We are born into this world with two fears; fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Every other fear has been learnt.
The good news is anything learnt can be unlearnt. What I have found from my own experience is, behind a fear can lie an opportunity for growth.
Recently a young lady asked me for advice, she worked in an office, it was a well-paid job, but she was unhappy and needed a change but did not know what she could do. I have changed her name at her request.
Explaining this principle, that we can sometimes learn more from our fears than staying in our comfort zone. I asked Olivia to think of a fear she had overcome that made her a stronger person
She was very open to the idea if I believed that it would help.
After some thought, Olivia revealed to me that one of her first jobs was in a major high street clothes shop; a weekend job to help her through college. The job mainly involved getting the clothes ready for sale; tagged, priced, etc.
She picked the job because she didn’t feel confident being on the floor dealing with customers, and the thought of working on the tills was something she dreaded.
Then one Friday evening after she finished her shift, management informed her they were very short staffed for Saturday and needed her on tills. Saturday being one of the busiest days of the week, Olivia panicked.
‘Well, I went straight home and curled up in a ball.” She said, “Fear had gripped me; my mind was quickly filled with doubt.”
She went on to tell me that, thoughts like, what if I make a mistake, what if others laugh at me, what if I forget to remove the security tags, tormented her.
The more questions she asked, the bigger the problem became. Within hours Olivia told me she had stomach pains. She couldn’t eat and found it hard to sleep. Even though it was her worse fear, she knew that it was something she had to do.
That Saturday someone shadowed her for most of the day, which helped her greatly. Olivia explained, “I was slow, I was clumsy, I made mistakes, but it was expected of me.”
Olivia was then told she would be on the floor on a more regular basis. Over the next few weeks and months, her confidence grew; although she still did not like being on the floor alone.
By the time she left college, Olivia was one of the best till operators in the shop. She could greet the customer, talk to the customer, neatly fold everything into the bag, quicker than everyone else.
It got to the point where she was chosen to go on tills when they wanted the queue down quickly while still maintaining excellent customer service.
Then Olivia’s eyes lit up, I could see ideas were dancing in her head.
“I enjoy communicating and helping people face to face. You have been so helpful, thank you,” she said emotionally.
I reminded her that I had done nothing, she had only become aware of a talent that she possessed.
I share this story today to highlight a point. Behind your greatest fear could be your ultimate skill. Maybe like Olivia you have already discovered it but cast it to one side.
Whatever your fear, unless you confront it; you will never know what’s on the other side.
It could be success, love or happiness.
Beyond your fears is a world you may never know; part of you that you will never know exists, part of you which could offer so much to the world.
Overcoming fear builds confidence and faith; it expands your character allowing you to grow.
Now I’m not trying to fool you that it will be easy. No no no, it will be one of the hardest things that you have ever done in your life.
And, you will make mistakes.
But over time you will get better. The thing that you once feared will actually become enjoyable, so enjoyable that one day you will tell a story that will make you realize how far you have progressed.
How much you have achieved.
You will have the realization that conquering one fear opened the door to a new world, and your life grew at such an alarming rate that the initial fear almost seems ridiculous.
You will also know if you had shied away from it, you would be living such a different life.
My challenge for you today is to face one of your fears. This may seem like a daunting task, so I will make it easy for you.
Pick something small, something you keep putting off. It could be as simple as making a phone call or signing up for a class or course.
Whatever it is, make a decision to confront it today.
Action creates momentum.
Simple changes have a way of leading to significant results.
Have a fantastic week
Rev J Martin