August 14, 2009

What to Do About Fear

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. — Elbert Hubbard

It’s easy to be afraid. All you have to do is… nothing.

Fear feeds on inaction. The less you do, the more afraid you will be. Fear consumes those who sit around, who choose to do nothing because, after all, what’s the point?

The point is that fear is a choice. Misery is a choice. Anger is a choice.

Until you learn to live in the here-and-now, fear will be your constant companion. Fear happens when we peer into the unknowable future and decide danger awaits. Fear is the fabrication of events that have not yet transpired. It is a conversation we choose to have with ourselves about what might befall us.

Fear is a lie.

Will you lie to yourself today?

Should you choose instead to tell yourself the truth about your fears, what then will you do?

First, make a list of all your fears. Write them down on a piece of paper and look at them. Bring them out of the darkness in your mind and expose them to the light. The magic of your words on paper is the beginning of clarity.

Granted, there may be items on your list of fears that could come true. But the fear itself is only a thought. And thoughts cannot harm you.

So in the worst of cases, what to do about your fear isn’t the real question.

The question is, what will you do when life looks bleak, when your options seem limited, when the only choice seems to be something like cut and run?

The answer comes in part II of this article, “What to Do When Life Looks Bleak.” Stay tuned.

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