Imagine if you had absolutely no fear.
Imagine if you had no fear to pursue the goals and dreams that God put in your heart.
Imagine if you had no fear to pursue your purpose in life.
Imagine if you had no fear to serve a purpose that is greater than yourself, such as leading a global cause to make a positive impact on the lives of millions of people by leading them to a more meaningful life so that they can realize their God-given talents, or publishing books to inspire and move more people, or traveling all around the world to tell stories and share messages that transform, empower and set free millions of others.
This is the world I imagined for myself.
And this is the world I imagine for you who are reading this piece.
However, several weeks ago, I came to the realization that something within myself was preventing me from making progress toward my calling and the world I described above.
This was FEAR of both Failure and Success!
I know fear is the obstacle to progress as well as life’s fulfillments. So I thought that God didn’t give me this spirit of fear and decided to do something about it, but what was I to do?
On the day I moved to Thousands Oaks, I discovered a hiking trail about two minutes from my home.
A few days later, I woke up at 6:30 in the morning, the sky was clear and the air was crisp and fresh. And it was as if the hiking trail was calling me. So I decided to go for a hike.
As I was approaching the mountain, I was reminded of my professor in college who once told me, “Jean-Marc, there will be a great future ahead of you if you can overcome your shyness.” I was already aware that my shyness was holding me back because I was in sales and always felt extremely anxious about speaking in front of strangers.
He then suggested that I get to the top of a mountain and scream from the top of my lungs. He said that will set you free.
I then continued to the mountaintop hoping to conquer this fear.
It has been over 40 days days since I started my journey to the mountaintop. On June 9, 2016, I was fortunate to share my story in front of 20+ like minded professionals. I am very happy to share the video of my speech with you. I hope the insights from my journey will inspire you to get to your mountaintop, so that you too will learn how to overcome your fears and ultimately serve a purpose that is greater than yourself.
Sharing my story at my Toastmasters Club
I am also happy to share some pictures and videos I took at the top of my mountain (Hillcrest Open Space Loop). It’s a moderately strenuous 4½ mile loop with a total elevation gain/loss of about 1300 ft. Hillcrest Ridge Trail and White Sage trail connect at both the north and south ends making a loop hike-route with 360° views of Thousand Oaks and the surrounding area.
Hillcrest Open Space Loop in Thousand Oaks
As you can see in the pictures below, it’s extremely peaceful and beautiful at the top. I usually don’t see anyone on the trail. In most days, I see beautiful rabbits and birds. It’s the perfect place to reflect on my life plan and on my purpose. Every time I find myself alone on the mountain, I think of Marisa Shadrick, who once said that, “Our God-given purpose begins in quiet solitude.
One morning, it was extremely foggy. I could barely see in front of me. I hesitated before I get on the mountain. That day, I took another leap of faith, grabbed the hand of God and let Him guide me. It was one of the most exhilarating and liberating experiences. I recorded my experience in the video below. I hope it will inspire you.
On the other side of uncertainty and fear, there is true joy, light, love, happiness and beauty.
On May 21, 2016, I achieved my 1st goal to get to the mountaintop and scream for 30 consecutive days. It was a memorable and uplifting experience.
With my best friend, I have been learning to conquer myself and climb mountains to see the world.
Before I go, I’d like to leave you with these words of wisdom and a motivational video from my mentor Les Brown.
I will be praying that you too will let your faith be bigger than your fears.
And next time you struggle with your fears, keep in mind that they are only temporary, but regrets last forever.
So what are you going to do to get past your fears? And which fears are you committed to overcoming?