FEAR IS AN ALLY
Copyright: Tony Escobar
Fear is not a curse and it certainly is not lethal and it was never put on the earth to be a bad thing. People who believe that fear is a bad thing may never understand any of the other principals of life that can and will ensure success.
You were born with three core fears, the fear of hunger, the fear of loud noise and the fear of falling! The rest of your fears were made real through your life’s choices, decisions and experiences.
Your capacity to fear something was given to you as a divine blessing, as it is only through fear that you can grow, progress and excel. It is only through fear that you are protected from harm. Fear is an amazing and constructive force designed to help you grow, to advance your courage and to increase your capacity for accomplishment and success in life.
Don’t try to avoid fear, recognize it, embrace it and understand what its purpose is in your life and your business. Don’t try to distort it, don’t justify it, don’t rationalize it, just accept fear for what it is - a very powerful and influential emotion that can “advance or obliterate” your dreams of health, wealth and happiness.
There are few emotions on earth that have the influence and power of fear. It is an emotion that you need not be afraid of. There are also few emotions on earth that can create and build like fear can.
The Greeks and Romans embraced fear and had admiration and reverence for it. They recognized the influence of fear and its awesome power, in fact, they built and dedicated temples to the “God of Fear” and they revered fear as one of life’s most positive influences.
Fear can enhance, encourage and expand your pursuit for knowledge and knowledge leads to greater wisdom and ultimately to greater, individual progress.
Fear is the mother and father of carefulness, discretion, tolerance and courage. Fear, just like coffee is a stimulant that keeps us attentive, cautious and vigilant at all times.
You stay away from fire and water as a result of your fear of them, you are careful with knives, guns and hot stoves because you are afraid of the dangers associated with them, you are afraid of driving 70 miles per hour in a 55 miles per hour zone as a result of your fear of getting a speeding ticket. You go to high school and college out of the fear of being denied a good job. You come across in different ways with different people because you are afraid of what people will think of you. You save for retirement because you fear a loss of income or having to depend on others. Many of us have a fear of dancing, a fear of heights, a fear of singing or a fear of talking to people, especially a stranger.
It doesn’t matter what your fear is, you should always embrace fear rather than ignoring or destroying it. Fear is a magnificent and marvelous principal to be embraced.
Fear is a prompting or a warning that reminds you to stop, ponder, reconsider, evaluate, respond and/or to listen. Fear keeps you wary and cautious, it makes you look both ways before you cross the highway. Can you imagine the chaos in the world if fear didn’t exist? Why do you think most native people and animals store food for the winter? The answer is obvious! The Romans did it! The Greeks did it and the Egyptians did it!
Even in our modern world where food is in abundance, several religions and cultures encourage their members to store a year’s supply of food in their homes in case of emergencies. Are these people afraid of famine, natural disasters, loss of livelihood or just plain going hungry? Yes, they are, that’s why they feel the need to be prepared in case something disastrous happens. Why does the squirrel store food, as does the beaver? For the same reason, they want to be prepared.
A football player, a soccer player and a basketball player would not work or train as hard, if they were not afraid of losing their position or a game.
It is obvious that fear is an effective and powerful motivator.
Why do we live in the most powerful nation on earth? Why do we have the most formidable armed forces in the world, the most powerful Navy, Army, Air Force and Marine Corp? Because we are afraid of losing our liberty and freedom, we are afraid of losing our competitive edge! It is fear that ensures this Nation will remain strong and powerful and its people will always be protected.
A few months ago, my frantic wife, Randi, suddenly awakened me at 5:00 am in the morning from a beautiful dream. She was screaming, “Fire, Fire!”
The furnace in our home had malfunctioned, as certain safety devices within it did not engage. Flames were shooting through the ductwork and the entire house was engulfed in black smoke. I thought we were going to lose our home and everything in it.
As soon as I saw the flames and the smoke, my adrenal glands busted open and the adrenaline began to flow. I was lifting stuff that was so heavy, stuff that would generally take two men to lift. I know it was fear that inspired and motivated me! It was fear that made me much more powerful. It was fear that created an immediate urgency, as we called the fire department and fled the house to the lawn outside. It was obvious that we were caught unprepared. The house could have been a total loss if the fire department had arrived just five minutes later.
A similar situation happened when Pearl Harbor was attacked during the Second World War! We were a very complacent nation at that time; we were comfortable, complacent and unprepared as we took life for granted.
We were unexpectedly attacked by the Japanese and as a result of this attack; it ignited fear amongst a whole nation. The nation however soon unified, came to together and within months Japan saw the awesome power, justice and retribution of the United States. This power was magnified because of fear.
Shortly after that Japan felt the wrath of this country. As a result of fear, two nuclear bombs were developed and detonated over two major Japanese cities. Japan fell to their knees and surrendered in shame. It was fear that exposed the sleeping giant and the awesome, overwhelming power of the United States.
Fear can and will uncover your awesome power. It is fear that ensures the safety and security of our great nation. It is fear that will keep you prepared, strong, and safe.
It was fear that compelled our nation to promote and accelerate science, innovation, creativity and invention and it was fear that propelled us into the industrial age and more recently the computer, robotic and laser age.
Nothing can accelerate and compound your strength and purpose faster than fear and trepidation.
There is absolutely a definitive purpose associated with fear and it affects us all.
Fear is an instinct or a sixth sense common to all forms of life. It is a powerful and commanding instinct. It is also a principal that can be easily abused and distorted. Yes indeed, just like the instinct that is associated with sex and can be misunderstood and abused, so can fear.
Fear is a dominant passion that if not controlled and managed, incredible harm can result. Many people fall to fornication and adultery because it is too easy to rationalize and justify. It is also easy to say that fear is not that important in our lives. We must fear those things that are not right because if we don’t, enormous consequences can result.
I came from Australia to the United States in December 1968 because I was afraid that if I stayed in Australia I would have no future. I came here in pursuit of the “American Dream” that still remains alive and well to this day.
I remember 1969 because at the time, the whole nation of Australia was abuzz over American football. I had never knew much about American Football, in fact, I could never understand why they called it football, especially when your feet were rarely used.
Soccer was real football because the feet were used most of the time. I remember watching television and there was a guy on TV that was the quarterback of the New York Jets. His name was Joe Namath. The media was interviewing him and one of the questions went something like this, “Are you ready for defeat, are you prepared to lose to the Baltimore Colts?” The Colts were enormous, overwhelming favorites and most people never gave the Jets a chance. Joe Namath said something very profound that really hit me. Now I cannot remember the exact words but he said, No way or no, we are going to win this game because, you see, we are prepared for victory.
You may ask yourself, are you too, prepared for victory in your own life? Are you ready and prepared for your success?
When we love what we do and do what we love and have passion and confidence in what we are doing is right and honorable, there is no place for fear because our faith and passion will always carry us forward with utmost optimism. Faith, passion and believe conquers fear everytime.
If you are in business for yourself, you should always be ready and prepared for daily achievement and success.
Fear takes on many faces, just the same as strength and courage. There is the fear of love, the fear of criticism, the fear of disrespect, the fear of success, the fear of loneliness and neglect, the fear of failure, the fear of abandonment, the fear of what other people may think of you, the fear of loss, the fear of competition, the fear of growing old, the fear of rejection, the fear of illness and disease, the fear of natural disasters and the fear of responsibility and the list goes on and on. Perhaps the greatest fear of all is the fear of talking to and/or talking in front of people.
Fear is an obscure part of one’s “success education” and it must be mastered if you are going to succeed at anything. You cannot be a slave to fear, you must be a master over it. Joe Namath refused to be a slave to fear. He threw it aside mastered it and conquered it, just as he conquered the Baltimore Colts.
Fear can be like an uncontrollable fire if you allow it to victimize and oppress your life. Fear can be a good medicine but, if you take too much of it, it can kill you. Fear can get so far out of control that it can cause panic, hysteria, terror and great personal destruction.
The road to joy, happiness and success is always subjected and hampered by one’s fear of the unknown. There is one good thing here that we all need to ponder especially if success in your business is important to you and that is; the things you fear the most are the things you are likely to do something about first.
Growing up, I was told a story about a little bird that went like this. This story has been around a while and most likely some of you have heard of it. Never the less, I have added my take on it.
Once upon a time, there was a little bird. He was always a lazy bird that always wanted the easy way out by avoiding effort and work. He was always rationalizing and justifying and making excuses as to why he could not do this, do that or the other. He was non-conforming and a procrastinator. He was always asking questions and driving the other birds crazy through criticism and intimidation. He justified everything he did and had an excuse for everything he didn’t do.
Well, the summer was coming to an end the weather turned cold and snowy very quickly. It was time for him and his thousands of friends to fly south for the winter, just as they and their ancestors had done for thousands of years.
The little bird looked at all the others and said, “You guys are all crazy, all you are doing is flying south because you are afraid of a little cold. I am not afraid of the cold. I’m not going to fly thousands of miles because I am afraid of getting cold. You crazy guys go right ahead, I’m staying right here.”
All the birds gained altitude and flew and as expected two weeks later it started to get colder and colder and even colder, winter was settling in. The little bird began to become afraid as the sharp cold was becoming unbearable. It started to snow. It was getting very wet as well as icy.
The little bird soon changed his mind and reluctantly started to fly south for the winter. “I have got to get out of here or I am going to die”, he said to himself.
He flew higher and higher, faster and faster but it was too late. After a short time, ice began to form and clog his wings. He soon fell to the ground like a dead weight in a field of snow and a bunch of cows. He was almost frozen solid. The little bird lay there pondering the bad choice he had made and said to himself, “I should have flown south for the winter with all the others. I am such a fool and now I am freezing and I am going to die.”
As he reminisced his life’s experiences and prepared for his death, a cow casually passed by and dumped an undesirable load on top of him.
“Wow, here I am freezing cold and dying and I am getting dumped on by a cow,” said the poor bird. As the little bird was contemplating the worst he noticed he was warming up. The manure was hot and it was defrosting and thawing him out. ‘I am saved, I am saved,” sang and chirped the little bird.
The little bird began to whistle and sing. He was so ecstatic and joyful, “I am alive, I’m going to live.” He thought.
Just then, a rather large and hungry barn cat appeared who had been out walking the fence line looking for food. Upon hearing the chirping, the cat discovered the little bird lying in the snow covered in melting ice. The barn cat soon noticed that the little bird was covered in sticky manure from the cows. He reluctantly, cleaned away the manure with his paws. This caused the little bird to became more and more excited. The barn cat, after cleaning up the little bird, promptly ate him.
There are seven principals, maybe more, we can learn from this interesting experience:
1) You can become the beneficiary of fear or the hostage of it and you can suffer the consequences of not respecting it as a life saver.
2) Don’t procrastinate what is the right thing to do, especially when fear is forewarning you.
3) Don’t become a victim of rationalization and justification, fear is always teaching you.
4) Anyone who dumps on you is not necessarily your enemy.
5) Anyone who gets you out of the mess is not necessarily your friend.
6) And there are times you should keep your mouth shut. Be humble and don’t chirp. Fear has your back so don’t turn your back on fear.
7) Don’t let paralysis by analysis keep you from doing what
fear has taught you to do.
What this little bird did is what most people do. You justify your thoughts and actions by saying things like, “It won’t be so bad, we can handle it.”
The little bird could have handled it and it could have been OK if the little bird was prepared for the potential consequences, by simply having some food put away as well as finding a warm place in the barn.
As a result of fear most people play the victim, constantly thinking about potential failure, disasters and tragedies. Most of the time these events never occur so people underestimate fear and take it lightly!
The road to your success is a journey filled with obstacles and unpredictable events. Irrational and irrepressible fear will cause you to become deaf and blind to it. You will find yourself unable to reason, to think positively and rationally and you certainly will not get anywhere with it. You will be unable to feel anything, as you become numb to any worthwhile emotion, including passion. On the other hand, controlled fear is or can be your greatest friend.
William Shakespeare once said, “To fear the worst, oft cures the worst.” What a powerful, profound and true statement!
This story about the little bird is filled with many messages, meanings and important lessons. Yes indeed, it is the things you fear the most that you are most likely to do something about, especially if there is a reward attached to overcoming a particular fear. Many times you have to be reminded of fear and what that reward is.
When I was young, there was a young man named Michael Dilly who lived in our neighborhood in Elizabeth, South Australia. Back in the 60’s, Australia was my home and is known for some of the most beautiful and stunning beaches in the world. We often, as kids, went to the beach together and had wonderful times swimming in the ocean and surfing the giant waves. I asked Mike to come with us on many occasion, but he turned me down every single time. It never ever occurred to me that Mike had a fear of water and never wanted to tell me. Because of his fear of water he had never learned to swim. Just think of all the joy and all the memories Mike could have had with his friends if he had overcome his fear of water. All he had to do was dive in and learn to swim. He just didn’t believe he could get up the courage to do it. Many of us are so wounded by past fears that we never even put a toe in the water.
If I have learned one very important thing about life, it often is the warm and pleasant perceptions that do the most damage. Have you ever noticed that your enemies do not imperil you as much as your friends, especially the ones that admire, praise, edify and smooth talk you. Isn’t it interesting just how many people pick up vices, dishonesty, addictions and immorality from their friends?
The recognition of fear and an understanding of it can protect you from yourself and your negative attitudes just as easily as it can inspire and motivate you into conquering your weaknesses.
Let’s try a little exercise. If you want to be filled with joy and happiness and you want to be really successful, take a few minutes in your own quite place and catalogue or write down all the things that you think you are afraid of. Be honest with yourself, as you will be the only person to see what is on this piece of paper.
By writing these fears down and pondering them in your mind you will be able to explore, examine and analyze them and strategize how to conquer them, or at least manage them.
As you write down all these fears, you are taking the very first step towards a better and more productive life. By really knowing what your fears are you can be prepared for them when they pop up. If you are prepared, your fear will not be as great!
Once you have written down all your fears; write down the reasons why you think you are afraid of them. For example, most people are afraid to talk to people or to initiate a conversation with a stranger. Write down why you think this is so.
You may write down;
1)I am afraid of being looked at as a fool 2)I might not know what to say? 3)I may be rejected as a person 4)I may be forced to continue the conversation 5)I may not be accepted 6)I may innocently offend someone and my relationship with them may change 7)I may have to listen and become closer to that person 8)I may fail
There could be many other reasons but guess what? Ninety percent of the people really would like to get to know you and converse with you, if you only do two things;
1) Look happy, enthusiastic, joyful and have a big enthusiastic smile on your face. Your smile is your signature, the most important thing you put on every day.
2) Be willing to have an open conversation and listen. People love to talk to happy people that listens to them. Can you believe that? Therefore, your smile is one of your greatest weapons in overcoming and destroying fear! A smile can cross many barriers. It is instantly understood by people of all ages. Even children who can’t talk yet or can’t express themselves in words can bring joy, peace and happiness to everyone around them just by smiling.
The fears that overwhelm our lives are nature’s warnings to you. If you are prepared by acknowledging what it is you are afraid of, you can overcome that fear fast.
Through recognizing the warning signs, you can be prepared for those times that fear shows itself.
If you are aware of the things you are afraid of, you can become motivated because those fears become the motive for the motivation. If your fears are pondered, evaluated and understood you can certainly control them and even conquer them.
Fear that is understood stimulates your mental muscles into action as you learn to manage and eventually even master your fears; you will learn to be strong, courageous and productive.
You should always recognize and appreciate fear, especially the fear of talking to people. You should welcome and receive fear as an ally for your growth and protection. You can and will overcome any of your fears by doing what you fear the most five times. Yes indeed, it’s true, five times! You have to meet fear head on.
There are fears that are good and fears that are not so good. The good ones are the ones you appreciate and understand and the bad ones that go unrecognized are the ones that can wreak havoc on your life.
The only place that you can advance courage is in the presence of fear itself. The recognition and the understanding of fear is why so many successful people accomplish so much.
You can’t and you must not avoid or evade fear, you must hug and embrace it. Fear contributes to all the greatest accomplishments in life. If you do not respect and appreciate fear now, then as you go forward, you may not enjoy the success you desire.
It’s amazing to me just how most of the things I feared the most, never happened?
Try to remember the things you were most afraid of ten, twenty or even 30 years ago? What Happened?
I hope you receive this message with an open mind and understand that fear is a blessing disguised as a major obstacle – Embrace it!