“There may be times when you have to face your worst fears. Perhaps your fears have a name, or perhaps your fears consist of a situation you do not want to be in. Whatever the case may be, know you can and will rise above it. You are strong.” – Dr. Bruce A. Johnson
The most destructive form of fear occurs from thoughts you allow to continue to replay in your mind, in which you believe situations or people control you or your life. While it’s true you may be limited, because of a situation you find yourself in, a set of circumstances you’re unable to control, or anything else you’re unable to change now. However, you are limitless in your ability to dream, plan, and believe in new possibilities.
Here’s something important to remember: You are always free. While you may not be able to control what goes on around you, and the actions others may take in an attempt to dominate you, you control your life by what you think. There’s nothing more freeing, especially during the worst of times, than thinking and planning a new life.
If you have found yourself dealing with fears, real or possibly perceived, please continue to read. As someone who has been a career coach, trainer, and educator for quite a long time, I have some strategies to share. These are techniques I have also found helpful in my career, whenever I needed to be strong of mind.
Your Mind Cannot Be Controlled
It is possible for every aspect of your life, your career, and your health to be controlled in some manner. It can become so all-consuming you feel as if you’ve lost complete control of your life. Yet this is a mantra I recommend to anyone, any time you want to give into a feeling of your greatest fear, that you have lost control of your life: This is not a time to be defeated, not by present circumstances that may not be the most desirable, a person who may not hold your best interests at heart, or anything else you may find that seems to have taken over control of your life. This is a time to pick yourself up and remember: Your mind is free. No one but you can control your mind.
When you stop and really allow this mantra to sink in, you realize how freeing it is, and what ability it gives you to face your fears head-on. Yes it is possible for someone else to control you mentally, that is, if you allow their continued negativity to dominate your thoughts, or you accept their dominate control of your mind. But if you simply begin by closing your eyes, imagine being in a different place or situation, then think of a new outcome, you can start the process of reclaiming control. You do not have to accept any belief that does not agree with you, personally or professionally, especially if that belief causes you to feel negativity within.
Facing Your Greatest Fear
Whenever you must face an opponent head-on, be it an actual person, challenge, fear, or mental barrier remember this: Your well-being, at that very moment, is dependent upon what you believe. If you can believe in the best of yourself, without question, you will prevail. To help you accomplish this goal, I have developed a set of strategies learned from time and practice, which you may also find useful.
Focus on the Best: Fear can sneak up quickly, and overpower your thoughts, if you allow it to. Perhaps it begins as something negative you’ve heard about yourself, which you begin to focus upon, until suddenly you live in fear of that thought becoming a reality about who you are. If you are not taking care of what you think and how you think, you may begin fearing the worst outcomes. What you can do when you find yourself in this situation is to prepare for the worst-case scenario, should you believe something could happen, but live for the best set of circumstances right now.
Evaluate Your Beliefs: It is possible for you to have hundreds of thoughts in any given day. What’s important to remember is this: You are the sum of what you are thinking about in this moment, which means you are the sum of what you believe about yourself. For example, if you are thinking negative thoughts about yourself, you are going to begin to develop negative beliefs about yourself. The converse is also true. You can train yourself to think the best about yourself, which in turn means you believe the best about yourself.
Allow Yourself to Shine: Facing your greatest fears means you must be determined to rise above conditions in your life, no matter how challenging they may actually be or feel. This doesn’t mean you have to deny your existence, it means developing a healthy attitude that protects your state of mind and well-being. For example, you can shine bright in your career, despite negativity that exists around you; be it an uncaring manager, a dysfunctional team, or an attempt to keep you remotely isolated. You must stay true to who you are at all times, and you will shine with a light of internal strength.
Refuse to Give into Doubts: The strength you have available within you is based upon a simple premise: You can refuse to give into doubts about your ability to persevere, no matter how seemingly negative conditions around you may seem. Here’s what you can believe about yourself: You will decide you are not going to live by fear, and you are not going to be intimidated by negative persons or circumstances. No matter what occurs in your life: You are resilient and strong.
You Can Be Stronger Than Fear
You do not know what each day is going to bring. There may be new challenges that await you, problems you may have to solve, or fears you must address. No matter what comes your way, there’s something you know and it’s this: Your state of mind is yours to control. Be in control of your mind and ready for the day, and you will be stronger than fear. This requires tuning out negativity, no matter how forceful the other thoughts, circumstances, and situations may seem to be. If you can believe you will prevail, because of who you are and the values you hold, your positive belief will sustain you. When you face your fears head-on, regardless of the hold it may have upon you, real or perceived, you’re taking a first step forward towards reclaiming your life. This is a time when you discover the strength and determination you can rely upon. You must decide, and continue to believe, you’re free of mind. Then you will face and release your fears.
About Dr. Johnson
Dr. Bruce A. Johnson has been working in the field of higher education and distance learning since 2005, with roles including Doctoral Chair and Committee Member, Faculty Development Manager, Core Faculty, and Faculty Development Specialist. Dr. J’s background also includes work as a Human Performance Improvement Consultant, and prior to 2005, he was a Manager of Training and Development.
Dr. Johnson is an inspirational author, writer, and educator. His life mission to teach, mentor, write, and inspire others. He has earned a PhD in Postsecondary and Adult Education, a Certificate in Training and Performance Improvement (TPI), a Master’s in Adult Education, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
As a scholar practitioner, Dr. J was published in a scholarly journal and he has been a featured presenter at an international distance learning conference. He has published three books related to higher education, including two about online teaching. Dr. J has also published over 230 online articles about adult learning, higher education, distance learning, online teaching, and mindset development.
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