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Reflections: Facing Our Fears

11/06/2011
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“These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world. Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reflections: Facing Our Fears... The Scream... let it out.

Is the world coming to an end again? I must have missed the latest memo because between the two prompts of the day – WP Daily Post: If you knew you were going to die in 20 days what would change? and RalphWaldoEmerson.me: Is fear holding you back from living your fullest life and being truly self expressed? – I have gotten enough pressing questions and a sense of urgency to get on with living and/or running with the wolves if that is what my quivering heart desires. We all have some degree of fear but I have to say that we are not always ruled by fear.

#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge. The #Trust30 Prompt: Is fear holding you back from living your fullest life and being truly self expressed? Put yourself in the shoes of the you who’s already lived your dream and write out the answers to the following: Is the insecurity you’re defending worth the dream you’ll never realize? or the love you’ll never venture? or the joy you’ll never feel? Will the blunder matter in 10 years? Or 10 weeks? Or 10 days? Or 10 minutes? Can you be happy being anything less than who you really are?

While some of us are paralyzed by fear and need courage to get out of bed, most of us get up and start the day with a hopeful heart and a determined will to face our fears and achieve our goals. There are things we hold back on, starting our own business for instance, because for practical reasons we don’t see the road for the tunnel; we have bills to pay and family obligations to handle. With adequate information and a clear vision, we can face our fears and do the thing we must do.

Is fear holding us back? Is 20 days going to make us act? I’ll say not entirely. Propriety, habits, family and cultural obligations, conditioning and the lack/presence of mentors/support structures underscore other important factors to consider when we look at why some are driven to achieve and others don’t bother. To accomplish our dreams, we need self effort, the benefit of an effective support system, and access to relevant, valuable information. No one succeeds alone; the idea of the self-made man is a fallacy. We need what I’d call our network of motivators. What do you think? More below…

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reflections: Facing Our Fears... Tiger bares his fangs in fear...

Is the insecurity you’re defending worth the dream you’ll never realize? or the love you’ll never venture? or the joy you’ll never feel? Will the blunder matter in 10 years? Or 10 weeks? Or 10 days? Or 10 minutes?  Time and questions aside, nothing matters if we don’t have a sense of purpose and a cadre of believers who encourage us to press on. Some of the most successful people I know are incredibly insecure but they still get up daily and face their public, their fans, and their calling because they must. We can work with our insecurities and still achieve our goals, but we must know what we are pursuing first. We must have a purpose; a clear goal. Our blunders will serve as lessons once we get past the initial fear of taking a position or a stand for what we believe matters to us.

“Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reflections: Facing Our Fears ... give up fear for Hotei, the god of happiness..

Can you be happy being anything less than who you really are? This is a good question but a rhetorical one for I can’t imagine anyone saying yes to the questioner; not even those who are living below their potential. Sometimes, out of necessity, we take on tasks or jobs that under-use our skills but most of us soon recognize that we are unhappy in those positions and seek other options. It is important to be clear about what gives us joy and fuels our passion because we will do our best work when we are feeling fulfilled and effectively challenged.

Fear can be a positive motivator when we use it to push ourselves to act/resolve conflicts, for instance, to avert financial ruin, job loss or eviction. The fear of losing our source of joy can motivate us to not settle on our laurels…  In the final analysis, maintaining our happiness is imperative and should never be negotiable. What are your thoughts? Do you know what your fundamental fears are? What do plan to do to end the terror? Do share! Thank you. 😉

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post:If you knew you were going to die in 20 days what would change? and RalphWaldoEmerson.me: Is fear holding you back from living your fullest life and being truly self expressed?

Positive Motivation Tip: Face the fear and live your life anyway.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Photo of The Scream by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, Tiger Fangs, and the Hotei, god of Happiness via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

38 Comments leave one →
  1. 12/06/2011 1:18 am

    I opt out of answer such – questions today but am glad I got to see what you had to write. The photo’s are great! I try to stay positive and live each day to the fullest. Fear can help motivate us, if we don’t want to be evicted we have to keep jobs. I agree.
    Today I got a free TV from someone which was a great thing. I have been sleeping on a couch over a year now and I need a bed next. I guess I will ask the universe to deliver me one. Great post.

    • 12/06/2011 1:37 am

      Thank you Jackie for your quick feedback…
      I wanted to write a short post but ended up with a bit more… Sometimes we have to accept what’s in front of us as we work towards what we truly want. Fear can motivate us to act and I’m glad you felt the same way… Congrats on the TV…
      Blessings for an increase in your abundance. 🙂

  2. 12/06/2011 3:49 am

    It is important to be clear about what gives us joy and fuels our passion because we will do our best work when we are feeling fulfilled and effectively challenged. This caught my attention. It’s like facing the mirror and the other side is talking to me, making me reflect of what’s important in my life. Since I turned 40, I’ve been evaluationg a lot of decisions that me and my wife had taken for the past 8 years. We had our fair share of mistakes and painful experiences. We chose goals that though maybe financially profitable doesn’t necessarily makes us happy. Should it be a life of quality or quantity? Is money everything? Or would you follow your inner most calling and leave the material world behind? There comes a point in your life that such a calling would knock so hard, you can no longer ignore it. I hope and pray that one day, God would give me the courage and the strenght to conquer my fear and just make a brave plunge and follow the passion within. I love this post. A true reflection of the fears and questions that all of us deal each day. The first step is acknowledging that it does exist. Brilliant post! Never fails to stir the mind as always.

    • 14/06/2011 2:43 am

      “There comes a point in your life that such a calling would knock so hard, you can no longer ignore it.” So true David! I read your comment and it touched me deeply. Thank you for sharing so honestly as most of us struggle with the same dilemma.
      We often do feel pulled to one thing but have obligations to another… It’s never easy. I believe that when the time fits, you will make that leap or not… we weigh what is before us and then decide. Blessings to you! TY! 🙂

  3. 12/06/2011 4:12 am

    “Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson) – frizztext feedack: Emerson liked skepticism vs. society and official administrations. sometimes necessary. but mostly we can be glad about the positive power of some societies (not all – would not like to live in China). mainly we can be glad about the great chance for humanity and freedom using the world wide web. I believe Emerson would be glad about that speedy informations not blocked by any societies, even if they try to work against freedom. Emerson would have some clear arguments against what is happening in Syria actually …

    • 14/06/2011 2:45 am

      I believe there is a lot of good in the world… Actually, I believe that it is the good that sustains the planet against evil, but we must all do our bit… Our positive acts reverberate too. TY! 🙂

  4. 12/06/2011 5:59 am

    thank you for inspiring me. I’ve set a link there to you;
    compliment for joining the Emerson tribute group: good topics there!

    • 14/06/2011 2:46 am

      Thank you for the shout out… I think i read it… Very lovely Frizztext. Hope your trip to Munich was productive. TY! 🙂

  5. 12/06/2011 9:20 am

    I guess I’d say we’re in a situation where fear did not hold us back – to buy this house that needs renovation from one end to the other, while living in the midst of it…to achieve our DIY dreams of making something beautiful of it.

    • 14/06/2011 2:47 am

      You have become fearless with that project. I am so impressed with you and hubby! Keep it up. TY! 🙂

  6. 12/06/2011 10:37 am

    Always asking the tough questions Eliz… My experience has been after taking a leap of faith and having good results we’re more apt to face down fear and try again.

    Thanks for the post!

    • 14/06/2011 3:10 am

      Thank you to Barb, I’ve followed your journey on your blog and you are one fearless lady… Keep those great stories coming. 🙂

  7. 12/06/2011 2:33 pm

    I was thinking the same thing, Elizabeth, when I saw the prompt. I’m so over the fascination, the speculation, the obsession. (Think of all the books and movies that play on the end of the world theme.) All we have is now — one chance to make the best of it. Tomorrow is promised to no one — a quote my mother used to use all the time — and we can’t change our yesterdays.
    The root of our fear is loss — but without losing, without changing, how do we grow?
    Fear tells us to follow a prescribed (safe) path, to toe the line, to stay on the straight and narrow, not to take risks. But I do believe it’s when we lose, when we change, when we get off the path, that we truly live. It’s the only way I know. It doesn’t make me rich but how much do I really need to feel happy and fulfilled? That’s the question.
    I’d like to see a prompt which asks something like, How much can you give up and still have a full life?
    Thanks, as usual, for a thought- provoking post.
    Happy Sunday!
    Marcia

    • 14/06/2011 3:12 am

      You said it so beautifully and thoughtfully that you gave me more material to chew over and write on… TY! 🙂

  8. 12/06/2011 5:11 pm

    Facing our fears head-on is the key to moving past them. It’s admitting our fears that takes some prodding and tweaking. Great Post ! Very thought provoking !!

    • 14/06/2011 3:15 am

      AMEN!!! Most of us just can’t bear to admit the fear… as if it’s an incurable trait…. a little fear goes a long way and is the difference between wise action and recklessness. TY! 😉

  9. 12/06/2011 5:25 pm

    * You must do the thing you think you cannot do. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

    * Freedom lies in being bold. Do one thing every day that scares you.

    * The greatest mistake we can make is to be continually fearing that we will make one. ~ Elbert Hubbard

    * Face your fears. Rise above your limitations.

    * Always remember, you don’t have to be what they want you to be. ~ Mohammed Ali

    Here’s to having the Courage to Be Free!

    • 14/06/2011 3:16 am

      Here’s to having the Courage to embrace our fear!
      Here’s to having the Courage to Be Free!
      TY Nancy! 😉

  10. 12/06/2011 6:20 pm

    Another great post! 🙂

  11. 12/06/2011 6:42 pm

    …nothing matters if we don’t have a sense of purpose

    So true! We have to set ourselves goals 🙂
    PiP

    • 14/06/2011 3:18 am

      We sure do, otherwise the rest won’t happen or make sense. TY Pip! 😉

  12. 12/06/2011 10:50 pm

    Hello, Elizabeth! I’m in the process of sorting out my response to the same prompt. Like many people, I know I won’t be happy living a life “less than”…in spite of my best, ongoing efforts, I struggle to reconcile many directions and responsibilities…and I am still working on Trust. When I read this prompt, I reacted physically…I felt shock and a little anxiety… but at the same time, determination, because I really want a direction or an answer – even a partial one. So…it’s a work in progress. My struggle is reconciling where I believe my purpose lies, and my “real” responsibilities.

    • 14/06/2011 3:22 am

      Thank you Elizabeth for echoing some of the anxiety I get around the prompts. The questions are forcing us to dig deeper and look at ourselves earnestly… the work can be done; it is our reluctance tor fear that takes time… We are all in progress.
      Thank you for stopping by my blog. I visited your blog and enjoyed your response to the prompt. TY! 🙂

  13. 13/06/2011 8:23 am

    Thanks Eliz. You have given me some food for thought: fears, dreams, will power, possibilities, reflections. Sometimes I forget, but when I do I let the scream out.
    It is very therapeutic to laugh out loud or scream out loud or do what matters enthusiastically. It works for when things are going good or when they seem to be going downhill. Smile and have a wonderful week.

    • 14/06/2011 3:24 am

      Yes they all matter and I was glad that the painting The Scream came to mind as the best option for the post… a great act of freeing our voices can help shake those frosted places….
      TY for your feedback! 🙂

  14. 14/06/2011 4:00 am

    I’m glad to see a sensible response to the prompt.

    I love that painting.

    • 16/06/2011 2:00 am

      Thank you Tilly… I love that one too… a fantastic piece! 🙂

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