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When You’re Paralyzed by Fear…

Posted By: Randy GageJanuary 27, 2010

In yesterday’s post we said that most fear is unwarranted and often fear can be good for us.  But what about when it paralyzes you from taking action?

You don’t ask the girl to dance, because she might say no.  You spend another 30 minutes on your expense account instead of making the sales call.  You bury yourself in busywork, instead of calling that prospect.

Did you miss out on the love of your life because you were afraid to approach them?  Did someone else get rich with your idea, because you were too timid to act? Did someone else sponsor that “Diamond Director” because you were afraid to call him or her?

When fear holds you back from your highest good, it’s out of control.  And you have to do something about it.  So what should you do?

Well I can’t think of a better thing to tell you than the following passage from “As a Man Thinketh.”

"Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful and pure thoughts.  By pursuing this process, a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life."

Think about that.  And please share your thoughts below.

-RG

32 comments on “When You’re Paralyzed by Fear…”

  1. I hate to admit this, but most of my life has been run by fear. Still to this day, fear has stopped me from doing what I know I should be doing. There will be a longer response to this, but it'll have to be in video format. I'll let you know when I post it up on my blog.

  2. Solid post Randy.
    Fear is paralyzing, without question. It stops us from taking action, which prevents us from succeeding...or getting the girl...or cashing in on the idea.
    The gardening metaphor is perfect. If we would see our thoughts as tangible possibilities and give them the attention and care they need to come to fruition, they would pummel our fears, much like the fruit tree towers over the wilting weed...
    Thanks for provoking thought,
    MS

  3. Thank you Randy

    you hit home with me as you share it, change is great

    take out the trash

    In my mind

    yes yes yes

  4. Strange, I conquered the fear thing when I stayed in the City. I then moved to a small town three years ago and because I did not have to talk to clients anymore gradually the fear came back. Today I have to go see clients again and I am back where I was years ago, I have to force myself to do it all over again.

  5. GREAT THOUGHT FROM ALLEN THERE AS A MAN THINKETH....I LOVE IT..IAM IN CONTROL OF MY LIFE BECAUSE I CONTROL MY MIND

    THANKS

    GENE
    PHILIPPINES

  6. I remember the first day I started my business I was returning to work after an absence of 18 months...yes I know...a long time....well even though I was looking forward to it I was terrified....I was so terrified that as I put the key in the door my hand started shaking and I questioned whether I could do this...a big breath and a twist of the key....and five years later I have never looked back.
    Thanks for the post Randy...

  7. We take ourselves with us wherever we go. I thought I had dealt with a fear which had a strong hold on me, yet all I was doing was escaping from a deep rooted belief which was driving me unbeknownst to myself. I thought I had a free choice and was in control of my life, just how wrong I was, was brought home to me as all I had done was tough it out and suppressed the fearful belief as the fear came back I likened what I had done to putting a filling in a tooth on top of an abcess. In other words treating the symptom rather than the cause of the fear.

  8. Those little thought weeds creep in so quickly, eh? It's a constant noticing, and removing and platning of the good stuff!

    And low and behold, if I don't I notice the impact!

  9. As always, a great post, Randy. Thanks for the Allen quote, it is something all should cut-n-paste somewhere near their computer. We all slip from time to time and need to be reminded.

    Thanks.

    Tom Larsen

  10. I love the explaining you given in this writing about a gardener vs. a self director. Yes, I have to weed out all the wrong, useless and impure thoughts. Thanks Randy! 🙂

  11. Why are we so afraid of fear, i would like to have an explanation on that!!!I've gone over alot of fears in my life and i'M very happy about it but some are still left, i was wondering why can't we just live without fear!!!

  12. Randy...Thanks, great reminder. I wrote today in my Good Morning Great Day newsletter about expectations versus visions. I said "Having a vision is something you can reach for, it breathes possibility into your life while an expectation is a set-up for disappointment." Fear is just another emotion that needs to be felt because it can actually move you into action. Thanks again. Have a great day.
    Paul Hoffman

  13. Thank you Randy, as always you say the part that we need to hear it and remind it and act it every day and every moment.
    Most of the times going toward somethings that paralyze me with fear, was the best way for me to win over.
    I believe that near to the fear make us comfort to think about it and face it easily.
    Thanks a lot,
    You are the best, Randy

  14. Indeed!!! Experience has taught me that always, just on the other side of 'fear', is great opportunity. I believe that being 'in fear' is really the same thing as being 'disempowered'. When one can take a look at where they are giving their personal power away, to what and why - sometimes that simple perspective lends just enough confidence to slay the dragon and take on whatever appears to be unconquerable!

    Thanks for the great thoughts!

    KimbraLee =)

  15. Wow Randy, powerful post. Yes I have spent many hours over 20 years doing non-productive things instead of meeting issues head-on. Since losing so much in the last few years, I have came up with a quote that I say to myself when I find I am killing time. It goes like this, "That which I confront, I control the outcome." The quote has proven to work in my life and maybe some of your readers can use as well. Have a great day.

  16. This is a good topic for me because I am baffled by what people call fear. I made some decisions I became when I was real young and lost the soft connection to what I hear others refer to as fear. [It cost a sense of accomplishment however.] It occurs as reluctance to me and something that is usually easily ignored. Fear, for me, appears completely different. I associate it with my life passing in front of my eyes and time coming to a near complete stand still. It is a call to immediate action and the sense of time standing still makes what others see as quick action possible.

    A perfect example is notice the day before you go on a two week vacation you have been planning for months and are so excited about you are ready to burst. [Another kind of fear] What you get done that day compared to most any other day is usually enormous; the cleaning, organizing and contacting all have a level of intention behind them that people honor and time slows down to allow you to complete what any other day is considered super human.

    The lesson is not to plan a vacation for tomorrow every day. [Tomorrow never comes] but to notice what it is possible to accomplish when certain kinds of motivation appear today. I suspect everyone can adjust themselves to produce the motivation … time to go play.

  17. The fear of 'no' has crippled the careers of so many, including myself at times, and that excerpt from Mr. Allen's book is rock solid.

    If we can tend our mind's garden, and just get to the point where we don't give a rat's a** what people think or say about us, we can open the door to SO many possibilities!

    Best to you,
    Scott

  18. ok, first watch out for any thoughts at all, then define what is weed and what flowers, then chase them down, weed out and cultivate, and then keep it all going all the time - for sure a l o t and m e t i c u l o u s work!

  19. Thanks for bringing these words from "As a man Thinketh" up Randy. They are so well choosen to cast light on this inquiry on the nature of our rational mind. What else realy do we have power over but to choose how and what we think? We can make choise of thinkig empowering thoughts, not necessarely as a choise between options. Choosing from nothing is available to us when unburdened from fear. Letting loose of the rational mind now looks as equal to whatching life being lived, without living it. Great community, thanks.

    Pierre Leyssac, Wonderful Copenhagen

  20. Fear is a great motivator and can also let us know we are ready for an event (meeting, sales call, etc.) That feeling in our stomach and the slight sweaty palms are signs that you are ready. Some people let those feelings paralyze them though.
    I find the post above interesting that stated "an expectation is a set up for dissapointment". We should absolutely have expectations, and yes, should feel dissapointed if we don't reach them. Do you think the Minnesota Vikings were expecting to go the the Super Bowl and are now dissapointed that they won't be? Do you also think that next year they will be that much more focused and work that much harder to get there? Hell yes!
    RJ

  21. Thank you Randy for giving me James Allen's book 15 years ago! Can you believe we go back that far?

    Have a great time scuba diving! Watch me on the Red Carpet this Sunday. I'm going to the Grammy's BABY!

    LISA

  22. Randy,
    Love the topic! I feel by thinking through fear & then taking action, you can get out of this vicious cycle. Feel fear, do the action, see that you survived. When you do it enough, you see that you do in fact, survive each time - even if you get a No! This leads to self confidence that fear, thought may never leave you, doesn't stop you! Thanks for your enCOURAGEments!!

  23. HuMMmmmmm! The "master gardener of my thoughts"?..interesting..sounds like great nugget to flourish on!!

    Thanks Randy

  24. "Paralyze resistance with persistence." Woody Hayes.

    Catherine Ponder says in her book, "The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity," that "when you realize that prosperity is your divine heritage, you should persist in claiming it." It is a "can-do" attitude.

    She says, "when discouragement overcomes you, when despair says, 'It can't be done, you'll never make it,' that is the time to review your plans, to write them out and revise them".

    This is what I need to do. I knew I needed to make another career change but I had not changed my plans. I still had some career goals that I had not changed or rewritten. Without trying to do my business, I was attracting people and their contact information without even asking for it. I think this was because I was still hanging on to that business. I needed to revise my plans to change my career direction.

    Catherine Ponder ls says to "Be prepared if success comes suddenly." Have plans for what you will do when success comes. I think she means to change our thinking & mindset. I have heard stories of people who win the lottery then they lose all their money. I also have heard stories of people who lost hundreds of pounds then gained all the weight back. I think they may not be prepared for success. I believe we need to change our mindset before we are successful.

  25. Just last night I made a comment to my dance partner while we were on the dance floor that I'm still embarrassed about dancing in front of other people. I know that it's irrational; fear usually is. I realise that most people aren't busily watching me, they're too busy with their own dancing to even notice me and the ones that are are either admiring us or just watching to pass the time. I realise that my dancing skill suffers and so does my enjoyment. Time to just get over it!

  26. For me a great help is this question: What will be the worse thing that will happen if you do this? Usually when you explore the answers that came into your mind when asking this question you realize that noting extremely bad might happen. And thus the fear decrease...

  27. So true, fear can hold us back from achieving our goals and/or happiness.

    I just started reading the book, "The 50th Law" by 50 Cent & Robert Greene - this is on the subject of letting fear stop you and hold you back. So far, it's a great book about breaking through your fear.

    I look forward to more discussion on this. Wishing all a FEARLESS day! 🙂

    ~ Dorene Pierceall

  28. I've never been one to hold back on doing something. Somehow, somewhere along the way early in life I learned that if I didn't do something that I wanted to do I may regret it later. As a result, I've had many wonderful life experiences.

    But, when I saw the title of your article I read it because after an abusive marriage (verbal/emotional abuse) I developed panic disorder. Now THAT is true FEAR. That is completely immobilizing fear. I developed agoraphobia twice as a result and twice spent 3 months afraid to leave my home.

    After a decade my panic disorder was under control and I was panic free for 18 months until I moved to my current residence - an apartment - where there is so much noise during sleeping hours that my disrupted sleep has turned into the return of panic. I'm fighting it and I'm on extra medication. I'm trying to get out of my lease without penalty and even provided letters from my psychiatrist and one from my counselor supporting my need to move. The manager turned me down without even acknowledging the reason I need to move. I have to pay the penalty, two months rent. Now I'm about to appeal it to her manager. Oh, if only more people understood how life altering fear can be.

    The article is good and I absolutely LOVE the quote! Kudos!

  29. Excellent comment Randy!

    I have lost many prospects for the fear of letting them know that I have an option for them, I also have let some pass because once I passed the fear of letting them know I confront to the fear that the follow up brings. I hate follow ups! @#$%#@!&*?$#@ 😀

    I learnt though, that beating up myself for that is not the option, so what I have done everytime I'm afraid of saying something I just give myself a big dose of self development.

    I have overcome fears to other hard stuff to do, this one should be one more.

    Fear is there to test our tools, fear is there to overcome it, period.

  30. How true this is!!!!!!! I've been fearful of success all my life and only just now am I beginning to come out of my shell and discipline my thoughts towards success.
    Thank you so much for all the thought provoking posts Randy, they are helping me a lot.
    Claire

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  • 32 comments on “When You’re Paralyzed by Fear…”

    1. I hate to admit this, but most of my life has been run by fear. Still to this day, fear has stopped me from doing what I know I should be doing. There will be a longer response to this, but it'll have to be in video format. I'll let you know when I post it up on my blog.

    2. Solid post Randy.
      Fear is paralyzing, without question. It stops us from taking action, which prevents us from succeeding...or getting the girl...or cashing in on the idea.
      The gardening metaphor is perfect. If we would see our thoughts as tangible possibilities and give them the attention and care they need to come to fruition, they would pummel our fears, much like the fruit tree towers over the wilting weed...
      Thanks for provoking thought,
      MS

    3. Thank you Randy

      you hit home with me as you share it, change is great

      take out the trash

      In my mind

      yes yes yes

    4. Strange, I conquered the fear thing when I stayed in the City. I then moved to a small town three years ago and because I did not have to talk to clients anymore gradually the fear came back. Today I have to go see clients again and I am back where I was years ago, I have to force myself to do it all over again.

    5. GREAT THOUGHT FROM ALLEN THERE AS A MAN THINKETH....I LOVE IT..IAM IN CONTROL OF MY LIFE BECAUSE I CONTROL MY MIND

      THANKS

      GENE
      PHILIPPINES

    6. I remember the first day I started my business I was returning to work after an absence of 18 months...yes I know...a long time....well even though I was looking forward to it I was terrified....I was so terrified that as I put the key in the door my hand started shaking and I questioned whether I could do this...a big breath and a twist of the key....and five years later I have never looked back.
      Thanks for the post Randy...

    7. We take ourselves with us wherever we go. I thought I had dealt with a fear which had a strong hold on me, yet all I was doing was escaping from a deep rooted belief which was driving me unbeknownst to myself. I thought I had a free choice and was in control of my life, just how wrong I was, was brought home to me as all I had done was tough it out and suppressed the fearful belief as the fear came back I likened what I had done to putting a filling in a tooth on top of an abcess. In other words treating the symptom rather than the cause of the fear.

    8. Those little thought weeds creep in so quickly, eh? It's a constant noticing, and removing and platning of the good stuff!

      And low and behold, if I don't I notice the impact!

    9. As always, a great post, Randy. Thanks for the Allen quote, it is something all should cut-n-paste somewhere near their computer. We all slip from time to time and need to be reminded.

      Thanks.

      Tom Larsen

    10. I love the explaining you given in this writing about a gardener vs. a self director. Yes, I have to weed out all the wrong, useless and impure thoughts. Thanks Randy! 🙂

    11. Why are we so afraid of fear, i would like to have an explanation on that!!!I've gone over alot of fears in my life and i'M very happy about it but some are still left, i was wondering why can't we just live without fear!!!

    12. Randy...Thanks, great reminder. I wrote today in my Good Morning Great Day newsletter about expectations versus visions. I said "Having a vision is something you can reach for, it breathes possibility into your life while an expectation is a set-up for disappointment." Fear is just another emotion that needs to be felt because it can actually move you into action. Thanks again. Have a great day.
      Paul Hoffman

    13. Thank you Randy, as always you say the part that we need to hear it and remind it and act it every day and every moment.
      Most of the times going toward somethings that paralyze me with fear, was the best way for me to win over.
      I believe that near to the fear make us comfort to think about it and face it easily.
      Thanks a lot,
      You are the best, Randy

    14. Indeed!!! Experience has taught me that always, just on the other side of 'fear', is great opportunity. I believe that being 'in fear' is really the same thing as being 'disempowered'. When one can take a look at where they are giving their personal power away, to what and why - sometimes that simple perspective lends just enough confidence to slay the dragon and take on whatever appears to be unconquerable!

      Thanks for the great thoughts!

      KimbraLee =)

    15. Wow Randy, powerful post. Yes I have spent many hours over 20 years doing non-productive things instead of meeting issues head-on. Since losing so much in the last few years, I have came up with a quote that I say to myself when I find I am killing time. It goes like this, "That which I confront, I control the outcome." The quote has proven to work in my life and maybe some of your readers can use as well. Have a great day.

    16. This is a good topic for me because I am baffled by what people call fear. I made some decisions I became when I was real young and lost the soft connection to what I hear others refer to as fear. [It cost a sense of accomplishment however.] It occurs as reluctance to me and something that is usually easily ignored. Fear, for me, appears completely different. I associate it with my life passing in front of my eyes and time coming to a near complete stand still. It is a call to immediate action and the sense of time standing still makes what others see as quick action possible.

      A perfect example is notice the day before you go on a two week vacation you have been planning for months and are so excited about you are ready to burst. [Another kind of fear] What you get done that day compared to most any other day is usually enormous; the cleaning, organizing and contacting all have a level of intention behind them that people honor and time slows down to allow you to complete what any other day is considered super human.

      The lesson is not to plan a vacation for tomorrow every day. [Tomorrow never comes] but to notice what it is possible to accomplish when certain kinds of motivation appear today. I suspect everyone can adjust themselves to produce the motivation … time to go play.

    17. The fear of 'no' has crippled the careers of so many, including myself at times, and that excerpt from Mr. Allen's book is rock solid.

      If we can tend our mind's garden, and just get to the point where we don't give a rat's a** what people think or say about us, we can open the door to SO many possibilities!

      Best to you,
      Scott

    18. ok, first watch out for any thoughts at all, then define what is weed and what flowers, then chase them down, weed out and cultivate, and then keep it all going all the time - for sure a l o t and m e t i c u l o u s work!

    19. Thanks for bringing these words from "As a man Thinketh" up Randy. They are so well choosen to cast light on this inquiry on the nature of our rational mind. What else realy do we have power over but to choose how and what we think? We can make choise of thinkig empowering thoughts, not necessarely as a choise between options. Choosing from nothing is available to us when unburdened from fear. Letting loose of the rational mind now looks as equal to whatching life being lived, without living it. Great community, thanks.

      Pierre Leyssac, Wonderful Copenhagen

    20. Fear is a great motivator and can also let us know we are ready for an event (meeting, sales call, etc.) That feeling in our stomach and the slight sweaty palms are signs that you are ready. Some people let those feelings paralyze them though.
      I find the post above interesting that stated "an expectation is a set up for dissapointment". We should absolutely have expectations, and yes, should feel dissapointed if we don't reach them. Do you think the Minnesota Vikings were expecting to go the the Super Bowl and are now dissapointed that they won't be? Do you also think that next year they will be that much more focused and work that much harder to get there? Hell yes!
      RJ

    21. Thank you Randy for giving me James Allen's book 15 years ago! Can you believe we go back that far?

      Have a great time scuba diving! Watch me on the Red Carpet this Sunday. I'm going to the Grammy's BABY!

      LISA

    22. Randy,
      Love the topic! I feel by thinking through fear & then taking action, you can get out of this vicious cycle. Feel fear, do the action, see that you survived. When you do it enough, you see that you do in fact, survive each time - even if you get a No! This leads to self confidence that fear, thought may never leave you, doesn't stop you! Thanks for your enCOURAGEments!!

    23. HuMMmmmmm! The "master gardener of my thoughts"?..interesting..sounds like great nugget to flourish on!!

      Thanks Randy

    24. "Paralyze resistance with persistence." Woody Hayes.

      Catherine Ponder says in her book, "The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity," that "when you realize that prosperity is your divine heritage, you should persist in claiming it." It is a "can-do" attitude.

      She says, "when discouragement overcomes you, when despair says, 'It can't be done, you'll never make it,' that is the time to review your plans, to write them out and revise them".

      This is what I need to do. I knew I needed to make another career change but I had not changed my plans. I still had some career goals that I had not changed or rewritten. Without trying to do my business, I was attracting people and their contact information without even asking for it. I think this was because I was still hanging on to that business. I needed to revise my plans to change my career direction.

      Catherine Ponder ls says to "Be prepared if success comes suddenly." Have plans for what you will do when success comes. I think she means to change our thinking & mindset. I have heard stories of people who win the lottery then they lose all their money. I also have heard stories of people who lost hundreds of pounds then gained all the weight back. I think they may not be prepared for success. I believe we need to change our mindset before we are successful.

    25. Just last night I made a comment to my dance partner while we were on the dance floor that I'm still embarrassed about dancing in front of other people. I know that it's irrational; fear usually is. I realise that most people aren't busily watching me, they're too busy with their own dancing to even notice me and the ones that are are either admiring us or just watching to pass the time. I realise that my dancing skill suffers and so does my enjoyment. Time to just get over it!

    26. For me a great help is this question: What will be the worse thing that will happen if you do this? Usually when you explore the answers that came into your mind when asking this question you realize that noting extremely bad might happen. And thus the fear decrease...

    27. So true, fear can hold us back from achieving our goals and/or happiness.

      I just started reading the book, "The 50th Law" by 50 Cent & Robert Greene - this is on the subject of letting fear stop you and hold you back. So far, it's a great book about breaking through your fear.

      I look forward to more discussion on this. Wishing all a FEARLESS day! 🙂

      ~ Dorene Pierceall

    28. I've never been one to hold back on doing something. Somehow, somewhere along the way early in life I learned that if I didn't do something that I wanted to do I may regret it later. As a result, I've had many wonderful life experiences.

      But, when I saw the title of your article I read it because after an abusive marriage (verbal/emotional abuse) I developed panic disorder. Now THAT is true FEAR. That is completely immobilizing fear. I developed agoraphobia twice as a result and twice spent 3 months afraid to leave my home.

      After a decade my panic disorder was under control and I was panic free for 18 months until I moved to my current residence - an apartment - where there is so much noise during sleeping hours that my disrupted sleep has turned into the return of panic. I'm fighting it and I'm on extra medication. I'm trying to get out of my lease without penalty and even provided letters from my psychiatrist and one from my counselor supporting my need to move. The manager turned me down without even acknowledging the reason I need to move. I have to pay the penalty, two months rent. Now I'm about to appeal it to her manager. Oh, if only more people understood how life altering fear can be.

      The article is good and I absolutely LOVE the quote! Kudos!

    29. Excellent comment Randy!

      I have lost many prospects for the fear of letting them know that I have an option for them, I also have let some pass because once I passed the fear of letting them know I confront to the fear that the follow up brings. I hate follow ups! @#$%#@!&*?$#@ 😀

      I learnt though, that beating up myself for that is not the option, so what I have done everytime I'm afraid of saying something I just give myself a big dose of self development.

      I have overcome fears to other hard stuff to do, this one should be one more.

      Fear is there to test our tools, fear is there to overcome it, period.

    30. How true this is!!!!!!! I've been fearful of success all my life and only just now am I beginning to come out of my shell and discipline my thoughts towards success.
      Thank you so much for all the thought provoking posts Randy, they are helping me a lot.
      Claire

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