Just the tip:
Understand that fear is a normal human emotion. A normal and primitive response to stimuli that we cannot understand.
Fear, however, does not define you.
Fear triggers a re-action. To avoid this, take the action to the fear.
Do not let fear control you.
Fear is made to warn you of a perceived threat. It is not made to define that threat. It’s up to you to investigate the threat and deem the appropriate response.
Once a response has been made. Let go of the fear and move on.
‘Do the thing and you will have the power.’- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Warning Long Rant:
Containing references to lions, snakes, religion, psychology, terrorists, capital punishment and plants.
From a developmental psychology or even evolutionary biology perspective, fear is a highly valuable emotion.
Fear is intrinsically wired into the depths of our subconsciousness, rooted in the deepest and oldest part of our brain. This is true for all animals. From humans to reptiles. Fear is universal.
But what exactly is fear? Fear is nothing more than an emotion, other emotions include joy, depression, enthusiasm, anger, love, lust, hate.
Fear is considered to be induced by the threat of danger. For humans, and higher animals, this can be a valuable response. We can remember the source of the threat and avoid that situation again.
The growth of any civilization depends on the ability to recollect and recall sources of danger. That plant is poisonous, don’t eat it. Or that snake will kill you stay away.
From the lack of understanding fear, religions began to emerge that gave us a sense of hope.
- Repent to this god and you will be forgiven.
- Pray this way and you will be saved.
- Sacrifice this animal and the draught will end.
Religion gives us a sense of comfort from that which we cannot understand.
As we evolved and developed a better understanding of fear, we relied less on religion to give us these answers and more on ourselves and science.
Around this same time, many terrorist groups began spreading their “religious” message through fear. Much like the Christian crusades did nearly 1000 years prior. Albeit, terrorist groups are not the only ones spreading fear.
The expansion of knowledge leads to experiencing fewer fears.
We rarely die from eating toxic plants today. We don’t lose a hand for stealing bread from a market. You won’t be stoned to death for cheating on a spouse. You won’t be forced to drink poison for teaching ideas that are not popular with the government.
Or at least these things won’t happen to you in the modern civilized world. They will, however, happen in a world that is still reliant on fear as a form of teaching.
So then, why do we still experience so much fear in our daily lives?
- Why I am scared to speak my mind
- Why I am scared to be myself
- Why I am scared to learn new things
Because our fear receptors are still hard-wired into our reptilian brains telling us those awful things above could happen. Our reptilian brain doesn’t want to be hung for standing up for our beliefs or be forced to drink poisoned hemlock for writing an article.
Most fear today is manufactured fear to fill the void for not experiencing fear in the first place.
The media sources, politics, product marketing are all feeding this fear monster. We have replaced actual fears, with perceived fears.
- Do this.
- Dress this way.
- Buy this.
- Follow these people.
Have you ever seen a deer in the wild? It’s frantic. It’s fearful. Deer are animals of prey.
Have you ever seen a lion in the wild? It’s calm. It’s cool. It’s calcualted. Lions are predators.
Obviously, a lion can still experience fear. But the difference is, lions know what to fear and what to ignore.
Lions take action over re-action. Deer re-act over act.
Live like a lion.
By the way, this is an opinion article with little scientific backing. It’s just that, an opinion, at the end of the day, do whatever the fuck you wanna do.