How To Win Over Your Fears
LIVING UP TO YOUR POTENTIAL
. . . DEALING WITH FEAR
by Joseph Patrick Jakubal
Living up to one's potential is a never-ending journey into the unknown.
When you find yourself stagnating in a "comfort zone" ... it is time to make a choice. You can choose to be lazy and accept the current situation or you can decide to move toward your potenital by taking bold steps to alter the circumstances.
When I lived in Chicago I found myself in a go-nowhere job and made the decision to change things by joining the Air Force. Following my four-year stint in the military I once again found myself stagnating in an electronics job and decided to really change things by taking a job in another country, far removed from modern American living. After a couple years there I decided to move to the French-speaking province of Quebec, which seemed to provide me with never ending challenges. However, after working 17 years for the same complany I once again found myself in the "comfort zone" of stagnation.
Along the pathways of life I have found that the real meaning of courage is to move out of the "comfort zone" ... even though that little voice in the back of the mind is saying, "it's better to continue with your current circumstances ... who knows what terrible things are lurking in the unknown?"
Do what it is that you fear, even though your knees are shaking and your hands sweating because once you allow yourself to get into the habit of being passive then it becomes more and more difficult to step out of it. Remember that fear has the power to stop you from achieve your desires, in fact, fear is so powerful that it can actually make you sick ... do not let it creep into you subconscious and take control of your thoughts, don't let it sap you of your strength.
Fear is a funny thing ... we usually fear that the worst might happen when, in reality, it seldom does. The things that we fear most virtually never happen when we are moving in the direction of our destiny (despite the fears that are attempting to hold us back).
Of course saying, "Face your fears ... do them anyway!" is easier said than done. In reality you cannot fight something that you do not acknowledge ... hidden fears can linger in the background of the mind and fester for years, all the time becoming stronger and stronger ... ultimately becoming powerful "thinking habits".
So, one method of identifying your fears is to keep a daily journal and jot down the things that make you afraid. With time you may come up with a list that looks like:
Once you can analyze your fears you can devise a plan of attack. It is not hard to figure out that if you have a list similar to the one above then you are allowing others to control your life ... modifying your behaviors based on what other people might think is actually a self imosed form of slavery.
People may attempt to make things uncomfortable for you when you change your patterns of behavior. They may believe that your are willfully attempting to prevent them from obtaining something they want. They are likely yo keep-at-you because "it always worked before". However, once they learn that you will not respond to those old tactics then they will begin accepting you based on the new behaviors you are displaying. At first it may be uncomfortable, you will probably stumble and want to say, "heck with it". However, the alternatives are much worse ... you may find yourself trapped in a dead-end situation that you put up with year after year ... until life is over and you end up wondering what it was all for.
So, in conclusion ... face the fears that bind you, find out what they are. If you are afraid of other people's reactions then realize that you can never reach your potential until you change your thinking to ... "I do not require anyone's approval for the things I do ... only my own". "I do not have to prove anything to anyone."