Overcoming your fears is not an easy task at all. Fear takes a firm terrible grip on you, on how you go about your thinking process and affects the way you behave or interact with other people. It takes a piercing hold on you as if it is telling you that you won’t be able to do anything at all. You feel so little and powerless. You are overpowered and oppressed. According to studies made by the National Institute of Mental Health as of August 2012, there have been 6.3 million cases who have already been diagnosed with fear and phobia. Quite shocking, isn’t it? Upon reading this information, I was alarmed. The first question that came to my mind was this: What is the root cause of these kinds of emotions? Is there a way to overcome it?
I happen to come across a story of a person, named Izzy, a middle school science teacher who also had fears that has troubled her for quite a long time. Her story was very interesting. Like everyone else, she has dreams of her own. She wants to accomplish greatness in her career, her teaching profession.
However, she was clamoured with so much doubts and fears. Despite making more money every year with all the accolades of bearing a fantastic resume and impressive reputation, and being in the midst of becoming an education master’s degree holder, she admitted that she was depressed, anxious, and stressed.
One day, tears came falling down as soon as she began to realize that she was unhappy with her life.
From her personal account, she wrote down in her journal,
Night after night, lying awake at 2am unable to fall asleep.
Crying by myself. Crying to my parents.
What am I going to do?
As you read this, you may feel compelled to have sympathy. Please don’t. There is no need.
In fact, those tears, that stress, the insomnia… was one of the greatest gifts of my life.
I Was So Scared
My whole identity revolved around becoming a teacher.
But here I was, openly admitting I wanted to leave this career behind.
Friends would ask:
Izzy, if you aren’t going to be a teacher, what are you going to do?
I want to be a ninja…
They’d laugh, I’d laugh. We’d laugh.
But as time would prove… I wasn’t joking.
She wanted to become a somebody other than becoming a teacher. So what then is a ninja? She asked herself. As she began to make a personal reflection, she realized that this was her first dream since she was still a very young child. She began to see herself as a ninja because she likes the nature and characteristics of ninjas—moves to distant places, trains extensively with much discipline and stamina in martial arts, and goes beyond the normal routine of work and life itself by taking challenges of any sort.
With the utmost decision of going out of the tradition—out of the crowd, she challenged herself to make the “impossible” possible.
And now after four years, she has dedicated her life to fulfilling the very core of her dream–martial arts. Training in Aikido 4 to 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, she pursued with much determination overcoming through many barriers and struggles. To others, they say it is a “crazy dream” but it was fulfilling and perhaps rewarding at the same time.
Because of these experiences, she was able to write down 5 steps to face your fears:
She realizes that fear stops you from moving forward. It will dampen your life’s purpose, fulfilment and above all, your destiny.
Fear wants you to be average, to stay at home, to quit.
Fear wants you to buy into the lie. The lie that dreams aren’t possible.
5 Steps to Face Your Fears
Step 1: Write Down Your Fears
Fear is a reality. If you don’t acknowledge it, you can’t conquer it.
Fear is something you don’t want to face. By all means, you want to stay away from it. But the thing is you will never learn to defeat it unless you acknowledge it. Admit that you have these fears and write them down on a piece of paper.
Step 2: Identify Your Top Fears
Browse through the list of fears and answer these:
Which of these fears would have the greatest positive impact on your life, if you could find the courage to push past them?
Circle the number 1 fear.
Step 3: Imagine Your Life Without The Fear
What is courage?
In my eyes, courage is the ability to move forward in the face of fear.
If there is no fear, there is no courage.
Write down what your life would be like if you conquered this fear.
In doing this you are establishing a purpose to conquer these fears.
Step 4: Break Your Fear Into Baby Steps
Fear often tells us exactly what we need to do.
Once you know what you want to do, break it into small baby steps.
Step 5: Take Action
You can run through steps 1 through 4 but it won’t do a darn thing if you don’t’ take action.
Whatever plans you developed from steps 1 through 4, go out and make it happen.
Courage, Purpose and Fear Are Interrelated
Indeed, the saying is true that courage, purpose and fear go hand in hand. If you are tired of living a life that you feel low and insignificant, and you believe you can do much greater things than what you are doing right now, you need to take a very solid committed decision to embrace courage.
Courage is not absence of fear. Courage is the ability to move forward in the face of your fears.
What fears have made you stale, defeated and worthless? What fears are keeping you from doing the things that you really want to do or becoming the person you are destined to be?
The decision lies in your hands. Take the first action, stay focused, and gear up towards your goal, and your dreams. Start conquering your fears and live your life to the fullest!
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