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Mind over Matter: Overcoming Fear with Your 3 Pillars of Progress

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When was the last time you were afraid? (Perhaps you’re experiencing something right now.) What impact did it have on you? (Anxiety, depression, anger, paralysis?) How did you overcome it? (It’s often easier said than done.)

A natural mechanism for human survival, G. Stanley Hall, the first president of the American Psychological Association and founder of the American Journal of Psychology, described “fear” as the “anticipation of pain”.

Though fear can be triggered by the prospect of myriad physical, mental, or emotional outcomes, the common denominator of many of our fears is uncertainty.

  • Welcoming a child as a first-time parent? (Am I ready for this?)

  • Interviewing for that promotion or next career step? (Am I qualified?)

  • Venturing into entrepreneurship? (What if…)

The uncertainty looming around each spawns fear in many (myself included).

However, through your past experiences (surviving prior occasions!), you develop a degree of certainty, reasoning based on your observations and experience.

This is why something you may have been afraid of earlier in your life may impart little to no fear in you today.

  • Second child? Check!

  • Professional advancement? You got this!

  • Business or practice ownership? Look how far you’ve come!

In personal and professional life, overcoming our fears is an exercise in mindfulness—paying careful attention to the facts, taking ownership of our controllables, and being proactive with each step along the path of progress.

So, in the face of the unknown, the source of fear, what is certain?

  • Vision— your goals and the desired impact you wish to have for others and yourself. Your personal vision depicts what your future state will look like and sets defined direction for planning and progress.

  • Process— the series of actions or steps you shall take to have impact and achieve your goals. Your personal processes are the controllable activities you execute to progress towards your desired future state.

  • Perseverance— persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Your perseverance is your commitment to that desired future state—prioritizing, doing what is necessary, learning from failure, adapting, progressing.

Your Vision, Process, & Perseverance are the foundations for progress, indispensable to your development, the catalysts for achieving goals.

And amidst the countless uncertainties and uncontrollables that breed “fear”, they provide certainty, solid bedrock, the pillars for progress.

In the face of “fear”, remaining mindful and committed to your Vision, Process, & Perseverance will settle your nerves, provide direction, and empower you to grow and progress towards that desired future state.

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