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Fear Article

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:58 am
by Freelancer
This was originally written for slightly more conservative people but can't be arsed to edit it again.


Most of the time we do everything to avoid fear and view it as a negative emotion. As a result we often find ourselves eventually overwhelmed with fear to the point of depression. Perhaps instead of trying to fight fear we should use fear to get where we want to go.

So I wonder, what is the best way to use fear in terms of pick up?

We all know about the less usefull fears we have, fear of rejection, fear of opinions, fear of approaching, fear of other people. We know those.


But we rarely talk about the fears that can propell us forward, if a fear of approaching can cause someone to start sweating, anxious behavior, torment himself and in the end not even DO something then the fear clearly has some kind of control over that individual.

What I've noticed is that if you try to overcome a fear directly by forcing yourself through willpower that it tends to strengthen the fear itself. The one exception to this is that if you force yourself through, DO it and rinse repeat this often enough you start to go numb to the fear and eventually surpass it. This however seems a terribly inefficent way to go about this.

If you fight fear it gets stronger. Always worked every single time.

Method 1
Now a lot of self improvement books have advocated a more positive outlook, where through focusing on your goals and a positive outcome you take the attention away from the fears eventually dissipating them.

Now this works better then mindlessly pushing through fear with sheer willpower untill you go numb.

The problem I see with this is that you need to rewire your brain from fearfull thinking (bad outcome thinking) towards positive thinking (good outcome thinking). Basically asking people to 'rewire' there brains. Certainly possible but a long process to go through.
People that are accustomed to fearfull thinking will automatically fall back into old patterns and only through bringing back the positive thinking every single time untill it eventually becomes your default pattern.

Method 2

The second method is to set a diametrically opposite fear against the original fear. For instance the fear of not taking action. Or the fear of self loathing when you FAIL to take action, the idea that failure is horrible. Failure in this case being not taking action (criteria of succesfull avoidance is completely in your hands). You fear the idea that you wouldn't be able to take action so much that it completely overcomes your old fear. You fear the idea of losing control over yourself so much that you must take action. Completely overshadowing your old fear.


In terms of results both are pretty much the same. The second method though doesn't take a complete rewiring of your brain from fearfull thinking towards positive outcome thinking. Basically you'r using the wiring that you normally use to stop yourself to propell yourself forward.


Perhaps fear isn't evil, the devil, suffering or hell but the way we use fear determines where we end up.

Some more thoughts on this;
Its probably two sides of the same coin (damn this comparison is so overused ) on one side you can use positive imagination to motivate yourself and on the other hand you can use negative imagination to motivate yourself.

At the basis of both is the other. You can argue that with positive imagination there is a root fear of maintaining status quo, that you will always be in this situation. While you can also argue that at the root of negative imagination is a root hope that one day things can be better. Yin/Yang, one can't exist without the other.

The problem comes when;
1) Fears collide with fears
2) Fears collide with dreams
3) Dreams collid with reality

Maybe the problem isn't so much that don't have dreams or don't have (correct) fears (no idea of another term that properly describes it) is that they don't go one way or another. There in limbo. They constantly feel pulled forward by desires but pulled back by fears while mastering neither. Perhaps the key is to either use only fear for motivation and desire as aim or only desire as motivation and fear as cautionary tool.



And a few new thoughts on this topic;
Perhaps the level of control you have over your own body and emotions determines your happiness.
Thats how it has always been for me, if I feel that something (be it fear, other people, circumstances) determine if I reach my goals then I'm unhappy and not in control. If I feel that I can control my fears/myself/my emotions I'm generally happy.

Perhaps its not so bad to strengthen fear if you use it right.

What I do know is that focusing on what you can't do will always bring unhappiness. Changing the focus from 'I fear this and therefor can't do it' towards 'I fear this and therefor I HAVE to do xxx to avoid it' while leaving the end condition (avoiding that which you fear) in your control (if you want you can avoid it).

Doesn't mean you have to FEEL afraid all the time. You can be afraid of something without getting the actual feelings associated with it (you know that tightness in the stomach, the panic, the desperation that sorta thing).
Perhaps fear isn't the right word (although it comes close), its more a feeling of 'I don't want xxx therefor I do yyy however I am not afraid because its within my control'.

I don't think you should ever fear that which is not within your control.

Excellent

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:35 pm
by FalseProphet
This is a very insightful article, Freelancer. Nice observations about the topic of fear and some good suggestions about how to deal with it and even use it. I’m assuming that because you put this in our Villainesque section that you wish to submit it for the Villainesque page. If this is the case, then would you prefer to sign your work (or have us give credit to you) using a name besides “Freelancer” (we can certainly use Freelancer if you wish)?

Please specify any preferences that you might have for displaying your work, as we are certainly considering making it the first submitted article in our Villainesque section. Thanks and good job! :D