Restricted by Fear

Written by BG Howard

October 11, 2023

On many occasions I’ve spoken with people or known individuals who dwell on the issue of regrets. They confess having been “held back” and note their lives simply weren’t lived to the fullness of expectation. Such was the case when recently conversing with a middle-aged woman regarding her desire to pursue a particular career field. She spoke of several interests throughout a life riddled with various endeavors but none that were “fulfilling.”

Curiosity then prompted me to begin informally inquiring of others in order to get an idea of how many people actually live a life they really don’t enjoy. According to New Zealand’s award winning scientist, writer, speaker and a consultant with NASA’s Leadership Development Team, Dr. Dragos Bratasanu, there are 900 million people in 142 countries who are unfulfilled with what they do in life.

This unfortunate circumstance can be the result of several factors ranging from the unavailability of adequate resources to a simple lack of desire. But what proves to be a more debilitating reason than any other cause is something that is identified as life altering anxiety.

Most people who never see the realization of their dreams are caught in a powerful vortex of plain old fear. They’re either reluctant to take a chance due to being afraid of failure or have resigned too much would be at risk for them to pursue what most interpret as their ambitions. Unfortunately, those who have a realistic desire to tackle major life obstacles often turn to people with waning aspirations for validation of their specific purpose. This usually results with ill-intended advice that serves to douse any sparks of passion. And the consequence, there again, is another individual who’s content to meander through life without any real zeal for the “art” of living.

One Gallup poll lists that 70 percent of people who work are unhappy and don’t care for what they do. Studies have found Millennials are the most unfulfilled and generally care least about their jobs which results with enormous amounts of squandered potential, a slew of confounded and disgruntled people who are destined to be the future leaders of our world. The thought leaves one clamoring for answers to the age-old question about what tomorrow holds.

A similar poll notes “the majority of the 79 million Millennials in the U.S are either unemployed, underpaid, or weighed down with student loans.” For years, it has been a proven fact that the gross majority of graduates who leave college with a degree don’t actually find gainful employment in their chosen field of study but that discussion would be veering a little off topic.
To address the major concern, one has to understand that people are typically clueless when it comes to tackling unexpected obstacles or dealing with anything termed “out of the ordinary.” Simply put; if it doesn’t fit comfortably into the pre-packaged plan most have formulated for their lives, the next step is to schedule an appointment to speak with a counselor or psychiatrist.

The issue with which many people contend is a lack of compulsion that would propel them beyond a fear of failing or the dread of disappointment. There is an old adage that states, “A successful man simply tries once more than the unsuccessful.” In truth, one most often discovers that fear is more of a hindrance than a help as it only serves to restrict in every way imaginable. When in the grips of fear, one can neither think, reason, nor act to such degree as is required for successful endeavors.

Fear is a most unfortunate characteristic of mankind as it has prevented many from stepping outside their comfort zones. A great majority of would-be entrepreneurs, inventors, statesmen, and others never rise to their desired level of success due to the psychological shackles brought on by the angst of uncertainty.

Call it faith, confidence, boldness, or any of the many euphemisms assigned to the internal drive required to tackle life’s obstacles but, without that one ingredient, failure is almost certain. As noted in II Timothy 1:7 of the bible (KJV), “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Dr. Dragos offers three points of which every person should be mindful to dispel fear of their future. Firstly; focus more intensely on your passion and your purpose in life. Secondly, develop skills and knowledge in the service of your passion. And finally, understand the difference between pain and suffering.

One of what I like to refer to as my twisted hillbilly philosophies states: More often than not we find that fears, once faced, become little more than memories of life’s experiences. I could be wrong but it’s just something to consider.

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