On the Other Side of Fear

(Read in :04)“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”~ Jack Canfield

Last week, I promised to go deeper into discussing things we can control and some steps we can take when we’re striving to become our best. It’s an area where we could spend a lot of time but I’ve taken an oath of brevity. You should see all my words that end up on the cutting room floor! (Not everyone loves to read as much as I do it seems.) Remind me to come back to that……

This time, let’s talk about one of the most basic of all human emotions, fear. How basic? How common? A quick Google search, “books about fear” came up with 152 MILLION results in .80 seconds. So it’s safe to say fear is a common emotion. Just for laughs, I also Googled movie titles containing the word fear and found 36 million possible articles.

We’re hard-wired to feel fear

Fear is an emotion that was encrypted in the most primal part of our brain because it kept us safe from danger. It was a very useful and practical emotion in light of real dangers like saber tooth tigers and such. It’s less useful now in our fairly, no very soft existence but it’s still easily triggered in us and nowadays it takes a lot less than a man-eating beast hot on our trail.

Fear is a nasty barrier to becoming the best version of the person we were designed to become and it comes in many forms. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear we’ll look stupid. Maybe the worst fear of all is the fear we won’t be able to deal with the things that happen to us and the fear that we lack resourcefulness.

Another 80’s throwback worth retrieving, this one is about fear

There were some great books written in the 80’s but some of them read kind of musty and outdated these days. One does not, it stands as a classic on the subject. It’s called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers. It is packed with timeless, solid advice. Jeffers died in 2012 but left us with 3 solid things we can do to fight back when fear strikes.

  • Learn to trust in your ability to figure things out. Look back at everything you have overcome and you will see you are stronger than you think. You have conquered fear many times and you can do it again. And again.
  • Begin to cultivate optimism. You can. (There are books about that too!) Research shows that nearly 90% of the things we fear don’t happen so breathe easier and worry less by expecting a good outcome. It’s an intelligent way to think despite what your miserable pessimistic friends tell you! The odds are forever in your favor!
  • There is no such thing as a bad decision in the end. Since we cannot predict the future, we can only make our best choice based on what we know and pull the trigger. If it turns out wrong, we can learn from it and use it to guide us going forward.

“If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been.”~Robert H. Schuller

Another tidbit for you to know

Here’s the thing I wanted to share with the “I don’t like to read” folks. There are oodles of people just like you and there are loads of book summary sites out there. Ask your friend Mr. Google to look for “the best book summary sites.” Some of my favorites are Squeezed Books, Four Minute Books, Blinkist and believe it or not Cliff’s Notes is still out there. Many swear by Audible. Audio books are an awesome resource if you have commuting or wait time that might otherwise go to waste.

You become what you read. Books are life-changing. Nothing adds more substance to your ability to navigate life. Spend time reading the stories of successful people who overcome their circumstances. Learn from experts who can help you grow as a person.

Optional reading: That’s my plucky little niece in the photo at the top. Think that she (and her foot-footed accomplice) didn’t feel some hesitation as they learned to jump over brick walls? Her dad just posted some photos from a competition where she (and Mary the mare) placed first in High Point Rider and Champion in Hunt Seat.

For me, the photos became a metaphor for overcoming and reminded me of a quote from another favorite preacher man. “Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

See you Thursday!

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