Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free. –Jim Morrison
If you want success in life, you have to overcome your fears. Unless and until you take risks, you can’t shed your inhibitions. You cannot let fear rule your life. The person who has never taken any risks in life because of fear has limited himself from every great achievement he was capable of achieving. Fear is another name of restricting your abilities to reach its highest potential.
Like every other person, I also had plenty of fears in my life, some of which I have successfully overcome and some of which I am trying to conquer every single day. In order to conquer fear, first I had to tell myself repeatedly that the biggest enemy that I have in this world is none other than my fear. I cannot let my enemy defeat me each day, which is leaving me restricted in a certain boundary and crippling my abilities slowly yet steadily.
Today when I look back in life, I feel happy about all the risks that I took. Some of the risks did not yield results but they taught me valuable lessons whereas some risks made me a winner. In both the cases, I was successful in shedding my fear and inhibitions. I can remember two incidents clearly when I took a risk, conquered my fear and emerged victorious.
During my high school days, I was quite introvert and shy. I had a tremendous stage fear. I was afraid of socializing with people and addressing a large audience was something I was extremely scared of. The mere thought of it used to give me jitters. I used to tell myself everyday that I have to get rid of this fear or else I would always be a loser my entire life. I was determined that I would not take this attitude of mine to my college.
I remember that when I was in the first year of college, we had a seminar on a topic associated with Microbiology (Well, that was my honors subject). The topic was most probably about AIDS as it was the 1st of December (World AIDS day).
One of the participants of the seminar who was from my class was absent. Since my class performance was good, my faculty pleaded me to speak for a few minutes on the topic so that the gap of the participant who was absent could be filled. I was numb for a minute as I knew the intensity of my stage fear but I did not want to show them how scared I was. I had never dared to participate in any event in my entire high school life and here, I am told to give an impromptu speech in a seminar about AIDS. I heaved a sigh and closed my eyes for a few seconds.
I remembered how I promised myself that I won’t take my stage-fearing attitude to my college life. It was not a speech that I had to give in a seminar filled with thousands of students and plenty of teachers. It was a challenging moment for me where I had to prove myself to my own self. I assumed that the entire audience sitting in the seminar hall has converted to statues. I put on a faint confident smile on my lips and started speaking about all I knew about the topic. I spoke non-stop without caring anything about the world and when I stopped, I was greeted with the welcoming sound of claps. That day, in fact in those few minutes in the year 2008, my life changed as I conquered one of the biggest fears of my life.
After that day, I had given plenty of speeches at seminars and in my book launches. I have been part of so many cultural functions where I sang, danced, debated confidently. The stage fear or the fear of so many people judging me altogether has totally vanished. Just a few moments of courage actually changed my life.
When I was writing my first book “Walking in the streets of love and destiny” in 2011, I was writing it quite aimlessly. Writing a book that time has been just a thing on my bucket list that I wanted to do. Many people told me that I won’t get a publisher and that I was just wasting my time. When I was in the middle of it, I thought to quit writing. The fear of failure (not getting a publisher) was constantly distracting me from completing writing the book. I conquered that fear of failure somehow and completed writing the book. I got a publisher within three months and became a published author. However I feel that my achievement in conquering this fear was not only limited to being a published author; it was in realizing the passion of my life. The thing which I thought was just a mere hobby actually turned out to be something that gives me a beautiful reason to live. It placates and appeases my soul.
Taking the risk of writing a book without knowing anything about the publishing industry or any author indeed rewarded me well. That time, I was also not a blogger and I hardly knew anything about the nuances of writing. I only participated in a few creative writing contests in my school and that’s it. This risk made me an author and helped me realize the purpose of my life. It completely changed my life as now I can’t think of my life without writing.
As a content developer by profession, author by passion and blogger by choice, all I do the whole day is write and write. Unless I write at least 4k words, my day doesn’t get complete. And all this became possible because of that risk. It made me realize my utter compulsion, passion, necessity and flair for writing.
Do the thing you fear, and continue to do so…This is the quickest and surest way of all victory over fear. - Dale Carnegie
Mountain Dew has taken a great initiative called #RiseAboveFear to encourage people to shed their fear and claim their victory. You can get more details of their campaign in https://www.facebook.com/mountaindewindia
You can check this wonderful film which justifies the phrase #RiseAboveFear
This post is written for Indiblogger and Mountain Dew initiative “Rise Above Fear!” campaign.