Most of the hurdles to success and purpose pursuit are outside of us. We expect then and can anticipate them. However, what lies within us can be both elevating and detrimental to our purpose pursuit. When fear is injected in us either by internal or external sources, it becomes like an anchor so heavy that we remain docked in state at times for a very long period of time.
That is why we need to be well equipped to know how well to handle the fears that plague us daily. In the previous posts, we have talked quite a bit about this. In the last post especially we took one lengthy look at one of the most important arsenals in your tool box to bust year fears: Your Spiritual Cushion. I think that someone who is not well developed spiritually (and I am not talking about religion only), is exposed to different types of fears. Therefore, your first defense or the first muscle to build in order to be fear proof (I don’t think there is something of that nature by the way), is to build your spiritual cushion.
This sounds pretty straight forward and simple but it is critical and amazingly profound. Quite a number of people who are afraid get the trigger from a wrong definition of what success is . They mostly compare themselves to others and seek to compete with them. When it is apparent that they cannot measure up, fear sets in that they will never make it in life. You see, when you define what success means to you (and I am not in any way saying that you are lowering a standard or coming up with a copout strategy), you start living life at your own terms, and with your own speed and urgency. This means that you have immunized yourself from the fear of rejection.
My success is inextricably linked to my purpose. In other words, I am successful to the degree that I deploy my purpose to the fullest. Now, all of us have a different and unique purpose, desires, and aspirations that we pursue. Making clear what is important to us, what matters to us and what success looks like for us will free us from unnecessary fears that are associated with comparison to and competition with other people.
Fear, no matter how much you try to insulate yourself against it, will always penetrate through the toughest of defenses that you can build. That is just a given. When it does, our attitude towards it is critical to determine how we can build a muscle of resistance, experience and courage against it. If we choose to be paralyzed by it, we won’t bounce back fast and easy. Now,Bouncing back does not necessarily mean that you are going back to the original form you were before fear struck. It simply means that regardless of the fear, you are either not derailed or paralyzed from your purpose pursuit. It is therefore important to have an attitude of staying in the game whenever fear knocks on your door. Being indifferent and wishing it away doesn’t help. So in your arsenal for busting fear, it is important to keep the attitude of always spearing through the fear whenever it arises. Your degree of resilience is directly proportional to your attitude of staying on your feet whenever fear checks in.
This is absolutely critical in life. We need to have people who believe in us. We are humans because we can relate and we thrive on relationships. Whenever you are afraid or are facing a fearful situation, your bulwark is the human support structures you have around you. This is how it works. When you find someone who is discouraged, give them some courage. Learn to continue giving the intangibles to your fellow humans. Whenever the ball gets thrown into your court, chances are that what you sowed will be what you will reap. However, you are not supposed to use other people as a crutch to prop you out of your fear. They can only play a part but not the whole part of mastering fear in your life. Those who believe in you are critical in helping you through the process. However, it is possible at times that even these will forsake you. At times, a man or a woman needs to face himself or herself alone. This is not to say that people are not important, they are but only a part of your anti fear arsenal.
Did you know that people who are deemed to be value-less are most prone to fear? The more value you create for others especially through exploiting your potential and purpose, the more courageous you become. The opposite is also true. There is this powerful quote about education and self-development that I must share with you:
“Philosophers have long conceded, however, that every man has two educators: ‘that which is given to him, and the other that which he gives himself. Of the two kinds the latter is by far the more desirable. Indeed all that is most worthy in man he must work out and conquer for himself. It is that which constitutes our real and best nourishment. What we are merely taught seldom nourishes the mind like that which we teach ourselves.”
― Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
If you know where you are going with absolute clarity, courage becomes one of those verbs that describe you. You have drive, direction and purpose in your step. In fact, the person who did not know their purpose in life will be most susceptible to fear. I know what I am talking about because I have been there myself. I will never forget the day I was about to graduate from College and all of a sudden this fear gripped me. I didn’t know what my next step would be since my parents were not able to afford the next level. I didn’t know what I wanted in life. I did not have that insight and so fear did a number on me for close to a year! I tell you, the more we define our purpose, vision, mission and values in life, the more we insulate ourselves from the spirit of fear.
The very first article I wrote on this blog incidentally was dealing with the subject of fear. Do you know what the message was? It was admonishing us to take action. That the greatest antidote of fear is action! In fact, the greatest fodder for fear is inaction. The more you stay paralyzed, the more you feed the fear. In order to counter the health and mental aspects of fear in your life, be on the move, take some action. Any action would do. If you don’t have a job, go out there and jog for two hours. You will be amazed at how courageous you will have become. Whatever you do, do not sit but learn to soar. Learn to take action!
Over to you now.