How many times did you miss out on something great because you were too afraid to try it? Honestly, you’ll never know, and that’s what brings me here today.
On many different occasions, I have missed out on friendships, business connections and life changing events because I was too afraid to step out of my comfort zone. It is scary to think that fear has control over our lives since we never know what we’re truly capable of achieving.
In a nutshell, fear is nothing but an unpleasant emotion. But remember, emotions change, so there is hope. In school, I learned that we are all born with only two innate fears: the fear of loud sounds and of falling. But, I bet ya’ll can think of a 100 other things you also fear; I know I can. But what’s interesting is, that what we fear is what’s going to happen next, which makes this “fear” a nonexistent one. You don’t actually know anything about the future, it’s all in your head, you’re making it up. You’re basically looking at the past, putting some heavy makeup on it and calling it future.
According to Statistic Brain Research Institute (SBRI), 60% of things we fear never take place, 30% of things we fear happened in the past and can’t be changed, 90% of things feared that are considered to be insignificant issues, 88% of things feared in relation to health will not happen. Needless to say more, just put these numbers in perspective.
Don’t get me wrong though, this non-existent fear puts boundaries around us in return, it keeps us protected and safe. See? Fear is still a good thing, but only at a healthy dosage, only within reason. I obviously don’t want you to walk in front of a fast-coming train because you don’t fear speed, that’s just callow and foolish. I’m talking about the healthy fear that keeps us safe and out of trouble. The dilemma comes when fear consumes us and cripples us from reaching our full potential and living our dreams.
I experience fear everyday, but nothing felt more frightening than when at a doctor’s visit I was diagnosed with Ocular Melanoma (eye cancer). The news rushed into my life like a hurricane and filled my mind with fear and angst. I was just shocked, I thought I was going to die, I even caught my little brother crying in his room when he heard the news. Hearing words like cancer took the air out of my lungs. I was scared.
I had a choice at the time, either live in denial and let the circumstances control me, or face it and control it. I decided to jump off the hamster wheel and take charge of my own life. It felt so easy to give in and I did at times, but it felt much better to dictate how I chose to live. I owned my feelings and took control of the situation. For about 3 weeks, I thought I was dying (If you’re wondering, NO I did not think of all the things I need to get done before I die). I chased negative feelings out of my mind and replaced them with positivity. This forced me to face up to the fact that there was no way to remove fear from my life entirely, and that this experience was one that would eventually define me. I believed this experience was going to build me and shape to be the person I am now. Three weeks later, I was told that I didn’t have melanoma and it was just a cyst, that was surgically removed. It didn’t make sense, but when you pray and push fear out, miracles do happen.
Though, I never wish this experience upon anyone, I do believe that when you’re in a bad place and you’re just scared out of your mind, just remain positive. Confront your emotions, they’re just emotions, you’re in control of it. Instead of running away, accept it and overcome it, because when you do, you learn and grow.
Embarrassed and you’re scared to send that text? You will never know if you don’t send it. Scared people will make fun of you when you give that speech? You will never know if you don’t. Scared to go skydiving? You will never know how that feels unless you go. Wouldn’t you much rather know? Letting go of fear will free you from that cage you’re putting yourself in.
Today, I encourage you to face everything you fear. Just Know that fears are just a part of the process and move past them. We’re all human and therefore, we will always feel fear one way or another but trust me overcoming a fear makes you a superhuman and there won’t be anything that can stand in the way your goals. Don’t forget what Ralph Waldo Emerson says about fear: “Always do what you’re afraid to do”. Ciao!