December 21, 2007.
"To be afraid is a priceless education."
FEAR - a double dreaded four letter word to be sure. Is there any other word in any language that packs as much power, strikes as much terror and causes as much heartbreak and suffering as the word fear? Just the sound of the word can bring even the strongest amongst us right down to our knees. And the feeling fear creates within us is a hundred times worse.
Fear of the unknown, fear of failing, fear of making mistakes; these are just a few of the fears that confront us daily. Each of us possess our own set of fears, a personalized collection of self doubts and qualms within that trouble us; an assortment of worries and uncertainties that weigh us down.
"To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another."
Let's face it, most of us would much prefer never having to face any sort of fear in our lives. But that's just not the way life works. Like it or not, fear and the accompanying frightful feelings it brings is going to occur; it's just a matter of where and when. It can show up anytime and anywhere, without a moment's notice. And when fear forcefully arrives on the scene, it can be quite unnerving to say the least.
In these disturbing, disconcerting moments, we are forced to make choices. We can either face our fears and boldly take them on - or conversely cower and run for cover hoping to somehow escape its evil clutches. We can allow fear to eat us alive or we can turn the tables and eat fear for breakfast. So what's it going to be?
"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek."
There is nothing wrong with being afraid. After all, no one is immune from fear. We've all experienced the knee-knocking, palm-sweating, heart-racing sensations that fear creates. Whenever fear strikes, we get a case of the cold feet and break out in a cold sweat. Our first instincts are to get as far away from it as we can, as quickly as possible. We want these unsettling feelings of panic and dread to just go away right now.
But cringing and shrinking away just provides fear more power, more strength and more control over us. We were not born to retreat or back away when trouble strikes. No, we were born with an intrinsic need to succeed; an indefatigable will to win. Meeting, beating and ultimately defeating our fears is what the winner within us is all about.
"There are four ways you can handle fear. You can go over it, under it, or around it. But if you are ever to put fear behind you, you must walk straight through it. Once you put fear behind you, leave it there."
Donna A. Favors
So how do we go from being fearful to becoming fearless? First and foremost, we must overcome our natural impulse to run away. By constantly conditioning ourselves to overpower even the strongest of our fears, swinging back at our fears and swinging back hard, we can punch through even the biggest fears we harbor inside.
Each time we stand up to our fears, we gain strength, courage and a healthy dose of self-confidence. Strange as it may sound, the moment we take a stand and aggressively confront our fears, our fears begin to dissipate and over time, eventually disappear altogether.
Dale Carnegie stated it best when he simply said, "If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." And get busy right now. The biggest mistake we can make is to constantly fear making one. Look, we're going to make mistakes; we're going to suffer setbacks. But so what? We just need to get up each time we get knocked down, get better and get going again - pounding our fears into the ground. And pounding them good.
Then butter up the bread, stick those last remaining remnants of fear between the slices and take a big bite. Nothing tastes better than eating fear for breakfast.
The Bottom Line:: By continually facing up to your fears, your fears eventually disappear.
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