“I’m not afraid,” said Luke Skywalker to Yoda, just to prove he was a worthy student. Naturally, Yoda’s response was “You will be.” Any change you want to make will be met by fear. It’s unavoidable. Now there are those people who call themselves “tough” and will tell you to ignore that fear. I call bullshit on that. It only works temporarily. You need to see what’s on the other side of fear.
Question the fear
Fear paralyses us because we equate it with death. Our reptilian brain doesn’t distinguish between immediate mortal danger and potential danger. If you go deeper into what it is you fear, you will see that most of the time, you are not in immediate mortal danger.
For every fear that you have, just imagine the worst case scenario possible. Sure it may look scary, but you will generally stay alive. I used to fear debt and then got to experience it. Although it’s far from enjoyable, it didn’t take away my life.
It’s generally your thoughts around an idea that make it dreadful. It’s never the idea itself. I know a few people who have gone through bankruptcy and turned out OK later on. In fact, many celebrities are broke. They can’t sustain the lifestyle they show on TV.
Now one of the best tools we have to deal with thoughts around a scary idea is The Work of Byron Katie. For every fear that you have, you can ask yourself: “Is it true?” and then, “Can I absolutely know that it’s true?” Finally you ask yourself “What happens to me when I believe that thought?”
Most of the time, you will see that fear really is False Evidence Appearing Real(I don’t know who came up with this). You imagine a scenario in the future, but you have no idea if it’s how it will happen. You can’t predict the future, no one can.
A lot of future predictions are based on the way you see yourself, especially the way you’ve been conditioned to see yourself. If you’ve been told that you had no talent and life would be hard for you, this is what you have come to believe.
And while a belief like this may seem harmless, your mind seeks proof to validate that belief every day. And it does that with every single belief you have, if they’re strong enough.
Now you may want to question the way you see yourself in order to overcome your fears. Are these fears linked to a self image of “failure” or “not good enough?” If so, you’re like most people, but you can turn it around.
First dig into what you have achieved that you are proud of in your life. It can be anything, even small. Look for that feeling. We all have our small victories. When you have that feeling, relive the experience as often as you can in your head. Now you can transfer that feeling to what you’re trying to get to.
Sometimes fear is excitement
When we go after a certain outcome, we check ourselves because we don’t want to be disappointed. We fear failure to a point where we start question whether it’s not success that we fear.
Again, it only takes some simple rationalisation to realise that there is absolutely nothing to be scared about. If you don’t have something and want it, why would you not make it a goal to get it? In case you miss?
Well, currently, the outcome you want isn’t there and you’re fine. Why wouldn’t you be still fine if you don’t hit your goal? Therefore holding back from a goal, checking yourself can only disserve you.
And when you start thinking big, you will notice it makes you uncomfortable. You can interpret that as fear, but very often, it’s excitement.
I used to do drama and I simply loved the stage. However, 30 minutes before stepping on it I would have a big surge of fear, but excitement at the same time. I wanted to be left alone. The new kids who had never seen me backstage would always ask the drama teacher “Is he gonna be OK?” She would answer: “I’ll start worrying when he’s NOT like that…”
Any change you want to make is on the other side of fear. Trying to ignore the fear may work for a time, but ultimately you have to deal with it. You need to rationalise it and see it for the scam that it is. Most of the time, you’re in no immediate danger and we seldom regret trying something and failing. We regret not even trying.
And if you’re ready to face your fears and make some big change in your life, you can visit the page below:
Originally posted on my medium blog.