In my last blog, ‘Are you your own worst enemy?’, I stated that fear was the third reason for you being your own worst enemy.
Why does fear make me my own worst enemy?
It’s because you tell yourself a story about what happened to you in the past, and this tale – NOT THE REALITY,- keeps you fearful of taking action in the present. Fear acts as a brake and stops you moving forward.
I read somewhere, that we teach others, or share details of the very things that we ourselves need to learn. So let me tell you about the fear that was holding me back unnecessarily, and how it continued to run my life. And all because of a story related to a chapter in my life that I firmly believed for a long time was true.
Ive been a qualified driver for a little over 23 years and in all this time, I could not and would not attempt to drive on the motorway once it started to get dark, however, I’ve always been quite happy to tackle its difficulties and dangers in the daylight. So for years – 23 to be precise – I held onto the belief (my ‘story’) that I could not drive on the motorway at night. My reason for telling myself this tale was that my eyesight wasn’t good enough because I wear glasses!
Sounds silly, doesn’t it? Well, it gets worse, I made that story up simply because I was afraid of driving on the motorway at night. Because of my fear, I imagined all sorts of things to keep my story alive. I would imagine crashing because I couldn’t see hazard, or that I wouldn’t be able to keep in my lane. My imagination ran wild with all sorts of improbable stories and scenarios, which I invented purely so that I wouldn’t have to face my fear and drive on the motorway at night.
My fear was so bad that, on occasions when I was driving with my partner and it began to get dark, I would panic and ask him to take the wheel. Basically, I was always able to find a way – a fiction with its foundations in my fear – to get out of driving on the motorway when it started to get dark. Until this weekend.
It’s amazing how fear becomes less and less important when it stands between you and something you really want –, and I really wanted to attend some training which was being held in a city 125 miles away from my home. As far as I was concerned, nothing was stopping me from going – except the thought that I would have to drive back just as it was getting dark, at around 5.30pm.
When I started contemplating attending the training, I realised I had lost out on a number of other training dates because of my fear of driving on the motorway at night. I wanted to attend this training so much, I decided that nothing was going to stop me from going this time – not even the thought of driving back on the motorway when it was dark without my partner in the passenger seat (until dusk, anyway!). So off I went! I drove there and back, thinking about the reality of the enlightening training rather than the darkness lit up by my headlights.
And I did this not once, but twice, on both Saturday and Sunday, without mishap!
And it was pitch dark and raining heavily all the way home on the Saturday!
And, what’s more, I’ve been able to repeat this feat without fear or incident on many occasions ever since.
Imagine a fear that had held me back most of my driving years, gone in a weekend! The REALITY of a night time motorway trip drove away the fear caused by a story I’d made up – FOREVER!
Fear is connected to limiting beliefs, and these in turn are connected to our inner state of mind. Has fear been holding YOU back unnecessarily?
If so, use the following questions to help you do a little self-analysis:
- What are you thinking and believing about yourself that is holding you in fear? Can you see the REALITY when you do this?
- What are you visualising about your situation that is keeping you in fear?
- What have you been doing to confront or get past your fears? If nothing, what WILL you do?
My Case Study
- I had been telling myself a story for years that was not factual by citing my eyesight as the reason or excuse for not driving on the motorway in the dark. The REALITY (as we all know) is that glasses correct vision!
- I visualised having accidents on a dark motorway, which only created greater fear . I did nothing to approach or move through my fear because I was able to avoid it all together – I could get my partner to do the driving. Transferring responsibility to him perpetuated my fear and kept me afraid.
- Taking the wheel for a 250 mile round trip (twice!) for a rewarding training event showed me that belief in achieving a positive and much-desired outcome (attending training) will always beat the negative feeling (fear) caused by an imagined event that never happens in REALITY – the story
Can you now see how FEAR really does mean:
False Evidence Appearing Real – The story that is the source of your fear seeming to you to be reality, when it is only an illusion.
Finding Excuses And Reasons – You looking for ways not to tackle a situation, person or issue you fear, so never confronting it and moving past it (like you might overtake a car on a midnight motorway, without a second thought 🙂
Make fear healthy – get it to motivate, rather than dominate!
Combine peace in your mind with action in your body when you confront your fear.
FIND EQUILIBRIUM AND RELAX!
I hope I have given you food for thought and added a little value to your day!
Please leave some feedback – your thoughts and comments are always welcomed.
If like me, you’ve talked yourself out of doing things you want to do because of fear, but now you want to get past your fears, your negative beliefs and story.
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