Updated: Jan 31
"I'm nervous. I'm not afraid to die, I just don't want to die now. I'm really afraid" I told my wife.
"Sweetie, I know. Listen, maybe the cancer has not gotten to your lymph nodes." These were the words of my wife when I had been diagnosed with stage 2 melanoma.
My doctor told me if the cancer had traveled to my lymph nodes, I had a 5% chance of survival over the next 3 years. Whew! Fortunately, the cancer did not get to my lymph nodes and I've been cancer free for nearly 6 years.
This was a feeling I’d thought I no longer surrendered to. I guess we all encounter fear in one way or another.
I have been held at gunpoint 3 times in my life. Once when I was 4 years old, 11 years old and 45 years old. I'm just glad that none of those occasions, the gunman did not pull the trigger. Fear...
I want to deeply encourage you with something: I've heard it said, "Everything you want is on the other side of fear. Don’t ever hesitate to give yourself a chance to be everything you are capable of being."
I've learned something about me and fear. Although fear can feel overwhelming, and defeat me more than any other force in the world, it’s not as powerful as it seems. Fear is only as strong as my mind allows. I'm still in control. The key is for me to acknowledge my fear and directly address it. I must step right up and confront it face to face.
3 Really Cool Ways to Take Fear Down!
1. Reach out to someone you trust.
Paul McCartney of the Beatles said a key inspiration to their hit "With A Little Help From My Friends" was knowing that when life gets hard and scary, he could count on a little help from his friends.
Life and it's ups and downs can be scary. Who are the people you can reach out to and seek wise advice which can help you to move forward when fear has captured you? The key is reaching out to the right people. These are people of wisdom who possess hundreds of life experiences and experiential knowledge. They have traveled the journey and have fought off fears. Oh yes, they have been afraid and still battle fear but they have overcome. These are the ones you want to reach out to. Think to yourself, who are these people in your life?
2. Reach out to you.
Just because you have a fear or many fears, this does not mean you are dumb, weak or messed-up. In fact, it means you are normal. Sure there are fears which can become phobic but most of our fears are not the phobic kind of fears. I do not have a fear of heights however, I do have a fear of jumping out of an airplane.
When a new fear enters my head, I immediately reach out to me by saying, "Michael, you're okay. Breathe man. Let's figure this out with positivity and beat it. "It" being my fear.
3. Reach deep within.
Some call it being spiritual. For me, I choose to reach deep within to God. Others choose to reach deep within themselves. Some choose to reach out to nature or the universe. Reach to what you feel is your spiritual connection, that place you feel is deeper than you or anyone else. Reach to something which is bigger and can move you toward an inner peace and confidence.
What are some things you can do today to take down some of your fears?