Move through Your Fears

September 15th, 2012 @   -  One Comment

A young girl was screaming and terrified, so her father rushed into her room. “What is the matter?” He exclaimed. She was in shock and pointing to the corner. He quickly checked but found nothing. “Don`t you see that mouse over there?” The daughter replied in a trembling voice. He smiled at her and said, “It is just a pair of socks.” The little girl was trembling with fear. The mouse was not real, but she caused herself to believe that it was. That is the case with most fears. Much of what we fear exists only in our minds. When we recognize that most of our fears are unfounded, we can begin to free ourselves from their grip.

Whenever you start something new that takes you outside of your comfort zone, be it a new project, a new job, or a new business, there is usually fear. Fear is natural. It becomes a problem, however, when it stops and paralyzes you. Mark Twain once wrote, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.”  But how do you master your fears? The only way to deal with fear is to face it by knowing the source of your fear and taking action to overcome it.

So what are the different types of fear and what can you do to conquer them? Here are some examples of common fears and some possible actions you can take to overcome them:

Fear of rejection – This type of fear is particularly counterproductive. People in this category worry that they will not get what they want or ask for. Consequently, they avoid asking altogether. They may want a promotion or pay raise at work, to be accepted into a good university, or to propose marriage to someone, but out of fear of refusal, they avoid seeking the opportunity. By doing so, they almost guarantee the loss of that prospect. If they did go after the promotion or other opportunity, what is the worst that can happen? They may be refused and everything remains the same. Yet, the only way to change the situation for the better is to take action.

Fear of criticism – Many people refuse to take chances because they fear being criticised. You can avoid criticism easily by following Aristotle’s advice, “Criticism is something you can avoid easily—by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” Is this what you want? Remember, no one does anything worthwhile for which they are not criticised.  Taking action, even though you are afraid of what others may think or say, is how you become courageous. Criticism plants fear in the human heart and only action can cure it.

Fear of making mistakes – We are taught from an early age that mistakes are bad. In school, we are punished for making mistakes and so we learn to be over-cautious, aiming to avoid them. However, human beings usually learn by making mistakes. As a child, you learned to walk by falling down. In the process of learning to walk, you probably spent more time failing then you did succeeding. To overcome this fear, accept mistakes as a part of the learning process.

Fear of death – Death will come, no matter what you may think or feel about it. So convert your fear and worry into prayers and good deeds.

Fear of people – When the magicians came to Pharaoh to challenge Musa (AS), they said, “Indeed for us is a reward if we win” (Quran 7:113). Pharaoh, who was a brutal dictator, promised to raise their posts nearer to him (Quran 7:114). When the magicians were defeated and realized that they had witnessed a miracle, they experienced a paradigm shift; they accepted the message of Musa (AS). Pharaoh was furious and warned them that if they continued to believe in Musa’s message, he would cut their hands and feet on opposite sides, and crucify them on the trunks of palm trees. What was their answer? “… Carry out what you want to; only in the life of this world will you be able to!” (Quran 20:72). Their new belief gave them the courage to face this tough situation.

It is very unlikely that you will face a situation similar to this one, but at some point in your life, you are going to have to confront this type of fear. Remember that people are just human beings like you and me. “And know that if the Nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what God had already prescribed for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you with anything, they would not harm you except with what God had already prescribed against you.” (Reported by at-Tirmidhi)

Fear is natural. It takes courage to face it. To achieve anything worthwhile in this life, you need to learn to move through your fears.



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One Comment → “Move through Your Fears”

  1. Rania

    5 years ago

    what if the fear is of yourself and your level of commitment to what lies ahead or what is offered? what if you fear failing others and ultimately failing yourself?
    how does surrendering to Allah’s Will come in terms with fear of quiting or ceasing to fight for what you want.
    when do you stop asking for what you want as long as Allah doesn’t give it to you? Doesn’t that mean that this is not what you should be asking for? that there are other priorities? or other better opportunities? and if opportunities arise how do you make sure they are the ones?

    would you try to pave the way for other opportunities or would you leave them with their obstacles so that if they are prevented then that was the answer to your prayer and you should let go?

    fear sometimes is of oneself and one’s own perceptions. no matter how old or how experienced or how confident one is, sometimes the tiny difference between quitting and surrendering to Allah’s Will by not taking further action makes you hesitant and unsure. and this hesitance and uncertainty makes you ultimately fear your own self.


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