Fear is probably the biggest reason why most people are average. It’s the thing that makes people unable to become masters at any skill in life, as it’s the thing that prevents them from achieving anything worthwhile.
Any person who has ever tried, wanted, or just thought about transforming himself or his life to the better knows how fear could be so limiting and annoying.
It’s the first thing you find in front of you once you start to have any ambitions. Sometimes it appears in form of negative thoughts or anxieties, and other times in form of strong energy you feel in your body.
What matters is that if you don’t understand fear and have no idea know how to deal with it, your natural reaction to it would be to freak out and run away, or feed it even more with your negative thoughts.
You will think that you are handling fear properly when you are just putting oil on the fire. You will make it grow stronger and stronger without being aware.
As a result, you will be stuck in this miserable cycle of nurturing fear without ever getting free of it.
To learn how to handle fear has never been more important. Today we live in a world where we have plenty of free time. Our minds are not occupied fully. What let the space for fears and anxiety to rise and grow.
In addition, the current circumstances are perfect for survival, so any action or intention that include any risk, even if it’s small, it will be regarded as completely unnecessary and dangerous by our primal mind whose main and only goal is survival, and will be faced by a strong resistance; which most of the time comes in form of fear.
Some fears are normal if not necessary in life. They help us identify the risks to be able to get ready for them. Fear is like a fire alarm. It implies “be careful of that thing,” so we can act with consideration to the risks — we change our actions and plans in a way that reduces the risk or eliminates if possible.
On the other hand, irrational fears are neither normal nor necessary if life. In fact, they are a big burden. They are like a false fire alarm. You start to freak out for nothing and end up just wasting time, energy, opportunities, and even hurting yourself.
Your liberation starts when you become able to distinguish between the true and false alarm — between the authentic, productive fear and the fake, destructive fear.
It will take time and practice, but once you develop the self-awareness necessary to do this fine distinction, you will grow beyond the control of your emotions and live a life ruled by mind, reason, and wisdom.
The Essence of Fear
I am a person who has always had this emotional problem — fear, which I continue to struggle with to the day. And as I believe that my problem is somewhat related to my genetics, I believe also that there is more to it than just the way I have been born.
What I found out through a long process of self-reflection is that the main source of my problem is mental and related to my thinking more than to my body. More precisely, it’s related to my unconscious ideas. And particularly to one single, false belief.
It’s the belief that I could somehow control the future.
It’s all go back to this one simple but dangerous idea.
And by believing this wrong idea, I was ignoring its truthful opposite, which is that we can never control the future completely, everything could happen, and we must accept that.
This truth was always in front of my eye. I saw it each time I planned for the future to be in someway and emerged in a different undesirable way. Nevertheless; it was so harsh for me to believe.
It’s really difficult to accept the idea that even if we do everything right, and even if we think a hundred times before doing anything, bad things still could occur.
Oppositely, it’s very comfortable to believe that if we act just right, we would be totally safe and the future would be exactly like we want.
From this idea comes the habit of excessive thinking.
For instance, when one dreams to achieve a certain goal, the illusion that he could find a road that is free of all risks and that guarantee success 100% make him overthink and overconsume content, searching for this illusionary, perfect road.
When in reality, to be successful you need to take many risks and always be ready to face your fears.
Growth and success come from facing your fears. Any specific goal has many risks and fears related to it. And therefore to achieve it you need to take those risks and face those fears.
And the first step is accepting that risks are not merely a necessary part of success, but a necessary component of life generally.
Because either you chase success or choose to live a normal and average life, you would still have too many risks in your life which you can’t avoid and have to deal with.
You could be questioning now: “If life is full of risks, and no matter what we do we still at risk, then why we are so afraid of the risks related to success but on the other hand we accept the risks related to normal life which everyone lives with”
This is a good and decisive one. One reason is concerned with our instincts which push us to do certain things even if they are risky and worthless.
The other reason is that we are, humans, get used to risks that everyone lives with them. And therefore we grow to accept them as a normal part of life. On the other hand, we naturally try to avoid new and unusual risks at all costs.
A simple example is related to our food choices. Most people consume a lot of sugar which is devastating to health, and they know how bad it is, but they don’t care, because almost everyone consumes it.
But if you ask those same people why they never chase what they want they would start making excuses about all the risks involved with it.
They are ready to take very destructive risks that harm their bodies but the opposite is true when it comes to taking constructive risks that help improve their lives.
What everyone does is normal and doesn’t worth worrying about but what only a few people do — like trying to grow and make a difference — is very risky and better to be avoided.
The irony is that most often the risks related to growth and success are less dangerous than the usual risks that most people coexist with.
What’s the worst thing that could happen if you choose to dedicate yourself to doing the things that would improve your life? Like starting that business, writing that book, approaching that person, starting to exercise, etc..
For most people, the worst thing is failure or making mistakes. They are too afraid to screw up that they give up all the things they want and resign themselves to an average life.
They prefer to keep living their comfortable and normal lives rather than risking failure.
They believe that if they never try, they would never fail. But in reality, every morning they go to their half-hearted jobs, and every evening they spend in front of the tv, eating junk food, they are failing.
They are failing to chase the life they want.
And the failure to try is far worse than the failure to get the results you want.
A person who tries and fails to achieve his goal is much better and worthy of respect than the one who never tries in the first place.
The true sense of comfort comes from giving everything you got to get the best possible results, knowing that whatever the future hides, you are okay with it because you have done your best.
On the other hand, under the sense of comfort that people who never try have, there is a deep sense of self-disappointment that comes from knowing that they don’t have the courage to chase what they want and live a life free of fear and resistance.
Deep peace and freedom from fear come from one single thing: doing your best and accepting the result however it is. Because you know that you don’t have full control over the future results. You have full control only over what you do now.
Focusing on the present, on the things you control, save you from wasting valuable time and energy on the future, and suffering fear and anxiety, plus it helps you grow better and more successful.
Focusing on the future, on the things you don’t control fully, drain you from your most important resources, and make you live in a constant state of uneasiness, in addition to preventing you from making progress and achieving your goals.
Living in the future is the main source of fear and anxiety. You want to become free of these emotions, simply free yourself of the future, and focus on the present, on the things that you could do now to improve yourself and your life.
Sometimes its good to look into the future and see the potential dangers to make a plan for dealing with them and therefore decrease the possibility of them happening; and then going back to the present to execute that plan; spending a little productive time in the future and most of your time in the present.
But if you spend most of your time in the future, thinking about all the negative things that could happen, instead of making plans and executing them, then you will keep living your life in a state of horror without ever progressing.
It’s a free pain that you benefit nothing from. Because constant fear and anxiety do not make the things that make you uneasy disappears. They stay. Only by focusing on taking smart action, you increase your chances of having a good future.
Today you must take the decision of making the now the center on your life.
No more worrying about the future. No more focusing on the results, on the things you can’t control.
To do so it’s essential to accept that you can’t totally control the future, and therefore you aren’t responsible for it.
What you are responsible for it, though, is doing your best today and now to improve yourself and your life.
Only by having such a focus on the present, you increase your chances of having a good future full of successes.
The way the future will manifest itself depends on what you are doing in this present moment. Are you doing productive things or being afraid and anxious about the future? It’s your choice.