Just as with most things in life, we all have decisions to make on how we choose to live our lives. Are we going to let fear hinder us from reaching our full potential? Or are we going to overcome our fears and live a fulfilled life? Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, ‘Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.‘ Often times, opportunity comes knocking, however, many of us miss them because we are afraid of what might happen. I believe that most successful people were faced with their own version of fear but they chose to conquer it.
What is Fear?
According to Merriam-Webster, fear is defined as being afraid or apprehensive. It can be classified as both good and bad. Good fear is necessary to sustain human life; it often keeps us out of danger, for example, the fear of going to a volatile community or swimming with sharks. On the other hand, bad fears are considered to be psychological. They are closely related to anxiety, impacts your emotions, which in turn, affects your ability to make sound decisions.
Fear can paralyze us and keeps us from living our best life – both professionally and physically. In order to overcome this, we must start viewing obstacles and risk as opportunities. Other steps include, but is not limited to:
- Reconstructing your self-image, that is, the way you see yourself. Our behaviour is influenced by the way in which we perceive ourselves. As Zig Ziglar once said, “Your attitude determines your altitude”.
- Confronting your fears – your fears grow smaller when and more manageable once you’ve identified and disciplined yourself to move toward it.
- Examining all the outcomes of your decisions
- Being optimistic – positive thinking not only builds self-confidence but it also reduces anxiety and other mental health issues.
- Having a plan B – this can help you feel more confident and safe if you’re afraid of failing.
Fear can often be an opportunity in disguise. Overcoming your fear is crucial to your growth. To take the first step toward opportunity, you have to be open to the possibility of failure. Learn something new, do a new course, network with different people – there are endless possibilities.