In this post, 7 of the world’s greatest individuals teach us a lesson on how we can overcome our fears, and start living up to our full potential.
This list is like a menu: you don’t have remember each quote or use each action. But pick the ones that resonate with you, apply them to your life, and watch your levels of success and happiness soar!
1. “Fears are nothing more than states of mind.” -Napoleon Hill (Author of Think And Grow Rich)
Fear is not real. It’s simply a mental construct. We control our fears, they don’t control us.
Action: Next time you feel fear, acknowledge its presence. And ask yourself, “what would the best version of myself do in this situation?”
2. “It’s OK to get butterfly in your stomach; the key is to learn how to make them fly in formation.” -Georges St-Pierre (UFC Welterweight Champion)
Everyone gets scared. Even the best in the world. George St-Pierre openly admits that he gets scared before every fight, but he also points out that if he wasn’t scared, he wouldn’t perform at his best. Fear produces adrenalin and has the potential to put us in “superman mode”.
Action: When you feel scared, take 3 deep breaths. As Fritz Pearl, founder of Gestalt therapy, tells us: “Fear is excitement without the breath”.
3. “Always, always, always do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain” –Ralph Waldo Emerson (Awesome 19th century philosopher)
We can train our “Fear Mastery muscle” by doing scary things regularly. Personally, the 30 Day Cold Shower Challenge is the best way I’ve found to do that.
Action: Right now, yes right this instant, make a commitment to your higher self that next time you feel fear, you’ll move forward instead of running away.
4. “There was never any fear for me, no fear of failure. If i miss a shot, so what? I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career, I’ve lost more than 300 games, 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over in my life, and that’s why I succeed.” –Michael Jordan (Retired NBA player- in case you didn’t know! :P)
Fear of failure stifles creativity, destroys promising ideas, and stops us from realizing our dreams. Personally, I’ve started taking the mindset that the only way to fail is by not trying. My life is way better (and I kick more ass) since I’ve adopted that approach.
Action: When you start thinking about failure, stop yourself. Start visualizing the best possible outcome instead. What would it look like if everything worked out perfectly?
5. “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” –Dale Carnegie (Author of How To Make Friends & Win Influence)
Whatever scary project we want to undertake, the moment we get the ball rolling, fear dissipates. We get so involved in the process that we forget to be scared. It’s magical.
Action: When you feel scared, think of 1 thing you can do right now to get you closer to your desired outcome, and just do it.
6. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond imagination. It is our light more than our darkness which scares us. We ask ourselves – who am I to be brilliant, beautiful, talented, and fabulous. But honestly, who are you to not be so?” -Marianne Williamson (Peace Activist & Writer)
Wow. How great is that? Not being afraid of greatness is something I’m still coming to terms with. But I’m starting to realize that the only way to live life to the fullest (and bring our greatest contribution to the world) is by shining brightly and expressing our talents fully.
Action: Right now, take a second to appreciate yourself: who you are, who you are becoming. And commit to becoming all that you can be. Greatness is in all us of, but it’s up to us to bring it out! There is no honor in staying average just to avoid standing out from the crowd.
7. “What developed in my early days was the attitude to start attacking the thing I was scared of”. –Will Smith (Actor & Singer)
Attacking fear. I love it! What a powerful way to live life! Whenever we feel scared, it’s time to go forward and make magic happen. (If you haven’t seen Will Smith’s mesmerizing Feel Good philosophy video, watch it here. It’s really worth it.)
Action: When you feel scared, imagine that the scary thing is a dragon, and you’re holding a magic shield. When you’re facing the dragon, the shield protects you. You’re invincible. But the moment you turn around, you expose yourself and the dragon will get you. Attack your fear, and you’ll destroy it. Retreat, and it will destroy you. I know it’s silly, but it works.
Here’s the key take-away from all this: You need to become comfortable with fear, embrace it, and train your Fear Mastery muscle. Once it becomes strong enough, you’ll be able to use fear to get into “superman mode” and accomplish feats that would have otherwise been impossible.
The greatest moments in life generally come right on the other side of fear- so let’s start playing in our “zone of fear” more often, and become Fear Masters so we can really live our life to the fullest.
Now it’s your turn to share some of your mojo to help me & other readers: What’s your best strategy to overcome fear? How do you make yourself do the things you’re afraid of?