Written 9th April, 2020. By Rohilesh R. Singh
If you know yourself, and you know your enemy, you need not fear a thousand battles.
- Sun Tzu, Chinese Military Strategist
2020 has changed the world forever! In only a handful of days, our world has transformed into the reality where our generation got the wake up call we most needed, that our freedom can no longer be taken for granted! You and I can lose our liberty within days. It certainly made many of us realise that we are grateful for our country, our health system. For me it was another reminder to love everyday, to make every day count. To love the people in my life with everything I have. I cherish the courage to follow my calling on earth and serve leaders to better their minds and lives. When we were all locked away in isolation, I saw people yearning for our old reality. Movie theatres, eating at restaurants and people watching at the local park fast become memories in the newly protected realm.
Many of us are embracing what we can in our new norm, or at least we are trying to. Unfortunately, the reality for some is that all of this change is scary, unpredictable and worrying. In the dark of night when everything is silent, thoughts creep in of 'will we ever go back to normal?', 'What happens next?', and 'where do we go to from here?' What will the new normal look like?
Dealing with such strict barriers of isolation, in particular, can be difficult and at times frustrating and outright scary, especially for you go-getters, the socially inclined and those of you who have taken your freedoms for granted. Learning to stay on task, focused and work towards your goals of success can get overwhelming when there is so much noise around you. And staying on task will be the difference between those that succeed in life, and those that drift from one thing to another.
Even before this pandemic emerged, in my book Rise Warrior Rise, I talk about how 'our environment has been designed in such a way to bring about anxieties and worries, and have you constantly caught up in the chase of the highs and lows of life, and that you must consciously rise above fear, lust, and anger which are designed to drag you down'.
Let's understand fear. What is the definition of fear?
According to psychologists, fear is a natural, powerful and primitive human emotion that involves a chemical response within the body (essentially the fight or flight response), which is coupled with a strong emotional response.
And how does this end up manifesting in your life and impact on your goals?
Well, fear is the number one barrier to success. Fear makes you timid and weak and erodes self-confidence, which is essential to living a thriving life.
Fear kills more dreams than anything else because it stops you from moving forward with enthusiasm to attack your goals.
Fear just makes you turn around in circles, doesn't it? We can all recall a time when we felt fearful, and instead of pursuing the task at hand, you were immobilized or likely diverted into another direction in pursuit of a lesser quick win. Fear of the unknown and failing can cripple you, at times stopping you before you even begin your pursuit.
Too many dreams people die with regrets because of fear. Fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, fear of failure. Do not be this person. Do not let fear rule your life. We have very limited time on this earth to navigate our dreams and live the life that we want. Putting our limited resources and time to worthy causes, without the distraction of fear, will allow you steady determination to attack your goals and achieve them with no regrets.
I always tell the students and young professionals that I mentor about a study done, in Australia, by Bronnie Ware (a palliative nurse). She chronicled in her study the 'Top 5 Regrets of the Dying' and the number 1 regret was 'I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself. Not the life others expected of me'. I boil this down to fear. These individuals had lived their lives to others' expectations, in fear of being rejected, failing, not actually taking the steps necessary for themselves to say 'hey, I am worthy enough and I have wants and needs of my own to satisfy my life's purpose'. Learning to become fearless will allow you to live with no regrets and die satisfied and fulfilled.
Fear limits your ability to see things clearly, it clouds your ability to be decisive, to do your duty and to live your purpose and find your why. You lose all ability to sustain focus. Fear drains your energy, and it makes you anxious as your breathing becomes shallow. The rationality of thought disappears and your fight or flight response takes over as your stress levels increase.
Manipulation, suspicion, timidness, and even bullying are some of the major bad effects that could reflect in your thinking and behaviour due to fear. Any time anyone confides in me that they have been bullied by a colleague or a classmate, I always ask that person 'well, what were they fearful of?' If fear were to disappear for that person, they would become more kind and compassionate towards themselves and others, making the environment much more pleasing to everyone around them.
Right here right now, make a commitment to yourself to no longer be this person and to recognise when and if fear enters into your life.
What are some ways we can overcome fear? How can we overcome fear and what can you do to turn fear into serenity to become fearness?
Fearlessness opens the door for you to live beyond the everyday material trappings that bind you to work for a living and frees you to do extraordinary things with your life - this can only happen when you are free from fear.
Think about our everyday trappings. Most of us wake up, check our mobile phones for our overnight messages and updates, and quickly get onto our work laptops to tackle work and school pressures. There is this innate fear of missing out (#fomo) that exists when we are checking our messages, as well as fear of not addressing messages and those that have reached out. We fear the rejection we may face if we are not always on.
To invoke fearlessness in you, start by removing all thoughts of gain and loss and ‘go all in’, carry out your duty in life without wanting or longing for anything. Meditate on knowing that all will be ok in your life and live assured everything good will come to you at the right time. I know this sounds like really hard work, but do trust me when I say if you make it intentional and remind yourself of this every single day, then any fear that may have existed directly or indirectly in your life will start to disappear. Your life will start to be focused, intentional, calm and serene. No longer will noise, conflict or worse still anger cloud your life and work and you will start to work to enjoy the journey, and not always working towards the end result and the end gain.
This will free you from selfish attachments. Attachments bind you to people and things - basically material things, and have you chasing to no end.
This is how most anxieties and worries arise - always chasing. Most people, when you ask them, do not know what they are truly chasing and even when they reach their perceived goal, they will continue to chase.
This freedom from fear is what the greatest of successes is built on. This is the secret that you need to prioritize in order to continue your pursuit of success in life. Success naturally follows the fearless.
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
- Muhammed Ali
In this video I share with you above, I address fear, how to become fearless and talk with the legendary author Robert Greene, 6 times international bestseller and author of the 48 Laws of Power. Robert Greene speaks to me about how he saw the rapper 50 Cent, in the time they spent together on his book 50th Law embodying fearlessness to build a mega empire for himself. Robert Greene likens 50 Cent as the 'Napoleon Bonaparte' of Hip-hop, how great of a strategist 50 Cent is and how nice of a guy he truly is.
Becoming Fearless ultimately takes re-wiring the brain. You must commit yourself on this journey and intentionally work on this until it becomes habitual. You too can and must become fearless to reap the benefits. Everything worthy always takes effort, and so I ask that you be patient with yourself and work every day in this pursuit. If you find yourself pursuing the money, fame, accolades - remind yourself of your mission. Why did you start on this journey and goal in the first place? Reaffirm your passions and pursuits and you will start to intentionally become fearless and successful.
Having strong faith in yourself and a higher power will give you the will to succeed and rid your life of fear. The process of surrendering is a great form of counsel with your deepest self, who only operates from a position of truth. It infuses you with a great degree of faith that makes you persist in the face of all obstacles to do the right thing - the result of which is that you start to live a deeply meaningful life. The process allows you to see what is real and burns all selfish desires; with surrending, fear and anxieties go. Immediately upon surrendering the fruits of your actions and working to your duty instead of just working for the end result, you become infused with the peace of what is real - the now. When you operate in this peaceful calm, you have found real success and you are able to perform at your top peak level. After all, there is no happiness in life without peace and there is no peace without surrendering to all that is good in you.
As restrictions start to ease in our new normal, you will need to have a change management plan for yourself and your life's journey in what direction you wish to take, and a plan to get there. Becoming fearless is just a part of that plan, albeit a big part. Learning to love yourself and 'Finding your why' along the way to ultimate serenity will become critical on your path to self-realisation and success in these times.
I wish you all the best and do let me know any thoughts you may have.
Contact me at [email protected]
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