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Living in America, most people think we are in this illusion of truly being free. Although our free will allows us to do what we want in this world, there are invisible chains that are unknowingly holding us back. Over a decade ago, I realized this and within a few minutes during my epiphany, it all came to me. Since then I’ve taught this to hundreds of people more privately and have helped most of them break free once they applied it to their lives. Today, I’ll start with the first of a total of 4 things that is holding you back to be the best version of yourself.

We weren’t born with them, but usually sometime from when we were a baby to when we grew up as a teenager, most of our fears subconsciously entered in our life and stayed there to limit us. There are many types of fears like the fear of public speaking, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of not being in control, fear of death and fear of success. There are other specific ones like fear of spiders, fear of heights (which usually is just the fear of falling down from something really high), fear of being in an small, enclosed space (claustrophobia), and so on. So what’s the big deal about fears and why is it so bad?

Well, the problem arrives because everything you do is either to gain pleasure or avoid pain. Guess which emotion evokes the greatest pain? You guessed it: fear. So when you want to do something, feel good, think positively, be successful, do something adventurous, get out of your comfort zone, whatever you know in the short or long run its good for you, the doubt starts to creep and fear takes over. It’s the egoic mind lying to you.

The root of why the emotion of fear even exists was for survival. Men who hunted and gathered needed that instinct to survive. Some people use those fear instincts to get ahead and stay focused, but mostly when you still haven’t overcome your fear, it takes over your driver’s seat. It’ll then take you off-road off your truer, higher self (in other words, your wiser, future self) or corner you in a paralyzed, fetal position.

Most people want to start something and do something great with their lives, but the fear of failure or rejections kicks in. We are all made for greatness. But your fears sneaks in and you start to think what would people think of me if I failed. Your mind goes to worse-case scenarios and dark places. And then you tell yourself you can’t do this. You compare yourself to those who made it and looked easy. They’re smarter, more technical, more experienced. You make excuses like they all came from money or was at the right place at the right time. Here’s the reality: 90% of what we worry about never come true.

You’re putting your attention on the wrong things. Instead, you should focus on what a life of freedom looks like whether it be financial freedom, freedom to do what you want, when you want it. When you have a taste of that, it’s very tough to ever go back. Focus on the value you’re adding into other people’s lives whether it’s your future customers, partners, employees. Focus on the opportunity to do love more, more time with family, more time to do what you want.

Failure only occurs once you made the decision to give up. Every other time it’s wisdom. Quit thinking of doing something uncomfortable as pass or fail, rather than 100% of the time you will get a result. And with that result, you learn from something. Take risks: if you get what you want, you live your dreams; if it didn’t happen the way you wanted, you’re wiser.

I’ve started to spend my early 20’s overcoming most of my fears one by one, I had a lot of them. I started my journey of overcame my fear of public speaking at age 18 when I started speaking in front of my Sunday School middle school class of 4. I overcame my fear of rejection when I had to shut down my business and realized that the people who I truly loved and cared for didn’t even care if I failed or not. It wasn’t the end of the world. I saw worse-case scenario and it wasn’t that bad after all. And I realized if I kept living my life only caring about what others thought of me, that’s the path of not living at all. And if anyone were to not like me because I failed, I didn’t want them in my life at all. I fully overcame any fear of death after visiting Heaven and knowing how beautiful it truly is (those people who had those near-death experiences and how they describe it – they are on point). Recently, I overcame my last fear, and I didn’t even know I still had it – the fear of not being in control. Once you surrender and let go, you should follow the flow. Trust that there’s something greater than yourself working in your life and it knows exactly where to go.

Overcoming each fear is one of the most incredible things you can do for yourself to truly unleash your potential. I’ve spent now over 15 years learning and teaching people how to break through and have seen the incredible results once they do. Courage is not the absence of fear, it is acting in spite of it.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18