We have all had something that we wanted to do but we were afraid. Why were we afraid? The reasons could be fear of failure, fear of ridicule, fear of the unknown. No matter the reason, there was one determining factor that stopped you in your tracks. It was fear. At some point in our lives we will all be paralyzed by this word, and we will either respond in one of two ways. We either give in to fear or we learn to squash it.
I think about the times my life has been altered by fear, and I know that many of you are just like me. Maybe there’s something that has been weighing on your mind, but something is stopping you from moving forward. That something is fear. The question becomes: How do we overcome our fears and face these demons to become the person we were meant to be?
Fear is a four-letter word that strikes terror in the hearts of billions across the world. What characteristic or action allows some to do what others cannot fathom? When we find this answer, it will enable us to overcome that four-letter word and will put us in a state of Utopia.
The dictionary defines fear as, “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” It is human nature to avoid danger, pain or even a threat. There are many “entrepreneurs” working regular jobs, receiving regular paychecks because of the fear of failure. The first major cause of fear stems from the word “failure” because who likes being deemed a loser? No one does. We worry about failure because society has taught us fear of ridicule.
How many people have you seen set out to achieve fame and glory only to come back with their tail between their legs? The failure part isn’t as hard as the ridicule part because, even though it is human nature to avoid dangers, pains and threats, it is also human nature to be the most vicious and vindictive when someone else fails.
The ridicule part goes both ways. If a person fails, they will be ridiculed, but what happens if a person succeeds and becomes “obsessed” with succeeding? People will ridicule the individual for being obsessed with achieving greatness. These people who ridicule are the very ones that will tell you not to work so much, that it is okay to call in sick even when you’re not; however, the truth of the matter is that these are people who have fallen prey to that word fear. These people have given up on their dreams, so now they want to encourage you to give up on yours.
Don’t fall for it. Keep pressing on. When things are going good, your friends know you and when things are going bad, you know your friends. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” Whatever journey you feel your life tugging you towards, whatever direction it may be, do not stop moving forward. The more you press, forward the easier you will find your fears dissipating.
Another aspect of fear is the unknown. Anything new in life is going to create an unknown that can be either good or bad. This is no reason, though, not to live your life because every day a new dawn breaks, giving you the opportunity to start fresh.
If you have allowed fear to run your life, the great news is that you can stop it and start fresh right now. Do not wait for tomorrow because fear will creep back into your life, whether it is fear of failure, fear of ridicule, or that fear of the unknown. You cannot allow fear to determine your fate because it will rob you of the wonderful joys of life. Think about the fears in your life that you have been able to overcome throughout your life experiences. There were some things you probably thought you couldn’t do, but eventually you did.
Realize that the fears you have today can be overcome by taking the necessary actions and keeping on moving forward. Someone, somewhere, has been in your same predicament and they were able to rise to the top. So can you!
By: D. A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard is the manager of the Athens Staples store