FEAR: F**k Everything And Run or False Evidence Appearing Real?
There is a wonderful book by lovable furry old Grover from Sesame Street, it’s called ‘The Monster at the end of this Book’, and the title scares Grover so badly that he does everything he can think of to stop you from turning the pages so you never get to the end. He is seen boarding them up, gluing them together, bricking and chaining and barring the way, becoming increasingly hysterical at every turn “Don’t you understand, there is a MONSTER at the end of this book and every page you turn brings us closer to it. STOP turning pages!”
Of course the Monster turns out to be Grover himself who is very embarrassed by the whole thing.
I reckon it’s the best, truest, most concise book on fear ever written.
Franklin D. Roosevelt knew what he was talking about when he said: “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” I know a lot about fear, and about overcoming it. I used to consider it an enemy and was constantly battling it, so of course I was tired and fearful much of the time.
Then I discovered something absolutely extraordinary about Fear, an astonishing fact that I’ve personally tested a million times and it still blows my mind. It is a fact Fear does NOT want you to know about, because all you have to do to verify the truth of it is test it for yourself:
Fear can only exist unexamined!
It hides in the dark places behind us, lurking in generalities, looming in sweeping statements and outdated beliefs.
It makes loud threats and scary noises and challenges our faith and confidence and surety.
When you drag it out and expose it to the light of day it begins to bluster and harrumph. As soon as you begin to pick it apart with hard logic and insist that it make itself accountable, Fear shrivels into shamed nothingness and slinks away.
You want to try it for yourself? See if you can make Fear whimper and run for the hills?
Go on, I dare ya. What does your fear tell you? What nastiness is it whispering in your ear? It’s time to find out if what he is saying is something you need to accept as truth, or something you really need to focus on.
“I can’t. I’m scared of what they will think. I’m afraid of change and the unknown.”
If you feel these thoughts no longer serve you then straighten your spine, grab Fear by his scrawny neck and pull him out in front to face you. Now put on your sternest face and find out What EXACTLY is it that you fear. No generalities allowed, clear specifics only. Lets take this down to the nuts and bolts and find out how much of a hold this actually needs to have on you.
Isn’t it as true that you can do ANYTHING as long as it’s broken down into small enough, comprehensible bits? Look at what you have already achieved! Observe the ‘impossible’ being done all around you every day.
Who are THEY anyway? No really, pull out names! On a scale of 1 to 100 how important are the opinions of these people to you? What about the people who really matter, what would they think? What about your opinion? What would YOU think of yourself?
Isn’t change just taking what you are and adding choices to it?
Weren’t ALL of your most beloved things once unknown to you?
Obviously a subject this large can’t be covered in a single article. There are as many different kinds of fears as there are imaginations to dream them.
“I am afraid I’m going to run out of money, not get what I want, get sick, die lonely, be bitten by a snake, see my loved ones miserable and that the world is going to blow up.”
How do you feel when Fear slides these thoughts into your brain?
What path do these thoughts take you down? Is it somewhere you want to continue going?
Is there ANY CHANCE AT ALL that the exact opposite of these thoughts could be as true? Is there any possibility that you will somehow Not run out of money, get what you want, die comforted, not be bitten by a snake, see your loved ones happy and that the world will not blow up?
How do you feel when you think these new, equally valid thoughts?
What path do these thoughts take you down?
Which thought is more likely to create the reality you choose?
Accepting the illusion of fear so that we might overcome it, allows us to strengthen our skills and grow in character. Fear motivates us to explore new options and opportunities; it helps move us out of situations that no longer serve us; it encourages us to expand our knowledge base.
Fear makes it possible for us to experience ourselves as courage. Only through fear can we know bravery, for courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
The absence of fear would make courage redundant!
How much would you really enjoy a life without challenge and the chance to test yourself? How much would we grow if we lived in Utopia? How long would it take to get bored?
So go ahead, play BEYOND Fear Factor. Use these tools to see if you can banish Fear from your psyche forever.