Sign Up For Our Newsletter
In Times of Uncertainty
In This Issue: Two Essential Tips for Facing Your Fears
— Ramiro Rodriguez, Jr.
“In these uncertain times, fear is more pervasive than ever. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to conquer.”
Being that October is the month of Halloween, it’s a month when the general idea of fear is close at hand. Fear, in this general sense, and how it prevents us from achieving the goals we set for ourselves, is something I’ve talked about at length, whether in this newsletter or elsewhere. In these uncertain times, fear is more pervasive than ever. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to conquer.
When we’re born, humans only innately have two fears: a fear of falling and a fear of loud noises. Every other fear that we have is learned. However, when cavemen found out that sabertooth tigers would kill and eat them if they got too close, they learned to have a healthy fear of sabertooth tigers. So, while we might not be born with a fear of death, it’s certainly one that virtually every human who lived in more dangerous times learned at one time or another.
Today, we don’t have as many natural sources for a fear of death, because most of the “threats” we perceive in our lives are not fatal. However, even in the absence of threats on our lives, that fear that we’ve learned, that’s been ingrained in us, for thousands of years needs an outlet. So, we fear things that will not greatly harm us just as much as the cavemen feared the sabertooth tiger.
With this in mind, the question that comes to mind is this: How do we get past our fears? In the midst of a pandemic, most of us are probably experiencing lots of very justifiable anxieties. I remember being pretty freaked out myself when COVID-19 first arrived in the United States. However, even as the pandemic continues, I don’t experience that same level of fear anymore. In any situation where I’m facing fear, I deal with it in two different ways.
Firstly, I think of how the older version of myself will look back on my life decisions. When I’m 80 or 90 years old, will I regret not taking certain chances that I have in my life right now? We all have to ask ourselves this question, because one of our greatest fears in life is the fear of failure. A fear of failure keeps us from taking chances — chances that could greatly benefit us. We shouldn’t ever be afraid to fail, because failure is how we learn. And in any case, it’s a short-term fear. Would you rather have to face the fear of failure in the short term, or decades of regret down the road when you’re 80 or 90 years old?
Secondly, I actively work to build up my tolerance for uncomfortable situations. Chuck Norris once said that running from your fear is always more painful than facing it. When I first started posting legal advice videos on YouTube, I was petrified. Even though my marketing guys insisted that video essays were the way of the future, I resisted for two months. Finally, I decided that I needed to stop running, and I sat down in front of a camera to record my first ever video. I was nervous and uncomfortable the whole time. I kept tripping over my words, but after around 20 takes, I got the video done. Then, my second video only took five takes. Now, I’m able to record my videos in just one take. I built up my muscles toward my fear of being in front of the camera. Ask yourself: What uncomfortable situations do you need to build muscles toward?
Whatever situation is leading you to be fearful right now, and whatever is making you uncertain, remember that it’s okay to be scared. But, also remember to keep pushing forward and keep trying. Learn from your mistakes, and facing those fears will get easier every time.