Fear Factors

“You can live your dreams or live your fears” – Les Brown

I use to struggle with anxiety that would manifest into panic attacks to the point I had a seizure type episode and black out. Every episode’s epicenter manifested from fear that would run wild through my mind. Understand, fear at times does demand respect particularly for our human survival. But there is a profound difference between having fear and the fear having you. My panic was nothing short of fear running me into the ground. I had been had!

Fear is not real. The only place it can exist is in our thoughts. Sure, danger is real enough but fear is a choice. I believe it was Zig Ziglar that said, “F.E.A.R is known as false evidence appearing real.” Fear is similar to anger in that it is a symptom of a deeper issue. Insecurities, past traumas and experiences, negative self talk, fight or flight responses are all the causes of fear. Even success can lead to fear. I remember the movie “Chariots of Fire” where one of the characters Harold Abrahams won the 100 meter dash in the 1924 Olympics. Just before the race he said to his friend, “ Aubrey, I’ve known the fear of losing but now I am almost too frightened to win.” It makes sense in many ways because we do truly fear the unknown. That bump in the night. The stoic stare of a peer. The police car driving behind you. And in this case for Harold what would he do after years of chasing the gold medal?

What are you afraid of?

My clients are fantastic and so unique. I enjoy the relationships that I have established with each and every one of them. This past week, failure was a central theme with several. Failure manifests itself into fear which freezes our foundational freedoms to fly free! Failure has a deep relationship with self worth; often having been created from past experiences. “Shawn if I try to lift that weight I could fail.” And? “Shawn, I never keep with my eating plans and always rebound.” Ok? On my chalkboard in my studio it says: “Every time you fail is a step toward success.” I want you to understand that the partnership between failing and fear can be broken for your benefit. You must know and accept that it is fine to fail because it has the potential to take you to the next step toward success. Often times I like to refer to failing as learning. There is an opportunity to grow in the moment you fail. When you accept this truth, the bond between fear and failing is weakened if not broken totally.

What are you afraid of?

What is the benefit of allowing fear to have its way in your life? Fear will kill your dreams. Fear will murder your hopes. Fear will age you. Fear can paralyze you. Fear is fed a regular dose of negativity to flourish. Negativity many times is about your environment. Who do you connect with? What do you listen to? Where do you spend time? Negativity and cynicism will fight you so decide to invest in what fuels your spirit with hope, joy and passion. What do you need to change in your personal inventory? A simple approach: if you want to keep on getting what you are getting, you can just keep doing what you are doing. So do things differently! Starve fear with hope, joy and passion to move ahead in life. Spend time with positive people. Listen to positive messages. Speak positive words. 87% of self talk is negative! Can you imagine that? We walk around saying no to ourselves, our dreams and our hopes. Do something different! Be honest with yourself regarding the past regarding what you have done and what has been done to you. It’s over! It’s in the past! The only thing that matters is what are you going to do about it now?

Start making goals. Getting rid of negative people. Take chances. The movie “Yes, Man” really has a profound message of what can happen when we say yes to life. Everything that the main character did also took action so be ready. None of this will be easy to work through those fears but as you face those fears over and over, life will get better. Remember, do something different. You didn’t face those fears and where did it get you? It will be hard. Acknowledge and accept that fact but buttress that truth with faith to endure. You can do this!

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