Fear is an unavoidable aspect of our human experience.
It also is one of our greatest evolutionary allies.
Yet fear also causes most people to flee, freeze or fight, and that is what we will discuss today.
We all know that fear operates on the borderline between chaos and control.
But to understand FEAR we need to look closer at home.
TO do that, we must ask the simple question here: What is fear?
And then we need to ask, how can fear help us reach success?
Or maybe reach a state of self-regulation and the capacity to go after our own dreams?
Or how about using fear to reach a state of radical self-awareness and thus make ourselves able to fight in order to reach our Destiny?
Those are all tricky questions, because fear is both an emotion and a feeling.
And since all our emotions are instinctual, instant, and primary, they are also very limited, since we only have so many inborn emotions, whereas our feelings are numerous, and we arrive at a fuller understanding of them only after a period of cool, calm and central reflection.
You can experience this daily, because our emotional reactions occur automatically and unconsciously — whereas our feelings occur after we become aware in our brain of such physical changes. And this is why our fears as it turns out, play havoc in both spheres of our experiential reality.
Still, the Neuro-scientists tell us that fear operates neurobiologicaly, and therefore they go so far as to classify fear as an inborn emotion.
However psychologically speaking, fear is a powerful feeling, a summary of our relationship with self-regulation, control, and vulnerability, and if we want to see the “Silver Lining” in the ominous clouds that Fear brings about –we need to be patient with it and seek to learn from it and not to react to it. And that is the key difference between those warriors amongst us who do not fear “FEAR” itself, and the rest of the hoi-polloi, who are falling all over themselves due to their feelings and emotions generated by fears, logical or illogical as the case might be.
Unfortunately we live in manage of fear with all the 24hr news cycles feeding into it and all the potential fearful events that the nanny state and our society of invalids along with the main fear mongers par excellence always throw at us.
And this is what differentiates the warriors with the stay-at-home covered up under the duvet worriers:
Because the warriors are not fearless per chance, but they have trained themselves to utilize fear for maximum gain. and since all aspects of fear are useful — this is what they do: The warriors use fear in order to learn from it, and they train themselves to deflect fear by asking to find where it is begotten from. Next, they observe its roots and recognize it for what it is. Finally once they reconcile themselves fully with fear — they put it to good use, by utilizing it as a teacher. And this is how the warriors gain valuable insights and learnings by sourcing fear’s innate wisdom, and that gives them not only strength over fear but also a tremendous power over all other human beings.
Yet we need to explore both classes of people, so let us now speak of the worriers, the “stitch and bitch” crowd of pusillanimous fearful human beings who live as constant cowards in the face of fear, worry, and the inevitability of death.
We understand and excuse those people because we know that scientifically and neurologically speaking — fear originates in the amygdala, which is the front edge of the brain’s basic threat detection network. This structure rallies a vast, integrated network of neurologic and physical systems that are entirely focused on self-preservation. And because fear is so disruptive, it immediately overrides our strong preference for logic, shutting down higher cortical centers, and activating deep midbrain structures. And that is why the vast majority of people fall victims to fear as they stand without even the slightest fight.
Yet this pervasive reality of “FEAR” is also why the notion of “fearlessness” is a myth, or an urban legend, perpetuated by some filmmakers and the social directors of the popular yet fictitious culture.
Fear is part of our survival system, and except in extremely rare cases, fear is an unavoidable aspect of our human experience, and as it stands it is also our greatest evolutionary ally, because without fear, we would not be able to protect ourselves.
Based on millions of years of evolution we can then surmise that fear also has some rather deep roots in our neurological systems. Yet because our fear response is always reflective of our past since it tells us how our regulatory system was first laid down, from the bedrock up, this means that fear can be a potent teacher, once we know where to look for it in ourselves.
Hunting the hunter is how my Brujo teachers used to teach me to escape the ravages of fear and to survive in the midst of near apocalypse in war fields and killing fields of sheer terror.
And to this day, when faced with adversity — I always have to remember that fear means getting up close and personal with our vulnerability by remembering the inevitability of death, and utilizing this “Memento More” as a “this-too-shall-pass” moment. So that by coming close to our fears, and by bringing ourselves nose to nose with our frailties — the aspects of our personality that are silenced by fear, or shrouded in shame and those that freeze our bodies from the ancient recall of the fearful messages of schooling and socialization along with the fear-mottos we picked up from family, friends, culture and society — we can outwit this ancient enemy of Victory, and use him as a teacher in the balance.
Still winning half the battle is done by simply and cooly observing these borderline areas where you reach the outer edges of your comfort zone and face your psychotic level fear as an enemy combatant. And the other half is defeating the sucker by launching head on into that which you fear the most.
Yet, in my life and by asking many impertinent questions — I have found that most of us are entirely unaware of how fear has shaped our interior architecture…
Mind you, fear is a trickster, and he can trick us into thinking it’s something it’s not.
For example, fear of failure often looks like ambitious risk-taking.
Aloofness and humor hides shyness and vulnerability.
Anger distracts from worthiness.
Avoidance and procrastination obscure imposter syndrome and perfectionism.
And we can go down that path ad infinitum, on and on and on and on … yet methinks you get the picture.
With fear, you have to know what you are looking for in order to be able to face him square on and turn him to a teacher and thus become able to source its wisdom.
Between intrigue and terror, chaos and control, risk and security — self assessment, self understanding and eventually self awareness, all take place.
So if you’re ready to use fear as a teacher, a guide, and a fountain of wisdom — that will be the moment that you are ready to fight with your WILL and reach for your DREAMS and for your DESTINY, and that is the method of using fear in a magnificent action of Kung-Fu, so that you can reach the impossible….