Someone once told me fear was a self-created lie. I paused and had to think about that twice before understanding what he meant. Throughout my life I have always fought fear with all my belief so that it never paralyzed me and I even fought fear when it mattered the least. When I was told that all fears were self-created lies, I started thinking that perhaps if I would have thought of them as such from the beginning, I wouldn’t have spent as much time trying to fight my very own for so long.
Fear paralyzes most of us but most of us have learned to overcome the most basic ones. You have heard me express before in the Third Circle Theory that FEAR is the common denominator for just about everyone, giving us all a measure of success by how quickly we overcome our own. I, myself, had many fears growing up that I learned to overcome very quickly, from fear of rejection to fear of failure. I even teach people how to overcome their fears but it wasn’t until recently that I analyzed someone else’s perspective on fear and that indeed the theory could hold true. Here is my take on why I agree that FEAR is a self-created illusion.
Fears are created out of two contexts: Lack of confidence and past experience. Lets define these two through some examples that perhaps can help you re-examine your very own fears and overcome them.
Most fears are derived by possibilities, which means that our minds engage in attempting to predict negative possibilities, rather than positive one. A simple and clear example is our visit to the dentist which often is looked at as a negative thing either due to the pain we believe we will experience or the bad news we will receive that we need to go back again. Based on our past experience, we have been hurt and therefore associate pain with dentistry and create a small fear for ourselves before it even becomes a reality. The same can be said about failure, we often fear it since in the past we have probably fallen more than we have strived and create this fear that the possibility is greater that we fall again. This new fear once more is far from real but rather a projection of our insecurities on a situation creating even more instability.
Lack of confidence plays a significant role in that same projection. We are more likely to project and hold on to a negative projection creating more fear rather than believe that the same situation could have a positive projection creating more hope instead. The fact that we disbelief in itself creates that enhanced fear which keeps us paralyzed. This is very common when we want to approach someone we find attractive. Think about how the majority of the world tries to think of ways to approach someone so they don’t get rejected when it hasn’t happened yet. Why not assume that the person we are going to approach is going to say yes rather than reject us. That confidence alone creates more a of chance for success rather than rejection. Once again the fear of rejection is not real, as it hasn’t happened yet.
If these two examples hold true, then just about everyone of our fears can be linked to our lack of confidence or our past experiences, which then means that perhaps none of our future fears of tomorrow are real, but rather self-created fabrications that are simply a projection of our negative outlook of the future.
This also now brings up the point that perhaps the idea of being afraid of failure is only a similar projection, rather than a possibility. So I guess my last question to you would be:
What would you do, if you knew you could never fail?