Stop Being Afraid of Being Afraid
Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.
Do you often think about doing something different or implementing a new idea only to allow fear to stop you dead in your tracks without giving the opportunity a try? Do you frequently conjure up a list of reasons to be inactive, why you shouldn’t try or can’t accomplish something?
All too often we build roadblocks to personal and professional success because we allow fear to be a governing force in our life.
Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing for the second time, an incredibly inspiring man, Sean Swarner, who went beyond the bounds of being human and not only faced his fears, but conquered them!
In his teen years, Sean was diagnosed two times with different, unrelated end-stage cancers, and each time he was not expected to live for more than a few weeks. He underwent rigorous treatment, which included the removal of one lung. Throughout his ordeal, Sean wasn’t sure if he would live and he wondered about the future quality of his life. He astounded the medical community when he survived both diseases. But, he didn’t just survive, he emerged stronger than anyone could have imagined!
With an iron will, Sean wanted his life to be a testament to the power of the human spirit so he decided to make it his mission to offer hope to cancer patients.
One would think surviving the diagnosis would be enough, but not for Sean. He chose to encourage people by challenging himself beyond what most of us can comprehend; he redefined what is possible! According to Sean, if he could survive cancer, he could do anything!
At first he climbed Mount Everest and became the first cancer survivor to stand on top of the mountain. Then he asked himself, “Why stop there?” He has since climbed the seven summits of the world, skied to the north and south poles, and completed the Hawaii Ironman.
Sean could have chosen to live his life in fear, but instead he understood that fear is nothing more than a mindset, a perception, False Evidence Appearing Real, and as such, we have the power to eliminate it.
Sean’s story has forced me to re-evaluate my life and the limits I have placed upon myself. When I become fearful or self doubt sets in, I remind myself that if man like Sean could survive two death sentences and go on to achieve the unimaginable, then anything is possible!
So, the next time you’re faced with an overwhelming challenge, an opportunity to try something new, or the chance to step out of your comfort zone, take some time to evaluate the driving force behind your fear. Is it a “real” consideration or something that you have created in your mind? Make a list of your concerns and attack them one by one. Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that can happen?” (btw…it usually doesn’t). Muster up the courage and take a chance. It isn’t the end result that matters … it’s the journey. You may just surprise yourself.
Isn’t it time to stop being afraid of being afraid?