Is FEAR holding you back? I have written in the past about the nasty effects of fear – how it can lead to procrastination, creative blocks, standstilling, etc. It is our sense of fear that derails success more often than actual failed attempts.
Looking deeper into the topic, however, I’ve discovered that often it is not actual fear we are dealing with. It is something much more ridiculous. It is not fear but F.E.A.R. Fear itself is an emotional response to an actual threat and it is a fundamental survival mechanism that has served us well throughout human history. When you are in immediate danger, fear tells you to get yourself to someplace safer. Once our ancestors saw a few friend and relatives devoured by lions, fearing lions became a smart move. In today’s world, we react in a similarly legitimate fashion when faced with a loaded gun pointed at us or a car veering toward us, etc.
Fear is also a true emotional response when we are about to lose someone or something that is important to us. So it is not just about our personal safety – we can fear the loss of a loved one to illness or our home to foreclosure due to unemployment.
Here’s the problem. The sensation people experience in the face of taking action to achieve their dreams: business, spiritual, whatever – is usually not true fear.
It is F.E.A.R…. F.E.A.R. is an acronym I read about that stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. There is not true threat of immediate physical danger, not threat of a loss of someone or something dear to us, actually nothing there at all. F.E.A.R. is an illusion. Something we fabricate in our own minds and pretend it real. It is a fairy tale we tell ourselves that keeps us from doing what we really want. False evidence appearing real… hmmmmmmmmmmmm.
The common label for F.E.A.R. is anxiety, a less fundamental emotion that arises purely from our own thoughts, not external reality. And 50 years of cognitive psychology research demonstrates that while we can’t always control how we feel, we do have the power to choose how we think and act.
I’ve hears a quote by an unknown author that says, “Anxiety is nothing but repeatedly re-experiencing failure in advance. What a waste.”
Are past failures real evidence that justifies fear of future failure? Nope, because unless you keep doing the exact same thing over and over and over and expecting different results (which is one definition of insanity), you have no real evidence that your next approach will fail.
Past failures generate false evidence appearing real. To the contrary, it is likely you learned things from your past failures that instead provide evidence that your odds are now better than ever.
The worst-case scenario, of course, involves those who have never failed because they have never tried. These people have zero real evidence of anything, and are living in the purest imaginary prison of the mind.
Guess what? Healthy, well-adjusted people take risks, without all this deep dread over specific outcomes. The journey is what you will relish and it just might take you somewhere better than you initially hoped. No matter what, each journey teaches you what you need to know to take the next step.
So the formula for conquering F.E.A.R. is simple: try + learn + adapt + try = success
One thing is for certain, though, you won’t have any real evidence of anything until you do that “TRY” things.
Get it? It is all about the “do” thing…. The first “do” for me is coffee… then I guess I am trying , learning, adapting and trying again… I do have some work to do….. do you?