One of the strongest revelations I walk with is understanding that the fear of extremes makes us mediocre. People regularly live less than their potentials, because of a dread of the worst. What if I fail? What if I die? What if my good name is dragged in the mud? What if I make a fool of myself? Unwilling to think deeply about the worst, men and women condemn themselves to an average low impact existence. No books are written about them, no quotes to their name, their fear of failure got them eventually the same fate with all, death, but meaningless lives.
I have learnt to always confront my worst possibilities? I resigned from paid employment 4yrs ago with clarity about the question, what if I fail? My answer was that should I fail, I would send my family to my parents or theirs, I will stay around in Lagos for a little longer and work my butts off, if all still fails, I will go back to the village and get involved in farming! I grew up learning to farm, and I know that on the farm you are not likely to die of hunger, and once there is life, there is hope :). I have a colleague that told me his own worst case scenario was that he’ll become a driver – since he loves to drive. What I have learnt is that except you are willing to ask yourself mind boggling questions, you will not make mind boggling progress. Those who go very high in life, are those who have dealt with the fear of falling. What if you fail?
Freedom stems from confronted fears. Your bounce and stride changes when you know the implications of the worst and you have come to live with it. If the answer is devastating, then you must change your circumstances. No human being is choiceless, we can change our current circumstances and ensure that the worst is not so bad. Here are a few questions you need to have answers to.
What if you lose your job?
Do you have clear answers? Will you be in deep trouble? Do you have a back up plan? Is there anything else you have been doing by the side, that just needs more time commitment? Will you be stranded? Will your employer take your car and empty your living room? Will there be a kobo left in your bank account? Will your family suffer? What will you do if you lose your job today? Face that question squarely and give yourself options. Don’t waste today, answer that question now!
What if you are without a job for a while?
Can you survive without a salary for 12 weeks? Can you survive for 24? 52 weeks? How long can you survive without salary income? What options do you have? What skill do you have? What can you do to support your family? What is the worst that can happen?
What if you take a risk and lose?
How much will you really have lost? If you lose in a business venture, is it really a total loss? How much really would you have lost, and what lessons would you have gained? What will you do if you lose? What options do you truly have? If your investments get squashed are you likely to die? Will you be damaged irreparably? What truly is the worst that can happen?
What if your name is dragged in the mud?
What will happen if your reputation is at stake? If the people that know you today no longer see you as all that? What will happen if people around you think that you did something for different reasons from why you did it? What if you are perceived differently from who you really are? What is the worst that can happen? How badly does someone else’s comments or views about you matter? What will you do, if you are wrongly labelled by your friends and family? What is the worst that can happen?
What if you build you life around an opportunity and it collapses?
What will you do? Will you shake yourself up and start again? Will the journey have been worth it? Will the relationships built make it have meaning? Will you be crippled automatically? Will it be a collapse you can recover from? What is the worst that can happen?
What if you fail in your exams? Fail in your attempt to win the lady’s heart? Or fail in your relationship? What is the worst that can happen? Haven’t people in similar conditions gotten their lives back on track? The fears that prevail are the fears whose questions we never ask? Ask, and set yourself free. Being optimistic is good, it means expecting the best, it is however equally good to ask yourself the questions that prepare you for the worst. More often than not, F.E.A.R is just False Evidence Appearing Real.