“Named must your fear be before banish it you can.” ~ Yoda
Ya’ gotta love Yoda! The thing I love most about this particular quote is that he ends the sentence with, “you can.”
Which is a pretty powerful assumption – that you can banish your fear.
It’s pretty amazing that banishing our fears and achieving our dreams can be accomplished the same way. They both come down to being very specific.
As Yoda says, you must name your fear… that is not to say give your fear some artificial name, but take a few minutes and find it.
If you can really find the source of your fear, you can “banish” it in a sense.
By banish, I mean putting it in the corner like a misbehaving child, not that you can make it permanently go away.
My fear of being stupid started back when I was about 5-years-old. My parents took some steps (that seemed drastic at the time, but now that I’m a parent I see they weren’t very drastic at all) to try and calm me down.
I was very hyper active.
At the moment that I understood that their actions were in direct response to me, I suddenly felt “stupid,” like there was some certain way to act, and I somehow just didn’t know what that way was.
Being aware of this, I can trace back a lot of the fears I have today to that incident when I was 5-years-old.
If you’re a human and you’re reading this, you have a story like that too, some point in time as a young child that you can remember when things somehow changed for you.
Finding that point is what I mean by “Named must your fear be.”
The more specific you can be in identifying this moment and the feelings, words and thoughts you had at that time, the better you will be able to banish your fear.
Once you identify the fear you can then separate yourself from it.
Viewing yourself, and your fear, in your mind from the third person perspective allows you to see that you have a fear – rather than – you are your fear.
Just being able to do this will increase your courage to do things. The statistic that I would make up on the spot would be over 1,000%
Your dreams work in much the same way. Once you peel the onion back enough, you start getting to the heart of the matter.
On a reflex, most people say that their dream is to have money and freedom. These are such vague ideas that it’s impossible to determine what the actual desire is.
In fact, no one wants money; they want the STUFF they think money gives them – security, houses, vacations, cars, clothes, food, businesses, investments, etc.
When it comes to freedom, most people don’t really even know what that means. Freedom is actually a result of amazing self-discipline.
What most people are really after is liberty, the ability to do whatever they want – which, without discipline almost always ends up in a personal loss of freedom.
So the first step is determining what it is you really want, or want to do.
Second, it requires taking away the lazy thought pattern of When/Then. When I save a million dollars, then I’ll take that mission trip to Africa.
Remarkable people are the ones who choose what they want, and don’t change their mind.
You can look back at people like George Washington to Gandhi to Henry Ford. They were very specific on what they wanted.
They didn’t rely on their feelings or intuition during the process to determine if they were going to keep their word or not. Even when they didn’t want to do it, they did it.
I heard an interview with David Foster (writer of the most #1 hit song since they started tracking them) where he was asked, “So what do you do when you don’t feel inspired to write a song, but you’ve got to have one done?”
He answered, “I just write the song. It may not be a great song, but if I said I’d write a song, then I write the song. It doesn’t matter how I’m feeling.”
Note there is not When I feel inspired Then I will write a song. Instead he takes on “Now that/ Then I’ll” thinking.
Now that I’ve got steps to take to get to where I want to go, Then I’ll take the necessary steps because I am not my feelings, nor will I let them dictate my path in life.
In order to have Now that/Then I’ll thinking, you must have a clearly defined objective and then figure out what you can do right now to be taking a step towards it.
Most marathons and cross-country races are not run on a straight and flat path.
The runners don’t know the whole path ahead of them.
They know what they’ve got to do right now, they look for the next turn and they know where the finish line is.
Here is a quick wrap up…
- Banish fear by digging deep enough to identify it, and then view it and yourself from a third person perspective and realize that you are not your fear.
- Identify what you want what is worthy of your effort. When you don’t “feel” like doing it, view yourself and the thing you want from a third person perspective and realize that you are not your feelings.
- Get rid of lazy “When/Then” thinking and replace it with possibility creating “Now that/Then I’ll” thinking.
A graduate of West Point Academy, Kevin served six years as an officer in the U.S. Army Field Artillery. He held a combat arms leadership role for his entire career, except one staff position, during which he obtained a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Management. He also served in Iraq during “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Since the military, Kevin has worked for Honeywell as an earned-value analyst in the aerospace department, in Phoenix Arizona.
He started testing his leadership skills in the entrepreneurial world by starting several companies, to include a real estate company and a business mailing-address company. Kevin loves to serve people who have a yearning to create a better life for themselves and others. He is passionate about teaching people the importance of something that most take for granted: relationships.
Kevin lives in Phoenix with his wife and two daughters. Read and subscribe to Kevin’s Warrior Blog here.