In case you hadn’t heard – the end of the world is coming – tomorrow. You could as well add that to the long list of fearful things in this world. In many places there are muggings, poor drivers, and unfortunately people who take their rage out on the innocent in their path.
These things happen, you can’t deny that, but you don’t want to live everyday in a fearful state. So you grieve with those who have suffered, you help in whatever way you can, and you get on with your life. Today my youngest child becomes an adult as he celebrates his 21st birthday. I look at my ‘baby’ and wonder where the time has gone. Like any parent I can see how much potential is still in front of him and I hope he makes the most of it all. Then, like most parents, I realize that his birthday has also made me another year older. What am I doing about the potential of my future?
And being the end of the year, this is a great time for reflection, on many things, but the two that stand strongly for many of us right now are around fear and the future. Yet projecting fear into your potential and your future will zap any life and hope from it. It’s time for a new strategy.
Acknowledge your fears, they are a part of you, and then lay them aside. Spend your energy thinking about and working towards a goal or vision that you have created for your future.
Think about this - no matter how well known someone is, how rich, how competitive, or how creative they are, there is always some fear around what they are doing. Actors wiggle toes to relieve fear and speakers take deep breaths before heading to the podium. But they push through the fear.
Face your fears. Try small things that make you fearful to help you learn to manage your fear. If you are afraid of swimming, or always wanted to try painting, take a class. Afraid that exercise may make your pain worse, try swinging your arms, or circling your joints regularly. See how it feels. Afraid that you’ll write a book and it’ll be a failure? Try writing some short stories.
Just don’t let fear hold you down. All those famous and not so famous but successful people you see and hear about have all the same fears and the fear never stops. Those people, however, just march on past them. You can too.
Be persistent. You may have reflected in past years of what you accomplished, and thought about the potential of a new year, but then nothing changed. Plan again. Create a new vision and set your sights on a brighter future. As you grow in confidence it will be harder for fear to stop you as you take action, and easier to push past any anxious feelings you may have. Each baby step you take to leave fear in the background is a huge step toward a fearless future.
Nelson Mandela said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
You have enormous potential for 2013. Plan for it, work towards it, and stride past your fear whenever it shows up.
I’d love to hear what you are planning for the New Year.