How Fear is Sucking your Life dry and Robbing you from your Potential
Fear can be so bitter. It feels like a giant noose tightly wrapped around your neck that is choking you. It keeps blinding you not letting any bubbles out.
However, the interesting thing is that no one is actually choking us.
Yes, we’re strangling ourselves and we don’t even seem to realize it. And if we do we’re too afraid to confront that fact.
We let fear get the best of us in almost every situation.
The vast majority of us are not in wars. We’re not dodging bullets daily and constantly fearing for our lives. We don’t live in the jungle or in war zones like Syria, Iraq and Venezuela.
Those people are very fearful, and no one can blame them.
One careless mistake or not being vigilant and they could be dead or have their families wiped out.
The threat of terrorism is ever looming. Manchester bombings in the UK, the 9/11 World Trade Center fiasco in the US still scars many.
The mistake though is that we associate these fears to the rest of our lives. We don’t feel like working out. We have technology, luxury and comfort to take all our worries away (temporarily at least). Platforms are at our fingertips to binge on that are unlawfully good at addicting us.
Life just seems so nice and easy.
When it’s time to make any jump and wholeheartedly try do anything that requires effort, we hesitate. We stammer.
We quit and very often don’t even try.
Like the experiment by renowned psychologist Martin Seligman where dogs were shocked in a cage to the extent they didn’t want to jump out even if it was wide open, we get burnt out.
We constantly see others do and achieve the things we're afraid of, thought of before.
We know we can and should be doing of and still think it isn’t for us.
Instead we think that we’re not good enough, we’re not deserving.
In a time, where there so many freaking amazing free resources out there, we still come up with world-class excuses.
You tell me how rational is that? Tell me it’s not your problem? Tell me it’s not self-imposed!
In the case of violence, it keeps us alive. And that’s a good thing. But in every other circumstance, it strangles your potential.
So this begs the question:
How does fear hold us back?
Let’s dive even deeper
Conditioning of the media
The news is available to us at the push of a button, a notification or your thumb-scroll.
We want it as soon as it comes out and don’t have to wait anymore.
The news is like a drug rush. A sniff of cocaine we just cannot live without.
Even the negative stories, which is mostly reported because it gets your attention, feels exciting. The bad thing here is that it trains us to think poorly of ourselves. We begin to believe everything we do or will do is wrong.
I cannot do anything well because this celebrity and my friend does it so well in my Instagram and Facebook feed. I should not bother trying.
This is subtle, I Know. Some of may even be tempted to disagree. But let me ask you look at your own life. Is there something big you’re putting off right now, you totally can but just too afraid to do?
Then ask, why.
Lack of Focus
The terrible junk food that decorates supermarket aisles and kitchen cupboards.
The instant gratification of social media and binge apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (this may even anger some) to dating apps like Tinder and Christian Mingle that make hookups and casual sex a text and phone call away.
We don’t have to wait for anything and if so, just switch service providers. When we do sit down to focus, it feels impossible. Like we’re being pricked all over.
But it is this concentration we need to get anywhere in life.
Not only that but we want to be able to deliver average results, yet still believe we deserve a job. Those with jobs think they deserve more money, some even six-figure salaries.
But the real question employers like myself ask is what do you really bring to the table?
You need skills to live and you’ll get replaced by someone that’ll do the job cheaper, better or even by a machine.
Quit the justifying. It doesn’t matter what the opinions of technologists, politicians and gurus are, artificially intelligent machines will replace your job. And that’s already happening lightning fast.
Look in Japan where machines replace waiters at restaurants, most first world countries are quickly replacing bank tellers will self-serving kiosks or online apps that provide personalized expert recommendations.
Almost every profession that involves manual labor is on the hook and in the US 60% of current jobs are forecasted to be replaced by 2030.
Your skillset simply matters way more that the number of hours you’re willing to put in. To get reasonably good at anything you must focus on command. I don’t think you need more convincing.
Conditioning of negative people
Such harsh circumstances and a lack of awareness causes many people to be bitter about lives. The shortcomings, stress and failed dreams is just too much to take in.
Suicide rates around the world is high and the disparity between the rich and middle-class is growing wider by the year.
This is a big reason most people love the escape.
They live for weekends and anything that feels so damn good in the moment.
Hey, I’ll be the first to admit we all like to indulge sometimes. But are you doing it to cover something else up?
Sadly, you even see this with parents in how they raise and treat their kids. Bitter, physically and verbally snapping at the slight misdoing of their children.
Am I making you feel uncomfortable? It may not be you, but I know you’ve seen this. And I’m not beating on parents though because it is not always their fault.
Women (and sometimes men too) who lash out at their spouses just because they feel like it. Employees who underpay, blatantly mistreat and disrespect their employees just because they know they can replace them easily.
Most people are chronically stressed out and it really holds you back.
It impedes you from doing and being your best because you’re focused on all this other stuff and often don’t even realize it. It can even be repressed childhood trauma.
When you’re doing well and striving, all the gossip, hate and complaining is like junk food.
Conditioning of broke people
Money doesn’t grow on trees. A penny saved is a penny earned. Save your way to success. Go to college, get a real education and you’ll be successful.
These are sayings we’ve all heard and a lot of us still use today. The point is they are not true. Far from it. I’ll delve deeper into this in another article.
The point is we’ve all been financially misinformed. And if you doubt me not to knock on teachers (I was one myself) but most of them and college professors who teach make or have very little money.
The average individual in the US makes under $50,000 per year. 78% of American workers live paycheck to paycheck. 63% of individuals have only $500 in savings to cover an emergency. Financial illiteracy and misinformation is everywhere.
And parents and teachers can only teach what they know. That is not to look down on anyone, but the point is to mirror the truth in your face.
I know this sounds harsh and may even piss some of you off. I love my parents and teachers too and please don’t feel bitter and resentful towards them.
It’s not their fault. Just be thankful you now know better.
This is linked to some of the others but still deserves its own point.
We never feel like we’re good enough to do anything whether it’s a new profession, trade or skillset. And a lot of this is normal. It happens to the very best of us.
The real issue is that others let it stop them and don’t even try. And even when they do others shame them for it.
Some people are just negative and can’t wait to put you down just to make themselves feel good. Friends do this when they’re secretly envious. Even people you may look up to may be guilty of this at times.
Your endeavors may not benefit them and despite your very commendable efforts, they either ignore or shun you.
People are naturally egotistical and selfish so I’m not going give you permission to complain here.
You must just be aware of energy vampires around you and don’t let them sabotage your dreams and what you work so hard for.
Select those whom you take constructive advice wisely. Most importantly make sure you surround yourself with positive people.
None of us are perfect and infallible.
However, you simply must understand the ways you are held back from being the best person you can be and achieving massive success (whatever that looks like for you).
All people and influences are not made equal even with those we love and hold dearly.
On your journey to live an amazing life there will be roadblocks and that’s not a bad thing.
You need them to deepen your knowledge, experience and to truly appreciate your success.
But you still need to do you the utmost to minimize and avoid the roadblocks and pitfalls that you can.
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