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Mindset Reality Check on Fear

by Harry Petsanis and Donna McCance

Fear is an emotional response to the perception that something is harmful to us, either emotionally or physically. The source of that fear could be real or imagined. Fear itself is not inherently bad because it is part of human nature to keep us safe. There are many types of fear that can drive our thoughts and decisions. Our response to fear, or lack thereof, can control our lives and lead to unrealized goals, regrets, and anxiety.


Fear of reprisal, an example of societal conditioning, causes inaction as a consequence of anticipating retaliation. This type of fear controls us so we will fall into line to serve someone else's agenda, benefiting them in a multitude of ways.


We condition ourselves to be fearful as well, by not wanting to separate from the norm due to fear of ridicule, embarrassment, or fear of being ostracised from a group. Fear of failure, fear of making mistakes, and fear of the unknown also immobilize us.


Developing your mindset allows you to think critically about what you’re afraid of and what you can do about it. Facing your fears is the most important step toward taking control of your life. Doing so means you have to learn a new way of thinking. Identifying the root cause of your fears and consequences of what you’re afraid of is critical.


People are constantly telling us not to be afraid. There is no logic in trying to tell someone what they should or shouldn’t feel. The reality is simple: don’t run from your fears. Take meaningful actions to embrace them and decide what to do with them. When you understand where your fears come from, you can either extinguish them or use them as fuel to motivate and catapult you to greater heights.

Courage is developed when we learn to acknowledge and face our fears. Being courageous doesn’t mean you are not fearful. It means that even though you’re afraid, you develop the strength to act anyway.


When you learn to value your authenticity, you learn to become “comfortable with being uncomfortable.” You become the priority and dismiss anyone who tries to guilt and manipulate you into thinking otherwise, regardless of the consequences. You become more willing to step out of your “comfort zone” and move into the “learning and growth” zone.

You can either douse a fire with water to extinguish it, or you can fan the flames to ignite it, turning it into a raging inferno. The same thing can be done with fear. Most successful people will co-relate their success to fear and how they used it to motivate, inspire, and drive them to a level of success that they could have never envisioned or imagined, if fear hadn’t been part of the equation.


“Don’t allow your fears to destroy you.

Either vanquish them or use them

to enhance every aspect of your life.”


-Harry Petsanis




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