Fear is an emotion that holds most people back from living the life they want to live. All of your fears result in limiting beliefs and eventually inaction, which means that you won’t move forward. Fear is a natural emotion for every human, it is completely normal that you feel it, but today, a lot of people are living in a constant state of fear. They see dangers and negative experiences in everything and it's the reason people end up unhappy and depressed.
But what if this fear that you have was something you could overcome? What if you could live a life where fear does not hold you back and where you have no limits?
This type of existence is possible only once you overcome your fears. In my opinion, the best and most specific guide for getting over your fears has been the book ‘The 50th Law’ by Robert Greene, co-written by 50 Cent.
50 Cent has been a street hustler, a world-famous rapper, and a film producer. In all of these endeavors, he used the principles of fearlessness outlined in this book. 50 Cent had to overcome his fears to be able to survive, you probably don’t have that problem. So like Robert says in the book:
“Fifty had to confront his fears; you must choose to.”
In this blog I’m going to talk about the first two chapters of the book, about intense realism and self-reliance. So if you’re ready to confront your fears, let’s begin…
1 See things for what they are - Intense Realism.
Life is perspective, and most people tend to adopt the perspective that they feel the most comfortable with. They see the world as having endless limits, dangers looming everywhere, or a place that doesn’t want them to thrive.
And they are correct, the world is absolutely what you make of it. If you believe that there are endless limits for you and what you can do, then you’ll always stop near those limits and never pass them. You’re in a kind of box that you’ve designed for yourself, in this box you have the tools to break out and get into another bigger box (your mind). Some people decide to grab this toolbox and extend their limits, so they do. Some people just sit inside of their box comfortably, too afraid of what might happen when they break out of their box and what might be in the next one, so they never break out.
The idea that everybody has his/her own truth has been a very popular school of thought lately, and I see why they make this point. They are partially correct, but in some important ways also very wrong.
Yes, life is perspective and reality is what you make of it, but what these people confuse is the concept of their own truth with their emotional response to things. People are seeing their truth as something their lizard brain sees, they tend to neglect the use of their prefrontal cortex, the place that does all the logical thinking.
What you get when you confuse the two, is that you only make emotional decisions and you see those as the objective reality, which they’re not. When you’re looking at things through the lens of your emotions, you’re not objective at all. Emotions cloud your judgment. You know very well that you shouldn’t make important decisions when you’re angry or upset, you know very well (or some people don’t) that emotions of depression or sadness tend to be fleeting, and that making a decision that will change your life is something that should be carefully considered, not emotionally or impulsively.
What you need to do is stop looking at the world through the lens of your emotions and feelings, and start seeing things for what they really are, objectively. You do this by losing all of the assumptions you have for reality, and starting to look at the world like everything’s a mystery (which it genuinely is).
Everyone already has set thought patterns for the people they meet and the circumstances they find themself in. That black man, you already have a stereotype ready for him and you judge him based on this stereotype even before you’ve interacted with him. That altercation at your job with your colleague, you judge that situation on the basis of other similar situations you’ve witnessed or experienced yourself, and you act according to what you think is best based on what happened in those previous circumstances.
What you need to understand is that not every circumstance is the same, and not every person is the same. Yes, you can stereotype people based on how they look and act, but don’t make this stereotype too rigid, use it as a method to better be able to predict behavior, instead of something you immediately judge others on.
You need to see every interaction with a new person as a totally mysterious one, you’ve made your predictions about the person through stereotyping, but you go into the conversation expecting anything. Your predictions aren't rigid and tight, they are fluid, and they can be challenged immediately when something doesn’t match up with your predictions, and you’re able to throw them away if you need to. Become more open, to new people, and new experiences. See every new thing you face as a mystery, something you are going to have to discover, not something that you already know, something you don’t know anything about yet, and are eager to learn about.
Another critical point is that most people don’t want to see reality for what it really is, but they prefer to look at it from what they wish it were, or what they would like it to be. This is a very naive way of thinking, but it happens to most people.
They see what they want to see in the world and don’t want to look at what is really happening. They look at reality through the lens of their fears, thoughts, and insecurities. This not abnormal at all, but you need to understand that this is not an objective way to look at the world.
In some instances, you just have to turn off your emotions, turn on your openness to new information, and try and see things for what they really are. Because the only way you’re ever going to be able to alter your reality, is by seeing it as it is and then working with what you see. If you try to work with a reality that is made up of your own perspective and emotions, and not on objective research and thought, you’ll quickly notice that nothing of notice will happen, and you’ll quickly run into problems and unforeseen circumstances. That is because you’re working in the real world, but with a method that can only be used in an imaginary world, and those two do not align.
However, there is a place for seeing reality as you like for your own advantage. Most people’s reality is clouded by the wrong emotions and perspectives. Their world is based on fear, insecurity, limits, and threats. This is a negative way of looking at the world and will result in a life of misery and insignificance.
What you can do, which has to be done carefully, is swap these negative emotions by which you view reality and replace them with positive emotions, such as opportunity, happiness, hope, and faith. By doing this, you can view every circumstance as something positive, something that is going to help you in life. You will also enjoy life a lot more because, instead of all the anxiety and fear that is eating away at you, you now feel peace and happiness. It’s all inside of your head, so start looking at the world more with positive emotions instead of negative ones and couple this with the openness of mind and curiosity that will lead to an objective view of reality. These two coupled together are a superpower.
“Men are men and life is life, and we must deal with them as they are; and if we want to change them, we must deal with them in the form in which they exist.” ~ Richard Wright
2 Make everything your own - Self-reliance.
As we said before, people live inside of a self-built box because of their belief systems. They think the world is full of limits for them, and so it is. A lot of these limits you impose on yourself stem from fear, the fear of doing something you don’t know is going to work, and the fear of failure. This keeps a lot of people in the same place for the rest of their lives: miserable, unhappy, and dependent.
We’re going to talk about the dangers of dependency now, and why being independent and self-reliant should be the goal. The road to independence however, is blocked by fear.
Most people are absolutely dependent on things or people outside of themselves, and they are willingly looking for this dependence. It stems from fear, the fear of having to fend for your own, having to deal with your problems yourself, and taking responsibility and taking matters into your own hands. It is a lot easier and a lot safer to just let other people take these responsibilities away from us, to let them deal with our problems, and trust them with our safety and prosperity. You look for your boss to help you with paying your living expenses and making sure that you can buy what you want, in exchange for the most valuable thing you have: time. You watch the news, hoping the government will fix some of the problems that have been plaguing your life, hoping that they’ll lower inflation and make things more affordable, or that they give you 2% more salary instead of 1% (like that would make a difference to your life). You are utterly dependent on people and instances outside yourself, and this is making you weak and vulnerable.
What happens when the government disappoints you again, and they increase the inflation some more without increasing your salary? What happens when your boss finds someone (or something) who can do the same work you do but better, faster, or cheaper?
When any of these things happen, you’re screwed. Your dependence on outside forces debilitates you. It makes you not in control of your life, which means you essentially do not have any freedom.
Freedom is not something you’re given, like we’re made to believe in the Western world, freedom is something you take, and only you can take it, no one is going to just give it to you. There are people in North Korea who are freer than you are, simply because they’ve decided that they are free and that they’re going to responsibility for their lives. They’ve decided that they are going to be independent and self-sufficient, as should you.
So what do you have to do to achieve this independence?
Well, first of all you need to lose the fear you have of being on your own. If you still believe that the easiness and comfort you experience from being dependent are preferable to absolute freedom and control over your own life, then you’re not going to get anywhere. Even if you try, you’re just going to fall back on that same old dependency and you’re back where you started. So you first need to realize that it is freedom and control over your life that is genuinely going to make you happy, and you need to crave this freedom and independence.
After this, it is important to become truly self-sufficient, for which there are innumerable paths you can take. But for now, I’ll give three generalized points that you can pay attention to, and you can specify them based on your life and your experiences:
Always keep learning, especially valuable and useable skills. (reclaim dead time)
This is about using everything as an opportunity to learn something new. We learn from our successes and our failures, some bigger than others. It’s important when you experience these things, that you analyze why you succeeded or failed, just knowing the fact you did is not enough. You need to learn from these experiences, and learn what you should and shouldn’t do the next time you’re in a similar situation.
Also learning from other people’s successes and failures is important, here applies the exact same thing: analyze what they did right and wrong, and think about how you can implement the things you’ve learned from them into your life.
In particular, you should learn skills that will make you independent and irreplaceable. Learn skills that everybody values and that you’re always going to need in life. Learn psychology, learn communication, learn marketing, and other things that people value. The skill(s) you pick are mostly based on what your inclination is. Every individual is different and everybody has different things that they are good at. Find what comes naturally to you, find your God-given gift. When you find that, exploit it to the max and never look back.
Never become dependent on someone who doesn’t care about you.
Most people make themselves dependent on the government or some corporation. The problem with that is, they don’t give a damn about you. They truly wouldn’t care if you lived or died, to them you’re just a number. And to these people you are giving up your entire life?
What you need to do to become truly independent is have as little as possible to do with these 'slave labor' institutions. Perhaps you can find a regular job at a company that does care about you (that would probably be because of the combination of your uniqueness and skills in the first place), that’s great. You should only do what makes you and the people around you happy, if you feel fulfilled in doing that, awesome.
But if you don’t, and you feel like a number at your company, and in the eyes of your government, then make sure you strive to become less and less dependent on them. You can do this by getting different income streams and making them have nothing to do with these institutions, or you could go the more direct route and cut your ties with them immediately, deciding to live on your own terms. In this case, you have to do what you believe is best, it will be a valuable experience either way.
Use your individuality to your advantage.
You are unique, there is no one in the 7 billion people that roam this world who is exactly like you. No one has had the same experiences, the same genetics, the same childhood, the same education, or the same interests as you. You are one of a kind, and you’re only going to experience true freedom when you figure this out for yourself.
You need to make use of this individuality of yours. Use your creativity and your uniqueness to carve a path for yourself in this world, a path only you could walk. True freedom is in your uniqueness, and making use of this to it's fullest potential.
Most people are not free, because they don’t see themselves as unique and in turn do not act like it. They act like a number, just another individual in an enormous crowd of people who all look and think the same. If you want to separate yourself from the herd, the only thing you need to do is listen to your own unique voice, it will tell you exactly what you should do. Once you find your individuality, you’ll find your freedom, and what is man, if he is not free?
“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that … imitation is suicide … that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson