Quotes From The Road #148

June 10, 2011 by  

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Whatever you fear, you must face.” It’s good advice, no doubt. But why should we, really, face our fears?

It’s not just because our fears hold us back, which they do. It’s because our fears are lies.

I’m not talking about real fear based on our instinct to survive; the primal force that keeps us from running into a lion’s den or jumping off the cliff.

The fake fears are the ones that live inside our heads. The imaginary ones that exist “in here,” not “out there.”

These are the fears that stop us from going to the next level in our careers – whether it’s speaking, writing a book, or doing a bigger version of what we’re doing now. We fear that people will find us out; that we’re inadequate or incompetent. We’re afraid we may screw it up for good.

What these really are, are just imagined possibilities. Our egos want to protect the “perfect image” of ourselves – the ones that never make mistakes or fail. The ones who always get praise and rewards. So it discourages us from taking risks.

This starts to feel icky and restrictive quickly. We start living a fear-based life, taking less and less risks, and start to feel more claustrophobic.

The only real risk is playing it safe, following a template. Repeating the same boring routine day in and day out.

That is what’s really risky because we’re not living at all. We’re confined by imaginary fears that can only be destroyed by acting even though we’re afraid.

Our fears don’t live up to the hype. They’re all talk, no game. Once you make a commitment to facing your fears, the lie is exposed.

In the shadows of the mind, our fears run rampant. This is a natural fact and even the most successful people feel it. Claiming these “imagined” fears as truth though, is a choice. We can choose to realize these fears are fake and not allow them to confine us. You can shine a light on those dark spaces and realize that they’re nothing more than shadow puppets conjured up by our imagination. They’re only real as long as you believe them.

Test your assumptions about your fears. The longer you spend guessing the more you’ll be afraid. Fear comes from uncertainty, not knowing what will happen. So challenge your fears. Put your hypothesis to the test and stop allowing fear to waste your time.

Jonathan Mead: Blogger & Coach to living life on your own terms


Dave Hoskins

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