Fear plays a huge part in society today, and our public media knows that creating a frenzy based on fear sells newspapers, increases advertising and makes millions! Globally, fear is a part of almost every society – and it motivates governments, countries, groups and people to take often irrational actions. Fear is a scary thing!
Pick up any newspaper or listen in on conversations and you’ll find an increasing (and sometimes irrational) list of fears around us. It is amazing that we get anything done when this mountain of fears are waiting to block our way:
- Fear of terrorism (globally – and “we” are not necessarily on the friendly side worldwide);
- Fear of God and eternal damnation (the religious right think they “know” the future);
- Fear of differences (the Gay, Lesbian, Transgendered and Bisexuals know this more than others);
- Fear of the unknown (what if the world ends on December 2);
- Fear of what we think we know (we believe too much of what we read on the internet);
- Fear of the past repeating itself (which can paralyze us from taking a change on new things);
- Fear of new experiences (what if I don’t like it);
- Fear for our children (what will the world be like in 30 years);
- Fear of change (this one is wide open!);
- Fear of turning into our parents;
- Fear of being alone (how can I live without him/her even though it is bad);
- Fear of being lonely (will I ever finding true “love”);
- Fear of not being alone (or being stuck in a bad relationship);
- Fear of losing our house or job or security;
- Fear of the future (what if’s);
- Fear of other religions (we do not understand);
- Fear of other cultures (how can they live like that);
- Fear of losing face (what will the neighbors/family/friends think);
- Fear of loss/gains/failure/success;
- What fears could you add to this list?
I could go on and on with the phobias and fears in daily life, but there is one item missing on this list:
- Fear of the four letter “F” word: FEAR !
I believe that so many people feel they live a life that is out of control (and dominated by factors they have nothing to do with), that fear moves in. By seeking and needing to control aspects of our life that we do not, we sometimes allow (or even create) fear to paralyze us and become the excuse that we don’t take action. Sometimes we even use fear to rationalize our irrational behavior!
Moving forward from our past…
Certainly, our experience plays a big part in our present fear – we want to avoid repeating behaviors that caused us pain in the past – but that is like driving forward by looking in the rear view mirror. When we are soaring over the cliff (we were not watching for the “bridge out sign” ahead of us), we reassure ourselves that at least we were not rear-ended.
I believe that Fear is a Four Letter “F” Word that has no place in an optimistic vocabulary or our psyche. Maybe we ought to start to ‘wash out our mouths’ for using this four letter F word? It simply does us little good, and furthermore it clouds our judgment.
If I allowed my past together with fear to decide my future, I would never go out with another man, I would never trust another friend, I would never move to a foreign land, I would stop trying and dreaming and hoping… and that would be, frankly, irrational!
For me, the only way forward in life is to face my fears like the same way I would confront a bully – with strength, determination, and sheer guts. My hopes, dreams, thoughts and life is too important (to me) to allow a little four letter F word to run amok.
Have a good week!