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Sunday, July 31, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

Facing fear

You have probably heard several times from several sources that fear is the number one obstacle keeping people from achieving their goals. Overcoming fear they say is the number one step on the path to making massive and meaningful changes in your life.

The secret to fulfillment we hear, is to confront your fears and defeat them, and as we do this we open the doors to unlimited possibilities. I don't think this is a very useful way of thinking. For one thing, is it really true that we are afraid of our own progress? Is it a deep seeded fear in our minds that makes it more compelling to watch American Idol than work on our business plan?

Even if it really was fear that blocks us, what does it mean to face your fear? How do you do that, outside of the usual advice to just not be afraid anymore since there's really nothing to be afraid of?

While I think there are certain aspects of fear that leads to inability to achieve things we want, I think there are far more crippling forces in play. Fear manifest itself in feelings that sounds like "What will others think of me doing this?" and "What if I fail and lose some money?".

These kinds of thoughts are based in fear but they are also quite easy to defeat. You can always work using a pseudonym or use other tricks to stay anonymous if that is what you prefer. You can develop a plan where you don't risk anything more than your initial investments, and then work to finance that investment, and so on. For every possible obstacle of this nature, there are concrete steps to take to overcome them.

But what happens when you face situations where you know what you need to do, but you can't find a way to make yourself do it? When you know you need to get out and walk for an hour if you want to be on track for your weight loss goal, but you just can't find the will to? In these situations it is not fear that is keeping us from action. In the same way, it is not that we are afraid that makes us skip doing the dishes. It is lack of motivation, or just plain laziness.

Fortunately there is a wonder medicine when we face this kind of challenge. The way to fight inaction is through action. That's it. When you find yourself stuck in a situation where you should be doing something, but find all sorts of excuses to do nothing instead, make a conscious effort to take action. It doesn't even have to be action related to what you want to be doing, just do something.

If you are dreading your evening jog, don't sit around watching TV and eat ice cream while running up guilty feelings. Instead, get up and take out the trash or empty the dishwasher or something similar. Getting off the couch and doing a physical activity will snap you out of the mental rut that keeps you from going on that walk. Chances are once you've finished one simple chore, you will be motivated to get going on your run.

Sometimes, even the smallest action pushing you towards your goal will be enough. If the thought of going out for a run is overwhelming, resolve instead to go put on your running shoes and sweats. This extremely simple action will make the mental barrier for going on a run a lot smaller.

Action is powerful no matter what you are trying to achieve. If you are having trouble getting started with writing, the absolutely best way to deal with it is to just start writing anyway. The mechanical act of typing or writing will force your mind to the idea of writing and you will automatically start coming up with ideas for what you want to write.

The same is true for anything you want to accomplish. The mechanical motion of an action will focus your mind instantly at that task. It is not possible to perform an action without your mind also focusing on that activity.

I encourage you to experiment with this concept right now. Chores around the house makes for an excellent testing ground. Pick a chore you really dislike doing and have been putting off. Without giving it another thought, resolve to get up and start the work the chore requires. I guarantee that you will soon find yourself focused on that chore and will have a much easier time finishing it than if you spend days putting the work of.



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