Get Beyond Fear to Take Opportunity During a Crisis

Get Beyond Fear

We are in the middle of a pandemic and we must get beyond fear to move forward. There is no script or history to go by. It is entirely new. Stores, gyms, restaurants, shopping malls… all closed. Nowhere to go. Our country of freedoms feels like we’re in lockdown.

The grocery store is the new outing. There are those who can’t even sit on the beach and watch a sunset, or paddleboard in the ocean. We are told it’s for the common good. And I believe much of this is, but for a very short time. The big question: Will we get beyond fear of all of this? And how fast? What is the new normal?

Fear's Power to Hold us Back

I believe we can move forward, but we have to get beyond our fear. Fear of going outside, wearing no masks, taking a flight, going on a cruise, eating out.  Fear has the power to hold us back, and we can easily give that power to others or to a victim mindset. We live in America. We are a free country with freedoms that have been fought for and won with much blood, war and sacrifice by our ancestors and many of our great leaders.

The time has come to really stand up and get beyond fear. There is uncertainty ahead as I produce this session. No one knows how long this is going to last. Sensationalism sells in the media. That has always been the case. But who do you listen to? How do you cope?

What Do You Really Believe?

You have to go within yourself. What do you really believe? This episode and article was produced right around Easter. I’m not sure what you believe, but I’m recalling a message I heard in a little church when Greg and I were first married. It was all around facing fear. The crux of the message was, When you take away the fear of death, you really start to live.

Let me say that again. When you take away the fear of death, you really start to live. So how do you do that? First, you have to believe in something. Some power bigger than yourself. I believe in the story of Easter. To me, there is tremendous hope in the fact that the power of a resurrection took away the fear of eternal death. Think about this…don’t turn me off yet. It doesn’t matter how or what you believe, realize how powerful that principle is.

Free to Live

If you are truly not afraid of dying, you’re free to live. I had the opportunity to be with and care for my father during the last 11 weeks of his life, after he suddenly became ill. He told me at the beginning of his illness, I’m not afraid of dying, I know where I’m going. But I really like living! He truly loved living and was freed up from the anguish of worry, panic and stress because he wasn’t afraid of dying. He was free!

And he lived like that. Every day was a joy and he was a joy to be around, in the midst of oxygen lines, medication and bed sores that ended up covering his back.  My father who had been so strong all his life, now dependent, yet joyful. He wasn’t afraid. So how do you get beyond your fear? How are you going to take the mental leap to go beyond fear to opportunity? Here are 5 ways.

Beyond Fear Infographic-Deaborah Johnson

Five Ways to Get Beyond Your Fear

One: Identify your fear and visualize it. There is healthy fear—the fear that holds you back from jumping off a cliff. But unhealthy fear is like a monster trying to squelch your dreams, causing you to re-think most everything, every step you take. I think of it as a hungry little monster. If not careful, it can eat you up inside. Put a visual image to it.

Two: Choose to move forward. Be prudent but decide not to stay stuck. This is a choice. Little baby steps are fine. Relating to business, I hear often these phrases, I don’t do tech! I’m not good at tech! My response is, You just have to know enough to hire it out. You don’t want to take your car in knowing nothing. Just pay whatever? Equip yourself. Now is a great time to do this! If for no other reason, take online courses to see how they’re formatted! They’re not that expensive! You’ll get ideas! Start creating your own!

Three: Use this opportunity to change or pivot. This is a great time to do this. If you’ve ever wanted to do something else, NOW is the time! Discover what people need. I have revised some of my material, and even podcast episodes to speak to what is super relevant right now. I’m approaching some of the tech issues I normally don’t go deep on. But I’m finding there is a need. There’s also a need for connection. I’m an introvert, but my ZOOM Happy Hours have been a blast & I see new people connecting and enjoying each other every week during this crisis. It’s very exciting.

Four: Get the training you need and want. This is another commitment. It is very tempting to sink down and say you might as well quit, retire, or feel you’re not relevant any more. In fact, this is what many women at the halftime of their lives are saying and thinking. (see: How Do You Know You’re at Halftime?) They’re too old or not relevant enough. Looking in the mirror might make you feel that way as you see the smile lines deepen and your hair thinning. But you’re not! Part of this is the fear to reinvent yourself. Fear that you won’t be taken seriously. Fear that you can’t keep up. Fear that you can’t learn. Stop it! Don’t be afraid to spend, to learn, to grow. Also, sometimes you don’t know what you need until you pursue some of the things you want to do!

Five: Take action. This principle really relates to the current sequestration. Don’t let fear hold you back from your travel dreams, from your business dreams, your relationship dreams. Our world will look different, but we still have our freedom unless we let others take those freedoms away because we’re fearful.

Do Some Soul-Searching

I’m urging you to do some soul-searching and see what you’re really afraid of over-all. We are all on the same train. None of us are going to live forever on this earth. If you take away focusing on the unhealthy fear of dying at least eternally, you will be free. We never know what is right around the corner. (a truck, freak accident, terror attack.…) This virus has struck us like nothing else has in our history. The unknowns scare us and they are amplified by movies like Contagion, though the theory goes back to a 1994 book The Coming Plague by Laurie Garrett. It’s nothing really new! (see article: https://www.cnn.com/2011/09/13/opinion/garrett-contagion-virus/index.html)

Take the time to journal and go through all of these steps. I want you to come out of this, getting beyond fear to take opportunity for a new way to do your business, expanded travel, living out some of your second-half goals and the love of living. When you’re not afraid of dying and know where you’re going, you can be free to live.

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About the Author:

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain® and former president of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. Deborah provides tools to create your ideal lifestyle and work during the halftime of life, getting unstuck. You can live your second half fulfilled, focused and free! Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the 2018 Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of four books and speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.