Two days ago, I wrote about fear and how it has two sides. The positive and the negative. More often than not, as humans we focus on the negative side of fear and neglect the far enriching side. My earlier post focused on the negative side of fear, here are some thoughts about how fear can bring with it, positive outcomes.
Below are three positive definition of fear with examples from my life in regards to how I have used the other side of fear to move forward and do epic things small or little.
* F.E.A.R: Face Everything And Rise- this simplify mean acknowledging all the challenges and obstacles in your way but despite it, you choose to move beyond it and do what you are afraid of doing. An example that stood out to me was when I was preparing to write my SAT & TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) examinations, I had just 6 weeks to study for both examinations. At this point, I did not have a clue what the examination would entail. I was in Nigeria and had never stepped foot outside Nigeria. I did not have a clue about the curriculum in the United States, yet I made the choice to make the bet=st use of the 6 weeks I had to prepare for the examinations. I could have said, you know what, I am going to fail, there is no way I can be ready for both examinations in 6 weeks but I choose to give it my best shot and like they say, the rest is history. I not only passed but I got accepted into all the schools I chose and received scholarships as well. Even though everything within me when I was faced with either taking the exams or forfeiting it told me it was impossible to pass with the short time I had to prepare, yet I exceeded my expectations because I decided to face everything and the end result, I was able to rise above my expectations.
* F.E.A.R: Forget Everything And Run- this is a good one not because it is easy to do but when I look back at the results of choosing to see the other side of fear in this positive light, it still blows my mind. The fond example that comes to mind is this past semester, when I had to plan for the International Festival at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work. Usually, planning for this event should have been under way 2-3 months months before I and a team of students decided to make it possible. I was not only the Co-Chair for this event, I was also in charge of the performances that would take place. The first part of the responsibility required me to recruit a committee of no less than 8 people other than me in other to cover all aspects.
George Warren Brown School of Social Work (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Recruiting other students to help plan for something that was a huge deal with very short time was not as easy as I would have loved. Nevertheless, after asking around, posting, cajoling, begging, we signed up about 12 other individuals on the committee. Beyond that, we had many other challenges and tasks to coordinate and bring together. Majority of the people outside the planning thought we were nuts to take on the task. A lot of people were skeptical and said we would be happy if 50 people showed up. We did not allow any of these things to stop us. We not only filled the auditorium, but had an extra 100 people we could not sit. Over 400 people showed up for an event that no one wanted to plan or take on and according to the the Dean of the school, professors, staffs and students, they believe the International Festival this year was the best among all the ones that had taken place before.
What if my committee and I had chosen not to run with it despite the uncertainty and the limited amount of time we had to plan? What if we had let the negative side of fear overcome the positive side of daring even though in reality, there is nothing that should propel you to dare? We would not have had the awesome experience we had. We would not have created and forge the bond of friendship with unlikely individuals and we would not know that we had it in us to make the seemly impossible happen with the limited time and resources we had. I was so humbled by this experience and it taught me a lot about who I am and what is possible if I would choose to see the other side of my fears. Below are pictures from the international festival. I would not trade the experience and the opportunity I had to learn about other people’s culture for anything in the world.
*F.E.A.R: Face Everything And Rejoice- my thought for this is that, sometimes, you act and you do not reach the ultimate goal you want. Do not take it as a sign of failure, instead, be glad and rejoice that you stepped out even when you did not know what the outcome with and gave it a shot. In the century we are right now, no one cares that you have great ideas, they want you to walk the talk. So, go out there and fail, your failure to attain your goal is not a set back, you are failing forward. You now know what not to do in the future. You know that you are another step closer to getting to where you want to be. A vivid example for me was when I applied for the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU). I applied as a team and I was so sure our ideas would be chosen. Something I forgot to do in my hope of being part of the participant was not following up to make sure some of my team members submitted their part. After waiting for over two months, looking forward to receiving the email to say, congratulations, you were chosen, I received the opposite news.
Nizan Guanaes at the Clinton Global Initiative (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We were not chosen and I was crushed and I could not believe it because so many people knew I applied for this and how was I supposed to face them and say I was not chosen? So many people were rooting for me and I felt like I had disappointed everyone. When I reached out to my other team members to see how they were faring about not been chosen, I discovered that none of them completed their part of the application and since one person cannot be a team, it made sense that we were not chosen. I learned two things, one, always follow up and make sure everyone is on the same page, do not just assume that because it is such a great opportunity, everyone would have the same enthusiasm. Two, instead of wallowing in pity, I had the wonderful opportunity to become a key part of the planning committee for the CGI U event and I ended up taking on a bigger role and was part of the team that created the wonderful and exciting experience that the CGIU participants had. I got to connect with high stake officials within my school and outside of it that I would not have connected with if I was not part of the planning committee.
Brookings Hall, the administrative building for Washington University in St. Louis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Though I was not accepted as a participant, I ended up taking on a bigger role in the big picture and that is something that is worth celebrating and rejoicing about. So when you try and choose to go against the negative side of fear and act and you do not attain the prize you set your eyes on, reflect on the experience and see what you gained by going through with the specific thing. So in your failure to reach the ideal goal, do not lose sight of the small victories that comes with your step and leap towards attaining your goal.
You can follow me @tripleola on twitter. I look forward to hearing your comments, insights, and stories about how you are choosing to see the other side of fear and going for your ultimate prizes in this life.