“Fear is the tool of a man-made devil. Self-confident faith in one’s self is both the man-made weapon which defeats this devil and the man-made tool which builds a triumphant life. And it is more than that. It is a link to the irresistible forces of the universe which stand behind a man who does not believe in failure and defeat as being anything but temporary experiences.”
Last week the result of my second book collaboration, “The Only Business Book, You’ll Ever Need”, was released and instantly became a best seller on Amazon. So just the other day, my sweet wife, who always shows me great support and encouragement asked if she could post it on Facebook. “Hmmm”, I pondered, “I’m not so sure. Perhaps if you then make sure to edit who can see it”. My wife asked; “why so?” with a surprised look.
Well, here it is. Confessions of a man who wishes to seem ever so confident in himself. The truth is that I actually didn’t want anybody that I knew personally as a friend to know much about this, about the book or about my efforts in these activities. So I wanted my wife to make sure the post in Facebook would exclude visibility for all our personal friends.“Why?”, you ask. Well, truth is out of fear. Out of fear of what they might say. Out of fear that they might think: Who is he to think he has got anything to say about anything? What does he think he knows that is so special? What makes him so special? Out of fear they might actually get the book and find in their opinion that my reveals and insights did not appeal to them or carry little value in their eyes.
Wow! I got to think about this a little further. This is just terrible. Terrible, how we have a tendency to keep ourselves down. To tell ourselves, how little we matter and how little our opinions count. How we down-tread ourselves! We hold ourselves down and hinder our growth and even more detrimentally our potential.
I say we, for I’m under the impression that a lot of us do this. Not just me, but probably most of us. Why is it that we don’t give ourselves the time of day? Why is it that we have a tendency to zap ourselves down, even when others around us actually often tend to support our endeavors and perhaps even pat our shoulders? The editors even awarded me winner of Editor’s Choice for my contribution to the book and yet, I still had this incredibly fear of anybody that I actually knew would see it or even worse, read the book.
Well, no more. I’ve got to break out of this mold and stop telling myself that I’m not good enough. I have suffered too long and I have suffered the consequences too long for carrying this mindset. And I haven’t even been too terrible, for I’ve shown confidence and at times taken bold steps and implemented great actions, and I have sometimes enjoyed great rewards and successes from it and sometimes paid dearly for my failed projects. But it has been a better ride and so much more rewarding on a personal level and has helped me grow into a person so much more valuable to be around.
I’ve long carried around with the lie that stated “I’m not good enough!” Yes, I feel I had some rough times during my childhood and adolescence and often felt I had to fight for receiving recognition and support, but frankly it probably doesn’t compare much with so many other people’s background. People who have done far better than me and people who are an inspiration to others, and people by same token as my feelings possibly must have had even more so a voice telling themselves: ” I’m not good enough”.
First time I heard others speak about I’m not good enough I got so surprised at hearing someone else utter the words and simultaneously got really excited with the feeling: Yes, that’s it! That’s exactly how I feel. Wow, you feel that too? I had no idea. I had no idea, just how common this is.
As indicated by one of my previous sentences above, I used to believe my strong sense of not feeling good enough were remnants of childhood memories and episodes and although even minor neglects or oversights from early stages of childhood can give life long influences, it is, I believe, ultimately our own responsibility as we grow older to break out of that groove or line of thought and emotion that keeps us stuck in such a place. I call the condition playing the Blame Game. In other words it is part of the situation in which we blame someone else for our state of mind and thus for what holds us back. I shall probably be speaking about the Blame Game in a future endeavor in greater detail, but I’m certain that many readers of this message here may recognize what I’m talking about. I’m an expert on playing the Blame Game. I played the Blame Game most of my life, I’m afraid. Actually the light did not really go up for me before just about 6 months ago. Well, better late than never. No particular episode made way for the light to turn on in my brain, but I guess I was finally ready to accept things in another fashion. Accept responsibility for myself and for my emotional state. When the student is ready the teacher will appear as they say. Well, I guess, this student was finally ready.
Wow, what a release that actually brought about. All of a sudden you’re not only taking responsibility for your emotions and your potential, which also means you accept that the reason you didn’t get farther or got greater results for yourself yet was your own fault and of no fault of anybody else, but you’re actually also empowering yourself immensely at the same time. You empower yourself to a point where you realize that you really have a great potential and that you really can go places you only dreamt about previously – and you realize that it is really just up to yourself. You also take away the power of others, a power that you yourself had given them (of course you didn’t realize that at the time or during the time of suffering), a power with which they (supposedly) were masters of your potential, your abilities and not least your emotions and happiness.
But this article here was not really supposed to be about the Blame Game, but about the fear of putting ourselves in the spot light for others to see and the fear of being judged by our peers, friends, family and strangers. So while this condition could have its roots in our childhood, it could very likely alternatively be caused by other parts of our DNA. Indeed part of the reason we have this tendency may be because of our Amygdala, our limbic system and our reptilian brain more than any childhood associations or other stories we may have or tell ourselves. The Amygdala is the part in our brain that is involved in the processing of emotions such as fear, anger and pleasure. The Amygdala constantly scans for danger. It has our safety at heart and keeps a constant look out for us in order to secure our survival. Now, that’s may be great back in the day when we were living on the plains with wild animals potentially eying us as a food source, but it does little good for us in a huge variety of areas in our modern day lives. In fact this effect may very often stand in our way of our own progress and potential growth. It is probably the reason why most people cite the fear of public speaking being their worst fear, indeed ranking this fear higher than fear of death.
So I appreciate that my brain, my Amygdala, my limbic system and my reptilian brain are all looking out for me, but I want to move forward and that means move through uncomfort and find the courage to be bold. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the ability to overcome fear and take action. Courage is the ability to feel the fear and do it anyway. The best way to deal with fear is to confront it — to do the thing that you fear. As you move towards your fear, the fear tends to become smaller. More often than not, the fear is worse than the thing that is feared.
When speaking with a friend of mine about my concerns of family and friends potentially discovering my book, my friend said a great thing to me about how he had thought when he had made his book(s) and if anyone would actually have some negative or belittling remarks, attitudes or thoughts about it. He said his comments to such a person would be:
“I just think, it’s better than the book you didn’t write!”
Ha, I loved this comment. How very true. I think I shall remind myself of this little line whenever I will put myself out there in the spot light where everybody can see me and where the critics may soon flock in in drones ready to push me down or at least my fears might think so and I shall be thinking “It’s better than the book your didn’t write!” and I shall push on forward and muster even greater strength and force and I shall dare to be bolder and bolder. Watch out world – here I come.
Fear can make you very resourceful. It heightens the senses. It provides the energy you need to confront whatever it is you fear. When you decide to use your fear, rather than fear it, it does indeed become very useful. Have the courage to ask what you want from life, and to take the actions that will bring it to you. Find a reason to act that is greater than your fear. Realize that fear is natural and useful. Use the energy it provides to do what needs to be done.
The devil: “You ask me what would happen? I’ll tell you what would happen. People would learn the greatest of all truths – that the time they spend in fearing something would, if reversed, give them all they want in the material world and save them from me after death. Isn’t that worth thinking about?” (Napoleon Hill)
What are you holding yourself down with? What lies are you telling yourself? Isn’t it time to move past those fears? Have the courage to be bold. What’s your potential?