“Fear does not stop death. It stops life. And worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace.”Harold Vaughan
Fear is the state of mind that compels you to compromise freedom for security. Fear is the greatest manufacturer of mediocrity, and the largest factory for regret. Fear causes people to sacrifice thrill of living for the lull of surviving. Why? Because fear keeps you from living a life of faith, which holds you back from true joy and prosperity.
The Fear of Failure
“Losers use failure as an excuse to continue to fail; winners use failure as motivation to win. The biggest failures are the ones who view failure as ‘not an option’.”Gary Newell
The fear of failure fuels inaction. It creates doubt and hesitancy of making decisions that involves risk. It causes people to settle for comfort, which stunts personal growth. In fact, staying within your comfort zone likely regresses you as a person more than it leaves you stagnant.
For example, athletes train and workout. Their training and workouts are designed to stretch them beyond their comfort zone. Why? Because by placing themselves in discomfort, their strength and endurance grow, making them better athletes. The same can be applied to life. If you aren’t willing to get uncomfortable, and fail every once and a while, you’ll never grow.
Here’s the truth about failure. It’s all about your attitude towards it. Failure isn’t a destination; it’s a fork in the road. It brings you to the decision of whether you will grow or quit. If you embrace failure, you’ll grow. If you avoid failure, you’ll never do anything with your life, and on your death bed you’ll be full of regret. We never hear of those at the end of their lives talking about things they wish they hadn’t done, they usually talk about things they wish they had done. Don’t fear failure, fear regret. Avoid regret by being a person of action rather than inaction.
The same thing goes for people who need everything to be just right before they make a decision. When someone tells me that they’re waiting till they’ve got their ducks in a row, or they’re waiting for the “stars to align”; they are telling me that they’re overcome by the fear of failure. It’s a recipe for regret.
A great illustration for this is: you in a car on the way to the grocery store. If you wait till all the lights on the road between you and the store are green, you’ll never leave your driveway. Waiting till the perfect moment is procrastination, not patience. It’s not about whether or not you fail, it’s about how you respond to failure that determines your life’s outcome.
The Fear of Rejection
You are who you associate with. People naturally have a herd mentality, and they like doing what is popular rather than going against the grain. We all have that within us, because we don’t want to offend people and we don’t want to lose relationships with people that we are probably better off without.
In his book, The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy talks about crabs in a bucket. (I know that’s pretty random, but just bare with me). When multiple crabs are in a bucket, what is found is that if one attempts to escape the bucket, the rest of the crabs will pull him back down and tear him apart. They do it to discourage other crabs from making the same attempt. They discourage each other from being different then the rest, because if they can’t be free, neither can the one attempting to escape.
People do the same thing to each other. When someone else is doing something to better their lives, the person doing things differently is criticized. And if the peer pressure works, the person pursuing excellence rather than mediocrity will cave and be like the rest.
One thing I think you may come to realize, is that when everyone else is doing one thing, you’re better off doing the opposite.
People are the same way. I heard it called AAD, or Acceptance Addiction Disorder. Because people love to be accepted. That’s why peer pressure is so powerful. Here’s something to think about when you find yourself seeking the acceptance of others; evaluate who you’re seeking acceptance from. What kind of person are they? How do they live? What is it that you feel you have to do to gain their acceptance? You’ll find more often than not, that the people you seek acceptance from, aren’t worth having their stamp of approval.
One thing I know about microwaved food is that virtually everyone likes it, because it takes zero effort, and tastes good even though it’s likely to be really bad for you. Instead of living the life of a “microwaved” person, and seeking to be a people pleaser; seek to only associate those in your life who will make you a better person. If you have nobody in your life like that, then you need to change your friends. Why? Because your life, and your freedom of thought isn’t worth giving up for their approval.
Security Sacrifices Freedom
“The safest place in the world is prison. That’s why they call it maximum security.”Gary Newell
The cost of freedom is faith, but the cost of security is freedom. The founding fathers were safe under the rule of the British king, but they were not free. They could have settled to cave to herd mentality and relish in safety as they paid ridiculous and unfair taxes, but they didn’t. Instead the authors of America chose a different route. They chose to pursue liberty, and they valued their freedom above their own lives. Why? Because they knew that a life of compromise is not a life well lived. The original American patriots would rather have their life ended than to have their years stolen and wasted in the “status quo”.
What about you? Do you allow fear to consume you, causing you to pursue safety rather than seeking the thrill of liberty? When you choose security, you choose mediocrity and conformity. When you allow yourself to succumb to the fears of life, rather than facing your fears, you are choosing to simply exist. God designed mankind to be free. That’s why America became so prosperous faster than any other nation. The United States is a nation founded in liberty rather than fear. No reserve; no retreats; no regrets.