Expert’s Column: Harnessing the power of fear
“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world." - Buddha We live in an era that is defined by rapid change, increasing complexity and
“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” – Buddha
We live in an era that is defined by rapid change, increasing complexity and evolving consciousness. Against this backdrop, success has come to mean so much more than a healthy bank balance. The heroes of our time are no longer revered for just their fame and riches, but for their driving purpose, set of solid values and ability to lead with their heart and make a positive difference in the world.
However you define success, what all successful people share in common is their unyielding belief and commitment to change through innovation, personal transformation and self-leadership. Their stories inspire us because they show us what it means to dare greatly. As humans, our potential for happiness, creativity and fulfillment is far greater than we think. To realize this potential takes courage, and harnessing the power within ourselves to be greater than we are.
In a world of endless possibilities, it is understandable that we’ve become more fearful of uncertainty. Feeling afraid has become second nature and hard-wired into our brains to believe we are not good enough, not strong enough, not prepared enough. But change is about progress, not perfection, and knowing that there are no limits to what we can achieve. If we are committed to progress, then success is the inevitable outcome of our ability to accept uncertainty, lean into discomfort, and push the boundaries of what we believe is possible.
So how can we overcome fears that stand in our way to being more and doing more?
First, by accepting that fear is normal. The goal is not to eliminate fear but to harness its power to propel ourselves forward.
To feel fear in face of uncertainty is only human, but thoughts and ideas that are repeated over time eventually imprint themselves in our subconscious, fuelling mental patterns and behaviours that hinder us from embracing possibilities and daring greatly. Fear is hard-wired into our brains to protect us from danger by triggering a fight-or-flight response in certain situations. It is a built-in mechanism for protecting us from danger.
But there are two sides to every coin. The flip side of fear is that it hinders us from taking healthy risks, challenging our limits and pushing the boundaries of what we believe ourselves to be capable of. That is why when life throws us a curve ball, we’re often paralysed by the duality of fear – do we respond to the warning signals or do we challenge the self-limiting beliefs that undermine our true potential? It all comes down to making a choice.
“Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.” – Will Smith
The more we give into self-doubt, anxiety and procrastination, the more it becomes a habit and limiting force in our lives. To stop the habit of fear, we must first confront it and dig deep to uncover what it is we’re really afraid of. The aim is not to eliminate fear from our lives but to challenge its false assumptions and make fear become our ally.
We all share common fears – fear of failure, disappointment, judgment, or death. But fears are subjective, and if we can pause and listen to them, they can be the driving force to success. It comes down to perception and how this guides our beliefs, thoughts and actions. To feel fearful is to be human, but the question we must ask ourselves is: will fear be my enabler or inhibitor to greatness?
It is possible to un-learn fear. Instead of focusing on the things it shows us we’re afraid of, it also reveals the things you deeply care about. Fear can also be re-learned. Confronting our fears and building mental resilience helps us to discern real danger from our natural aversion to the unknown. Fear then, can be our key to success. Learning to incorporate healthy risks and challenges in our daily lives and equipping ourselves to embrace the unknown and thrive. When we can leverage fear in this way, it can become an impetus to achieve beyond what we think is possible. This is how we grow and realise our full potential.
At The Change School, we are committed to helping people become the greatest possible versions of themselves by cultivating the right mindset, habits and tools for success. At times of change and transition, fear is often our first stop. That is why we’ve designed our first 2017 retreat for anyone who is ready to face the fears that are standing in their way to greatness. Whether you fear failure, judgement, or disappointment, the journey to living fearlessly starts with deciding to move forward anyway.
Our How To Be Fearless retreat is a 5D/4N immersive experience set in the beautiful island of Koh Samui, Thailand in partnership with Lydia Lee, founder of Screw The Cubicle. If you’re ready to embark on a journey to fearlessness, this program is for you. Designed to get you out of your comfort zone and into the realm of no-holds-barred, you’ll learn to challenge your limits, breakthrough your boundaries and start living your Fearless Life by Design. Don’t just read it, experience it by booking your spot today: bit.ly/TCSprograminterest
The Change School is a holistic lifestyle and learning brand for anyone at a cross-roads or pivotal life stage. We create experiential events, retreats and products designed for conscious individuals and groups committed to continuous learning and growth. We believe, with the right tools, change can be a force for good.