Fear is like a little garden spider that makes us jump back or the poor lost bee on the steering wheel that we blame for our automobile wreck. The problem in fear is our response — the way we treat animals or insects that frighten us. . . . Fear is also the universal scapegoat we blame when we take flight from intimacy or shrink up inside ourselves in a thousand little ways.Dan Millman
Many books have been written about fear and its effects on us. Many people have studied just how we respond to fear, and just how much our fears limit us from living life as fully as we were meant to. Fear is one of the major topics of many self-help books, for much of our behavior and our perspective is based on what we fear, how much we fear it, and how we respond to that fear. Fear could be called the great saboteur, for it affects our lives and our potential in many negative ways, often keeping us from being or doing all that we were meant to be or to do.
Fear tends to make us pull back from things, or to avoid facing them in the first place. Fear makes us think that risk is always harmful, that doing the unknown can only turn out badly.
Most of our fears, though, tend to be the products of our imagination. When we start imagining all the bad things that can happen, the effects of fear, of course we’re going to fear taking a certain action or facing a certain risk. No one wants to have awful things happen to them, and many people actually use their fears as a helpful excuse not to do certain things, even if those things might have incredibly positive results in their lives.
Fear is often simply a question of attitude, and a question of not seeing things quite clearly. In all my life, I have almost never seen my worst fears come to pass, and even when they have, the outcome hasn’t been nearly as bad as I imagined it would be, in any circumstance. My life has gone on, and I’ve been able to deal with what life has given me as well as what I’ve taken from life. Some types of fear are helpful, like the kind of fear that keeps me from walking out onto a ledge of a very high building, but most of my fears are unfounded, except in the recesses of my own imagination.
Questions to ponder:
1. What kinds of things do you fear? Why?
2. In what ways have your fears helped you in life?
3. Why do fears get so much power in our lives? Who gives them that power?
For further thought:
To be ambitious for wealth, and yet always expecting to be poor, to be always doubting your ability to get what you long for, is like trying to reach east by traveling west. . . . No matter how hard you work for success, if your thought is saturated with the fear of failure, it will kill your efforts, neutralize your endeavors, and make success impossible.
Credit: Living Life Fully