Fear Less


The human mind conspires to make you fearful; Fearful of so many things – death, poverty, being unloved or unwanted, being alone, not mattering, not knowing or being less intelligent than others.  These fears project outwardly in how we view strangers (will they try to kill us?), how we interact with loved ones (I fear I’m not loved so I yell and use harmful words), in how we interact at work (I fear looking like I don’t know the answer so I get aggressive or make something up) and so on.

A world of individuals misunderstanding every other individuals fears leads to a world rife with conflict.  If I fear all of these things and manifest the fears through action, and others have the same fears and actions then our fearful actions feed back on each other.  Our fears interact rather than our truest selves.

A new world will be born out of acknowledging our fears.  Contrary to current popular belief acknowledging fear makes us stronger and more confident (not weaker).  Better business, better government, better life will be built out of leaders who acknowledge their fears.  Like a scary vampire, fears can not live when you acknowledge and expose them to light.

Next time you feel fear creeping up acknowledge it.  Write it down and look at it.  It will seem silly.  Slowly you will find that you fear less.  Then you will find that you live more.

~~

Try:

Next time someone asks you a question that you don’t know the answer to, say “I don’t know.”  Then offer to look the answer up on the internet or find out and report back to them.

9 Responses to “Fear Less”

  1. Tineke Says:

    Another great blog.

    I know it’s naughty but, adding to your last point, try to peek at a colleague when another person (usually a superior) asks them a question they don’t know the answer to and they stagger and stumble to find an answer…any answer!

    I know – we’ve all been there. It’s good to see the humour in the situation though. Saying “I don’t know” is liberating. But you are right, it must be followed up with actionable points on how you’re going to find out the answer – otherwise you look like that colleague stumbling for an answer.

    Tin

  2. stephanie newby Says:

    The last several posts you have shared have inspired the following to surface:

    When you love someone so much – you really can’t wait to do their laundry! Really – it’s a joy ♥ the little things – it’s anything we can do for each other that makes such a big deal – ceasing the moments – the days – not letting any bit of the pulp and juice be thrown away from this little lemon called life – a “fruituitious” gift! The obvious: yes sour – but how delicious a good recipe turns it out!

    These ideas may be simmering under the surface – pulling them out and sharing them – seems to be what it’s all about – thank you for helping surface something wonderful and worth celebrating…

  3. Maxi S Says:

    Too interesting and philosophical for a heavy workloaded morning. But of course I choose passion so:

    Being a little bit more extreme, I should say that the fear is only one: is to die. If we get porer, is a way of dying, if we are abandoned, we sort of die, and etc. That takes me to what I believe is the key of life: death.

    So let’s acknowledge our fears, but most of all let’s acknowledge death (which is the sum of all fears).

    First, lets give a thought to the role of the religions (or the belief that there is a god). Why it doesn’t help that much? Since Nietzsche said that God is dead (meaning precisely that the belief is not enough to mitigate the every day tragedy that is that we all are going to die / and ridiculously we repress), he opened a new way of thinking (in philosophy). So:

    Second, here comes the good part: Sartre (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Paul_Sartre) in his work Existentialism is a Humanism (1946) – A MUST READ BOOK, basically says that (because God symbolically died – of course coming from Nietzsche), we as individuals carry upon our shoulders the responsibility of the world, so we should make decisions as if every person in the world in the same situation should make the same decision (a good, proper, responsible one). To exist is to be responsible in a dramatic (and in a free) way.

    Conclusions:

    1) there’s no way that someone could possibly understand his own death, his own transitoriness. That’s why we repress it. So what I try to do (just try…) is not to understand, but not to repress either. But again that’s not enough. So:

    2) The solution is what I call “Impulso Especie” (sort of ‘the urge of the specie”). The hypothesis is that the only way to overcome the fear of death (and as consequence be happy) is to extend the specie (have a son, adopt a son, or more generally – sincerely i believe less effective – to be strongly committed to a cause that is related to raise kids).

    I strongly believe that’s the only way to feel complete and hence be really really happy. Is not all about it?

  4. aw Says:

    I agree with you 100% but fear is big business. We can not over come fear when it is being pushed upon us. Television news are fear mongers. They sell it all day long, they throw in 30 second ads to let you know what you should fear today. Cameras are being put everywhere. Newspapers sell fear, what should we be afraid of today. Turn off the TV news, cancel your newspaper…but remember…Tonight at 11…

    We don’t stand a chance…

  5. Ben Coe Says:

    Tineke~ Definitely I’ve been there. Once I started letting myself say ‘I don’t know’ I instantly felt better. I found no one else knew either and didn’t mind that much as long as I could find the answer.

    Stephanie~ Thanks for your thoughts. I agree. In the early days, I would tell Meredith that love was doing the dishes (which is an activity I actually enjoy).

    Maxi~ That’s deep! It’s an interesting point. I’m sure there is some biological and emotional urge to create children. I also recognize that there is something about spreading ideas and being a leader that satisfies a similar craving. It’s an interesting area to explore. Thanks for bringing it up.

    AW~ Nice to meet you, thanks for your thoughts. Fear is big business… but I realize that it’s really the fears of the media owners/employees that spread the fear. It’s a big cycle. I don’t know exactly how to stop it from the macro sense… but from the micro sense, I just don’t watch TV or the news, don’t read papers or CNN websites… none of it. It feels great!

  6. Greg Dodge Says:

    F E A R = False Expectations Appearing Real or False Evidence Appearing Real (and all the other acronyms.

    I agree with you – I have lost the habit of reading “news” or watching TV for over twenty years (sure I enjoy movies, good stories and documentaries etc) – and this has enabled me to do exactly what you suggest to “try”. Know what we don’t know and discover, learn, explore, think (free thought), imagine, dream, create and grow.

    FEAR is the opposite of – COURAGE, HAPPINESS, JOT or LOVE? I didn’t know the answer when I asked this of myself) – but when I googled it (as you suggested ;-) – whatever is the correct answer is all on the side of positive. I choose all of them too – what does everyone else think about the opposite of FEAR?

    “A robust and exuberant attitude about life, optimism and energy are the opposite of fear. Fear is pessimistic and unpleasant to feel, far from joyful in any way”.

    FEARLESSNESS – what an interesting word..

    Thanks Ben for waking my brain cells this morning…

    Greg

  7. joechiro Says:

    Great post, and great responses. I work with people every day in my office around these themes. To my mind, the opposite of fear is LOVE. All of the other emotions and states, (joy, gratitude, compassion, empathy, etc), seem to flow from love.

    Having the courage to recognize the opponents/challenges, (that we create), in our lives creates the awareness that they are in fact opportunities to grow and BE more of our authentic Selves. When we are able to find the courage to love ourselves first, we can then truly love others.

    The actions we then take (what we DO) is then completely different than when we react from fear.

    We then HAVE different experiences, perceptions, people, etc in our lives.

    What a different world that is!

  8. Ben Coe Says:

    Joe~ This is wonderful, thanks for the response! It’s great to meet you and I look forward to continuing the dialogue.

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