And my dad ‘lied’ – The end
But now I know. Now I know that bad things happen to good people. Now I know it is called Life. Now I know that ‘Murphy’ comes knocking at everyone’s door especially when you least expect it. It doesn’t matter if you have the blood of angels flowing in your veins. ‘Murphy’ knows how and when to show up. Now I know the problem is not Murphy, the problem is me knowing the right thing to do when Murphy shows up.
Now I know that in this world you will have tribulations but in God you will have peace. Peace is what was promised not a life devoid of challenges. I mixed things up. Now I know that the only way to move forward in life is to face your fear. Now I know that even fear has levels. Fear is in degrees and the higher you want to go in life, the greater the fear you have to deal with. Now I know that in order to grow, you will encounter fear in the very area of life where you have a growth potential. Fear is never ending, winning is never ending, success is never ending. But you can choose your fear. You can overcome your fear.
And you should. Face your fear to overcome it. Don’t run. There is no shield for your back so when you turn your back on your fear you are exposed. Face it and confront it. Reality is that only when you confront it will you realize it was not as bad as you thought. I think it was Zig Ziglar that defined fear as false evidence appearing real. Think of the worst case scenario that could happen when you decide to confront your fear and prepare for it. Don’t magnify your fear.
When you confront your fear, it soon fizzles out. I remember many years ago when I got robbed at a particular spot on my way home from work. It was the first and only time I felt the cold metal of a short gun on my forehead. How chilling. It was my pay day and I had withdrawn some cash to take home. I had my newly acquired wedding ring, cash running to thousands, my laptop, some books I just bought and a couple of other personal items. Everything was taken away from me. Fortunately I was not harmed. Poor me, I thought those were the only things the hoodlums stole from me. I didn’t know they also stole my confidence and planted a seed of fear in me that night. I never knew. But in due season, the seed of fear germinated and grew. It was then I noticed. Every time I passed by that spot even during the day, I felt some shivers, the very same one I felt that night when I had a gun to my head. Naturally, I started to avoid the place. It felt like a good idea.
After a while I realized the extent of the damage those guys did. Then I had my eureka moment. Passing through that spot was my right and no one was going to debar me from doing so. I was going to deal with the fear. I decided to go back to that spot again. I worked out a plan on how I was going to be smarter doing exactly what I did that led to my being robbed. You see, there is always a degree of responsibility you have in the mishaps that befall you. The earlier you own your part and learn from it, the faster you’ll heal. The first time I tried it, it was at night, about the same time I had the bad experience. I was literarily shivering. I felt like running and my knees wobbled. But I stayed on and got home. I knew I was afraid but I chose to go ahead. I had to acknowledge my fear in order to deal with it. I continued to take that route and pass by the same place about the same time especially at night. The more I confronted the feeling of fear that resulted from the bad experience, the more it fizzled out. The more confident I became and the better I felt. Until one day I realized it was gone. I had been passing by the place and didn’t even remember anything happened to me there, no more fear, no more shivering and even when I eventually remembered, all fear was gone. Then it occurred to me that indeed my dad did not lie!
What my dad did was to prepare me for the future. That was why I could face my fear and conquer it. It was the sure foundation that I had that helped me. All my dad did and all he could have done was to set my footing on a good foundation. He gave me the basic tenets of successful living – faith in God, faith in yourself, competence, hard work, humility, integrity, kindness and commitment to continual self improvement. What else does one need in life? Every other thing rides on these things. Mortal man is limited in what he can see so the best legacy anyone can leave for the younger generation is how to build a sure foundation. When the foundation is set, you can build whatever you want on it and when the storms of life hit, you will find yourself standing. I am doing the same for my sons right now and I know one day, they will probably face a challenge and say, “but dad did not tell me this…” Yes and then I will reply them, “I have given you all that you need to succeed in life. If you think hard enough, you will know what to do.”
I’ll cap this up this way. Life is serendipity. All over the world there is no paean without pain. Pain is part of life. Problem is part of life. Conflict is part of life. Fear is part of life. That you’re going through any of them at any time does not imply something is wrong. No. Everything is right. You’re not having a problem, you’re only growing through a challenge! So grow through it. To conquer your fear, you must confront it. There is no other way. You were not born fearful. Something caused it and the earlier you dig it up and deal with it, the earlier you’ll heal and overcome. Most of our fears are buried deep. Often times we don’t even realize why we have the fear but it does not stop us from facing it. For me, one of my fears was the fear of a certain location, for you it may be dogs, it may be men, it may be women, it may be relationships, it may be starting your business, it may be heights. It may even be food. Maybe it is not absolutely necessary to confront every fear you have but any fear that cripples your life will cripple the fulfillment of your vision. You must therefore confront it. Today!