Have you ever been afraid? I mean really afraid. You know, when your heart starts beating fast and your breathing gets really shallow? We’ve all been there at some point. In fact, some people face that feeling every single day of their lives.
Considering the events that have taken place over the last 9 months here in the United States – shootings in schools, malls, and movie theaters, bombings at public events, and deadly accidents, just to name a few – it seems that fear has become a prominent part of life today.
And here’s the thing about fear: It does have a purpose in your life. It is actually a survival instinct that causes your brain to be alert and aware of life-threatening or dangerous situations. But for most people, fear goes much deeper than just a survival instinct.
Earlier this week, I came across an article in Time Magazine, and the writer stated, “Fear short circuits the brain, especially when it hits close to home, making coping with events like the bombings at the Boston Marathon especially tricky.” That sparked something in me, and I really wanted to talk to the listeners of my radio show and just have an honest discussion about the topic of fear. I wanted to know how they are doing in the aftermath of the recent events, and how it has affected their lives.
We had several great callers from all over the country, and even from the UK, but one in particular stood out to me. I was actually in tears as I listened to what she had to say.
Jayme and her husband live in Boston, and they take their 5 kids to the marathon each year. And actually, to hear the incredible reason she didn’t attend, you would have to go back and listen. (Really, if you missed the radio show on Wednesday, you definitely want to go listen now!)
I asked Jayme what the atmosphere is like in Boston right now. She told me, “It’s very eerie. We had black hawk helicopters flying over our neighborhood, and I had to explain to my 3-year-old that he couldn’t go outside to play because there was a bad guy. My 11-year-old now knows about bombs going off in public places.” She went on to tell me about the lockdown that happened in Boston as the police were searching for the suspect. “It was very surreal. I saw SWAT teams driving down my street in armored trucks. It made me think, ‘am I still in the United States, or am I in a war zone?'”
Can you imagine experiencing this? A war vehicle coming down your street, not being able to leave your home, and having to explain to your babies that a bomb went off in a public place in your safe city? Can you imagine the fear that would be provoked in you?
Your dream life is just on the other side of your fears
Do you realize that everything you want in life – happiness, financial freedom, a loving family, a harmonious marriage, a great career, a successful business – is just on the other side of your fears? You may not realize it now, but there may be things holding you back from living your dream life. However, you can overcome those things! Click here to find out how.
That was Jayme’s story, straight from Boston. You may live somewhere near Boston, or you may live on the other side of the nation, or even the world. But it’s safe to say most people have seen and heard the videos, photos, and sounds of the bombing that happened? And how? The media.
In fact, it’s almost as if the media is actually promoting fear and anxiety in people. A professor of psychiatry wrote in Time Magazine, “Terrorists are trying to induce fear and panic, and media coverage that repeats the sounds and images of the events maximizes their impact. The coverage keeps the threat alive and real in people’s minds, and sustains the threat response, despite the fact that the immediate danger has passed.”
I really believe that’s true. All you have to do is open your eyes to realize the media is playing on the fears and emotions of people. You know fear that comes when a public place – a school, movie theater, sporting event, public celebration, or even your place of work – is no longer a safe place.
But there’s something I learned many years ago, and that is, what you feed will flourish, and what you neglect will die.
So when we (along with the media, our friends and family) feed our fear, guess what grows? Fear. And I’m not talking about the survival instinct of fear. I’m talking about the kind of fear that keeps us from doing the things we’re supposed to do in life. The kind of fear that affects our ability to make decisions and reach our goals. The kind of fear that kills our confidence and keeps us from taking risks and moving forward in our lives.
I want you to think about a time when fear kept you from doing something. It could be as simple as not gong on a roller coaster because you were scared, or not meeting new friends or going on a date because you were intimidated, or maybe even not taking your dream job because you were afraid you wouldn’t be able to do it.
We have all let fear stop us at some point in our lives, whether it’s the deep fear I talked about at the beginning of this letter, where your heart beats fast and your breathing gets shallow, or just a nagging thought in the back of your mind.
The bottom line is, as a man thinks, so is he. If you let fear continue to speak to you, you will focus on those thoughts. And what you think, you speak; what you speak, you believe; and what you believe, you will receive.
Every child is born with an adventurous, risk-taking spirit. Every child is born with enthusiasm, faith, and persistence. But fear destroys all of those things.
So starve your fear, and choose to feed your faith instead! Feed the faith that says, “I can do this!” and “I will succeed!” Choose belief over doubt, worry, and anxiety. Choose action over procrastination, because action kills fear! Faith overcomes fear!
My friend, you were not meant to live in fear, worry, or anxiety, no matter what the world around you looks like. Whether you live in Boston, Texas, London, Australia, or anywhere else in the world, do not let fear run your life.
I’ll say it again – you were NOT meant to live in fear! YOU were meant to succeed in your business, career, finances, relationships, and family. And I truly believe you will do exactly that!
You know, I think it’s pretty safe to say that the majority of your friends, family members, colleagues, and co-workers deal with fear on some level, especially in today’s world. So let’s do what we can to help them overcome that fear by simply passing this letter along to them. This message will shed light on the truth and set people free from the fear that cripples so many today. You can email this link, or even post it on Facebook and Twitter.
It’s especially important to discuss this with your children. It would be a good idea to print this out and sit down with your family to have an honest conversation about it today. You and your family were meant to live a faith-filled life, an adventurous life, and a life of absolute freedom! It starts with overcoming fear, and it starts today.
In great faith,