Written by Dayo Olomu September 2003
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)
When I came to live in England in 1996, I was shocked to discover that a crook had already hijacked my birth certificate and used it to collect my national insurance card, credit card, opened a bank account. I also discovered I was married, except that the crook forgot to invite me. Everywhere I went, I was told somebody was bearing my name. At a stage the authorities doesn’t know who was the real Dayo Olomu. Fear hit me in the face and it nearly killed my dream. Though it took me two years to sort everything out what I did was to resolve that fear will not kill my dream. And today the rest is history.
FEAR is an ancient topic in the history of human race. It’s enough to make you sick. It causes some people a constant and gnawing pain in the pit of the stomach. Others drink more or smoke more because of fear. It’s killed more dreams and ruined more careers than all other causes combined. The number one killer of our dreams at work and at home, is fear.The longer I live, the more I realize that FEAR is the worst enemy of the human species. And it’s been with us since the beginning. The Book of Genesis speaks of fear and it appears throughout the Bible, Torah and Koran. Who can forget the classic line from the Old Testament delivered by Job: “That which I feared most has come upon me”?
In fact, it seems the older we get the more prone we are to allowing fear to control our lives and destroy our dreams.
Stop and think about it. Most children are fearless creatures (unless an adult has already instilled a lot of fear in them). Teenagers and even young adults continue to display mostly courageous attitudes. But as we age, many people grow more fearful. Perhaps we realise there is a lot a stake at this point. Any mistake could be life-changing. But rather, we should definitely become more fearless with age because wisdom (which usually comes with age) makes us more apt to see the Truth in a situation. That fear is a myth, a creation of a weak mind, is illustrated by this acronym: FEAR- False Evidence Appearing Real.
I have many friends who were once seemingly fearless super-achievers. However, having reached their middle ages and my friends have become so afraid that their quality of life has significantly suffered. They have surrendered their dreams and, literally, their life to some type of fear. Fear of failure…fear of rejection…fear of change…fear of success…fear of making decisions…fear of responsibility…fear of commitment. It is fear (and all of its cousins, such as worry, anxiety, depression, and self-doubt) that will turn your dream of success into a chilling nightmare that haunts you into paralysis.
Often people say to me, “I can’t afford to pursue my dream because I don’t have enough money.” I ask them how much they need. Usually the answer is, “I don’t know. But I know I don’t have enough.” Same thing with time. Are you complaining that you don’t have the time to pursue your dreams or that you are busy, while never actually scheduling an hour to see how you might break your dream into smaller projects? Jim Rohn, America’s foremost business philosopher once said: “Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: busy doing what?”
According to Vic Johnson, founder of AsAManThinketh.net: “Fear can be defeated because fear is a learned response in the first place. It’s said that we were only born with two fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Every other fear you have was learned!
One of the greatest ways to conquer fear and keep our dream alive is to use our faith. To use the words of Prof Tam David-West, Nigeria’s former petroleum minister in an interview he granted to ThisDay newspaper on July 20, 1997, “Be not afraid. Hold on to your Faith with the buoyant hope and divine assurance that all will be well.” Personally, I found solace in the scripture which says “God has not given us the spirit of fear but the spirit of love, power and a sound mind. Moreover, the word “fear not” is recorded 365 times in the Bible, which means that everyday, there is one to use.
I am a believer in the philosophy of the mountain climbers who say, “I will climb the mountain. They have told me it’s too high, it’s too far, it’s too steep, it’s too rocky, and it’s too difficult. But it’s my mountain. I will climb it. You’ll soon see me waving from the top or you’ll never see me, because unless I reach the peak, I’m not coming back.” Who can argue with such resolve? According to Jim Rohn, “When confronted with such iron-will determination, I can see Time, Fate and Circumstances calling a hasty conference and deciding, ‘We might as well let him have his dream. He’s said he’s going to get there or die trying.”
One thing you must never allow fear to do is to stop you achieving your dream. Never stop until all your dreams come true. Remember, obstacles and fear are the things you see when your eyes are off the target.
Written by Dayo Olomu September 2003