OVERCOMING FEAR

Most people of African descent (i.e. Black folks) aren’t as successful as we could be, simply because fear is keeping us from taking action.

Whether it’s fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of our own people, fear of other people, or even fear of success, the end result is the same: we don’t take the risks necessary to make ourselves successful.

In actuality, this isn’t fear at all; it’s worry.

Fear is a natural signal that warns of impending great bodily harm or death. Fear is productive and life-saving. True fear is a gift that signals us in the presence of danger; and it is involuntary; it will come and get our attention if necessary.

Worry is the fear we manufacture; it is a choice. Worry is not a precaution; it is the opposite because it delays and discourages constructive action.

True fear and worry (unwarranted fears) may, at times, feel the same, but you can tell them apart. True fear is a gift that signals us in the presence of danger; thus, it will be based upon something you perceive in your environment or your circumstance. Unwarranted fear or worry will always be based upon something in your imagination or your memory.

There are five basic ways to overcome worry:

1. Increase Your Familiarity

The more you do something that scares you, the easier it becomes.  Take, for example, the common worry for writers: selling.  The only way to overcome this is to get out there and sell. Accept the fact that you will receive some rejections – maybe a lot of rejections before you get a sale; but how many sales will you make if you don’t get out there at all?

2. Rehearse Courage Mentally

When it comes to feelings, including worry, your brain cannot differentiate between what is real and what is imaginary. If you repeatedly rehearse something in your mind, while at the same time visualizing yourself as being calm, confident and collected, your behavior in the real world will imitate your imagination.

3. Reframe the Worry

Create a comparison in your mind that makes your worry seem trivial. For example: There are hundreds, maybe thousands of authors with half your talent and skill selling their books. Against that perspective, what have you got to be afraid of?

4. Reassociate the Worry

Have you ever been to an amusement park? If so, you probably paid a fair amount of money … for the privilege of being frightened out of your wits! Taking risks in business is, in fact, a lot like riding a roller coaster – except that you get to do some steering, so you’re actually a lot more in control. It turns out that worry you’re feeling isn’t really worry at all; it’s excitement! 

5. Make the Worry Useful

Although worry can be debilitating – when viewed from the right perspective – worry is actually just a call to action. If you’re afraid to ask for someone’s business, for example, it’s just your subconscious mind telling you that it’s getting close to the point where you need to ask for their business. Feel the worry, and then do it anyway.

Put the above techniques in your mental bag of tricks, and your worries – no matter what they are – will stop holding you back.


About Balogun

Balogun is the author of the bestselling Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within and screenwriter / producer / director of the films, A Single Link and Rite of Passage: Initiation. He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk – a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at http://chroniclesofharriet.com/. He is author of three novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the Urban Science Fiction saga, Redeemer; and the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika and contributing co-editor of two anthologies: Ki: Khanga: The Anthology and Steamfunk. At present, Balogun is directing and fight choreographing the Steamfunk feature film, Rite of Passage, which he wrote based on the short story, Rite of Passage, by author Milton Davis. He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk –a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at http://chroniclesofharriet.com/. He is author of three novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the science fiction gangster saga, Redeemer; and the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika. He is also co-creator of the soon-to-be-released role-playing game, Ki-Khanga™: The Sword & Soul RPG. Balogun is Master Instructor of the Afrikan Martial Arts Institute and Technical Director of Martial Ministries of America, a non-profit organization that serves at-risk youth. He is also a traditional African priest, actor and conflict resolution specialist, who works and lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife, his seven daughters and his son.

2 responses »

  1. Milton says:

    Very good words, Balogun!

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