Are you ready for a better life? Do you lack a life plan? Having trouble getting started?
What is it that’s holding you back?
Typically, what holds most people back from attaining what they really want is a lack of time, a lack of money or a lack of know-how. It’s sad really because solutions to those three road blocks are abundantly available. That being the case, what actually holds people back from striving for a better life (whatever that may be to them) is fear.
Fear comes in many shapes and sizes often disguised as something else such as a lack of money, time or know-how. I know this first hand because it took me over two years to complete my book Do Over when it had been 90% complete for over a year and a half of those two years. I used all three of the excuses above several times during the two years writing my book, but in hindsight I think I was really scared that nobody would want to read it.
I thank God that I was able to push through that fear (I’ll share with you in a minute how I did it) because I would have never received this uplifting e-mail from Anne W. of South Florida today. Anne took me up on my free offer of downloading Chapter 1 of Do Over, she gave it a read and here’s what she wrote (an excerpt):
“Thanks Matt. Just read the preface and CH 1. You hit all the right buttons and I can’t wait to read more. I applaud your charitable giving from the proceeds of the book. Nicely done.
Your material couldn’t have come at a better time. I am about to take a step backward to clear up some family business before moving on with life.”
“I’m starting a small biz to create income while in Florida and need all the help I can get to keep my head up and move forward!
Keep up the positive spirit and continued success to you Matt. Many thanks! Anne”
Anne’s comments of Do Over were my first from someone that I didn’t previously know. Now, I know it’s only the first chapter and I’m still a few weeks away from the book’s official release (September 15, 2010), but it feels like a good start! To think fear almost stopped me from completing Do Over seems so silly right now.
Through one of my mentors, I’ve come to know fear as exactly what it is 99.9% of the time: False Evidence Appearing Real. Although I can’t think of any fear I’ve experienced as being real, I’m sure there’s an exception, so I left the .1% open to satisfy that exception.
Because it deserves so much attention, I address fear in Do Over not once but twice. Fear is what stands between us and everything we want from life. It will throw you off your life plan everytime. Once you get a complete understanding that there’s nothing to fear but fear itself (it’s a shame this quote has become such a cliché because it’s one of the great truths), the world will magically begin to open up and present itself as your playground… and that better life will be yours.
I’m a big believer in the notion that we get what we focus on. You can focus on what you fear may happen, or you can focus on what you want to have happen. By acting on what you want to have happen, fear will disappear.
Conversely, inaction, indecision, and procrastination fertilize fear.
The complete mastery of fear may or may not be attainable, but the closer you get to being its master the easier your life plan gets to excecute – and for that reason alone, mastery of fear is worth pursuing. I have gotten to the point where as soon as I feel fear, I feel an opportunity for growth. Each and every time I have acknowledged fear and pushed through that fear, I have experienced amazing emotions of triumph. I have become more connected to fear in the sense that I recognize everything I want is just beyond it. Rewards lie just on the other side.
Knowing this, fear now inspires me into action. I can use fear as a tool. I can truly live life, and because I can… I love life.
You can do the same. Try this as a discipline. Whenever you are faced with something that scares you, acknowledge it, then do it. That’s the rule. I’m scared, now act. Don’t question it. Just do it. Put this discipline into action. And remember, hesitation only enlarges, magnifies, and intensifies the fear. Take action swiftly. Be decisive. Face your fears with action and you control your fears.
Undoubtedly, you will ask yourself after the fact, “What was I scared of?”
From that point forward you control that fear, and it will never stop you again. Some fears may have to be faced repeatedly before they entirely disappear, but they will disappear. We gain strength, courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to stare fear in the face. You must do that which you think you cannot.
I put together a video a while back of an exercise I use to put my fears into perspective. It’s amazing how it works. It has become a staple in my life plan. Feel free to give it a try as I promise it will remove whatever fear you’re currently facing that’s preventing you from enjoying YOUR better life.
Click here to view the video.