Leith Anderson, whose books are available of Cleveland’s Family Book Store, shares the story of a Persian general and a captured spy. The spy was given two choices, face a firing squad or go through a large black door. After several minutes the spy chose the firing squad and was thereafter executed.
The general told a comrade, “They almost always choose the firing squad.” He explained, “People prefer the known to the unknown.” When asked what was behind the large door the general simply replied, “Freedom.” He sighed as he shared very few ever chose it.
It is true, people often move towards what is comfortable, even if given other options. They simply are afraid of the unknown. Consider the following unfortunate slice of history.
In the 1800s Ignaz Semmelweiss, an obstetrician in Vienna made the critical discovery of the need for surgeons to sanitize their hands. He realized that infections were being passed to patients due to the doctors not washing their hands.
However, his conclusions were not accepted by the prominent physicians of his day. Even worse, he was labeled insane and committed to an asylum where he died just weeks later.
So how do you move beyond the uncertainty? Two things; the first is action. Keep in mind that it is over analyzing that increases anxiety. Taking immediate action will trump fear. The second way to eliminate fear is also the fastest, but it may not be what you think.
Many people think the opposite of fear is courage. However, what neutralizes fear faster than anything else is gratitude. The two emotions simply cannot coexist simultaneously. When you honestly feel gratitude, fear automatically vanishes.
As Anthony Robbins shares, one of the most useful phrases to practice daily is, “I am so grateful for…”
If you take just five minutes each morning to rehearse what you are most appreciative of in your life it will radically shape the rest of your day.
Take five minutes and with as much energy as you can muster and as quick as you can simply repeat, “I am so grateful for…I am so grateful for…”
You decide what to list. Many have found it useful to move from the center of the circle to the outside. Start with your closest relationships and move to those farthest away; start with your most cherished moments; what makes you happiest.
Anything at all that you can think of works, the point is to list as many things as possible in the allotted time. How about air conditioning? A car that runs? Health for daily activities? Nature? The list is really endless; and the results undeniable.
Don’t let uncertainty stop you, break through to the next level with a sense of true appreciation of all that is yours!