LIVING BEYOND FEAR IN 2024

By Ndukwu Chibundom Kaosisochukwu - January 04, 2024




On the 31st of December, 2023, I lay on my bed and imagined how my life would be if I let myself be restricted by the various fears that threaten to overwhelm me whenever I try to make progress or venture into a new activity. I let myself visualise the horrors of living a life where 30, 40, 50 years down the line, I come face to face with the harsh reality that I have wasted my life succumbing to my fears of not being able to cope with failure, or the pressures of success, or my fears as regards my creativity and writing, the fears that I have no talent, that whatever I wish to write is not important or relevant enough to change lives or even attract patronage.

And I found myself envisioning a life wasted doing nothing, rotting and withered away, irrelevant, with nothing tangible to account for the years I have spent on earth. A life where, as an 80-year-old, I become aware of the fact that, as a result of letting my fears anchor me firmly to my comfort zone, my equals have gone miles ahead of me in every single sphere of life. Where I realise that the purpose of my life God has given to me was never fulfilled and it is now too late to do anything about it.

And I realised that having lived that sort of life would be the most devastatingly terrifying thing that would ever happen to me. So I decided to make a little personal proclamation against fear in view of the coming year. And I decided to make this blog post.

 

THIS PLAGUE CALLED FEAR



We all have experienced fear at many points in our lives. And we all know when fear likes to creep in, to show its ugly face, to envelop itself around our minds and hold on so tightly and fiercely that sometimes, we even have physical reactions to this feeling. Goosebumps, panic attacks, the urge to pee…

Some fear is instinctual and healthy and keeps us alert to trouble. The rest- the part that holds us back from personal growth, is inappropriate and destructive.

But fear is a constant. Fear doesn’t go away, won’t fade away and as long as you are alive, you will consistently and continually experience fear.

Apart from when faced with dangerous situations, fear usually arises when we approach big projects, when we walk towards change, when we want to try out new things, or big things, or overwhelming things. It usually comes along with negative thoughts which seek to convince you that you cannot handle whatever it is that you have set your mind to do.

And if you dwell on those thoughts long enough, the fear goes beyond more than just causing uneasiness or bowel distress. It cripples you. And the crippling can be for years, decades, hell, even the rest of a person’s life.  Because fear has the potential to become a desolate graveyard where dreams go to desiccate and decay.

You would think that such a devastatingly destructive feeling would be one that can fade away and dissipate if we kindly ask it to. But you cannot kill fear.

However, perhaps, there is a possibility to live with fear and yet live above it and its consequences. Perhaps there is a way to just make space for it, a nice little space where it can sit and watch you go conquer territories. Perhaps, there is a way to move, thrive despite the fear.

 

WHAT IS LIVING BEYOND FEAR?



Living beyond fear does not mean living in the absence of fear. It means living despite fear. It means realising that you would definitely not be successful at every single thing you set your hands to do, and not letting that stop you. It means realising that you might work for years and still fail at a project, and having that understanding not cripple you from actually taking steps towards your dreams. It means having the goosebumps and the panic and the shivers and still striding towards your goals and dreams.

It means living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity, passion and courage than by fear. It means not letting fear take the front seat in your life

As Gilbert said, living beyond fear means telling fear that: “You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You’re not allowed to touch the road maps, you’re not allowed to suggest detours, you’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.”

It means not letting the question of ‘why bother trying?’ get hitched in your throats. It means not letting fear tell you that it would be better to remain in the same spot, where things are comfortable and normal and routine and where you would never have to do anything risky or dangerous.

The fact remains that whenever you try to take a chance, move towards a goal that you’ve always been terrified to venture into, to take steps towards pursuits that seem almost impossible, it is natural to experience fear. But in 2024, you have to resolve the conquer the fears that have held you back from actualising goals, that have held you from experiencing life the way you want to experience it. Gain mastery over your fears, for bravery is not the absence of fear but the mastery of it.

This 2024, be willing to take risks. Be willing to do whatever brings you to life. Be willing to set seemingly unrealistic New Year's resolutions and gun for them, regardless of the many times you have tried to live up to your resolutions and failed.

You will have to realise that achieving your goals takes nothing more than disciplined labour. Change is not easy. It takes courage to mould your life the way you want it to be. There are all sorts of real and imagined obstacles that get in the way. However, those obstacles need not deter you. Instead, choose to enjoy the ride, the agony and the ecstasy, the success and the failure, the joys and the pains, the difficulties and the confusions and the satisfaction and sense of fulfilment at having gotten work done.

 

A LITTLE BIT OF MOTIVATION FOR THE COMING YEAR

The truth remains that as long as you continue to push into the world, as long as you continue to stretch your capabilities, as long as you continue to take new risks in making your dreams come true, you are always going to experience fear. But you might be relieved to know that not only are you going to experience fear when you are in unfamiliar territory, but so is everyone else. The difference lies in whether you interpret fear as a signal to retreat rather than as a green light to move ahead.

The key is in altering your relationship with fear. So, this 2024, instead of trying to escape fear or letting it control your life, strive to transform it into a companion that accompanies you in all your exciting adventures and watch as you shoot for the heights of your dreams.

Happy New Year!

 

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10 comments

  1. I got to a stage in my life when I stopped trying new things. I was always afraid of failing, thinking... others might not like this...I might not do it well. But I've been encouraged by this post. Thank you so much ma.

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    1. I'm glad this post was beneficial to you. You're welcome, dear๐Ÿ˜

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  2. Happy New Year Kaosi. This blessed me
    ~Iheoma Ukwe

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  3. This piece is really inspiring. It takes a lot of courage to do well even in challenges and hard times. It takes discipline. Sometimes you want to do the right thing, what you want to do but it seems useless and difficult and unnecessary. But all we ask is God's Grace to perfect everything. This was beautiful ๐Ÿ˜

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad to have inspired you in my little way๐Ÿ˜

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  4. Good piece. Keep it up.

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  5. This piece was really inspiring and motivating.
    Especially this phrase, which stood out for me, "You will have to realise that achieving your goals takes nothing more than disciplined labour. "
    I have really been encouraged to do more ignoring fear and doubt in my life.

    Thanks and God bless you.

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    1. You're welcome, dear. Keep pushing towards your dreams๐Ÿ˜.

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  6. This Is a lovely piece
    It's changed mu perspective of fear
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete