Sunday, September 24, 2017

Is Fear Holding You Back?



We are only born into this world with two natural fears. 

Any guesses on what those might be?

Death?

Taxes?

Public speaking?

Cheese?

Nope. It's not any of those. Most people have some fear of each of those, except for maybe cheese. A friend of mine is a clinical psychologist, and he had a client who was actually terrified of cheese. A life without cheese? Is that really any kind of life to live? Fortunately, he was able to help this poor soul overcome this fear.

The two natural fears we are actually born with are the fear of heights and the fear of loud sounds. That's it. All of the other fears we experience are later developments and not hard-wired into our DNA. In other words, fear is a choice. It is a function of the thoughts we choose. Sometimes (rarely) it is a helpful choice. But more often, it is a crippling choice.

The last couple of weeks all of our teachers have been working on developing personal goals and growth plans for this year. At times, I sense some people are reluctant to really commit to their own growth. Others are more willing to go out on a limb and take a risk.

I have to wonder if fear is a factor in the reluctance to be bold and audacious about our own growth and goals. Who wants to be mediocre? I don't think anyone really wants that. So why settle for something safe and small. Fear perhaps?

What are some fears that might hold us back? Adam Smith lists 10 fears in his book, The Bravest You: 

Fear of inadequacy
Fear of failure
Fear of uncertainty
Fear of failure
Fear of rejection
Fear of missing out
Fear of change
Fear of losing control
Fear of being judged
Fear of something bad happening

Fear has no favorites. We all have to face it. However, we don't have to submit to its crippling influence. In the video below, the words from the late Steve Jobs really bring perspective to fear and making the most of the time we have. The following phrases really jumped out at me.

"If you knew you were going to die today."

"Avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose."

"You are already naked."

"There is no reason not to follow your heart."



So consider this question, "If you had no fear what would you do?"

We all have the opportunity either run from our fears or to run toward our dreams. You have the opportunity for greatness. We all do. We are not intended to shrink away in this life and in the words of the poet Dylan Thomas "go gently into that good night."

Are you running from your fears? Or, are you running toward your dreams?

Be bold. Take risks.

You deserve it. And your kids deserve it too. 

At the end of the day, you will most likely regret the risks you didn't take and not the ones you did.

What risks are you taking this school year? How are you being bold in the pursuit of your dreams? Leave a comment below or respond on Facebook or Twitter. I want to hear from you.
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