What Fear Can Do To You

I came in contact recently with a story that fascinated me some years ago. That story made me re-evaluate my life and the kind of stuff that I allow to pass through my mind. It also taught me about the concept of fear and the way it paralyzes one’s dreams, ambition and even in the extreme cases – LIFE. Let’s look at the story:

There was a man named Nick – a strong and hardworking rail yardman. His fellow workers liked him and he was very easy to relate with. But he has a nemesis in the working place – Nick had a deep and disturbing fear that he would be locked in an isolated, refrigerated boxcar.
One day, the train crew were told they could close an hour early. As they left, Nick was accidentally locked in a refrigerated boxcar, which was in a yard for repairs. He panicked, shouted and banged on the walls until his voice went hoarse and his fists were bloody. He believed the temperature in the car was zero degrees. He thought, If I don’t get out of here I’ll freeze to death.
Shivering uncontrollably, he scrawled a message to his wife. “So cold, body’s getting numb. If I could just go to sleep…. These may be my last words.”
The next morning the crew slid open the boxcar’s heavy doors and found Nick’s body. An autopsy revealed that every physical sign indicated he had frozen to death. But the car’s refrigeration unit was broken. The temperature inside was never lower than 61 degrees. Nick’s fear became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Note: This account of the story was taken from John Hagee’s book – The Seven Secrets.

I have a reason for using this story to illustrate my point. It is so relevant to many of us especially those who think negatively all the time. These are people I try not to relate with as their unbelief and their wacked believes are detrimental to progressive growth. The bible says that “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is”. Nothing can be truer and I find this very liberating. Rich people first became rich from their mind and thinking. Same applies to poor people.

The rich people believed first that they can do it, put their minds to it and achieve the goals. Most of the battles we fight to become relevant in this world happens right inside of us. The manifestation of what we see is a product of our thought process and believe/disbelieve in our abilities. In this unique time in history, a time of bleak message being preached all over the World – we need now more than ever to control our thoughts in preparation for a glorious future. Otherwise, the story would not be too palatable. I have the following points which might help.

  • failure does not start in a day. The fastest road to failure is fear. Some fears are healthy and necessary while majority are very detrimental to our success. The case of Nick is just an example of the kind of life many people live today in their day-to-day activities. Some people lost their destinies just by fearing to take the necessary steps. There is always an excuse and someone or something to blame. I can’t apply for that job because I did not have a 2-1; Oh, the exam is too costly and my salary is small; My dad did not send me to a good school and now I am suffering for it; the list goes on. Whatever the story is, there must be a will to move on.
  • Laziness is never a virtue. There are still so many things begging for a solution in our world today. Many books are still begging to be written and even that business proposal is waiting for your attention. Many of us are guilty as charged when it comes to doing the real thing. We think that once we have submitted three proposals and got no call backs; then it is finished. How wrong! Successful people know the number of NO they got before the YES started coming in. Defer your sleep from today, push yourself some more and see the result in your life. That expression you have in your mind cannot do anything for you until it is a finished product. Stop being timid.
  • Pages of newspapers, Internet websites and other media are awash with stories of the present economic woes. While no country is immune to the effects of the downturn (We have learned so many new words from these economic issues) especially with the crash of the Naira and the Nigerian stock exchange; but I still believe that we are mostly caught in a web of contagious fear. I am not saying that it is not the reality, but we must train our minds to avoid unduly over-killing it. I have always believed that this might be the period for some to capitalize on the crash of some big institutions. Some are going to make their wealth in this period while some will continue spreading bad news around. We need to be very positive at this period and guide our way to relevance and prosperity (Mind, Soul and Body).
  • Most successful people knew from the start what they wanted to achieve. They might not get up to what they planned or might even exceed their expectations, but they already have an idea of what they want to achieve. Imagine a first year student in a University who did not even understand what 1st class meant before coming to school. He will most likely not have it as his goal even though he is very brilliant. Most brilliant guys who do very well in school had parents or siblings who already gave them an overview of what grades mean. Same with successful business people; they knew the number of clients they must garner to break even and pursue same. But even if you know what you want, you must also believe that you can do it; else it is an exercise in futility.
  • The emotion of fear can save our lives in the event of responding to the effects of Adrenaline when we see a Lion approaching us. But the spirit of fear can only do one thing – destroy us. In all we do – we must learn to exercise faith and be positive. God bless you as you march forward and conquer.

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