If we look way back into human evolution, fear is one of the main reasons why we are still here. The folks that listened to their instinct and prepared themselves for a possible/imminent threat are the ones that survived. The genes of those survivors are the ones we are carrying around inside us today,
According to Charles Darwin, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution, fear is an ancient instinct that remained untouched by modern civilisation’.
Today, however, our survival fears are entirely different, and some may say unnecessary, yet in our minds evoke the same emotional response.
But, if fear is what drove humankind to the present days, helping us prevent all kinds of danger, what is now stopping us from achieving success?
Every day we overthink things, that could improve our lives. The question is, what are we most fearful of? We are afraid of what could happen if we fail, or in other words, what could happen if we don’t get the outcome we want. Sometimes when we are living in a toxic place, and our reality is physically, or emotionally painful, we will stay there, why? Fear has paralysed us.
Being afraid of the unknown is part of human nature, it is considered the fundamental fear. Nowadays, there is no need to worry about a giant predator trying to hunt us, but we will still avoid a dark alley on a cold night in winter. It’s called self-preservation.
Our minds would consider the change we are looking for in our lives as the more significant danger because we are unassured of a positive outcome. That is the reason why we often choose to stay in unfulfilling relationships, even if it is full of unhappiness. The Fear of leaving is bigger than staying and is stopping us from doing something about our situation.
“I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.” – William Allen White
It seems like a tricky situation. If I am not happy where I am and need to improve my life and happiness, I have to dive headfirst into the sea of the unknown. Which I have tried to avoid up until now because I am afraid of the consequences?
So, is it possible to overcome YOUR fear?
Yes, it is, my dear reader. And the good news is it takes only two steps.
Step one is to stop seeing failure as a dead end.
Failure does not need to be negative. To fail is normal during any process. It doesn’t matter what kind of project we start, we will fail at something at some point, and it is okay. Failing is going to lead us to perfection. Thomas Edison described this perfectly when he said: “I failed my way to success.” Edison even had his life’s work burnt to the ground at one stage and called his son, during the blase to say ‘Go and tell your mother we can start again because our mistakes are all gone, and we can start a new.’ Life is full of lessons and also equilibrium. For every negative, there is a positive; we just need to be aware and grateful.
The second step is a simple one, as well. It is taking action.
We need to put our thoughts aside and start doing. Paraphrasing one of the first thought leaders in history, Dale Carnegie, when we are inactive, we breed doubts and fear. Yet, when we are active, we produce confidence and courage.
The process of doing generates an outcome, and stepping through fear is where you will find the most growth as a human being. One of my mentors said, ‘The instructions to your best possible life are on the outside of the box you live in, what are you doing to reach those details’. You may or may not have realised but right there in that one statement is the key to a better life.
It is reasonable and understandable to be afraid of the unknown, and we cannot fight human nature. But we have all we need to succeed in us. All of us are capable of breeding confidence and courage and fail our way to success.