I have been studying the works of Barbara Y. Martin, writer of the book Change Your Aura, Change Your Life for a few weeks now. Initially, I didn’t realize that I read this book and I knew her work from a while back. It was amazing to read this book again, as I am a huge proponent of Metaphysical studies.  In fact, I’ve been interested in the world of Metaphysics ever since I was 13 years old, when I did not even know what it was called at the time. It has helped me expand, live powerfully and dream big.

Of all the negative emotions, fear is one of the strongest impediments to reaching our goals and achieving success. Fear can cut to the very core of our being and paralyze us. Hate is also a powerful emotion, and has the power to inspire us to take action. Fear encourages us to take no action whatsoever. How can we go after our lives if are afraid to take action?

Fear reaches deep into our instinctual level of consciousness. Yet, our fear does not have to be a big one. We can have small fears that build up and may go unnoticed. Over time, they begin to add up. You can fear something very real or have neurotic fears wherein an innocent situation can spark terror. If it continues, fear can lead to sustained worry and depression. And most of all, fear can breed fear.

To fear something, you essentially see yourself as separate from who your true self. Fear creates separateness. Fearing something, you adhere to the belief that something or someone has power over you, and you’re powerless to do anything about it. If you return to your real self, you can see the ludicrousness in your thinking. –Barbara Y Martin

You have to face your fears with dynamic power and boundless courage. Most of us are afraid of failing. I am an optimist and I believe that every failure is a series of sequential wins – truth is, there is no such thing as failure even though it might feel as though it’s real. Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times and inside his numerous failures were equally numerous wins that became opportunities for inventions. In response to a question about his missteps, Edison once said, “I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”

Michael Jordan failed to shoot the ball 1000s of times and went on to win multiple playoff games and titles.  Jorden once exclaimed, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Based on these two people, along with thousands of others starting to realize what fear really is, they all see opportunities to understand where our amazingness lives.

Fear of failure is an illusion, one that I have experienced and suffered from countless times (truthfully, more times then I care to admit). I have also been barricaded in by my fear. Even with me being an optimist.  The difference is that I don’t dwell in my fear and I don’t linger in it as long as I used to.  I remember back to a time when I did though, a time when I had no idea of what failure or success was. Even when I appeared to be failing, success happened and ultimately success was right there.  Recently, I learned that life is a series of successes and is filled with successive moments of clarity. Success without fear and failure is something entirely different, however. Both failure and success are powerful learning experiences. Daring to ride with (and through) our fear starts to break down our weaknesses and build up strength in our thoughts and character.

Fear and failure are ever-present. Alongside fear and failure, success is constantly happening in the background and is always in expansion. For example, I have been doing my Calling in the One Unapologetically workshop for some time now and each and every time, fear finds its way into our meetings.  Now, I am not going to lie – I sometimes get frightened, because I want people to show up, I want to do a fabulous job, I love doing the work I do, and I sometimes fear that nobody will show up. I fear that it will be just me in an otherwise empty room.  However, I put this fear aside and keep moving ahead.  I do not allow fear to stop me. Do I get back on track? Yes, I clear myself and ride on.  Often times, it is just the uncertain feeling of not knowing when fear is going to come up. However, I expect it will come up, and this actualization makes me stronger.  I often wonder, if Oprah, Jordan, and all these famous people ever experience fear.  I wonder if TD Jakes or Steve Harvey experience fear on the stage in the moment.  I am sure they do; after all, they are only human.  We all have concerns like I don’t know how to do it, I get stopped by fear of the unknown, etc. I am sure we all at some point get stopped by our fear.   I won’t let it pull me out of the game. I look for the answer and get back into action. The workshops were born out of my need to find a mate. Dating is an all-in, on-the-court game that is a powerful blend of fear, failure and disappointment – but if you continue to play, you will find a way to win.

The thought of creating a mate of my own accord, without a team to support me was really boring. So, I invited a few women over to work with me. They said yes and my workshop was born. I have been Coaching Calling in the One Unapologetically for a good while now. You would think that after the first workshop and the beginning of the 2nd workshop, my fears and concerns would be eliminated by the time I got to the 3rd workshop. What happens instead is different fears and concerns show up before each workshop, which test my resolve and provide me with an opportunity to see my life in new ways. I’m eternally grateful for my continued courage to face, experience and overcome my fears quickly. Although creating workshops have become easier, I know that for anything that is of value in life, fears and concerns will always come up because that is where our courage and power live.

It’s normal to have fear and not let fear have you, or permit fear to take you off course. Fear, together with courage and power, is an essential ingredient to living life outside the lines and is critical for the success that we seek.

“Know this, you cannot enjoy the sweet taste of success if you don’t know how failure tastes.” -Unknown

Live Life Your Way,

Noreen Sumpter Personal Life Coach

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