Dare to live without limits Week of 4/27/20

Bryan Golden

Overcoming the destructive power of fear

Although fear is an innate response designed to keep you safe from danger, fear can also needlessly inhibit your life. Fear exists totally in your mind. It’s your own mental creation based on your perception. So you can learn to overcome the destructive power of fear.
Fear is unhealthy when it stops you from making progress and causes you to be more cautious than necessary. Unwarranted fear causes you to fixate on worst case scenarios without any rational basis, or justification. Any fear which negatively impacts your life is destructive.
Fear triggers the primitive fight, flight, or freeze reflex. When perceived danger isn’t real, your reaction won’t be appropriate. Fear causes anxiety which holds you back. Fear distorts risk, causes pessimism, and clouds perception. Fear also impairs judgement, reason, and logic.
Ironically, fear attracts the specific results you are afraid of. This happens because your mind attracts whatever outcomes you are concentrating on. This is counteracted by changing your focus to what you do want. Reinforce your desires with positive self-talk such as, I’m going to be happy, I’ll stay healthy, and I will succeed.
Two major fears experienced by many people are the fear of failure, and the fear of the unknown. Fear of failure leads to paralysis since you are afraid to start. The reasoning is that if you don’t start, you won’t fail. Fear of the unknown inhibits you from venturing outside your comfort zone.
You begin overcoming the destructive power of fear by first identifying each fear along with the basis for the fear. Saying, “I’m just afraid,” is not a valid justification. If your justification is based on having a previous bad experience, you are allowing your past to pollute your future.
Your past is a learning experience which clearly shows you what didn’t work, and what did. You can progress forward without repeating past mistakes. However, you do want to repeat successful behavior.
Let go of any baseless fear which is impeding your forward progress. Stop making excuses justifying the fear. A fear remains destructive as long as you hold onto it. Don’t be afraid to let it go. You have nothing to lose since it’s already inhibiting you.
Think about the many people who are able to do what you are afraid of. If they can do it, so can you. If you are afraid of flying, think of the tens of millions of people who fly every day. If you are afraid of public speaking, consider how many others are able to do it. If you are afraid of starting your own business, reflect on the millions of successful business owners.
Visualize yourself letting go of your fear. Imagine how much more freedom you’ll have as a result. Visualization is a powerful conditioning tool, which to your mind is just as real as the actual experience. Visualization is a stress-free approach to releasing your fear. When you are ready to actually let go, it will be much easier.
Visualize yourself successfully pushing through each fear. Imagine yourself doing whatever you are afraid of while attaining a positive outcome. You can transform your visualization to reality by doing small things you are afraid of. This process builds your confidence that you can tackle bigger fears.
Tune out external sources which stoke your fears. The media, group think, conventional wisdom, and negative people indulge in fear mongering. The more you immerse yourself in fear, the more your fears are reinforced. It’s much more difficult overcoming your fears when you are surrounded by people who are touting fear.
Connect with others who have overcome fear. They are a great source of support and inspiration. Having role models who are already where you want to be is highly motivational.
Your life doesn’t have to be consumed by the destructive power of fear. You are free to choose freedom over fear. Make the decision to do so and then embark on your exciting journey of independence.

NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper.  2020 Bryan Golden


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