Fear is a reaction, courage is a decision. Perseverance is making the decision to have courage every day, day after day.
The late M. Scott Peck said that the absence of fear is not courage – the absence of fear is brain damage! No fear requires no courage – big fear requires big courage.
In today’s world, a successful life requires the courage to take risks, and the determination to persevere through all difficulties. Today, I’d like to share a dozen ideas for confronting your fears with courage.
Recognize the difference between anxiety, fear, and worry. Anxiety is a generalized sense of dread – the black cloud on the horizon.
Fear is a reaction to a specific object or event – the raging storm overhead right now. Worry is the projection of fear into the future – a forecast of more raging storms tomorrow.
We use those terms interchangeably, but properly diagnosing your emotional state can help you avoid becoming your own worst enemy.
Anxiety is the most painful emotion because it has no object, and thus there is no sense of control over the emotion.
Thus, the mind strives to transform anxiety into fear, giving the illusion of control by identifying the object to be feared. The higher your anxiety level, the more apt you are to inappropriately assume that events or people are to be feared (paranoia is anxiety on steroids).
When you catch anxiety building, take a deep breath and calm down – the world is a much more friendly place than the anxious mind wants to acknowledge.
Fear is a Fantasized Experience Appearing Real. It is also a Fabulous Excuse for Avoiding Responsibility. Don’t let fantasized dangers prevent you from pursuing your most authentic goals and dreams and from becoming the person you are meant to be.
Talk to your fear – what’s it trying to tell you. Are you unprepared for something? Are you on the wrong path?
Give fear a name and it becomes just a problem – it’s easier to solve problems than it is to conquer fear. For example, if you are afraid of losing a job, the problem is that you have not made yourself indispensable.
Of course, no one is indispensable, but the more you work on making yourself valuable at work, the safer your job will be. And if you lose the job anyway, those efforts will help you land an even better job all the quicker.
Talk back to your fear. Fear is a cowardly emotion that will back down when it is confronted with strength and resolve.
Caring is the root of courage. When you care enough about something, you will find the courage to do what you must do to conquer your fear. When confronting fear, catalog the things you really care about – there is no more powerful source of motivation.
Fear breeds in ignorance. If you’re struggling with your fears, go to the library, pick up the telephone, Google something. When you shine a light on the shadows, you often find that the monster of fear dissolves into a mouse of timidity.
Fear can be a prison more confining than any iron bars. Action is an emotional hacksaw that can set you free. It doesn’t have to be a grand sweeping action that resolves all your fears once and for all (in fact, it won’t be), but what can you do right now that will help you confront your fear?
Be today, see tomorrow. Here’s what I mean by that. When you are afraid of the future, keep your attention in the present, on the work that’s right in front of you, and let tomorrow take care of itself. But when the source of your fear is right there at the door, keep your vision on that future time when everything has worked out far better than you ever would have imagined.
Internalize Wednesday’s Promise of The Self- Empowerment Pledge: “I will do the things I’m afraid to do. Sometimes that will mean asking for help to do that which I cannot do by myself.”
Consider the words of Jonathan Swift: Keep your fears to yourself, share your courage with others.
Joe Tye is America’s Values Coach. He is also the author of several books and audio programs on personal, career, and business success, and a popular motivational speaker. Visit www.JoeTye.com
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-Do you have any ideas or advice you would like to share which might be helpful in dealing with and overcoming fear?