If you don’t know this powerful story yet, take a seat.
There was once an emperor who commissioned a new suit from 2 swindlers who posed as weavers. They ordered the best silk available, which they hid every night instead of using it for weaving.
To cover up their theft, they spread a fascinating rumour about this new suit: That is was so unique that only those who were worthy of their rank could see it.
If you couldn’t see it, you were unworthy, an imposter, a disgrace.
“What a splendid work of art!” The ministers marvelled as they inspected the evolution of the weaving. Truth is, they couldn’t see a thing, but none of them was ready to be called an fool.
“Oh my, this is amazing!” Exclaimed the emperor, as he saw it in his turn. Not once was there anything to see during the weaving, but the fear of disgrace got every one in and around the city to join into the lie.
On procession day, the emperor removed his clothes, stepped into his marvellous new attire and majestically paraded around town.
“But he’s got no clothes”, a child said. “He has no clothes”, the next person thought. Before you knew it, everyone came to their senses and shouted what had been apparent all this time: that the emperor has no clothes.
Yet. Convinced that only fools would think such a thing, the emperor continued his procession, smile on his face, along with his ministers holding a train made of thin air.
How Does This Story Relate To Fear?
1. Fear Is The Invisible Suit. To embrace it is to see something that doesn’t exist.
Just like the suit only existed in people’s mind, fear is an idea: That things will go wrong, that the uncharted territory is rigged with ambush and that the unattempted is so for a reason.
If you convince yourself to see it, you surely will.
The emperor ignored the voice in him suggesting that there wasn’t any cloth and had the opposite of what he expected. In attempting to avoid ridicule, he met ridicule.
In attempting to avoid failure, fear could lead you right to it. How?
- You cannot eternally push back a launch date,
- avoid an apology,
- or avoid an assignment,
Without consequence. When fear knocks, do that thing right away.
2. Fear Begets Fear, just like the lie about the suit spread itself.
If you convince yourself that anything about a goal at hand is to be feared, it will become easier to accept the fear of everything else associated to it.
It is debilitating. It doesn’t make you more tactful.
If you need life in your best shot, do not launch it from a position of fear. Launch it from a place that says “I can make it because I said so.”
3. Courage Begets Courage, just like the truth about the invisible suit spread itself.
I could as well have said courage is the gateway drug to itself. It only takes one act of courage in the opposite direction of your worries to make you do more. Doesn’t matter how small, what matters is that your brain registers the idea that you are the kind of person who successfully faces challenges.
The rest will catch fire from there.
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