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Overcome your fear: Defend your values and live up to your potential

Practical pointers for avoiding unnecessary anxiety

Theresa M. Szczurek //March 7, 2017//

Overcome your fear: Defend your values and live up to your potential

Practical pointers for avoiding unnecessary anxiety

Theresa M. Szczurek //March 7, 2017//

In challenging times, take actionable steps to overcome fear. 

The famous opening sentence of the Charles Dickens' novel, “A Tale of Two Cities,” begins:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…"

According to "It tells about the time of chaos, conflicts, time of despair as well as happiness. It in fact tells us about the time of extreme opposites without any in-betweens."

Although published in 1859, this Dickens message about the French Revolution is germane today, in business and politics, in a divided country and a fragmented world. Such challenges often trigger fear.


The known and the unknown can trigger fear. There are at least two types of fear: that which is irrational and rational panic that comes from true danger. Both may feel genuine. There are reasonable circumstances for both working through fear with persistence and for getting out of the situation. Wisdom is knowing when to appropriately use each one of these.

Eileen Joseph, philanthropic consultant, states, "We all face challenges. It is what we do with those challenges that make us the people we are."


In these turbulent times, it is extremely important to know thyself. What are your values? How does this apply to your professional and personal life? What do you stand for? Values define what is meaningful to you. They are an essential element in defining your passion.


Become aware of discouraging forces that burden you. Identify and name them so it's easier for you to overcome. The way to work with obstacles is to admit they exist and address them head on, not repress them.


Develop the opposite quality. Intentionally nurture and build the opposing positive force. What is the opposite of fear? Love.

How can you cultivate more love in your life and in the world?


Encircle yourself with supportive and loving people. Work together. Determine a strategy and plan of action.


Strengthen your non-violent, compassionate communications skills. See, for example, Do You Really Hear Me?


In times where fake news and painful facts propagate, it's best to limit your intake. Yes, you want to be informed so you can take action, but overindulging can drive fear. Instead, try to avoid the rabbit hole affect and find information that makes you more productive and successful in your endeavors.


Once you identify your values, you can protect and take action to ensure you live true to your highest convictions.

As Eleanor Roosevelt advises:

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do." 

Overcome fear, cultivate love. Stand strong with your highest convictions. Know what you stand for. Take action to defend core values.

If you abide by these ideals, you should be able to achieve health wealth and live out your aspirations.