You have as much chance as anybody under heaven to succeed and taste greatness. But for that to happen, you need to understand two things: one, is the fact that fear will keep you from experiencing the life you desire and deserve (I can bet that is already happening to you, at least in some ways. We are all victims to varying degrees); and two, you and only you can help yourself – you hold the key to overcome fear and other obstacles and to open the door to a wonderful life. I have covered these two in my earlier posts here and here.
And now, to the final part that shows how you can help yourself to overcome fear and win in life.
Step one: Understand Fear
The first step in successfully dealing with any enemy is to know the enemy well enough – to understand their strategy. So it is with fear.
Understand firstly that everyone has fears, so being afraid of something does not make you stupid – it only proves you are human.
Second, understand your own fear. People fear different things as a result of their background and experiences. So, know exactly what it is that causes you fear – don’t just be afraid. Honestly, if you cannot really say what or why you have fear, you need to see your doctor or psychologist. Or pastor.
Once you can identify your cause(s) of fear, the next thing is to:
Understand that fear is learned.
Humans are born with only two kinds of fear: fear of falling and fear of a loud sound. Every other fear is learned; acquired by practice from experience.
To illustrate: if you make a loud sound around a baby who is just a few months old, the baby will react in shock; also, if you throw the baby in the air for the first time, you get the same reaction of shock. But threaten the child with a sharp or hot object, the baby will stare at you with indifference or even laugh at you. That proves that the child is afraid of noise and of falling; but of nothing else. All our fears, except for a loud sound and falling, are learned.
And anything learned can be unlearned.
People are afraid of failure not just because failure in itself hurts, but because of those who will laugh at them, of what people will say and think. But if you can understand that every successful person failed severally before they made it; and if you can convince yourself that you must face failing if you must become truly successful and that failing at something once or twice doesn’t make you a failure but is making you wiser and stronger, then you will no longer fear trying and failing. Rather, you will boldly pursue your goals knowing that those laughing at you are the ignorant, worthless ones going nowhere.
If you are also afraid of starting something new, you need to understand that it is normal. But that once you rise to do that which you fear, the fear disappears and gives way to confidence.
Keep doing what you fear and pretty soon you will learn confidence just as you learned fear. And no one will have to tell you which to keep and which to throw away.
Step two: Remember Who You Are
Who are you, really? I honestly can’t answer for you. But here’s what I know:
Man is made in the image of a powerful, fearless God. That, to me, counts for something.
But if the above seems not too clear to you, let me sum it up for you like this:
If you are reading this blog post, you are probably an adult. Twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or a hundred years maybe. Now, think of the day you were born, can you remember? Probably not. But the truth is, since that day long ago, you have been fighting the battle of survival – and winning!
Against sicknesses, against diseases, epidemics, hunger, nightmares, bullies, accidents, disappointments, heart aches, worries and fears, you name it. You have fought countless battles from your birth through childhood, to where you are now. You have been winning. You are a winner, a hero in all ways.
Don’t let nobody tell you what you can or cannot do, they don’t know half your story. But more importantly, don’t ever put yourself down, don’t. If you’ve survived all those years, then you are better equipped to survive anything. And better still, to win over anything.
Fear only wants to diminish you; don’t let it. For more insights on the amazing miracle of your being, please read my post on the miracle of a spermatozoon.
Think of all the times since you became old enough to remember, when you have had to deal with issues that seem insurmountable – attending school for the first time or being a new student in a new school, learning to drive, writing examinations, asking out a girl, challenges at work, and many others – think of all these experiences and remember one thing: you survived them all. You did it.
And if you did it before, then you can do it again. Just tell yourself that if you have achieved something of importance before despite your fears, then you can achieve even more significant goals now that you are more experienced.
You have done it before. You can do it again. Remember that – always.
Step three: Purpose and Desire
There are several resources on purpose and desire around the web and elsewhere. Just typing in the words on Google will bring probably millions of results. I encourage you to get all the knowledge you can on these two powerful life forces. They have the ability to destroy fear.
If you have a purpose and strong enough desire, you will defeat fear any day any time.
Purpose is your life goal; a course of action you have chosen to pursue in order to arrive at a specific destination. It’s like leaving your office with a purpose to get home to your family – do you turn back if you meet heavy traffic on the road? What if there’s a natural disaster, a bomb explosion or even a communal clash that lasts for days, making the road impassable? Then you may have to turn back and return to your office; but then you do one of two things: wait for the crisis to pass or think of an alternative route. Whatever you do, you will find a way to get home to your family. Purpose is like that: no matter the challenges or setbacks, you find a way. Purpose is passionate – it swallows up fear.
And desire? The bible in the book of Proverb says: “Hope deferred wearies the heart; but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” What that means basically is that when there is a desire, it takes over one’s being such that it is only its actualization that can bring joy to the heart.
When there is a genuine desire for something, you can’t think of anything else but that – you can’t sleep, play or feel really fulfilled until that desire is satisfied. Take a woman for example: she struggles through pregnancy, labour at child birth, and nearly exhausts herself taking care of that baby. When you consider what a woman goes through during this period, one will conclude that she would never want to do that again. But wait a few years and the same woman longs for another pregnancy. Why? Her desire for children drowns every other thing, including fear. She understands fully the rigours of that process, but she goes eagerly into it. Desire!
Put your heart into your goals; create a desire for what you want to achieve, and I bet you fear will vanish. Life knows when a purposeful soul comes along with a heart full of desire – life bows.
And that’s it. You know fear hinders progress and denies success. You know you are the best qualified person to help yourself. And you know exactly how to put fear in its place.
And what next? You go and succeed.