There is only one thing that is holding you and most other people back from reaching their goals and making your dreams a reality.
And that one thing is fear.
Fear is an emotion we all feel, it's part of our nature, but we can not let it control our lives.
We must not give in to our fears, we can’t become comfortable with them.
If we let this happen and we become comfortable with the fears we have, we will never push past those fears, and stay exactly where we are.
Growth is guarded by fear, and you're only going to get to the growth by beating your fears.
But there are ways to overcome fear and to not let it hold you back from doing what you want to do, or achieving what you want to achieve.
There are people who feel fear, just like you do, but they act in spite of it.
And what do we call these people? Brave.
Today we’re going to talk about fear and bravery, what fear is, and three ways you can use to overcome every fear.
What is fear?
To be able to overcome fear, we first need to understand what fear is, because most people (even I only recently discovered this) have no idea what fear actually is.
You just feel the emotion of fear and don’t think anything of it, but there is one word to describe where fear comes from, and when you hear it, it will sound pretty obvious.
So what is it?
Well, the only thing people actually fear, is the unknown, and what we most fear is the unknown negative outcomes that may happen.
For example, you’re afraid of starting up your own business. The things you fear are the things that might happen and mostly, the negative things that may happen.
'What if the business doesn’t work and nobody buys my products?'
'What if I lose all the money that I invested?'
'What will people think of me?'
These are all negatives that are unknown and unpredictable.
If you were certain that these things would happen (you probably wouldn’t do it but...) you wouldn’t feel any fear.
The fear is the unknown, the uncertain, the risk.
Now a way of looking at fear that I picked up from 50 Cent from his book, 'Hustle harder hustle smarter, is that most people are comfortable with their fears.
At first, this sounds strange because you think that your fears make you very uncomfortable. Well, they actually don’t, and 50 Cent explains exactly why that is.
Ask people if they are in a constant state of fear, and every person will say: "No of course not."
But this is a lie, people live in a constant state of fear and because of this, they constantly avoid the things they are afraid of and seek out the things that make them comfortable, which are the most certain and predictable things or things that have no negative uncertain outcomes.
This way, you are completely controlled by your fears. You limit your freedom of choice because you can not do the things that you perceive as risky or uncomfortable. This severely limits your options, and as a result, your freedom is impaired.
It is extremely important if you want to live a life worth living, to step out of your comfort zone and not let your fears control and narrow down all of your options.
This is the part where bravery comes in...
What is bravery?
Bravery or courage, is acting in spite of your fears. It is doing something you are afraid of despite you being afraid of it, doing the things you fear.
This is absolutely not about not feeling any fear, it is just acting in spite of it, doing what you fear whilst feeling fear.
Bravery is very scarce in today's society, mostly because it is a male trait and virtue, and because of the massive cowardice pandemic we face today. Through the declining rates of testosterone in males through our food consumption and lifestyle choices, and the systemized feminization most young men experience in schools or at home, truly brave men are hard to find, cowards have become a lot more common.
Nowadays, most of you don’t have the balls anymore to do something that you fear, society is holding you back from confronting your fears and growing as a result.
Now bravery is needed to just say what you believe.
This used to be normal, but because in our society everybody is walking on eggshells all the time and we can’t say anything anymore without offending someone, we don't say what we believe anymore, we just reiterate the common beliefs in the hope of not offending someone.
So today, bravery starts by saying what you believe, no matter what that is.
Just a tip, do think through what you believe and where it comes from, don’t go and have a strong emotional reaction to your beliefs without any arguments ready to defend it, and no reliable source that you got your information from. This way, you’re just a morron.
Say what you think, but analyze the validity of your beliefs first.
Why do we need bravery now?
Empires rise and fall, and with every empire, there is one thing that they all have in common that was the reason of their fall.
Most of us now think this comfort will last forever, that the Western empire is never going to fall, and that everything will stay the same.
After the first world war, they thought all wars would be totally over and that peace would last forever, and 20 years later WW2 broke out.
The saying: Nothing lasts forever is totally true.
People see this phenomenon occurring again and again and they will still say that everything will be fine and that the Western empire is here to stay, even though there are plenty of signs of a decline in every realm you could possibly imagine.
The gap between rich and poor
All of these are signs of a declining empire, an empire that is about to fall.
What happened to Rome is essentially: they got really big and after a long period of prosperity, they became decadent. The generations who lived through that prosperity became softer and softer because they didn't experience the hardship that the strong men who built the Roman empire had experienced in building it.
This generation became a generation of comfort, and a generation of weak men.
And as the saying goes, weak men create hard times.
And that’s exactly what they did, Rome fell, because they were too distracted with the theater and their comfortable lifestyles, and they lost all the bravery that the previous generations had and needed.
The Western empire is on a downfall for this exact reason.
Probably soon, another power will take over, and they will become the leading empire. That's just how it goes.
So what are we going to use bravery for?
Well, to try and save our current generation, because without people who are willing to stand up for what is right, we are hopelessly lost.
Nowadays there are serious consequences for saying things you believe via a large platform. You can get canceled for hate speech or misinformation (words that describe completely subjective phenomena because hate speech is totally subjective based on what you find hateful). With all of these sensitive people, nearly everything that is not politically correct and has not considered everybody's feelings is hateful to them.
So this requires a degree of bravery, to stand up against the establishment and say what you think is important for people to hear.
That's why bravery is so incredibly important.
Bravery is not something you can just do once, it has to be exercised every single day, or else you'll lose it.
It is like a muscle, the more you train it, the bigger and stronger it gets, but if you don’t exercise it for a year, you lose most of it.
The same goes for bravery, if you take brave actions every single day, you will get braver day by day, and acting brave will become easier for you.
Only exercising bravery twice a year won’t do you any good, make it a daily ritual.
So how do you overcome fear and become braver?
There are multiple things of viewing fear you can use to overcome fear and become braver.
These are 3 ways that have to be exercised every single day to strengthen your 'bravery' muscle.
Here they are...
Prepare yourself for what is coming, prepare for the things you fear, and have a contingency plan.
The only things you fear, are the things that are unknown and have the possibility of a bad outcome. So the more you know about a certain thing, the less unknown it becomes and the more confident you can be in your ability to deal with it, hence the less fear you'll feel.
The most important thing here is to prepare yourself for all of the possible worst outcomes you could think of: What are you going to do when things go bad?
If you already have a plan on what you are going to do when this or that bad thing happens and you’ve thought of almost everything, then what is there to be afraid of? If a bad thing happens, you know what to do, and you know you’ll be fine.
You'll have no reason anymore to be afraid.
Example: If you’re going to present to 200 people, I can guarantee you that you’ll feel less nervous, and less afraid if you have prepared your presentation endlessly to the point of perfection.
Prepare yourself to the point of perfection, turn the unknown into the known, and your fears will vanish.
2 See it as an adventure:
Life is full of things that are unknown and you will never be able to prepare yourself for everything. You’re always going to have to deal with unexpected circumstances, whether good or bad. So preparation won’t work in these cases. That is why you have to shift the way you view these unknown circumstances.
Instead of seeing those things as risky or fear-inducing, see them as an experience that is adventurous and is going to enrich your life.
Nerves can be interpreted in two ways because your body has the same physical response to these two things.
1 Fear, panic, or a feeling of wanting to get away, and something that is going to hold you back from taking action.
2 Excitement, something that is new, something that is letting you know that it's time to perform, time to do something big.
Your body feels the exact same physical response to these two phenomena: nervousness.
And the beautiful thing is that your feelings can be manipulated by how you perceive things. So by perceiving nervousness as excitement instead of fear, just by flipping a switch in your mind, you can destroy your fears and feel them only as something exciting.
Try flipping fear into something adventurous, something exciting, and you’ll actually have fun facing your fears, and as a bonus, you’ll see what you’re actually made of.
3 Take action:
The best way to destroy fear is to just take action, just do things. This is the case for multiple reasons.
Fear is the anticipation of something scary, not the thing itself, just as real joy lies in the desire to want things, not to have them.
This means, the longer you wait, the longer you will feel the fear, the more it will build up, the longer it will haunt you, and the longer you'll stay still.
By just taking action, you won’t have any anticipation of fear, because you’re already doing it. Then you'll also find out, the thing you were so afraid of, is actually not that scary.
Actually, most of the time it is actually extremely rewarding.
The important thing is that you just act, regardless of how you feel.
Afraid? Nervous? Anxious? Do it anyway.
The only way you’re going to overcome your fears is by doing the things you are actually afraid of. Do them anyway, and you’ll find out that what you feared wasn't as bad as it was in your mind.
“The three obstacles and four devils will invariably appear, and the wise will rejoice while the foolish will retreat.”