The Sunday Mail
I ONCE came across a story of the lion and the elephant that illustrates how fear can be a nuisance.
In life, nothing is to be feared; it only needs to be understood in its proper context.
What you fear today, you will laugh at soon, so long as you are willing to face that fear and do what you must. Never replace fear for fact; or fact for faith.
You can rise above your fear if you are willing to step forth in bold confidence and unrelenting determination.
I was getting ahead of myself already. Back to the story. Once upon a time, there was a lion who feared nothing except the crowing of cocks.
Sometimes fears are unreasonable and do not seem to make sense. Your vision cannot understand your fears. Your posterity will not fathom why you were so fearful and achieved little more than mere existence. A chill would go down the lion’s spine whenever he heard a cock crowing.
Some fears come from false associations, but that does not in anyway diminish their tormenting power. Refuse to be tormented by the falling sky, burning mirage and deafening thunder.
One day, the lion confessed his fear to the elephant, who was greatly amused and surprised. He wondered why a character of such great strength would be flustered by such a harmless bird and its crowing. Stop accommodating your fears in the dictionary of your life.
“How can the crowing of a cock hurt you?” Elephant asked Lion. “Think about it, you are just being unreasonable.”
Just then a mosquito began circling the elephant’s head, buzzing and frightening him out of his wits.
“If it gets into my ear, I’m doomed!” Elephant shrieked, flailing at the insect with his trunk. He had forgotten his jibes at lion.
Now, it was the lion’s turn to feel amused. He could not understand why such a big strong animal with such thick skin would fear a small and thin little insect like that. Even your fears are shocked by your embrace.
The moral of the story is that if you could see your fears as others see them, you would realise that most of your fears make no sense.
Fear is only real in the mind. For fear to survive, it needs a willing host. Most fears are just false evidence acting as real.
Challenge your fear and do not let fear torment you and stop you from moving forward, maximising your potential and challenging your limits.
Shrink your fear
When you feed fear with more fear, the fear grows, balloons and becomes irrationally big and daunting. Shrink your irrational fears by challenging the associations that are related to the fear. Do not let what happened in the past, fill your present, kill your future and steal your energy.
When you are flying, the pilot calls dangerous and unstable passages mere “turbulence”.
Imagine what would happen if the pilot were to come on air, start voicing all his fears, telling everyone on board that they are going through such a bad cloud formation or weather patch that he thinks we should all say our prayers because we may not go through.
The confident captain just orders everyone to take their sit, put on their seat belt and says we are just going through bad air, encountering some turbulence. Turbulence does not mean that the flight is over.
So it is with you and me. You are not going to die; you are just going through turbulence. Turbulence is what you go through when you are learning to fly.
It is not to be feared. Yes, you will feel some adrenalin and perhaps a little shaking and instability but its just turbulence and not a crash or journey’s end.
Shrink your fear, park it aside, keep your focus and drive on.
Refuse to be intimidated by things that are not a fair price for your dream. Just fasten your seat belt and hold on tight. In any case, what can you do at 35 000 feet above sea-level when you are not the pilot?
You just sit in your chair and trust that the pilot is awake, alert and knows what he is doing.
Stop fearing and know that the captain of your life knows what He is doing.
Shrink your fears in your mind until they vanish away. Face the fears until they feel so shy that they run away. Take bold and confident action that does not respect fear or give it celebrity status.
Do not let the crowing cock intimidate the lion in you. Wake up the giant within and believe in your ability and capacity.
Shrink your fears and stop seeing them in 3-D virtual reality.
Flatten your fears, filter-off their colour and take off vivid imagery out of them. Starve your fears and feed your faith.
Whatever you feed grows. Stop feeding your fears, with new associations, stories and references that confirm them.
Stop looking in the direction that you do not intend to take.
Remove your interest and active research from the things you do not want. Instead of studying failure, study success. Instead of spending your time looking for every reason why you should be afraid and timid, look for every excuse for bold faith.
To him who believes, all things are possible. To him who fears, all things are impossible, dangerous and risky.
Feed your faith with positive pictures, purposeful affirmations and confident action.
Tell yourself stories of possibility. Use your mind as a friend not a foe.
Find a journal and record all the things that inspire you and spur faith in you. Do not wait to be motivated by someone else. As you read, find examples and references of those who faced terrible things but prevailed nonetheless. Stop listening to loser stories of those who tried nothing and confirmed that nothing works.
Stop listening to those who, through fear, did nothing more than fear. Be interested in doers, daring missionaries and visionary dreamers.
Be fascinated by those who challenge their circumstances and set out to try things. I once came across a gentleman who had a typically African name called, “Try-things!” Then I thought, “What a name!” Now, I wish I had that name. His father was visionary and he did not call him, “Fear-Things, or Talk-Things!”
Try things and you will surprise yourself. Dare great things and you will be great.
What others fear is their crowing cock. Fear simply reduces the number of people in the race and eliminates cowards from the track.
Dare to try things and do things. The world is for people who try things. The world bows to the doers, not the fearful who are hiding and prefer the safety of doing nothing.
If a player is unproductive on the field, a wise coach will substitute that player with another. So it is with thoughts.
Substitute thoughts that are not productive with those that inspire you and inspire you to produce. Instead of dwelling on your fears, failures and misfortunes, substitute the victim thoughts with thoughts of possibility and you will do feats.
Positive thinking will not make your problems go away, but it will at least give you the energy to go forward. Do not let your mind run wild while you watch as though it belongs to someone else. Take charge and take control your thought life. Substitute fear-thoughts with positive, faith-filled ones.
Thoughts are things that create things. Fearful thoughts create horrors, while positive thoughts create positive outcomes.
Nowhere to hide
You were born human so that you may express your potential in helping other people. You were not born a tortoise, so come out of your shell. You were not born a bird, so stop looking for a nest.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
It is better to search in the maze of life than to sit cheesiness, frustrated and fearful. Security is a myth. Avoiding action is illogical action.
It is Easter Sunday. A weekend to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He faced his fears with courage and paid the ultimate sacrifice.
He wished the cup could passover because it was not an easy choice. He was willing to do what he knew was necessary and needful.
He sacrificed short-term shame for long-term glory. What if he had feared?
What if he had chosen to be a coward? What if he had run away? May you be inspired to take bold action in your space and do the needful for the benefit of many.
Audit your fears and carry your cross.
May you be inspired to dare great things, challenge limits and throw away your fear as you read the following words of Theodore Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Milton Kamwendo is an international transformational and inspirational speaker, author and coach. He is a strategy, innovation, team-building and leadership facilitator. Feedback: [email protected], Twitter: @MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp 0772422634.