May 05, 2014

Andrew Jobling: I'm Scared, You're Scared, We Are All Scared!


Have you ever looked at another person and thought to yourself, ‘I wish I had the same confidence and courage they have … why aren’t they scared like I am?’ Well, I’m about to let you in on a little secret about that seemingly ‘confident & courageous’ person … in fact about all (apparently) fearless people. They are just as scared as you are! The only difference is … they don’t let the fear stop them!

The only people that aren’t scared – yet – are babies. 

They are not scared about waking up the household or the neighbours at 2am. They are not scared about screeching until they get what they want … no matter how long it takes! They are not scared about what others will say if they poop their pants! They are not scared about failing when they try something new, like walking. They are not scared about fitting in socially. They are not scared about hurting themselves. They are not scared about losing their favourite dummy! Babies just inherently believe they will get whatever they want … but then what happens? 

They grow up!! They start to understand the conversations going on with them and around them. They begin to be influenced by their environment. They start to hear words & statements like; ‘no’, ‘you can’t’, don’t hurt yourself’, ‘that’s dangerous’, ‘be careful’, ‘you’ll never be able to …’ and so on. They begin to be influenced by TV, radio and media. They start to find out about crime, violence, death, failure, disappointment and fear.

Guess what happens next? This naïve little baby, who started out in life with an innocent belief that everything will be okay, starts getting poisoned & polluted by the environment.

This child, through observing the insecurities & fears of parents, siblings, family members, friends and the community starts to inherit fear. Over time and automatically, for no good reason at all, this child starts to become scared of … many things! This baby is you and every person on the planet!

Why are we so scared?!
There you have it … we are all scaredy cats!! We are all afraid of things we have no control over. We are all scared of things for, really, no good reason. We are all scared of things that we don’t even understand. I took my ferocious hounds out for a walk this morning … actually they are cute and fluffy and weight 12kg between them! I had to wonder why the small boy, I just walked passed, was so terrifed of them, even though they are clearly cute, friendly, harmless and were on a leash!

I, myself, am a classic, and totally unfounded, scaredy-cat … just like you! I am scared of what others will think about me … why, when I am actually a good person? Why do I care anyway? I am scared of making cold calls, yet I have never had a bad experience … apart from a ‘no’. I am scared of failing in business, when I have already had so much success. My fear is totally illogical … so is yours!

The first step to overcoming fear is to acknowledge it … simply accept that there are things you are scared of and that’s okay! Secondly understand and believe that fear is not just reserved for you, it is felt by every single person on the planet! Doesn’t that make you feel better? It sure did for me. When I realised that everyone else, no matter how confident, polished or fearless they seemed are scared about certain things, it made me feel better about myself. Now for the key to moving forward in your life and achieving the things you want …

Be scared, but act anyway!

It is common to look at successful or courageous people and wonder how they overcome fear. They don’t! They are just as scared as you and I, but they do what scares them anyway. I love this quote by writer Ambrose Redmoon; ‘Courage is not the the absense of fear, but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear!’

Do you get that? We are all scared, but that fear will only stop you if you don’t have a reason more important than that fear. Is the achievement of your goal more important than your fear of other peoples opinions? Is your desire to be successful in your business more important than the fear of picking up the phone?  Is finishing your book more important than the fear that no-one will read it? Is the feeling of success in the long term more important than succumbing to your fear right now? 

Ask yourself what is a stronger motivator ... the fear of short term discomfort or the fear of regret about not achieving your long term dreams? 

The answer to this question will determine how your life turns out.

 My advice this week is ... be a scaredy cat and do it anyway!!

With many thanks to Andrew Jobling.

Thanks to George or sending me this.

Top picture: 'The Scream' - A Painting by Edvard Munch