By Charles Alvarez , Contributor, the Price of Business Show. * Sponsored
Fear is, and always has been, the greatest enemy of mankind. When Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” he was saying that the emotion of fear, rather than the reality of what we fear, is what causes us anxiety, stress, and unhappiness.
When you develop the habit of courage and unshakable self- confidence, a whole new world of possibilities opens up for you. Just think—what would you dare to dream, or be, or do, if you weren’t afraid of anything in the whole world?
You Can Learn Anything You Need To Learn
Fortunately, the habit of courage can be learned just as any other success skill is learned. To do so, you need to go to work on yourself to conquer your fears, while simultaneously building up the kind of courage and confidence that will enable you to deal with the inevitable ups and downs of life unafraid.
Syndicated columnist Ann Landers wrote these words: “If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity, it would be this: Expect trouble as aninevitable part of life, and when it comes, hold your head high. Look it squarely in the eye, and say, ‘I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.’” This is the kind of attitude that leads to victory.
The Causes And Cures Of Fear
The starting point in overcoming fear and developing courage is, first of all, to look at the factors that predispose us toward being afraid.
As we know, the root source of fear is childhood conditioning, usually destructive criticism from one or both parents, that causes us to experience two types of fear. These are, first of all, the fear of failure, which causes us to think, “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t”; and second, the fear of rejection, which causes us to think, “I have to, I have to, I have to.”
Because of these fears, we become preoccupied with the fears of losing our money, or our time, or our emotional investment in a relationship. We become hypersensitive to the opinions and possible criticisms of others, sometimes to the point where we are afraid to do anything that anyone else might disapprove of. Our fears tend toparalyze us, holding us back from taking constructive action in the direction of our dreams and goals. We hesitate. We become indecisive. We procrastinate. We make excuses and find reasons to delay. And finally, we feel frustrated, caught in the double bind of, “I have to, but I can’t,” or, “I can’t, but I have to.”
Fear and Ignorance Go Together
Fear can be caused by ignorance. When we have limited information, we may be tense and insecure about the outcome of our actions. Ignorance causes us to fear change, to fear the unknown and to avoid trying anything new or different.
But the reverse is also true. The very act of gathering more information and experience in a particular area gives us more courage and confidence in that area. There are parts of your life where you have no fear at all because you have mastered that area, like driving a car, skiing or selling and managing. Because of your knowledge and experience, you feel completely capable of handling whatever happens. You have no fears.
Fatigue Doth Make Cowards of Us All
Another factor that causes fear is illness or fatigue. When we are tired or unwell, or when we are not physically fit, we are more predisposed to fear and doubt than when we are feeling healthy and happy and energetic.
Sometimes you can totally change your attitude toward yourself and your potential by getting a good night’s sleep, or taking a vacation long enough to completely recharge your mental and emotional batteries. Rest and relaxation build courage and confidence as much as any other factors.
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