Forbes recently profiled the wealthiest people in America.
What an inspirational and educational edition it turned out to be.
Of particular note was billionaire Stephen Bisciotti. His father died of Leukemia when he was young.
Growing up he became obsessed with making enough money by age 35 so that his wife and kids would not meet the same fate were he to die.
Well he went on to make that and a little bit more. His networth is estimated at 1.55 USD billion.
That is a lot of dough.
But here is how he summed up his philosophy:
“You have to be willing to do things the masses would never do”.
I love this quote.
In other words he is asking us to face our fear and break through it.
Isn’t that the reason most of us step back from doing something extraordinary.
I feel I am an expert on fear. I am such a timid and cowardly person. I could easily pass for a brown cow.
Fear has the power to hold you back from taking risks, following your dreams, or becoming successful at anything you attempt to do. If you allow it to control you for long enough, it can eventually erode your quality of life and keep you locked in a prison of inactivity.
What many people fail to realize is that fear is nothing more than a conditioned response. It’s a natural reaction to a frightening or unfamiliar situation. While it is usually automatic, there are things you can do to overcome it.
1) Check your expectations.
One major contributor of fear is the prevalence of negative expectations. Do you usually find yourself expecting the worst in every situation? Do you worry obsessively about what could go wrong, rather than focusing on your strengths and capabilities?
If you make a conscious effort to expect the best, see the positive side of each situation and keep reminding yourself that you can handle more than you often think, you’ll find yourself with much less fear to deal with. Even if feelings of fear do manage to creep into your consciousness, you’ll still be able to keep them in perspective and balance them against an underlying sense of confidence.
2) Discredit your fears.
Experts will tell you that the majority of things you fear will never come to pass anyway. While this may be true, it sure doesn’t feel that way when fear has a chokehold on you! However, if you look a little more closely at your fears when they arise, you may be able to dismiss at least a few.
For example, if you have a fear of public speaking and your boss wants you to give a presentation at work, you might feel like your life (and perhaps your livelihood) is on the line. You may fear getting fired, or worry that your colleagues will lose respect for you if you don’t do a good job.
But is any of this likely to happen? In most cases, no. Rather than worrying about what “might” happen if you don’t give a solid presentation, you might brainstorm ways to help improve your performance, such as being well prepared, practicing your delivery on friends and family members, writing notes to yourself and so on.
3) Do the very thing you fear.
When you remember that fear is simply a feeling, it loses much of its power. It can’t harm you and except in truly threatening situations you can choose to ignore it and move forward anyway.
If you weigh the pros and cons in any situation, you may decide that the possibility of negative consequences is minimal so there’s nothing to stop you from ignoring your fear and going for it! This will be determined by you on a case by case basis, of course. The point isn’t to become reckless with your decision-making but rather to empower yourself to know when a fear is groundless and easily overcome.
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