Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How to Move Beyond Fear

I think fear is one of the most difficult things to deal with and prevents us from making important changes in our lives.
The author below, Jonathan Mead from the Illuminated Mind blog, does an excellent job of discussing ways to rethink fear.
Sometimes I think about what I would do if fear wasn’t getting in my way. And the way I would be living terrifies me.
Throughout the evolution of my life and Illuminated Mind, I realize that when I was doing great things, I was nearly always scared.
Doing things beyond your known powers creates a deep sense of uncertainty. What if it doesn’t work? is usually the dominant thought circling through my brain. In fact, I can’t remember a time where this hasn’t been the case.
Sometimes I would let the fear keep me from doing what I wanted. But in most cases, I took action anyway. And somewhere along the way I realized that most of my fears weren’t based on reality, or even trepidation based on what I’d experienced in the past.
I started to learn that I wasn’t very good at predicting when something bad would happen.
With all fears, we think there are potential negative repercussions. If we take action or move forward, something bad might happen. So we stall, or make up all sorts of reasons why we can’t do it now. There’s always someday, right? (It seems that we act as if we’ll live forever.)
You can always wait until you have more resources, more confidence, more certainty.
But what if none of those things are getting in your way? What if you could do what you want, right now and nothing bad happened?
It’s hard to consider that thought seriously.
Every time I’ve taken a leap of faith, a net appeared. These days, I try to remember that I’m not very good at predicting what will happen, so I try to just wait and see.
The “smart” part of me wants to analyze the best course of action and come up with lots of reasons why I should wait, plan, or stall. Sometimes I listen. But most of the time I try to listen to the foolish beginner in me that doesn’t know what is or isn’t possible. He seems naive and dense, but he figures it out as he goes along, and everything turns out okay.