She ran in through the back door, slamming it behind her. Her shoulders rose and dropped as we all fixed our eyes on her.
“What is the problem?” her elder sister asked.
“It’s Princess,” she answered with a shaky voice.
Of course, we all sensed that it was Princess, but we wondered why she kept running away from her.
Princess is a cute puppy we bought. Although fat and hairy, she was a puppy. She couldn’t bite her. But my little girl feared this dog and kept running… and running.
Until one day.
We all got sick and tired of preaching, “Princess won’t harm you!” Her dad was bent on driving that fear from her mind.
“Favour, come outside and get this for me.”
She walked out, moving towards that direction. Some steps away from her stood Princess, and like a sweet puppy would do, she happily started running towards her.
Right behind the young girl was her dad, hands on his waist, firm eyes fixed on her, daring her to run back. She burst into tears, taking few steps backwards, but Princess moved faster and was right by her leg before she escaped.
And the dog walked around her legs, in her playful and friendly manner, while my girl stood, screaming, with tears running down her face. But soon, the sobs died down. She stood right beside the dog and she had done nothing to harm her. Her fears grew wings and flew away. Day after day, she grew closer and closer to the dog. She could touch her, beat her and play with her.
We all have a “Princess puppy” that brings fear. And that fear will keep us on our toes, running away unnecessarily until we do what my little girl did. Face it.
You probably have heard or read something about facing your fears before. But do you apply it to that fear in your life now? That’s what you’ll learn by the time you’re done with this piece.
The Outline Of Fear
Merriam Webster defined fear as “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.”
And someone also defined fear as: False Evidence Appearing Real.
That’s exactly what fear is. An emotion that makes you want to flee, hide or weep. But it’s mostly perceived danger. Like the girl is my story, she feared that the dog will bite her. But the truth is, it wouldn’t. It was just an almost toothless puppy. It’s the same with the fears you experience.
And what are the common forms of fears?
Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of death, fear of criticism, fear of heights, fear of poverty, fear of disease, fear of crowd, fear of what people say, fear of selling, fear of the dark, fear of rejection, fear of loneliness, etc.
Because fear is an emotion, it steals in, seizes your mind, and stops you from pressing forward in different ways.
What Fear Does To You
If you know how cruel this monster called fear is, you would do anything to stop it from stopping you. Here are what some authors say about fear:
Fear causes us to worry and threatens to destroy our inner peace and outward poise. It uses scare tactics and surprise attacks. It waits to attack you at your most vulnerable moment. No poison so effectively robs the mind of all its powers of action and reason than fear. Fear produces fatigue. Fear drains energy. (Bill Newman – 10 Laws Of Leadership)
Fear torments and prevents progress. It causes people who should be bold and aggressive to shrink back, to hide and be cowardly and timid. Fear is a thief. It steals our destinies. (Joyce Meyer – The Confident Woman)
Think of all the things that fear dumped in your life. Afraid of the unknown – what will happen if you leave that job that makes you sick? So you stick with it and confine your future to a box. You are afraid of a crowd, so you dodge going to pitch that viable business idea you have, and miss out on great collaboration and funding. Afraid of failure, so you refuse to try out that idea lurking in your head and heart. And fail to live the life of your dreams.
Fear brings torment. Fear is a spirit. And that spirit is not of God. “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
So, it’s time to face fear!
How To Fight Your Fears
In the story I shared earlier, you read how that little girl fought her fear of a dog. She faced it. That’s how to fight any fear you experience now.
Here are three steps you need to take:
Identify the fear:
You need to first find out that fear. If you don’t identify it as FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real), you won’t roll up your sleeves, ready to run it out of your life for keeping you from living your best life all these years. Example, if you’re afraid of public speaking, call it out. Don’t excuse it as, “it’s just me” or “my weak point.” See it as a fear that will deny you so much from life if you give it breathing space in your territory.
2. Approach it with the right mindset:
Having identified your fears and how they harm your life, tell yourself that you can do it. The mind is a battle field. Those fears originate from your mind. So, rewire your subconscious mind by consciously visualizing yourself doing those things you fear, and making “I can” affirmations. In your mind’s eyes, see yourself standing with confidence and addressing that crowd. Think of the fulfillment it will bring to your life and profession. Tell yourself that you can. And that everything and everyone conspires for your success, not against you.
3. Get clarity about the subject of your fear:
Clarity builds your confidence. You’re afraid of public speaking? Go learn from the best public speakers you know. What’s the principle that makes them successful at it? What steps do they apply? What skills do they have? Like the saying goes, everything is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Those you call professionals worked hard and smart to get there. They fought their fears too. You can! Once you get clear on how to do it, and repeat it again and again. It strengthens your mind and legs, and snuffs fear out of your heart… and life.
Now, you’ve seen what fear is, what fear does to you, and how to face your fears today. It’s time for you to ACT.
And I’ll love to read from you too. What fear did you face it times past, and how did you fight it? What other tips do you apply in facing your fears?
I’m eager to read your success story… of how you fought and conquered that fear!