One very important aspect of motivation is the willingness to stop and to look at things that no one else has bothered to look at. This simple process of focusing on things that are normally taken for granted is a powerful source of creativity. -Edward De Bono

Why is Fear our Favorite?

Fear the beast, not its roar

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Why is Fear Our Favorite?

Its odd how our society manages to disguise the fact that many of our core values are based off of Fear. Think about this: true freedom comes with a sense of certainty; there exists a full embrace of the present moment and an openness to truth. And In our society, we promote certainty and security! So we are doing good right? Not so much. The issue is the common version of certainty we promote is based in fear.

Think about the word secure in an emotional context. It can be defined as: free from care; without anxiety. Sounds wonderful, yes? Then why are so much of us who feel “secure” riddled with anxiety? The reason is, our sense of security never actually exists; it only exists in the future or past. We aren’t secure with ourselves right now.

This dissociated idea of security is actually insecurity: a lack of confidence or certainty; uneasy; anxious. As soon as one starts to apply the concept of being secure to a greater time perspective, it becomes flipped. 

Think about this scenario: you and your loved one have been dating for 6 years, and at this point you want to get married. You start putting the pressure on your loved one to join you in this decision. Why are you putting this pressure on? When friends and family ask you why you want to get married, does your answer reflect fear and uncertainty? A common answer might be along the lines of: “I want to know if this is the person I am going to spend my life with, otherwise I need to move along before I get too old.” Nice and logical. But here marriage, this act of “security” and “certainty”, has now become an act of insecurity. That answer reflects the fact that you lack confidence and certainty in your relationship. It is full of doubt.

When based in Fear, its as if the coin is flipped and security becomes insecurity. Good becomes bad. Nice becomes mean.

We can do our best to make someone feel comfortable by promoting honesty, compassion, and understanding. That’s being nice and loving. However, if we start to distort the truth and reinforce a false paradigm to make someone feel comfortable, we are now being mean and fearful. This will ripple outward and cause agitation because it is not based in truth.

So why do we make fear based decisions so often? Why is fear our favorite?

One of the main promoters of fear is the constant hatred imposed on pain, stress, disgust, etc…”negative emotions” so to speak. These emotions and feelings signal something needs to change. Something isn’t right. Unfortunately, when we understand that these emotions are paired with change and negativity, we try and avoid them. We lie (to ourselves and others) and reinforce false understandings to avoid causing pain or negativity.

It is essential to realize that these emotions are not inherently bad. There is a set of circumstances that are bad, and the emotion is a signal or reflection of this. One needs to utilize dissociated thought to avoid these circumstance, not the feelings associated with them. In fact, these negative feelings are the number one tool for learning how to avoid these circumstances in the future.

Lean into your discomforts. Be vulnerable. Shake hands with the fire. Otherwise, we will continually avoid pain, and consequently, avoid the force that will propel us to move out of the suffering.

 

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