There are fears that are rational… like walking around blindfolded and unaided. There are also irrational fears or phobias (and there are many)… ‘Decidophobia’ or the fear of making decisions, do you recognise this one? Or how about ‘Globophobia’ the fear of balloons – now this is one that I did (note did) experience personally; not the balloon itself, or blowing them up or even popping them, what horrified me was when a fully blown up balloon over time slowly lost air and became wrinkled and weird-looking! I bet your smiling now; either because it sounds bizarre or you get my meaning! If a balloon reached the passed its life expectancy appearance and was still hanging from its place of decor, I just could not go near it… Nooooo!
There is however another fear that can cloud your vision, which wipes out motivation, soaks up enthusiasm and paralyses momentum. It is ‘self-imposed’ fear. This fear does not only go against all that you are, but is one that is arguably the easiest to change. If you think fear, guess what, you will feel fear!
Many years ago, I practiced Martial Arts – it was a real passion of mine and tremendous exercise. What went with the discipline was not only physical but mental – this particular form of Martial Art placed more emphasis on the spiritual than thud, bang, wallop!
I was told a story back then that still resonates with me to this very day; and I guess introduced me to mind over matter attitude development. It goes something like this…
A Master took on a new pupil for training. The pupil was keen to learn his new craft and made his excitement and enthusiasm clear to his wise old teacher.
The Master asked his rookie pupil to go into a yard adjoining the temple to collect a plank of wood that measured around 18 inches width and about twenty feet in length. Looking perplexed the student duly followed his teachers order. The teacher asked his student to lay the plank of wood down on the temple floor, and asked his young charge to step on to the plank and walk from one end of the plank to the other. Unsure of why he was being asked to do something that in his mind was not the expected combative Martial Arts only served to arouse the young man’s disappointment. Nevertheless he duly proceeded as asked and walked from one end of the plank to the other. Once completed the Master with a craggy expressionless face asked him to repeat the action of walking from one end of the plank to the other and to continue doing so until he told him otherwise – after a while the student finally out of a mix of curiosity and frustration, asked his teacher why he was being asked to continually walk along the plank that lay on the floor. The Master simply uttered in a deep seriously brown voice ‘training training’ and once again immediately ordered his now visibly truculent pupil to continue his ‘training’. Eventually the student snapped, stopped walking, turned to his teacher and demanded why he was being asked to walk up and down on a plank that lay on the floor which he felt was a complete waste of his time instead of learning ancient Martial Arts techniques!
This only served to prove to The Master that his young charge was not ready, far from it… to show this, and without giving a reply, The Master ordered his student to pick up the plank of wood and follow him on foot high into a nearby hill surrounding the temple. They eventually arrived at the top of the hill; a perilous place a few feet from the edge of a cliff side – what lay beyond the cliff edge was several hundred feet of sheer drop to the valley below.
Approximately fourteen feet from the edge was the nearest point of the opposite cliff edge. The Master looked sternly at his weary pupil and ordered him to carefully place the length of plank between the edge they both stood upon and the edge of the cliff side immediately opposite. Having carefully done this, the student looked sheepishly at his teacher.
Now The Master once again demanded his previously impudent but now anxious pupil to once again walk along the plank…
Clearly then ‘fear’ is also relative, but moreover so much of its very essence can be identified in the nebula of irrationality. Overcoming fear is one of the greatest of all human liberation; the rich source of empowerment to be gained is immeasurable and without doubt potentially life changing.
Have you ever retired to bed alone in a house and thought of what might happen if someone or something were to enter your home? Suddenly you start looking at the dark corners of the room and begin hearing creaks and unusual sounds previously not noticed… you begin to feel uneasy, anxious; even scared! You are imagining and imagination is seriously powerful. By imagining dread, you can create irrational fear. What if you applied the power of your imagination and imagined success and good things happening to you regularly?
Your mind can liberate you or enslave you.
Fear too can be and if properly understood should be a catalyst for positive change. Atychiphobia or more commonly the fear of failure is an irrational fear. But getting beneath the outer layers of this particular fear and taking a positive view of it, can emerge to be a welcome self-development partner for taking affirmative life changing action.
I have reflected on the subject of Fear in the past, but very often the positive benefits to be gained from embracing fear is rarely highlighted and is not something most people can relate to, and I feel now is a good moment to share my thoughts on this area with you.
It is those that know what they are most afraid of that have the most to gain from overcoming their fears.
Think of it like this; you have a coin, on one side of your coin you have fear (something that immediately makes you say ‘I can’t!), now flip it over, take a look and on the other side there is ‘opportunity’. Opportunity is the primary key to the golden door of success – never ever turn your back on your primary key, YOUR opportunity.
To encourage more golden opportunities to come your way, you must secure your coins, then identify the fear or an action that is continually holding you back printed on them and then metaphorically flip them over to the other side and identify the associated opportunities to be gained – and you must mentally do this over and over, time after time when an invaluable coin displaying fear comes a calling. The more coins you discover, flip over and reap benefits from, the more empowered you become. This is one the most important self-development practices we can do. Absorb what you have just read, read it over if you must, but absorb exactly what it can mean to you.
Overcoming fear whether rational or not frees up ‘self’ like nothing else. The release at that very moment is inexplicable, truly awesome and incredibly self empowering. Jump over your first high hurdle, and the higher hurdles that will surely follow will become your stepping-stones to an incredibly new and meaningful life!