People who have overcome fear know that fear is real as well as an illusion at the same time. When you’re afraid, nothing seems more real than fear. When you overcome it, the reality of it folds back to reveal a sort of illusion. Often, a lack of “how to” knowledge makes fear appear real. For entrepreneur Ray Ramirez, that’s the most direct way fear kills dreams. Having been on both sides of it, Ray encourages everyone to chase their passion instead of their fears.
Ray was born to middle-class working parents. With both parents engaged in making ends meet, he was left to direct himself in the world from an early age. He had little understanding of what the world is about and how to navigate it. The survivor’s instinct, however, pushed him on and he realized quite early in life that he must step up or be stepped over for the rest of his life. He says, “You develop fear when you lack direction. And without direction, you are everywhere and nowhere. That’s one of the worst feelings to experience. By 16, I had left college, worked as a driver, sold my first car, and was fired. It was overwhelming but I chose to keep my feet on the ground because I had dreams. I dreamt of a better life for myself and my parents. If I had let fear guide my action, I would have succumbed to it and instead of following my dreams, I would have let my fears chase me away from them.”
Ray Ramirez tried his hands on different things before settling for real estate flipping – a branch of real estate where you buy old dilapidated homes, refurbish them, and sell them. Ray had found his mastery. He had to wait years on his dream, but when he did realize it, it was because he did not let fear guide his actions. He says, “Fear is as real as you make it. And following your dreams is one of the best ways to deal with it.”
Ray’s guidance is indeed a practical one when dealing with fear.