Is Fear Killing Your Dreams?
By: Dayo Olomu
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face...You must do the thing you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962).
When I came to live in England in 1996, I was shocked to discover that a crook had already hijacked my birth certificate and used it to collect my National Insurance card, credit card, and even opened a bank account. I also discovered I was purportedly married. Everywhere I went, I was told somebody was bearing my name. At a stage the authorities did not know who the real Dayo Olomu was. Fear hit me in the face and it nearly killed my dream. Though it took me two years to sort everything out but I resolved that fear will not kill my dream. Today the rest is history.
FEAR is an ancient topic in the history of human race. It is enough to make one sick. It causes some people a constant and gnawing pain in the pit of the stomach. Others drink more or smoke more because of fear. It has killed many dreams and ruined several careers than all other causes combined. The number one killer of our dreams at work and at home is fear.
The longer I live, the more I realize that fear is the worst enemy of the human species. And it's been with us since the beginning. The Holy Bible, Torah and Koran spoke exhaustively about fear.
In fact, it seems the older we get the more prone we are to allowing fear to control our lives and destroy our dreams.
Stop and think about it. Most children are fearless unless an adult has already instilled fear in them. Teenagers and even young adults continue to display mostly courageous attitudes. But as we grow, we become more fearful. Perhaps we realize there is a lot at stake at that point. Any mistake could be life-changing. We should gradually become more fearless with age because wisdom, which usually comes with age, makes us more apt to see the truth in a situation.
That fear is a myth, a creation of a weak mind, is illustrated by this acronym: FEAR- False Evidence Appearing Real.
I have many friends who were once seemingly fearless super-achievers; however, having reached their middle ages they have become more fearful that the quality of their lives have significantly suffered. They have surrendered their dreams and, literally their life to some type of fear - fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of change, fear of success, fear of making decisions, fear of responsibility, and/or fear of commitment. It is fear, and all of its cousins (such as worry, anxiety, depression, and self-doubt), that will turn your dream of success into a chilling nightmare that haunts you into psychological paralysis.
Often people say to me, 'I can't afford to pursue my dream because I don't have enough money.' I ask them how much they need to pursue such dreams. Usually the answer is, 'I don't know, but I know I don't have enough.' The same with time. Are you complaining that you don't have the time to pursue your dreams or that you are busy, while never actually scheduling an hour to see how you might break your dream into smaller projects? Jim Rohn, America's foremost business Philosopher once said: "Don't mistake movement for achievement. It's easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: busy doing what?"
Reiterating his words, Vic Johnson, founder of AsAManThinketh.net said "Fear can be defeated because fear is a learned response in the first place. It's said that we were only born with two fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Every other fear you have was learned!"
One of the greatest ways to conquer fear and keep our dream alive is to use our faith. To use the words of Professor Tam David-West, Nigeria's former Petroleum Minister in an interview he granted to Nigeria's ThisDay Newspaper on July 20, 1997, "Be not afraid. Hold on to your Faith with the buoyant hope and divine assurance that all will be well." Personally, I find solace in the scripture which says "God has not given us the spirit of fear but the spirit of love, power and a sound mind." Moreover, the word 'fear not' is recorded 365 times in the Bible, which means that everyday, there is one to use.
I am a believer in the philosophy of the mountain climbers who say, "I will climb the mountain. They have told me it's too high, it's too far, it's too steep, it's too rocky, and it's too difficult. But it's my mountain. I will climb it. You'll soon see me waving from the top or you'll never see me, because unless I reach the peak, I'm not coming back." Who can argue with such resolve? Jim Rohn once said: "When confronted with such iron-will determination, I can see time, fate and circumstances calling a hasty conference and deciding, 'we might as well let him have his dream.' He's said he's going to get there or die trying."
One thing you must never allow fear to do is to stop you from achieving your dream. Never stop until all your dreams come true. Remember, obstacles and fear are the things you see when your eyes are off the target.
Dayo Olomu is a UK-based Motivational Speaker, Writer, Business/Life Coach, Trainer, Media Entrepreneur and Competent Toastmaster. His core belief is that we are all endowed with seeds of greatness, and his mission is to help individuals and organisations achieve their full potentials. He is the author of best selling "4 Indispensable Strategies for Success" and the President of Croydon Communicators Toastmasters.