Fear is a powerful emotion which too often hinders success. Aggression is a word that can carry a negative connotation; however, fighting against fear is a necessary component of resilience. When the British demanded the surrender of the American Revolutionary War hero John Paul Jones, he exclaimed, “I have not yet begun to fight!” His surly retort made it clear he had no intention of capitulating. This refusal to wave the white flag is an effective life principle when you are faced with anxiety.

Flight is a common response to fear, but sometimes people freeze. Most have felt at some point in their lives the sense of being frozen by fear. This can even become a chronic state of mind leading to passivity. You need to be determined to break out of this mindset because it will hinder your success. What kind of an impact do you wish to make? What legacy would you like to leave? These may sound like lofty questions, but they are worth pondering.

In the game of chess, a player wins by checkmating his opponent’s king. His adversary is left with nowhere to go. Checkmate fear by being determined to act constructively regardless of unsettled emotions. Allow me to give an example. I will be sharing two rather lengthy presentations soon. I do have some tangible feelings of anxiety. What are my options? I could choose to give in to the fear and cancel the engagements. I could allow fear to overwhelm me to the point I present poorly not reflecting my capability. The decision to face fear and speak with boldness will strengthen my ability to overcome fear in the future.

What fears are you facing today? Some wrongly think courageous people do not experience anxiety. Generals Douglas MacArthur and George S. Patton, Jr. would beg to differ. Patton once said, “The real hero is the man [or woman] who fights even though he is scared.”  Never underestimate the power of fear. You need a robust counterforce to confront it. A strong belief in yourself and definiteness of purpose help to keep you laser-focused, tenacious, and resilient. Keep advancing; Keep active; leave fear with no place to go.