August 31, 2010.
"Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared." Edward Vernon Rickenbacker
We all have things in our lives that frighten us. Some of these things scare us a little; some scare us a good bit more. And some scare us half to death. Some are big, some small; some major, some minor. Regardless of size or scope, each shares a common thread: they strike a tinge of FEAR in our hearts. And this fear, if left unchecked, can prevent us from living the lives we deserve.
Let's face it; nobody likes to feel scared, frightened or afraid. Yet many of us experience these desperate, disheartening feelings every day of our lives.
There are fears from our past that haunt us. There are fears from our present that trouble us. And there are fears about an uncertain future as well. Toss in the potpourri of internal demons we carry around with us throughout our lives and it's a small wonder we ever get anything done.
"He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat." Napoleon
When we feel afraid, we feel alone. And we feel trapped. Trapped in a bottomless pit of hopelessness, trapped on a desolate island of despair; trapped in an endless maze that has no way out. Instead of pushing past our fears, we allow them to overwhelm and overpower us. Instead of battling through the apprehension and anxiety, we allow them to intimidate and inhibit us.
Afraid to press forward, afraid to keep going, afraid to push ahead, we're too afraid to do anything but be afraid. Left wobbly and weak in the wake of a tsunami of fear, we give out. And we give up.
And live a life of doing without.
"Courage is one step ahead of fear." Coleman Young
What are we afraid of - and why? And why do we allow our fears to wield so much power over us? To find the answers we seek, we have to look way down deep.
All of us harbor an assortment of fears within. Some of these fears are based on previous experiences, some are not. But each of our fears is rooted in our collective fear of failure. The fear of failing, the fear of falling short, the fear of losing; these are the fears that stifle our will to win. After all, there's not one of us who truly likes losing. And our fear of losing many times overrides our intrinsic desire to win.
Sounds kind of crazy, doesn't it? We were born to win, to thrive, to take our God given abilities and make a definitive difference in the world. Yet the mere prospect of failing keeps most of us off of the playing field. We are so worried about looking bad that we decide to sit it out.
And then watch others who dare to be their best roar right past us.
"One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was AFRAID he couldn't do." Henry Ford
Walt Disney said, "All our dreams can come true - if we have the courage to pursue them." Walt didn't say some of our dreams or some of the time, did he? No, he said each and every dream we hold in our hearts and souls can come true if we'll just have the courage to go get them.
Do you have the courage to make your dreams come true?
Hey, it's OK to be scared, to be unsure, anxious or even nervous every now and then. In fact, it's just normal. If you're out there constantly pursuing your dreams and pushing the envelope, you're going to be scared on occasion. There's no way around it. So you have to make a decision. Are you going to go head-to-head with your fears - or are you going to head for cover? Are you going to tiptoe around the things that scare you, hoping that things will work out for the best, or are you going to bowl them over? It's your call, it's your life; it's your move.
So what's it going to be?
When you stand up to your problems, you'll find that they're not all that tough, not all that daunting after all. Instead of allowing your fears to dictate what you will and won't do, why don't you show them what you've got from now on - and run right over them? I mean smash them into the dirt. And smash them again.
Remember, you're the one who's in charge. So don't be afraid to play the game. Don't be afraid to lose. As a matter of fact, don't be afraid of anything, period.
Who's afraid of the big, bad wolf? Not you, that's for sure.
The Bottom Line: Fear needs to fear you.
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