I remember it well.
I was almost a fetus again. My toes were clenched into little fists. My five year-old legs were packed together tightly by my little arms. With my back almost glued to the wooden door, I sat terrified outside the room where my father was doing his daily exercise routine.
A loud bang added to my fright. Fortunately, it was only the gusty wind forcing itself onto the glass windows. However, I managed to think up an entire scary movie unfolding- a yellow monster just about 4 times my four-feet-self bursting through our walls excited to devour poor little innocent Jo!
“Daddy! Hurry up already with your exercise workout! I don’t want to be alone” I screamed internally.
I think it’s safe to say that most humans have touched the common ground of fear at some point during their earthly existence. It seems like it has been a part of our lives for almost all of our lives. Now, as much as some fears are reasonable and are a part of our survival instincts, there are some that are killing us softly or slowing progress rather than keeping us alive… unhealthy fears.
I’m 100% sure you’re familiar with them…
“What if I don’t do it right?”
“What if I start and I fail?”
“What if I mess up?
“I don’t want to try it until I get more experience? What if I’m just not ready yet?”
“What if they say something bad about me?”
What if… what if… what if…
It’s almost as though “what if” speeds in to impede our progress when we encounter something new or when we want to embark on a new venture. We’ve all done it.
But what if I say it’s not actually a fear, a real threat or danger? Yes, I’m saying let’s not call them fears. Let us call them “figments of our imagination” “make-believes” “fictional stories.”
Simply put, I believe that our “fears” are the very creative stories we brilliantly pen in our minds about every conceivable negative outcome in a particular situation. Now, it’s all well and good to prepare for the worst outcome but living by them? Nah that’s bad. What’s laughable is that they most likely will never happen. NEVER!
Famous American actor and Grammy Award winner, Will Smith agrees,
“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice.”
It is a choice and if you find yourself exclaiming ” My fears are holding me back,” know that you’ve made that decision to live by negative outcomes rather than the great possibilities that await you. Also, know that you have the power to change those stories that you’ve carved deeply into your psyche.
Here are few ways in which you can defeat this little Goliath:
- Pay attention to your talk – A lot of our “fears” are smuggled into our brain space by our negative self-talk. Once you are aware, you’d realize how much you indulge and how often they knock on your doors when you’re about to start something new. Awareness is imperative if you want to change your internal chatter.
- Make a choice – If you really want to do something (something that’s healthy of course) but you’re intimidated by the greatness of task, ask yourself whether the fear you feel is more imagined than real. If it’s more imagined, make the decision to put your fervor to perform the task ahead of your negative imaginations. If you decide to not pursue what you want to do because of fear… you made a choice!
- Celebrate good times c’mon! – Once you’ve stoned your unhealthy talk to death and accomplished a task you were initially “fearful” to complete, celebrate your victory. Positive reinforcement is the way to go!
Now if you want a more practical means of overcoming those unhealthy mind-games, click here.
Though there are fears that alert us to real dangers, there are those fears which can cripple and paralyze. The latter are the fears you gotta squish! I challenge you to make the choice to overcome them. I challenge you to pursue what you want in life and not allow what others may think to chart a path you did not want initially. I challenge you to live according the the best outcomes! And finally, I challenge you to make that decision to never be held back by the “figments of imagination.”
I speak to myself also.
My Dear Reader,
THE WORLD IS YOURS!
Uncommon Help .(n.d.). “5 Sure-fire Ways to Overcome Fear and Anxiety Today.” Mark Tyrell. Retrieved from http://www.uncommonhelp.me/articles/overcome-fear-and-anxiety/#sthash.Kilh6YE5.dpuf
Coaching Journey.(n.d.) “Fear is a Jouney (Fear is a Choice).” Hwai Tah. Retrieved from http://coaching-journey.com/fear-is-not-real-fear-is-a-choice/
Shutter Stock – http://www.shutterstock.com/s/fear/search.html