Tag Archives: fear

Fear is an Indicator

Another excellent post from Leslie Householder. This one was about finding solutions instead of giving in to fear. When she mentioned fear, it reminded me of one of my favorite quotes. It is from Frank Herbert’s book, “Dune”. He called it the “litany against fear“:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

I think of this quote often. It may come from a science fiction novel, but it presents a true principle. Fear can control us, or we can control fear.

If you stop and think about it, fear is nothing more than an indicator. Like pain. It is neither good nor bad of itself.

Here is my definition of fear:

Fear indicates that you are in a situation in which you are unsure of the outcome.

Fear indicates an opportunity for you to choose. You can choose to let your mind run rampant with thoughts of all the bad, and usually unreasonable, things that could happen. Or you can choose to let you mind run rampant with all the wonderful possibilities that have just opened up before you.

I have on several occasions explained to my oldest son that fear is exciting. This is true. Fear can be a great motivator. Fear is like putting your foot on the gas pedal of fast car and pushing it all the way down. This excites the car and makes it go really fast. This is neither good nor bad of itself. It is merely an opportunity. If you choose to do nothing (like grab the steering wheel) the car will careen out of control very rapidly until it is impeded by something with enough mass to cause it to suddenly stop. A better choice is to grab the steering wheel and direct the car where you want it to go.

Fear is exciting. If you choose to do nothing with it, you will probably find yourself huddled up in a blanket in the corner of your closet. On the other hand, if you re-train yourself to recognize fear and then choose to use the energy that it invokes in you, you might just find yourself doing amazing and wonderful good things that you did not know you could do.

What are your thoughts on fear?

Comfortable is Boring

Have you ever started a new project, or a new job, or a new hobby, or a new experience? If you have then you have probably felt that feeling of fear, or panic, or discomfort at not knowing what you are doing, or where you are going, or how you are going to do accomplish what you need to.

That fear/panic/discomfort is natural. It is an indicator to let you know that you are at the edge of your experience and about to step out of your comfort zone. Stepping off the edge of fear and out of your comfort zone is the point at which you start exploring and expanding yourself. At that point you can begin to learn and grow and become more than who and what you were the moment before you when you were still being comfortably afraid. Embrace the fear of the unknown. Come to thrive upon it and your horizons and perspectives will explode, opening to you a whole universe of possibility.

Do not be afraid to make mistakes. If you did everything perfectly the first time you would be a god. And since you know you are not a god yet, it makes sense that you still have some things to learn, thus, you still have some (likely many) mistakes to make. Mistakes are only bad if you choose not to learn from them. Mistakes can be painful, uncomfortable, and humiliating. Find joy in recognizing mistakes when you make them and take care to learn from them so that you do not have to repeat them.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)