August 24th, 2010 Archive

Conquer Your Fear

August 24th, 2010 by Adaire in Lifestyle

“There was never any fear for me, no fear of failure. If I miss a shot, so what?” ~ Michael Jordan   

We all know who “His Airness”, Michael Jordan is. :)   His contemporaries, mostly basketball legends themselves, defer to him as the “greatest basketball player of all time.”  His stats are stellar, his scores off the roof, his name is in the Hall of Fame.  As I gleaned from his words above, Jordan rose to the top because he played with NO FEAR.  He played to hone his skills, played to master his craft, played to enjoy the game. :) With his refusal to let fear breed in his heart and mind, he played to become the best. 

I’m not simply talking about basketball. :) I’m talking about the fear that we carry in our hearts and in our heads, the fear that stops us from being happy, or talented, or gorgeous, or successful. Fear is a debilitating emotion, it can be paralyzing.  For some of us, this is the barrier that hold us back from becoming successful, from realizing potentials of great heights – what we can do and where we can go.  :)  

Helene Rothschild, intuitive counselor, speaker and author, challenges us to overcome our fears in Dare To Reach Your Goals: 7 Major Keys to Success in Small Business CEO Magazine

The article was an enlightening read for me. :) It gave me new perceptions about fear. 

Fear of failure, or fear of success?  

Apparently, it is not so much the fear of failure that blocks us, but surprisingly, the fear to succeed. This is a pretty new concept to me; I never thought people could fear the positive. Rothschild talks about the 7 fears of success and how we should cut those ropes to overcome them. 

We fear success because we fear the unknown, not knowing what to do once we’re in new ground.  We fear success because we think we are not deserving of its rewards, and fear the consequences that come with it.  We fear success because we think it does not fit our self-image, or people will no longer like us once we’re there.  We fear success because our parents may not accept that we can surpass what they have accomplished.  We fear success because we think we are doing it for other people, not for ourselves. 

We fear success.  We hinder it ourselves.  We create the bars and roadblocks.  We limit ourselves.  We refuse to succeed. 

F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real 

“Empty fears we all have, most worryings are needless, but still we fail to understand and go on fretting heedless.” ~John McLeod, from On Crossing Non-Existent Bridges 

Another article that turned my perception of fear around is what Lynn Pierce, the Success Architect and founder of the annual Empowered Women’s Business Summit, wrote in her article Banish Fear in Your Life .  It made me think, and eventually agree:  “95% of our fears are never realized.”   Our fears are mostly based on unfounded worries; we turn something illogical into an over-analyzed basis of anxiety. 

False Evidence Appearing Real.  And yet, we allow it to grip us, to stop us from moving towards the direction of where we really want to go. 

I liked Pierce’s suggestion of declaring that YOU and what you want to accomplish is bigger than your fear.  I did the personal growth exercise that she suggested and realized that I indeed have a lot of anxieties and apprehensions that most likely will never happen.  :)  

“Whatever you fear most has no power…it is your fear that has the power”. ~Oprah Winfrey 

Fear is powerful in the sense that it is paralyzing.  It binds us and pins us down from doing what we should, or what is right.  The challenge to us is how to harness this power, and turn it around to become a positive emotion, a call to action. :)

Source: GettyImages.com

After reading the articles, it dawned on me, now, it’s all a matter of decision on my part:  “Will I allow my fears to lord over me?  Do I let it conquer me?  Or the other way around?” 

Burn your fear list 

Pierce, in her article, suggests this personal growth exercise: make three columns on a piece of paper.  On the first column, list your fears, on the second, write down the worst possible thing that can happen if your fear comes true, and on the third, write down a solution to the problem. 

I found this exercise liberating.  It simplified so many things for me, and helped me tackle each fear in a straightforward, no-nonsense manner.  I felt so much better after – silly, in fact, realizing that most anxieties I had were baseless, unfounded, and not even likely to happen.  :)   And should they do arise, I now know what to do.  :)  

To complete my liberation from fear, I read my list once again, took careful note of my solutions column, and burned my list.  Watching that piece of paper go up in smoke was symbolic to my letting go.  It’s like shouting to the world:  “Fear, I’m burning you down.  I’m much bigger than you are.”  :)  

Source: GettyImages.com

 Cut the ropes 

“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, coverage, and confidence in the doing.” 

Now that you have I looked fear in the eye and decided to stand firm against it, I can now empower myself to do greater things, reach greater heights.  :) I think Rothschild said it best in her article… 

Imagine that you are in a beautiful air balloon ready to take off, to have what you want in your life. Now look towards the ground and notice if there are any ropes holding you down, stopping you from being free to fly. 

  

Source: GettyImages.com

“In order to reach your goals in your life, it is necessary to cut those ropes-to overcome not your fears of failure but your fears of success. You may be as surprised as I was when I first discovered the fear of success. It seems illogical to push away the very things we desire”. 

I have now decided to break away from the ties that bind and weigh me down.  I look forward to flying high and flying free, and breathing the wonderful air from above.  :)  

Command & conquer 

What is it exactly that you fear?  Is it failure, or success?  What will it take to conquer it?  Look fear in the face and banish it.  Command yourself to conquer an imaginary foe that has long been pulling you down. 

I leave you now with another point to ponder on.  I found this excerpt from a book written by Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love – Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles: 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,
our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves,
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”
 

Conquer your fears!
Adaire :)