These are our two greatest enemies. Fear is what stops most people from daring to be more, give more, get more, do more. Sometimes it is a fear borne out of a scarcity mentality or a bad story we once heard, replayed over and over in our minds and now believe without questioning even after several years. A fear that there isn’t enough resources to go around. The voice that says, “You’re not good enough to succeed”.
Humans have a dazzling amount of fears and irrational phobias. There is the fear of death, inadequacy, sickness, public speaking, loss of love, loneliness, position etc. Fear is also expressed by symptomatic vices such as low self esteem, complex, procrastination and laziness.
And every time, the best way to conquer fear is to act as if. To act as if we had no fear. To realize that our motions can control our emotions and so if we pretend to have courage, take a step forrward and take affirmative action each time we feel fear, then soon that fear will melt away. That’s how you master fear.
Another way is to use the principle of auto-suggestion. This simply means you develop the habit of making positive declarations and affirmations. Thank God for Post-It notes, you can write positive beliefs and stick them on your car dashboard, bathroom mirror, bedroom mirror, kitchen fridge and a dozen other places where you can affirm yourself daily and frequently.
Or you could begin visualization, I do this more often. Just spend some time upon waking up visualizing about the future and painting definite mental images of what I would like to achieve within the next 5 years and imprinting upon my subconscious a map to follow.
At other times, we have battle with our ego. That’s the one that got Lucifer thrown out of Heaven- of course you know the story. But there’s also the story of the two little frogs saw an amazing sight and quickly hopped home to tell their father.
“Father,” the first frog said, “we saw the biggest and most terrible monster in the world. It was huge, had horns on its head, a long tail, hooves.”
The father interrupted his child: “Why, it was not monster. It was an ox. And I don’t think it was that big. In fact, I bet I could make myself a big as an ox if I tried.”
With that, the father puffed himself out. “Was he as big as I am no?” he asked.
“He was much bigger,” the little frogs said.
The father made himself grow even bigger. “Was he this big?” he asked again.
“Bigger, Father. He was much, much bigger!”
The father frog grew still bigger until – Pop! –he burst into pieces.
Self-conceit can lead to self-destruction.
A person with ego will always seek to preserve their ego from seeming embarrassment and would never want to be outdone until he comes undone.
Such a person is always shopping for cheap compliments and flattery. He would go out and spend money he doesn’t have in order to impress people he doesn’t know. He’ll live a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget. He has such a high perception of his own self-importance and significance over everyone else in the room.
Such a person with an overblown sense of ego would find it hard to ask others for help or even seek advice. He would find it hard to cooperate with others within a team. So he’ll pretend to know where he’s heading and never stop to ask for directions until he ends up lost. Or spends more time and resources than is necessary if only he had the humility to ask for help. The irony of course is that a person with a large ego also suffers from some form of complex, and that show of braggado is usually a self-defense mechanism to cover for his deficiencies or poor self-image. Other symptoms include envy, jealousy, avarice, greed, strife and a host of other social vices.
Ego is best dealt intentionally by offering to take up positions where you’re forced to serve. Volunteer at an orphanage home or become an usher in your church. Choose to be intentionally austere and strip yourself layer by layer by chooing to be of service to others including those far less fortunate than you are. As Zig Ziglar said, you can either feed your ego or feed your family but you can’t do both at the same time!
When you conquer both, Ego and Fear, then suddenly you’re free! Free to be who you really are. You can self express your vulnerability, talents, values, goals and really connect with others. You then realize that you are enough. You have enough. You know enough. You can and will succeed.
The great ones always have a humility that seems to stem from their keen sense of their own humanity. Think of Gandhi and Mother Theresa. Nelson Mandela and Pope Francis. We are all capable of greatness, but first we must choose to genuinely serve others to the best of our ability.