What are you afraid of?

You can’t lead from a position of fear. You can’t find happiness, you can’t be grateful and you can’t succeed when you live in fear. Fear is that little bit of hesitation you have as you come face to face with the unknown. You either go backwards focusing on the outcome you don’t want and fear it or you focus on what you do want and put your energy where it counts.

A study was done by Harvard on Harvard economics students. When presented with the option to take 160k salary a year right out of college while your classmates all received 150k versus taking a job that paid 200k a year but their classmates would all get paid 220k a year, more than 80% of the students chose the 160k a year job. You see, the students chose the lesser of the amounts because they focused on the fear of not having versus having. They had to “have” in this situation. They were afraid to have less despite taking the must lesser amount. Our perception and emotions can destroy our reality of the world and how we see it.

Abundance comes from confidence, not fear. We get what we expect in life, not what we think we deserve when our emotions disrupt our focus. When we expect the worst then we create a cycle of patterns and learned behaviors that focus on the worst fearful outcome. In truth, the happiest and fulfilled get what they must have in life. They focus on the positive outcome of what they must have versus fearing the outcome. You can’t get what you must have when you live a life of fear.

Do you want to know a certain way to not be fearful? Be grateful. You can’t be fearful and grateful at the same time. Gratitude keeps you in the moment while fear keeps you living in a future that doesn’t exist. 

Have you ever had a moment you wanted to say something but you were afraid of how it would go or how your opinion would be received? What are people going to think? What are my friends and family going to say? Will I no longer be welcomed and accepted?

Let me rephrase these questions in a new perspective. Will I no longer be welcomed and accepted for voicing my own opinions and feelings that matter to me? Will I no longer be accepted by people who can’t accept me for who I am? Sounds different now doesn’t it? 

When we fear the opinion of others we do so out of fear of acceptance. To overcome this we must practice vulnerability. By courageously moving forward takes vulnerability because it reveals our truest self and for many, the truest self is one that is a battle most people face every day. They are “damaged”, hurt and struggling to find an independent voice. Finding your own identity has been of late unacceptable. How dare you think for yourself as it has been deemed not allowed by people who attack your own sense of self. 

As you express your voice and find your own identity this scares people. The ability to find ourselves, our voice becomes an empowering time. Your beliefs of yourself shape your reality and situations you face in life. To believe you’re born to be a natural worrier is a limiting belief model you’ve accepted as your reality. To believe you will find courage to face the things you used to worry about is owning your power.

So we are left at the present moment asking, what now? Where do you go from here? How do you harness the ability to conquer your fears and limiting beliefs?

The secret to overcoming fear is to accept the unknown no matter how good or how bad it is or could be. When we can accept what we do not know and be ready for it is when you will free yourself from the prison of being afraid. After that comes acceptance of yourself through gratitude.

For many of us we’ve heard the adage “luck favors the bold” and “those that fail to plan have planned to fail”. To be bold we must be prepared. The prepared are less fearful because they have focussed on both the good things that could happen and also the bad things that could happen and formulate a response or reaction to each possible outcome. As we focus on how things “should” be we have become less flexible and in turn shown we are still fighting to accept the world as it is. 

I’ve been told “don’t rock the boat” meaning operate by the status quo and don’t piss anyone off because you don’t want to burn any bridges. What if I do want to burn the bridge? What if everyone on the bridge is in the way and haven’t chosen to actually cross the bridge? Not everyone we meet in life is meant to continue the journey with us and that’s ok.

Revolutionaries and innovators do just that. The forgotten Filipino American Civil Rights leader Larry Itliong did just that and so did Rosa Parks. For bold movements forward in life takes courage and acceptance. We must face fear and what might come.

The word disruption illustrates pushing the boundaries. This mentality to not rock the boat is what keeps us from making progress. We hold onto relationships that don’t add value out of fear of what could be. People build a future not knowing if it will come out the way we want it to be. We try to control things, people and situations when it is not our place to do so.

Not knowing what will come is what adds to a beautiful and colorful life.

The next time you think about what you don’t want to happen, ask yourself what you want to happen. When you are worried and you hesitate, ask yourself, what’s the worst that could happen? I can pretty much guarantee you it could be much worse than what initially pops in your mind.

Nelson Mandela was imprisoned because his power and voice was feared. He was vigilant and accepting of what was. He rose to power and lead his country into new hope and progress. Your voice is powerful, find it, and find yourself and rise to lead.

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