Written by Dorcas Solomon
When we were kids, things were easier. We didn’t have fears and insecurities or maybe despite them, we were happy. We were children, and everything was fine
But we grew up. We became young adults. We started to realize that there are “things” at stake, expectations, repercussions, and in a way, these started to create questions, fears and maybe even unhappiness.
As children, all we wanted was to be adults, independent. But you realize ‘growing up” is overrated once you are in it, and why is that? I guess there are so many elements to this, but one would have to be fear – fear of failure, fear of the characteristics you exhibit, fear of being alone, fear of perfection, fear of not meeting expectations of you, fear of leaving the world without an impact… The list goes on.
But thinking about this, fear is a natural instinct we have as humans, and nothing really can prevent them. However, I strongly believe that they can be dealt with to not overcome our own lives. I have come to realize that one way to deal with fear is love…loving yourself unconditionally, loving those around you, loving life and its beauty, and most importantly, never trying to be perfect (read how to view limitations here.) When the love you have for your vision is greater than the fear of not achieving it, then you will succeed. Sometimes fear makes our imperfections shine and inhibit us from loving ourselves, mostly because all we see are weaknesses and never strengths, things to work on and never great at… in this state of mind, fear and unrest rule our lives. I love this quote by John Lennon that sums up my thought in regards to this:
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
Another aspect of fear is inferiority complex, which again builds up from a weakness-based center. Recently I learned about strength-based focus, which had been great. This example explains it well:
Some days ago, I was speaking with someone I respect a lot, someone I actually consider a mentor and she said to me “I used to have a fear of being too soft – growing up my dad used to say, “you are too sensitive” and that affirmation stuck with me.” But then she continued, “for some reason, this put me down for so long that I decided to make something out of it, and "what better than a strength," I thought. So now I say, "I’m sensitive because I have compassion for others”
How great! I never really thought about it that way. She (my mentor) told me her story in passing but those words stuck with me and made an impact. That morning I decided to write down the things I considered being my fears, weaknesses to be exact and created a positive affirmation for them. This simple act reminded me that there is really always a good side to everything if we choose to see it.
My call to action today is – Chose not to focus on your fears but the essence behind them. Chose to have that child-like mind again, one that saw strength despite insecurities, choose not to see your fears as obstacles but as motivation. Most importantly, write down your top 5 strengths, the things you think you are great at or others have told you (if you do not know, go out and get feedback from people you work closely with.) Now, start playing up those strengths more often than you concentrate on your weaknesses. Lastly, put those fears to work by creating a positive affirmation for your self.
I leave you with this by one of my favorite Author, Paulo Coelho – “Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”