Friday, October 17, 2008

Fear

Joy, anger, grief, and fear are the four primary emotions we have as human beings. Because of media outlets, political ramblings, and reality, it seems that in today’s world we can narrow the primary emotions down to just fear itself. Everywhere we look or listen we are told that the sky is falling and there is nothing we can do about it except hope that is does not fall on us.

Preying on our fears works because it plays on our feelings elicited by tangible, realistic dangers. The more our media outlets reinforce what we have to be fearful of, the more likely we are to tune in and wait for a time to be less afraid. The more our politicians create an atmosphere of fear in us, the more likely we are to vote them back in office because they claim to have the answers (US congress has a 13% approval rating, yet 94% of congress will be reelected). In reality, the more we fear the more things will stay the same because we eventually gain comfort in a continual state of fear.

Science dictates that we first experience fear at the age of 7 months old. The younger we are the more fears we have and the more intense the feeling of fear is. Eventually, fear becomes a learned behavior that facilitates our self preservation. As we are exposed to more fears, or are flooded by fear, we eventually become desensitized to the emotion and accept it as a part of our reality. In some cases we actually become motivated by fear and utilize it in the form of strength (yet true strength is never derived from a negative).

It is no secrete as to why we are inundated with a societal perception that the world is coming to an end tomorrow; because we will do whatever is necessary to make sure that we see the next day while others thrive off of our emotional fear.

What we don’t have to do is drink the cool aide and succumb to our predators. Like any learned behavior, we can overcome our fears and actually become independent empowered thinkers who are committed to putting control in our lives back where it belongs; internally. If we actually take the time to stop fighting our fears and actually embrace them then we can gain control over them. Essentially this is the moment where we don’t allow others to tell us what we are afraid of, instead we let fear pass through us and define it as either a real fear or a climate created fear. If we can define fear as climate created, then we can redefine our reality and control the fears others so badly want us to hold onto.

In defining our fear as out of our control we can actually create the focus necessary to get ourselves out of the fear state we have learned to embrace. This will allow us to move beyond the debilitating effects of fear and become results driven instead of fear driven. Once we are able to internally rid ourselves of fear, we can then eliminate all of those that spend their time instilling fear in us.

It is essential that we understand fear is real and there are many things to be afraid of, but in order to thrive in a fear driven society we also must make it essential to not let our fears define us, instead we must define our fears. In defining our fears we now have control over them and with control comes power.

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