“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”
– Henry Ford
I’m afraid of a lot of things.
I’m afraid of heights. I’m afraid of spiders. I’m afraid of speaking in front of people.
And I’m afraid of the big stuff, too.
I’m afraid of where my life might be headed, of where I might be in a year let alone 5 years. I’m afraid of whether or not I have the ability to achieve the things I set out to do. I’m afraid of having to make big decisions on my own.
Fear is a large part of why we don’t start and finish things.
Sometimes, I can’t even sit down and begin writing something because I’m afraid it won’t be as good as I envision it in my head.
All of these fears (other than the spider and heights fears, probably) have something in common: they all prevent me from moving forward.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has these fears. I’m sure that most people have these same fears and most people let these same fears get in their way of their dreams and of their happiness.
Fear is an interesting thing. It is merely a mental block that prevents us from doing something or from moving forward. That’s all it is – a mental block.
Fear isn’t a concrete wall, or a large, armed gentleman, or a vast ocean that keeps us from achieving. Sure, it may metaphorically be all of those things, but fear is not something tangible – it isn’t something we can move or push out of the way, it’s something that requires us to understand it and dismiss it.
We allow our fears to control us and most of the time these fears are unwarranted. A statistic of Americans’ fear from a few years ago shows our tendency towards irrational fear:
Fear and Worry Statistics
Percent of things feared that will never take place 60%
Percent of things feared that happened in the past and can’t be changed 30%
Percent of things feared that are considered to be insignificant issues 90%
Percent of things feared in relation to health that will not happen 88%
As you can see there are quite of few of us who fear things that won’t actually come to pass and that most of us fear things that are categorized as insignificant.
Start today by conquering a small fear that you have. Start small and work your way up. Today squash that fear of getting started on that paper, work project, or story; annihilate that fear of telling your significant other that you’re the one who used up all the toilet paper; conquer that fear of going grocery shopping.
We all have fears and, like so many other things in life, the sooner we address them, the sooner we help ourselves move forward.