Posted at 19:48:46 by Jacky Leonard
If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been - Robert H. Schuller
Fear is a strange concept. On the one hand it's a necessary, built in response, offering a friendly warning of potential threats, dangers, or risks to life and limb. It says "hold on a minute," "have you thought this through" or "watch out!"
It's less friendly alter ego can eat away at you, offer extreme scenarios and conjure monsters in your brain.
This can create the kind of mental state that takes you straight to the primitive response of fight, flight, or freeze, often summoning irrational thoughts, unhelpful behaviour or complete inaction. The result is just what Shuller suggests...unexplored opportunities, unfulfilled potential, in short, a life less lived.
I meet many people in business and sport who allow fear to paralyse their potential. Whether that is a Fear of failure, the fear of being taken advantage of, a fear of being wrong…even the fear of success. If left unchallenged these fears can take root in your psyche manifesting limiting beliefs of the worst kind, about yourself and others. This can lead to a reluctance to try, because you think you can't, or you'll look foolish, or things might not go to plan. Before you know it you'll, often falsely, believe you're just not capable.
I have a belief that many fears are born from the misperception that you are in complete control. Therefore, when you are placed in situations where this view is challenged the anxiety starts and can take control of your next move...if you let it. One of mine involves flying. I don’t allow my fear to stop me getting on a plane, even though I have to relinquish control of my destiny to someone else. Rationally, this makes perfect sense as I know every passenger (including me) is much safer for that decision, however, this doesn’t prevent me becoming a little anxious.
The good news is, like me, you have choice. You have the capacity to decide how you deal with your fear. Do you let it paralyse or empower you? You can worry…or alternatively, deal with the things you can control and manage your perception of the things you can’t.