Fear… Face it, or Run from it.

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Fear. Forget Everything And Retreat. This statement is what my counselor told me the first day I sat in my alcohol rehab meeting with him. This is what Fear meant to him. I heard him say it, but I didn’t understand the importance of it until I started to dig deep into my fears both personally and professionally. See to him when you fear something you forget about everything else and you retreat to what’s normal for you. This right here is where the issues can keep going, or they can end.

Fear. It’s the ultimate unknown. It’s the ultimate test of your character, your life, and your ability to move forward. Fear can beat you down; it can test your relationships, it can make or break your business, but most of all, it can define just who you are and willing to be. Fear.. an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat.

Fear for me as most people began in childhood. It was the fear of your parents and the consequences of your actions for doing something stupid. I got the soap in the mouth treatment, the belt to the ass, and well-grounded like many of us. Fear was established early to coincide with bad behavior. I remember setting the tire park on fire because any kid out there like me thought it was a great idea to lite leaves on fire inside a tire park. Boy, did I get it that night. I remember defying my father to come home from my girlfriends home early only to end up having him lay down the law.

Fear, It was installed in me early. But what about the other concerns. The fear of flying and the fear of not living up to expectations. I tried to avoid them at all costs. I didn’t fly, and I decided to be something I wasn’t and never would be just to prevent it. I know my parents meant to do what was best for me. I know they tried their best. Deep down, I knew I wasn’t going to be like my brothers. I was going to be completely different. But at the end of the day, Fear ruled me. It allowed me to make excuses, not live up to my true self, and it kept me from really being who I wanted to be.

So to keep this blog short ill fast forward. Fast forward to a couple of years ago. I married my wife. Yay me. Yay us. But with that brought new fears—the fear of being a good husband. Maybe we have kids. Fear of being a good father because, in my world, there is no better father in the world than my dad. How am I going to be as good a father as he was to me? It’s impossible. I began to drink heavily, as noted in other blog posts, and entered rehab. The fear that mounted during this time was intense. I was fearful I’d slip up and end up right where I started. The fear of not knowing where this new life of not drinking was going to take me and how I would be able to function now became an everyday thought for me. I had fears of what others would think of me, if they would accept me and if they would accept my apologies. Fear. It’s real.

Now I move to my professional life. I’m a single person appraisal shop. I have been that way for a long time. Business is great. Do I hire someone or no? If I hire them, then I am responsible for them. I now have to pay for them. I’m now responsible for them. Now I am fearful of being responsible for not only their work but teaching them the proper ways to perform appraisals. I expanded my presence in the profession and began to take on new roles, which started to create the fear of not living up to expectations. I got involved in a lawsuit that had me fearing retribution from the opposing party, fear that the lawsuit may not go the direction I want and get the outcome I wanted. FEAR. It’s the ultimate unknown.

As my life was taking shape over the past year, I remembered what my counselor told me and what fear meant. I wasn’t about to retreat and go back to old ways or allow fear to take over my life and dictate where it was going to go. I started to accomplish new things, I overcame specific worries, and that allowed me to move a step forward in the right direction. With each fear I overcame, a new sense of accomplishment would come over me, a new outlook on life, and business was created as well as new opportunities, and a much more confident person began to arise. The fears I had allowed to control me for so long began to disappear, thus allowing me to become more creative, more in tune with myself, and, most of all, It allowed me to start becoming the man I have always wanted to be.

Fear is Real. Fear is a mindset. Its an emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous or likely to cause pain or a threat. It will keep you down, It will keep you from pursuing things, and it will control you like nothing else. You have a choice to either take it on or continue to let it stir away in your mind. What’s the worst that can happen? You will either succeed, or you will fail. No matter what happens, the result will be beneficial as you will learn something either about yourself or the situation at hand. I took on some of my fears, head-on, and I succeeded. I took some on and failed. The ones I succeeded in are an afterthought. The ones I failed on are the ones I now need to work harder on. I have learned something significant, and that is, there will always be fear in my life. Every day brings on new situations and new challenges. With that, fears can arise. With every accomplishment and step forward, another fear will arise. It’s up to me to decide how I will let that new fear dictate my life.

Fear. Forget Everything And Retreat. Its a phrase forever embedded in my mind. Its one that has helped me face my fears and await the outcome, as there is no retreating. Can you overcome your fears? I believe so.

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