“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” — Nelson Mandela
“How shall I rid myself of fear?”
“How can you rid yourself of what you cling to?”
“You mean I actually cling to my fears? I disagree.”
“Consider what your fears protect you from and you will see your folly.”
Anthony de Mello reminds us that our attachments to fear keeps us safe.
Reflect on it for a moment. You may hesitate to reveal your greatness because of the fear you will be found out to be an imposter.
Perhaps people won’t like you.
Your life will change and you may lose friends, distance loved ones and have to take on a new persona to deal with your newfound success.
What you are really afraid of, is fear not greatness.
Welcome to a world where our fears are real. However, the greatest madness is to accept your thoughts as truth.
How can they be?
How can an organ weighing 1,400 grams know the truth when it cannot distinguish between a lie told by another person?
I want to share with you a story highlighting how truth can be distorted.
Several years ago, I worked with a sports psychologist in a mentoring role. We were discussing my childhood fear of water.
I was seven years old at the time and learning to swim with classmates. One particular day, we were instructed to jump into the deep end of the pool where we would be caught by a trained swim instructor.
However, my fear of swimming in the deep end overpowered me and I formed a belief I wasn’t good enough given my inability to jump into water like the other children. The limiting belief (fear) stayed with me throughout adulthood because I believed it to be true.
One day during a mentoring session, the sports psychologist posed a question that challenged my belief and helped to uncover the truth.
“Tony, what would your seven-year-old self know about not being good enough?”
And there it was.
I had formed a distorted belief of my unworthiness at an impressionable age and kept it alive throughout adulthood because I believed my thoughts.
Don’t let fear hold you back from stepping into your greatest because fear is nothing more than an illusion to keep you safe. Though being safe stifles your personal growth and limits your potential.
“Fundamentals can be taught, but greatness must be caught,” writes Larry Weidel in Serial Winner: 5 Actions to Create Your Cycle of Success.
Fear is an imposter, a charlatan and a conniving intruder stealing your glory and inhibiting your freedom.
Don’t buy into the storyline it promotes but rather use it to step into your own power and claim your truth about your worth.
So, every time fear makes itself known, move into it. Run towards it since it is not a Sumo wrestler trying to take you down.
It is nothing more than a cloud of white smoke not intended to unsettle you, nor overcome you.
Fear is a trickster and a stealer of greatness. It conceals your authentic self because you concede to the narrative it preaches.
Why not subscribe to this story instead: You are a talented, gifted and unique soul whose time is yet to come.
Impress that upon your mind and feed it the right images until it becomes your reality.
“Feel the fear and do it anyway,” avows Susan Jeffers, and you will have silenced your demons.