In one of my entrepreneurship classes this week a student related that his three-month old baby rolled over for the first time and how marvelous that was. This brought to mind how quickly and aggressively children strive to master their universe – rolling over, learning to walk, running, opening doors, on and on. I mentioned to my class that it is a marvel to observe how fearless most children approach this learning process and yet, we adults are actually quite fearful at taking on the unfamiliar.
We are really fearful creatures. We are afraid of the unknown, so we tend to avoid it if possible. We are afraid of making a mistake, of failing, of being rejected, of being hurt, of being ashamed, of looking stupid, of being found inadequate, ….of being exposed as a fraud.
I hate being fearful! I’M SICK AND TIRED AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!!
I have observed my own fears over the years in so many hard to explain situations. How do I explain to someone that for years I had a fear of using the telephone? Or going into a new place alone? Or meeting new people? Or fear of how people will respond to my voice?
Most people who know me would never imagine that these things would ever be found within me. But they do, even today. Now, I’ve made great strides in confronting them over the years and have learned to rule many of these fears. But I sense their presence and have to be alert to their desire to thwart my liberty and bring me into bondage.
Whenever I have a task on my list for a few days and it is not getting worked off, I have to ask myself as to why this is. I always can rationalize why things don’t get done in any given day, and rarely do I get everything done on my list to begin with. But, it will likely be that phone call or that visit to a new prospect’s place that is usually the item remaining on the list.
When I take on the items on a list that I naturally resist, then I sense victory in that day – it is liberating somehow. If I don’t, I’m irritated a bit, and not satisfied with the day, even if a number of things were accomplished. The bigger the fear I avoided, the bigger the dissatisfaction I feel.
Interestingly, the name Kermit means ‘free man,’ from Gaelic origins. If I had only heard that in my youth, what a fantastic identity it could have fostered. Instead, Kermit was more of a burden – muppets and all, mixed with a very fragile self-concept.
I want to attack my fears, immediately and forcefully. Not allow them to linger and taunt me. I know they will crumble as they are really rooted in my imagination, which has given them power to hinder me from being that liberated man I seek.
A quote attributed to Franklin Roosevelt, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," seems lofty enough until one realizes that fear is sufficient to thwart our liberty, our potential, our possibilities.
About the Author: Master Hobbit