“Keep your fears to yourself but share your courage with others.”— Robert Louis Stevenson
Fear defines us, whether we like it or not.
It establishes a foothold deep within our psyche where it perpetuates as the oppressor of hopes and dreams.
Not because it wants to, but because the energy it maintains is one of despair. It is akin to a terrifying dream that never ends, only growing in intensity.
Fear is a dictator that grows louder because of the energy it receives. What starts out as a voice of reason, can accompany you throughout life if you’re unaware.
“Fear rips us from freedom. It is the destroyer of greatness. We know this, and we know we should tame our mind in order to defeat fear,” writes author Brendon Burchard in The Motivation Manifesto.
It is the unpopular kid at school who loiters around you during recess. Sure, you might feel sorry for him initially, but he is constantly there by your side.
Surely life is more than succumbing to our fears?
I know people who are not defined by their fears. They are renegades, adventurers and aspirants who don’t allow fear to dull their experience of life.
What do they know that others don’t?
The fearless amongst us have a sense of wonder and adventure. They approach life as an experiment and are curious about the world. Their passion and enthusiasm is central to facing their fears.
Fear is not something that stops them, but promotes them. It is feedback that signals something within their psyche they must confront. They realise when their fears intrude on their way of life, it is because they’re taking great strides in pursuit of their dreams and goals, and so it is natural to be terrified.
They use fear to promote their agenda instead of letting it defeat them. Most people are consumed by their fears because they believe the narrative it promotes.
“Fear, largely, is a waste of good life, one of the most capable thieves of presence,” writes Jan Frazier in The Freedom of Being: At Ease with What Is.
Fear is an emotion, just like other emotions. Granted, it has a stronger intensity than other emotions but it was never intended to stop us in our tracks, only to provide feedback on our actions.
“Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can. If they see you are afraid of them… they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.” — Orison Swett Marden
I invite you to become curious in the face of your fears. Investigate them, reason with them but don’t buy into the narrative they espouse. Don’t let it be a one-sided conversation because you have power, even in the face of your fears.
“Fear was given to us as a motive to avoid physical harm and death. That is it. We are the ones who have perverted it into a tool for the ego’s protection,” explains Brendon Burchard.
The secret to living beyond your fears is to approach them with curiosity while observing your reaction. So, if you fear asking your boss for a pay rise because he or she might say no, what small step can you take to overcome this fear?
You might compile a list of your achievements and highlight why you are due a pay rise, given the value you bring to the company.
Leverage your fears and you’ll discover the essence of your character. Assuredly, if you listen intently there is a subtle message guiding you to scale your fears. By listening closely, you come to understand the language of your fears.
The more you know something, the better you are at taking inspired action to overcome it. Through a sense of wonder you’ll conquer your fears because for most people fear is a STOP sign.
However, to the initiated fear is a PROMOTE sign, offering important clues about your inner psyche.
Wonder what it’s like to walk in to your boss’s office and ask for a pay rise.
Wonder how they respond in kind and grant your request.
Wonder, since anything is possible. You paralyse your fears and silence your doubts when you consider all possibilities.
Use your sense of wonder to rise above your fearful thoughts, because wonder is an agreeable emotion. It is neutral and inquisitive.
Let it take hold and move you toward your hopes, dreams and highest aspirations. Let no fear keep you down or stifle your greatness.
After all, it is the same phenomenon seen in the sunset that holds the key to living beyond your fears — a sense of wonder.