Fear is a feeling and an emotion, and as other emotions like sadness, it has good and bad sides. A common definition for FEAR is false evidence appearing real. Though this is true, there are other aspects to fear. Psychology Today explains fear to be a vital response to physical and emotional danger. Fear keeps us from real threats and dangers. For example, fear would keep you from jumping in front of a moving train or running across the highway. The fear of cutting yourself will make you careful with the knife.so, without fear, it is most likely that we hurt ourselves.
Having said all these, there is a problem when we let this fear stop us from doing anything. The fact that we fear being cut by the knife doesn’t mean we would stop using it in the kitchen. Or that we afraid of being burnt by hot water doesn’t stop us from drinking hot tea. While fear is an important response in everyday life, it should not stop us from pursuing our dreams and purpose. It should not stop you from wanting to excel and live your best life. Imagine if babies decide to stop trying to walk after falling time and time again, we will have so many lame adults that do not walk not because they can’t but because they stopped trying to.
While there are so many types of fear that humans feel, some of them are fear of the unknown, of failure, of what people will say and of poverty.
Fear can be very paralysing and frustrating. The feeling of it weakens you from attempting to do what you actually want to do. And suddenly, all these fears begin to seem so real. While this is almost a given, I’m going to give 4 thoughts to help you counter the thoughts of fear that stops you from doing what you have set yourself to do. Disclaimer; I am still exercising these thoughts for myself, so it was indeed a learning process.
Let’s get into it, shall we?
What if I succeed?
The most common type of fear is the one of failure. Before we take the first step in a new task, we already a thousand and one reasons not to do it, the most important one at that time being “What if fail?”. Well darlings, “what if you succeed?”.
If I fail, it becomes one way not to do it.
A huge number of successful people in the world today have shared their stories of failure and how they stepped out it that phase. Thomas Edison attempted to make the light bulb a number of times and did not see them as failures. Instead he asserts that he only found 10000 ways that won’t work. So, the next time you think you have failed at something, you have only found another way not to do it.
The fact that I am afraid means it is a risk worth taking
One of the types of fear is the fear of the unknown. And this comes especially at a point where you are comfortable with where you are and your level of achievements. So, we give excuses like “this is good enough”. If you are afraid of something, then you are too comfortable where you are, and it is time to try move on from comfort. Comfort is good, but it limits you and your purpose. If your next project is frightening, then it is worth the risk.
It’s a learning experience
Failing should be seen as a teacher. As I said earlier, it teaches how not to do something. So, when you fail at something, you have learnt something. Most times, the things we fear are things that we have not tried before, basically a new thing. Since learning is a process, it is only expected that you will make some mistakes. However, to climb up the ladder of success is to not give up in the process but to keep going and learn all you can. There is no lost knowledge.
The next time you feel fear about something you want to do, try this countering thoughts and do it anyways.
PS: I did a review of Omilola Oshikoya’s book “The Richer Woman” and she writes about doing things afraid and excelling at them.