Friday, September 05, 2014

Respect your fear - and then do the right thing

I don't believe fear is a motivation. I believe in "fight/flight/freeze." I believe the research (read Drive by Dan Pink or read Change or Die by Alan Deutschman).  Read between the lines here: if fear was really a motivation, you wouldn't have to push past it. Fear would be pushing you.

So what does that leave us to do with our fears?

I like to start with respect for them. Fear is a part of you that is trying to do something to protect your physical or emotional or spiritual well being. It's slowing you down so you have time to notice that you are running into a cliff - or off of one.  And, like every person you respect, fear is sometimes wrong.

Let me ask you - what do you do when someone you respect is wrong?  If you've started with respect for the part of yourself that is afraid, then you have a pretty good chance to make peace and move on. If you start by pushing around your fear, your fear will continue to push you around. Because your fear is you and you are a person and that's how people act and react.

I hate being afraid. I hate fear's ugly stepsisters, anxiety and combativeness. But I don't hate fear. Fear is me noticing a pattern and drawing my attention to it so that I can make a more intelligent choice. It's not always right. I'm not always right. That's a good reason to listen to my fear before I push it away.

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