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Is Fear Your Servant or Master?

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By: Dr. Gwen Smith

The phenomenon of fear

Fear is a very good thing. When heeded it promises safety in physical situations, and psychologically or emotionally it provides cues to something new on the horizon of life.

It can also, however, be crippling when you choose to allow it to stop you, permanently killing your hopes and stalling the progressive forward movement of your dreams, goals and desires. Psychological and emotional fear is a very powerful phenomenon. Yet, when it comes to performing in your own life, doing and becoming the things you’ve always dreamed of, persisting through those fears can produce superhuman results, tremendous gratification and unbounded self-confidence.

There is no wrongness or rightness about fear. It just is. And it needs to be placed in its rightful perspective to serve us. Learning how to deal with fear makes all the difference in the world in what you’re working to achieve in your life and to become.  

Understanding that fear is normal to show up the face of novelty and unfamiliar circumstances can help tremendously. Everyone has fears. It may not be at the same levels; nevertheless we all experience it. And, if you stop to think about it, in light of all that has been accomplished despite fear itself, you will agree what has been accomplished provides irrefutable evidence that fear is a made-up phenomenon which can be directed to serve you rather than stop you.

Why do fears continuously show up?

As humans we thrive on familiarity. It’s predictable and comfortable and safe. With familiarity there is no risk of failure or ridicule. You know what to do in those circumstances. You’ve done it many times before. It’s in your comfort zone. However, wanting something different or better requires that you leave the familiar territory and venture out just a bit beyond what’s familiar to you to get it. You have to stretch yourself in areas you’ve not been before. Fear creeps in and you become uncomfortable. You are confused; you see no clear path to take to achieve your goal further complicating the matter; and you see no beginning or end. This stops you even before you start. At this point, fear becomes your master.

An interesting realization to think about

Knowing that fear is normal and that the ‘how’ to achieve your goal will in most cases not present itself before you actually set the goal, can serve to empower you in setting those goals anyhow. You may possibly be someone waiting to see how you are going to achieve it before making a move. Go ahead and set it anyway. You may be someone who is frightened by setting the goal to start because you already know that it will require more than you have or are. Set it anyway. Setting opens another level of actions, which involves taking steps towards your goals. It may require your working to become the person who can achieve that goal.

It’s been said that everything you want and desire is just outside of your comfort zone. If you really stop to think about it, this means that if you are not willing to step outside of your comfort zone you will never have what you want. Think about that for a moment. Is that what you really want to settle for?

Stepping outside of your comfort zone will feel confusing and uncertain at times. It will feel uncomfortable stretching yourself to get to where you want to go not knowing the real end result. It will feel as though you can’t make it at times or that it’s impossible. The important thing is to keep moving in the right direction.

The magic of the realization in taking this on is in the discovery that you make: the path gradually opens up for you becoming clearer with each step you take. And what you realize just by staying in action is that the discomfort subsides with time as you move to the finish line and the surge of confidence you feel having accomplished your goal is palpable. It sets you up for the next big thing in your life. This is how you grow.

Ponder what contribution achieving your goal could make

Imagine for a moment, what our world would look like today if every woman or man had allowed the fear of pursuing their dream or vision to control them. What if ridicule was the fear of those who created many of our modern day amenities? Can you imagine where we would be now? Who says that your ideas or dreams won’t hold some impactful benefit for the world? Someone may just be waiting for you; and you may never know unless you conquer your fear and step out.

In summary…

Getting what you want requires a different set of actions, possibly even before you fully believe that you can achieve the goals your actions will support. And, remember that the details of how to achieve your goals will always come after you set the goals and the path will open as you take the first step. Don’t sit around and wait for the ‘how’ to show up, you will never get there if you do.

Knowing that everyone experiences fear and that it is a normal cycle in the process of life changes and growth; and using fear as a signal to your becoming someone greater than you are, will place fear in its rightful perspective as your servant rather than your master.

Envision your life full of unlimited possibilities when you begin to live life from this perspective.

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