, like it does for so many people. Fear is still there for the person; they just find ways to push through it. Fear is inevitable and everyone has at least one; but why let that stop you from achieving your goal. Failure only happens when you give up. If Thomas Edison stopped on his thousandth attempt to make a light bulb it may never have been invented.

Fear has stopped me many times in life; it has controlled how I acted and felt or even limited my ability to voice my opinion; chase my dreams and live true to myself. I learned to control fear by changing the way I felt about fear. I tell myself, if I don’t take action what will I miss out on. This idea of pain of not living the life I want, or missing the opportunity to make a difference in the world enabled me to step up and take action. I still had fear, and fear is a great motivator, but now I transformed fear to my advantage to help me get what I want in life.

I recently started to take up many new hobbies; one being Latin dancing (salsa). I was always scared that people would think I’m strange cause I couldn’t really dance. The fear of not being a great dancer later in life was enough to make me take action and become better at it. My ability to overcome fear and face them, as well as change the way I approach fear has not only allowed me to learn new skills, but given me the ability to learn them quicker because I go all in. Why slowly get into a pool when you can jump and enjoy the process. Life is too short to not take action and follow your dreams. It’s time to live your life on your terms and not worry about other people judging you.

Fear is a lack of confidence in yourself and not knowing what to expect in the future. When we are fearful, we can express weak body language. This hugely impacts our ability to influence and interact others; in particular the opposite sex. Overcoming your fear, you can start with small challenges to get you comfortable in fearful situations to lead to positive results.

Tip of the week:
To become more familiar in the art of speaking with people. Start small and ask basic questions to get comfortable with interactions.
Example: “Where is the bathroom/train station/bus stop?”, “What time is it?”, “Do you know where ….  is?”

Today’s exercise is:
Write down 3 things that you have been putting off or avoiding because of fear. That could be an email or text to a loved one, starting a new business, approaching the opposite sex.

For each fear:
1. Write down what it will cost you if you don’t take action on that fear. What will you miss out on?
2. Write down what you will gain by taking action and conquering that fear.

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