Fear is a big obstacle. There are the day-to-day fears that come up for us. Fast traffic on the freeway. A tornado warning. A snake on our front porch. The fear of speaking up in a meeting. The fear we are going to get sick.
But then there are the really big ones. The ones that we all share together as humanity. The ones that are part of our deepest psyches. The three big ones are fear of separation (being alone); fear of failure (self-esteem); and fear of being good enough. These fears cripple us and keep us from being who we could otherwise be.
There are countless books, classes, seminars, and materials devoted to helping us overcome these fears. There are lists, practices, techniques, applications and many many more that are available for us to use as tools to help us overcome these fears. One could spend the rest of their lifetime focused on these. And...they do help. But...they can also be unhelpful. Why?
Because the very things we focus on become even larger for us. If we focus on our fear of snakes, then every time we take a walk or go out in the woods that thought, “My fear of snakes” will only get stronger because what we think about we strengthen. Many of the tools named above can help us overcome our fears but you have to be very careful not to fall into the trap of becoming even more of the very thing you are trying to rid yourself of in the first place.
Let’s say you are out for a walk in the woods. And that inevitable fear of a slithery reptile crosses your mind once again. It won’t work to say “I can’t wait to see a snake. I love them now.” Because you don’t like them and you are afraid of them. That is not being honest with yourself. The answer is in focusing your mind on something you do like. “I love the smell of the woods.” “I hear the birds singing.” “The flowers are so beautiful.” In other words, take your mind’s focus away from the fear to the things you love and find supportive. You focus your mind on something you DO LIKE or you DO FEEL GOOD ABOUT anytime a fear comes up.
I have found that when you do this your chances of running into a snake diminish. They really do! When I focus on the fear of snakes, I inevitably not only tread carefully and fearfully. I usually end up crossing paths with a snake. Why? Because we are more powerful than we can imagine. We can create and do create our realities! Our minds are so powerful we attract that to which we focus our attention, especially IF that attention is coupled by our emotion. And that emotion can be positive emotion or negative emotion. And most of our fears and the effects of our attraction are more critical than just a fear of snakes. So if we focus on the fear it only strengthens that fear.
So if you want to attract the things you love and don’t fear in your life you have to focus on those things that represent love for you. And focusing on the things you love is another way of staying focused on wholeness. That works for both our personal and professional lives!
David is the President and CEO of the MAX enterprise, having served in that capacity since its formation in 2001. He has forty plus years of leadership experience in the business and faith-based worlds, being an ordained minister, having been elected to the highest position in his denomination, and receiving numerous awards and recognition for his leadership in the insurance industry. He currently serves on numerous boards in the church and insurance sectors. His hobbies include hiking, biking, skiing and snowshoeing as well as being an avid reader. David and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, a son, and six grandchildren.