Over recent years, I have come to realize that the complete elimination of fear is unlikely. There was a point, not too long ago, that I believed I could learn to get rid of fear and then life would be grand. Well, not exactly. I still have fears, but guess what? Life is grand anyway.
No matter how many positive affirmations, yoga sessions, hypnotherapy tapes and personal development resources I tap in to, fear still creeps its way to into my thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, all of those practices are very empowering and I highly recommend that you do one or more of them daily. However, I’m not going to try and sell you the idea that you can completely eliminate fear, because I no longer believe that to be accurate. Not exactly what you expected to hear is it?
Great, so now what?
Use fear to your advantage. Envision it as the spark that lights the fire. See, I found that the real key is not to allow your fears to have any control over you. Although fear may appear to be very real, it is something that only exists in the mind. Rather than allow it to paralyze you, use fear to fuel you. There is nothing more empowering than finding a way to turn something negative into something positive!
Now the big question – how do we do it? How do we convert our fear into fuel?
First, you must acknowledge fear for what it really is – an illusion. It is an emotional response to a thought or series of thoughts. Even when you are directly in the face of a fearful situation, you aren’t actually fearing the situation itself but what the result of that situation might be. You must completely grasp the fact that fear’s only real power is that which you give it in your mind and how you respond to and harness that emotion is where the real power lies.
For instance, some years ago there were two people I knew who were both diagnosed with a terminal illness. Interestingly, their perspectives toward this reality were quite different. One was terrified of dying and cried for several weeks while the other immediately rejected the prognosis and adopted an “I’m going to survive” attitude. They had the same diagnosis and the same prognosis; two different attitudes. The person who was terrified allowed fear to paralyze her and eventually take her life, while the other person converted her fear into fuel and used that fuel to fight the disease. This is a true story and she is now cancer free, against great odds. Had she believed the doctor’s opinion and given in to fear, she may have had a much different outcome.
Of course we are going to feel negative emotions and quite frankly there would be cause for concern if you didn’t have them. What we do with those emotions is what determines our outcomes.
We always have a choice as to how we react to any given situation. It’s not fear, or anger, or doubt that takes us down, but our reactions. We must make a conscious effort to train ourselves to control our responses and this is done by repetition. Take it one thought, one emotion at a time.
Some things will frighten you, some things will anger you, some things will sadden you and some things will disappoint you. That’s part of the human experience. How are you going to react? Make a conscious choice to react in a way that empowers you and will inspire those around you. That choice – the choice to respond with confidence and courage – will ultimately convert your fear into fuel.