097 Fear

Fear always screams loudest when your magic is closest

Robin Sharma (EHM)

Fear protected us (as it still does, but to a different extent). It was quite important at the time for our homo Sapiens species, when they were hunter-gatherers living in the wild, hunting for prey every afternoon, to feel fear. Let’s just say, if humans back then didn’t have a biological phenomenon called the fight or flight response, we wouldn’t have evolved into the “superiors” of Earth as we are now. We probably would be completely extinct by now. But, as luck would have it, our bodies were adapted to the harsh environments, which when deduced, means we had the tendency to feel a sense of phobia.

As much as it helped our ancestors to live longer lives, grow, develop and thus evolve our species as a whole, fear doesn’t seem to have evolved up to date in the 21st century. We live in an era where we really don’t have to care about lions or gorillas in sight in our everyday lives. We don’t have to hunt. We live in relatively peaceful times in air-conditioned, danger-free houses, with the world literally at our finger-tips.
But giving a speech in front of a large crowd, sitting in a perfectly safe airplane with normal turbulences, or jumping out of an airplane with a parachute (which also may be a perfectly safe thing to do);
all these things (among many others) send a signal to the amygdala (a small part of the limbic system in your brain, vital and important for producing fear) which in turn sends another signal to the adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline, giving you the sensation of the fight or flight response. The same kind you would have felt (with differing amounts maybe) if you saw a hungry lion at arms length. (But seriously, how in the world are you gonna fight or fly away from an airplane!? By the help of another airplane?)

Enough science for now. But these examples (and many more) reveal that our fears haven’t properly evolved to modern means. And so we fear things like public-speaking, flying, jumping, heights, spiders, thunder and lightning, and failing, we fear the risk of failure. These things are all relatively very “common fears” among the individual living today. The fight or flight response is activated for survival. Unevolved fear makes you think you’re gonna die so you should either fight or run away. When in reality, none of the above things can pose a serious threat to the survival of an individual (miniscule exceptions present, as always)

“The only thing we have to fear is… fear itself.” asserted Franklin D. Roosevelt

Don’t let fear disable you. Never let it form a gloomy, dismissive relationship with your actions. Let not fear be the cause of your retreat. Let it rather be the source for you to forge onward, ’till the end of your desired journey, undisturbed by the negating force it also possesses.

as Hollywood actor Will Smith puts it,

“God placed the best things in life on the other side of fear!”

Fear is good for survival. But it doesn’t do much good if you actually want to survive by thriving on your journey. Don’t be the victim of a biological process. Face it as a worthy opponent and annihilate it. Do what you fear. [but don’t do anything foolish, I know you know what I mean 😉 ]

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