It doesn’t compute at first for most people! In fact it is sometimes denied forcefully. People have gotten very comfortable with the idea that fear is a negative. Something to be avoided at all cost. While I’ll grant anyone the fact that fear doesn’t feel good, it’s not a 100% negative emotion. It’s actually one of our most important compasses. We’d truly be nothing without it and if used intelligently, its benefits are limitless.
So just think where we’d be today if it wasn’t for fear? Extinct! Our ancestors would have been petting sabertooth tigers left and right until the human race was gone. I’m sure most people would grant me that one. It’s a device to avoid pain or death. Slightly positive, sure! But it definitely doesn’t feel good in the moment. No doubt! A pit in your stomach, sweaty palms, increased heart rate… if you take away the negative connotation, it sound almost exactly like or at least the next door neighbor of EXCITEMENT! The difference is that fear carries disposition toward a negative outcome. What if you were able to change that slightly to a recognition? See the possible negative outcome but put it off to the side a bit and make room for the positive as well. After all, fear is just a signal that you care and there are stakes. We’ve taken too many of the edges off of life. “Our deepest fears are like dragons, guarding our deepest treasures.” -Rilke. Fear is a barrier that we must get through in order to realize our desires. If the thing that you’re chasing doesn’t carry some fear with it, aren’t you playing it safe then?
Perhaps I’ve convinced you! Perhaps not! But fear isn’t going anywhere! It is here to stay. The question becomes: what will be your relationship with it? Will you run from it? Hide from it? Or dance with it? Hear the signal that it’s giving you! This thing on the other side of fear, means something to you. If it’s a sabertooth tiger, by all means, RUN LIKE HELL! If it’s a job opportunity, a beautiful woman, handsome man, a goal, or whatever else; consider leaning into the fear because it’s a positive emotion!
The only thing we have to fear is not fear itself but inaction due to fear. That’s where real tragedy comes!
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