“Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.” – Will Smith
Fear is a choice. And if you choose fear, it will destroy you, your dreams, your hope, your life. It will cripple you from action. It will stop you from doing. It will become your thought pattern and it will ensnare your mind and your heart. It is dangerous. I’m not just talking about negotiation here folks, I’m talking about life too.
Franklin D. Roosevelt said (in his inaugural speech):
“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. ” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Stop what you’re doing and really think about what he just said. Think about how profound that is! Fear will destroy if you let it. I know. I’ve been to the darkest places of my mind. I’ve been to depths in my soul that I never want to go back to. Places where only fear and hopelessness exist. I’ve been there and thankfully, I made it back, and with the grace of God, forced my way through hell to get back to the light. My mind and my fear created that hell and that darkness. Now while you may never go through something that extreme, you still deal with fear.
We all do.
Be careful how much control you allow fear to have in your life. Because a little fear goes a long way. And much like any emotion, the more you feed it and give in to it, the stronger it gets. My fear stopped me from taking risks that may have changed my life. In fact, my fear continues to stop me from doing the things I need to do in order to move my life to a level that I know I want to be at. My fear is stopping me from achieving my goals. And if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll realize that your fear stops you from achieving your goals too. Not just your fear of failure, but your fear of success.
Many of us are afraid to succeed. Now you’re saying to yourself, “Don’t be ridiculous, Mark. I’m not afraid to succeed! I want to succeed!” But do you? Do you really want to succeed. Success takes sacrifice. Success takes discipline, Success takes consistency. Success takes dedication. Many times, success means that we have to change. It means that our lives have to change. It means that we have to leave relationships and friendships that are hurting us. It means that we have to stop behaving in certain ways and start behaving in others. It means that we step forward off the ledge of fear hoping to God that we can fly. And you know what we find, most often times, when we step off that ledge?
WE CAN FLY!!!!
One of the most beautiful poems I have ever read that perfectly captures this is a poem by Marianne Williamson, called, Our Deepest Fear:
Our Deepest Fear
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.
We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
Okay, honesty time. I am afraid. I’m afraid of success. I’m afraid of what that might mean. I am afraid of sacrifice. I am afraid of loss. I am afraid of hurting the people I love. I know that I have a mental road block in my head and I admit that when I get close to getting over that block, I self sabotage my own path to success. I don’t do it consciously, but it happens.
But I refuse to let that stop me any further. Because I’ve been to the darkest part of my soul and I know where fear can lead and the hell it can produce. And I am never going back there!
So today I make a conscious choice to overcome my fear of success and I commit to force myself to do what I must to overcome it. I have a very clear vision of the person I want to be and today, I commit to doing whatever is necessary in my life to become the person I desire to be. It will require sacrifice, it will require discipline, it will require me to change habits, it will require me to change my thoughts and how I approach problems. It will require me to change my life. And I commit to doing whatever is necessary in my own life to doing those things.
Fear ruins you. It ruins business, it ruins faith, it ruins relationships, it ruins negotiations, it ruins life!
“Fear is the path to the dark side…fear leads to anger…anger leads to hate…hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda
What fears are holding you back from being who you want to be?
Why do you fear success?
What are you willing to do to get over that fear and push through that mental barrier?
Do you want to live your life suffering through fear or do you want to live your life in overwhelming hope, love, and faith, becoming the very best version of yourself you can be.
Fear is a choice.
What will you choose?