The most destructive force against human progress isn’t natural disasters, disease or global warming…it’s our own fear of the unknown.Â I know this because it derailed plenty of my own ambitions early on, before I knew what fear actually was and how to defeat it.
- FEAR OF CHANGING JOBS… Â Â Check.
- FEAR OF CHANGING CAREERS… Â Â Â Check.
- FEAR OF BEING ALONE… Â Â Â Check.
- FEAR OF FAILURE… Â Â Â Check.
- FEAR OF BEING BROKE… Â Â Â Check.
- FEAR OF CHANGE IN GENERAL… Â Â Check.
- FEAR OF MY FEARS COMING TRUE… Â Check.
That could be my own personal checklist of fears that I have encountered in my life, or it could be yours. Â We all encounter fear and resistance to change. Â We all act in accordance with pre-existing ideas and notions, limiting beliefs and assumptions around circumstances we have encountered in the past, or fear experiencing. Â When we haven’t physically put ourselves in a situation before, it is difficult to envision ourselves moving successfully through it in the future. Â Maybe you can envision it…but do you truly believe it?Â
Fear takes many forms – complacency, resistence, frustration, avoidance, denial, boredom, grief. Â The founder of analytical psychology Carl Gustav Jung considered the process of individualization, integrating opposites like the conscious and the unconscious, while still maintaining their autonomy, necessary for a person to become whole. Â Fear and courage. Motivation and Discouragement. Â Confidence and Insecurity. Â We all have it, but not everyone knows how to make it work for them.
Fear is not a death sentence to an ultimate inability to achieve anything that seems remotely out of reach. Â It’s a deterrant, a pain in ass- that guy who wants to debate the ten cents price difference with the cashier and hold everyone up in the process without regard for anyone else’s needs. Â You know in a matter of time he’ll leave and become irrelevant, but at this very moment he’s holding you up unnecessarily from whatever it is you are striving to do next. Â And you don’t know how to deal with him other than to hope he just freakin’ leaves.
You just gave him all the power.
Fears don’t just “exist”. Â They come from somewhere, and that is good news; not because you need therapy, but because we now have the ability to go back in time. Â Most fears stem from a past event, experience or notion, and once you identify what that thing is that prompted the birth of that fear, you are able to diminish the fear’s power over you. Â You disredit it. Â It’s no longer some elusive force that was meant to exist in this life simply to derail you. Â It has a purpose, it has a birthplace. Â Seems like that new movie that’s coming out with Jake Gyllenhal where he’s going back in time 8 minutes before a train in Chicago blows up, so he can defuse the bomb. Â So go back to the point in life where the fear emerged from, when it was still small and non-threatening…and defuse the bomb.
I went through this really awful experience earlier on in my 20s where Â essentially, to make a really long story short, I ended up losing every cent I had and then some by way of a really stupid scam. Now to say “every cent I had” at 20, that wasn’t alot at the time, but the subsequent several years of debt that followed as a result of my own immature stupidity was. Â As a result, I created a severe limiting belief around money that told me there would never be enough, because there would always be some unforeseen circumstance taking it away in even the smallest moments of prosperity. Â It wasn’t until some years later when my coaching skills tuned me into the connection between my financial anxiety and its root in this long-ago shitty experience.
And for many of us the number one fear behind making an otherwise sensical change in our lives is the fear of the resulting financial complications that may (or may not!) accompany that change. Â Every entrepreneur has experienced that fear. Â And millions, perhaps through confronting their fear head-on, with much at stake, overcame that fear in pursuit of something bigger and more meaningful. Â The same goes for anyone who has ever left a decently-paying job to pursue their seemingly less lucrative life purpose. Â But we do it for the love of the dream, and the love of life.
Fear is nothing more than a chronic ailment that, like say hemorrhoids, is really annoying but completely extinguishable [cringe]. Â By the way, that is the second time I’ve had to Google the correct spelling of “hemorrhoids” for this blog. That is probably more than sufficient references. Or maybe in some cases it’s more like IBS, where there’s no exact cure per se, but it’s certainly treatable enough to stop it from distrupting your life. Â These are horrible examples, but relateable ones. Â I would know, since I have IBS, which came about ironically as a result of lots of anxiety in my 20s.
And while I’ve uprooted the fear, I still hate money. I hate the need to make it, the need to spend it, the need to charge it, and the overwhelming effect we allow it to have on every decision we make in our lives. Alas, it still exists in and rules modern society. Â Whatever happened to bartering, and to trusting in the value of a healthy steed or cattle from your neighbor down the road? Those were the times. Â I guess that’s irrelevant in New York City, nowadays.
Understanding our own relationship with money is an excellent place to start when we talk about discrediting and overcoming our fears. Â And the same goes for anything else where fear is obviously (or not so obviously) holding you back. Â Whenever you feel resistence to change, whether in your job or career, your relationships, your personal endeavors, look inside and see what fear is there that is working against your ability to move forward. Â Where did that fear stem from, where did that idea that you “can’t do it” come from? Â Because you can do it. Â And it’s okay to start small by simply looking within.
“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Those who look outside, dream. Those who looks inside, awaken.”
PS – That was Jung too. Â Carl knows his sh*t.