Does this sentence often bother you? Are you the one who spends a lot of time thinking on ‘What if….?’ before starting anything new? Do you often think of the negative aspect of life even if there are no valid reasons to do so? Do you avoid doing most of the things that you would otherwise have loved to do just because you felt “what if….?” What is this ‘What if…’ actually all about??
Let us see some examples of ‘What if…’
-My family may not like it
-I might fail
-People might mock at me
-I might be humiliated
-I may lose money
-My friends may disown me
-I may lose my reputation
-My limited potential might be the hindrance
So on and so forth…!
Did you observe something common in all the above ‘assumptions’? Yes, these all are assumptions only as these did not occur still…only You assumed that they might occur!
Did you notice something else too!
Did you notice the fear factor in all the above assumptions?
This is what is called as the fear of the unknown.
And this is true for most of us. It is a different thing that we all have apprehensions about many of the things in our life and it plays an important role in making decisions towards something that we intend to do or accomplish. But till we limit ourselves to the apprehensions level only, we are good. Apprehensions are a good indicator that will make you weigh all pros and cons before making the right decision. But when that apprehension turns into a fear, you lose the battle. You will not be in a position to take the right decision any more with that fear looming in your head. Rather, you will not be able to make any decision at all! And your status quo remains. You are stuck where you are; no progress made. Life goes on for you!
The important thing to understand here is that you have to come out of that Fear in your head. Unless and until you do that, it will be difficult for you to accomplish anything important in your life- both personal and professional. And believe me, it will not be an easy task for you to achieve that mental state- where the mind is free of Fear!
So, how does one achieve that state of mind? I will share something from my own life. I too had lots of fear as I was growing up. Moving from adolescence state to a young man and then to crossing my midlife, I was continuously faced with so many fears that many times I wondered if at all will I be leading a free and happy life devoid of all my fears? Then as I matured with age and experience, I slowly started taking risks; risks of attempting to give an attempt to all the things that I had some kind of fear attached to them. And I was not only astonished but was also pleasantly surprised to find that most of the fears that were associated with the activities that I attempted were mere fears only!
In practical life, they(the fears) just don’t exist! Yes, this is very true and based out of my own experience. And the things that I attempted ranged from taking on a new course at forty-five to starting a family during the same age, accepting a new job offer in a completely new domain to drawing boundaries in my relationships so that I maintain the sanctity of my own space. My belief in people enhanced to a level that now I give the benefit of the doubt to almost everyone with whom I interact. I don’t doubt people anymore. I have relinquished all fears in my mind and have attempted new initiatives in my professional career having ventured into the territories quite unknown to me in my professional life.
These are very few and some very basic examples though but the list is long…
Here is the Key; to begin with, attempt very small or not very significant fears of yours and keep repeating the action(your attempt) accumulating the small victories. After a point, you will have the confidence and the mental strength to attack your bigger fears. And slowly you will achieve bigger victories. You will be ready to take calculated risks in your life and will make significant progress.
And you know what? The biggest lesson for me in all this was:
People give a damn about you!
So, the biggest worry that we have in our mind ‘what people will say’ is so irrelevant and obnoxious.
And remember: On the other side of your FEAR….lies your SUCCESS!
C’mon, start attacking your ‘Fears’!