Understanding may unlock your potential.
My friend recently read me a paragraph from A World Without Fear by John Jones. In the book, Jones describes the experience of being chased by a tiger. To paraphrase his point, the tiger is 10 seconds behind you and you’re running for your life. Ultimately you’re not afraid of the tiger, you’re afraid of what that tiger might do when she eats you for dinner in 10 seconds. Jones argues there is a distinct and valuable difference here. If we understand that we are afraid of what is going to happen in the future and not the actual moment, that may also apply to our normal lives, situations and fears.
Are we afraid of the job interview or the possible rejection that may or may not happen, in the future? Are we afraid of the woman/man that we want to ask on the date or are we afraid of what may or may not happen as a result of our asking? Are we afraid to move ahead with our latest piece of artwork, book, blog post, business, etc.? Usually none of the above. The answer, if we’re being completely honest with ourselves, lies in our own mind and this possible outcome that we’ve imagined. The actual thing we’re working on, or person we need to engage is not the problem. It is our own mind that creates a problem based on a project of a very possible unrealized future.
So how do we deal with these false realities? Especially when they can hold us back from our true potential. Well, one way is to continue to suffer. Human beings are incredibly resilient and we can convince ourselves of just about anything. If you don’t believe me, look around. We believe it’s okay to suffer, we believe it’s okay to hurt others, we believe it’s okay to be homeless, and on and on. Yes, I know that some people are mentally incapable of doing otherwise, but far more are capable of change. I’m interested in helping those people find that extra push to bust through the fear. I do believe that most of us can find the distinction in our fears and find our true potential. So, the other way is to move through the fear.
None of us really know what our true potential is. It lies in our minds and our imaginations, but then needs to have a myriad of circumstances and coincide in order for that potential to come to fruition. If we allow our fear to conquer our motivation, we know the result. We get to keep the life we have. The imagined fear wins. We stay in our little box and never venture outside. And that may very well be fine for some people, not for me.
And I’m hoping not for you either. If you’re anything like me, you’re looking to push the limits of your own being. You’re looking to push through your fears to see what’s on the other side. You’re looking to create a reality beyond your imagination. It starts with finding the fear, moving toward it and breaking through.
So if it’s your next blog post, your next business idea, or your next book, do what an old guru once said, “Look fear in the face and it will cease to trouble you.” I’m happy to give you a little push if you need one. Find me @teddymcdonald