Impalpable but observable. A companion of failure and inaction. It turns the strong into a laughing stock. It robs people of hitherto successful careers because of its presence. Though strong in itself, it could be reduced to nothing by daring it. Winking at it in the face. Fear --- the gripping sensation of avoiding an action because of some perceived ramifications is credited for the failure of many people in the world today. One dictionary describes it as an emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger. Often this emotion comes about as a result of a script we’ve been made to believe to be true about ourselves, something or the society. Many things, tangible and intangible, have become many things to us ---and fear, one of the many things has become an oracle to us. Fear originates from one’s experiences of death and failure -- both intangible.
You’ve learned to be afraid of somethings because your significant others are afraid of them. They’ve had bad/worse experiences with such things and as a result they’ve had you to be afraid of them too. When King Xerxes decided to march his army against Athens, there was only one man who disagreed with him ---Artabanus his uncle. “I warned your father – Darius my own brother – not to attack the Scythians, those wanderers who live in a cityless land. But he would not listen to me. Confident in his power to subdue them he invaded their country, and before he came home again many fine soldiers who marched with him were dead. But you, my lord, mean to attack a nation greatly superior to the Scythians: a nation with the highest reputation for valour both on land and at sea,” he would tell him. Xerxes was irritated by his uncle’s detracting speech that he thought about Artabanus’ argument till he fell asleep. In the end, Artabanus had to confidently support Xerxes. He went on to raise the largest army ever in the history of the world. There are times that a brash with death leaves us crippled with fear --- dreading the brevity nature of human life. Suddenly, we give up trying waiting for death to lay its icy hand on us. A little caution is all that we need for that breakthrough but over is fatal. We all have a destiny to keep and though we may start together, our ending is not the same. We need to be careful of what we hear by tossing those words in our mind to arrive at the best decision.
A depleting self-esteem makes a man fear what needs not to be feared. I’ve seen people who are afraid to fail ---a common thing as that. Sadly, they end up failing. The 32nd and the longest serving President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt took over the rein of power when the confidence of Americans was at an all-time low -- a consequence of an economic downtown that has sent many families into poverty due to joblessness. There was failure in the air. The citizens were afraid things will grow worse but not FDR. He sought out to achieve two things; build the confidence of the people and revitalize the economy with the New Deal. In his inaugural speech, Franklin popularly referred to as FDR advised his citizens that, the only thing they should fear is fear itself. He recognized the worsening effect a confidence deficit among his citizens would have on them and the economy. He went to work on his people and on the economy.
Why will the driver of a vehicle stop at a nearby Gas station to refuel if not to build the capacity of the vehicle to cover more mileage? There is a time when you will have to stop whatever you’re doing, to work on yourself --- so necessary for the journey. Refuel your confidence and self-esteem to cover more distance. Know: it helps to fail at a task. Rather than seeing it as breaking your back, see it as building it. Our backs get built up when in the attempt to succeed, we fail at one thing or the other. Xerxes told Artabanus that, “I would much rather take a risk and run into trouble half the time than keep out of any trouble through being afraid of everything”. In the course of my research I have come to one insoluble conclusion that, success falls into the hands of the few individuals who are willing to act, and not to the overcautious and hesitant fellows.
To muster fear take this exercise. Get yourself a paper and write ten (10) things you’re afraid of in your life. Now you will have to be honest to your ambition to follow this exercise through. Run yourself through them to be sure they’re the things that incite fear into you. When you’re done paste the paper at a vantage point where you will see it first thing in the morning when waking up and last thing in the evening when retiring to bed. Internalize them. Recite them. Expose them. Let them know you aware of their presence and ready to get rid of them. This task prepare the mind to focus on the big picture. It clears the mind of some of these cobwebs impeding success. Know: to resolve any issue you don’t need the branch, you need the root. It becomes easy when you start from the root and this exercise helps you do just that.
Some of the private and public victories of life are won by doing the things we’re so afraid of. It’s only by doing them that we realize the power of perseverance and the shame face of failure. We have to match up to the things that scare us. Often these things are imaginary --- the mind at work on us. The more you dare fear TM, the more you loosen its grip on you. Dare fear TM.
Resolve today to stand guard against negative experiences and ebbing self-esteem --- two easy routes open to fear. Get to work on yourself TM and reap the reward.