How many times have you allowed fears to hold you back from what you wanted to do? And how many times did you look back later and found your fears were totally baseless.
When I was young, I could not express my feelings to so many girls I liked, just because I feared rejection. Finally, I did take that risk because I realized I was missing out more by avoiding the situation than I would if a girl rejected me. They did reject me, lots of them, but those rejections had important lessons for me. I grew more confident and came to respect myself. A time came when I found a nice girl and she liked me too. I am married to that girl now. This would not have happened if I had stayed comfortable with my fear.
We create so many imaginary demons in our heads. While we give in to the immediate comfort of holding ourselves back, a feeling of guilt gradually builds inside. We are ashamed to face ourselves in the mirror. In the long run, this approach leaves us worse off than taking on the challenge.
What keeps us from doing the obviously right thing?
What is it that holds us back from doing what we should? Here are a few pointers to consider.
1. Over analyzing
Most who fail, allow themselves to fall into paralysis of analysis. They keep accessing their decision and can take no action. They may, after a long time of decision making, decide on something to do. But just before they are about to begin, they are not so sure because their ‘recent analysis’ points to something else.
We can not be perfect. Trying to be totally right will paralyze you. You have to take the leap sometimes. You have to believe that even if you fail, you will learn valuable lessons that will help you the next time you try.
Fix a time for analysis and thinking. Once you have made a decision, once you are past the thinking time, keep your analytical mind aside and then just do what you have decided to do. There is thinking and then there is action. Alone, neither can help you, in fact, they may harm you.
2. Fear of ridicule
Are you afraid people will laugh at you? Stop taking yourself too seriously. When people laugh at you, laugh with them. You can only be ridiculed if you allow it. If you decide to laugh instead, you join the crowd and laugh at the situation, you become one with the crowd. This way, you will win more friends and respect.
Laughing at your self is very powerful. You loose a lot of fear, gain a lot of self respect and feel good. Do it often, laughing is good for health too!
3. Fear of defeat
Are you afraid of facing defeat(like I was afraid of rejection by girls)? We want all the success but none of the failures. This is self contradicting. There is no success without failure. In fact you understand success only when you have experienced failure. Failures are just learning experiences that help you on your path to success. Failure is not an event when you stop. It is an event when you take a lesson to try better next time. Don’t believe me? Read the life story of any great person of your choice.
Learn to love failures and you will find successes raining down on you!
4. Fear of standing out
Are you uncomfortable with becoming too conspicuous? Standing on the sidelines, merging with the crowd always makes you feel safe. You don’t do anything so you can’t go wrong!… This is short sightedness at its best.
We are all unique in some way or the other. There is something very unique that you, and only you can add to this world. For that, you will have to stand out. Either you stand out and claim your true nature, or you live a life of frustration and listlessness.
Remember that when a person tries to ride a horse, he risks a fall. People who stand below will laugh at him when he falls. He may fall many times before he learns how to ride well. But the ones who stand below will never become riders themselves. Decide in what company you want to see yourself.
5. Fear of discomfort
Feeling cozy in your comfort zone? Satisfied with living in the glory of your past achievements? So many get comfortable doing the same things they have done for ages. They believe they have learned enough and done enough, and can comfortably live with what they know. The idea of getting out of their shell makes them uncomfortable.
Creating such a secure shell around yourself is creating limitations for yourself. You limit your infinite potential to your shell. There is no growth in this comfort zone, there is no excitement, there is no happiness. Over time, you grow bored and listless. Break out! To live a life of happiness is to live a life of adventure. It is to embrace the unknown, to venture out, to learn and grow. Don’t stop living while you are still alive.
There is no status quo in life. Either you are learning an moving forward, or you are rusting and loosing your edge.
There is the physiological fear that all animals and humans have. This fear keeps us away from danger and helps preserve our life. This is useful. Then there is the psychological fear unique to humans. We think of how we might be ridiculed, or how we might fail, or how we might feel uncomfortable. None of these events is directly life threatening. Such events help us grow as human beings. Get over your psychological fears, avoid these pitfalls on your journey to success, happiness and growth.
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