Making Friends With Fear
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I believe situations which cause fear in modern times are more often than not things we should move toward, rather than turn away from.
You’ve heard people say that you should do one thing every day that scares you. There’s a reason for that.
Fear is something most of us feel every single day, whether it’s just a small pang or a giant wall. And most of the time we back away from it. We allow our lizard brains to rule our actions. While primitive fight or flight responses are completely understandable given our deeply-ingrained instincts, I believe situations which cause fear in modern times are more often than not things we should move toward, rather than turn away from.
Remember we’re still animals. We have a very healthy survival instinct. We were purely hunter gatherers until about 10,000 years ago. In the span of evolution, that is a drop in the bucket. To believe that we can find some place in this world where fear doesn’t exist is completely absurd. It’s a part of our wiring.
An Indication of the Right Path
Let’s say for instance you have; been tapped for a promotion, a great new business idea, the seductive spark of a new love connection or even an interest in playing the guitar. Fear…Fear…Fear…Fear. It’s unavoidable. But should fear be a reason to back away from any of these things?…I’d argue it’s a much better indication of the path you SHOULD be travelling down. Ok, you get the point!
Building Your Fear Immunity
The only method I’m aware of to lessen the effects of fear and weaken its paralyzing venom is to make friends with it. The analogy to use here is to think of how our bodies build up a tolerance to toxic substances. We literally inject ourselves with small doses so our bodies get used to the substances, thereby limiting their negative effects. I had an allergy shot every week for over 10 years growing up. Same analogy. How would you suggest your 7 year old get over their fear of the basement?…Easy – Tell them to go down to the basement. And yet as adults, we don’t seem to take our own advice.
Here’s a radical thought for those of you who are more “out there” type of thinkers. Think about life itself as simply a game. And it sort of is really..it’s just that there are real consequences. But staying with the thought, if you were playing a game, you’d want a little drama right? You need the lows to understand the exhilaration of the highs. Taking risks is what makes life interesting and rewarding.
The Most Common Regrets in Life
Comfort is the enemy of greatness! The simple reason this is true is because comfort tends to prevent us from taking risks. If you were lying on your deathbed running your mind through the long thread of your life, would you congratulate yourself for taking the comfortable path, for not taking risks? Highly unlikely right? Most regrets in life stem from risks NOT taken, from NOT following your heart.
Please Don’t Back Away!
If you’re tuned-in to your Authentic Voice, that flash of fear will inevitably arrive. But it would be a tragedy to back away when you’re so close. Backing away consistently will, in the best case prevent you from reaching your potential, and at worst it can lead to broken lives. The next flash of fear you feel, big or small, pay attention! It just might be the light that guides your way.
Next week … Do something NOW!