We’ve talked in the past about the importance of how we frame any given situation will dramatically impact our beliefs about that situation. Is the doctor just poorly organized and is that the reason she’s “keeping me waiting” or is it that someone with a more emergent situation has walked in and needs the time and attention? Clearly one of those scenarios is easier to wait through than the other. Recently a piece of street/urban art, or perhaps you know it as graffiti, caught my attention, “Fear is a Liar” painted loudly on a wall. How can a Thriving Individual and Practitioner use this? I would suggest it’s all in how you look at it.
Webster’s dictionary defines fear as: “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” So if we look at the feeling of fear lying to us we might be led to believe that someone or something isn’t dangerous or does not pose a threat to us. This surely could present its own problems if we were to perhaps not pay attention to those feelings or dismiss them under the belief that it is ‘lying’ to us. Put another way, what this quote is suggesting is that we ignore our gut instincts. Gavin DeBecker, author of “The Gift of Fear” and security expert/threat assessment evaluator seriously objects to this, pointing out that years of teaching people to ignore their instincts is perhaps one of the biggest causes us now finding ourselves in dangerous situations both personally and professionally.
Looking at FEAR as an acronym we might see it as False Evidence Appearing Real. While the origin of this acronym remains unknown it is a fairly popular way of looking at this state. As a Thriver this might be a useful notion to keep in mind. False evidence, which could be a feeling based on a past experience and is not in tune with the present situation, can often lead us to believe or make decisions, which might not be in our best interest. Slowing down, evaluating the current situation allows us make a more reality based decision about how to move forward.
From FDR’s first inaugural address comes this oft quoted piece about fear:
“…let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” While certainly the historical context of this quote is valuable, we were in a state of economic depression and European tensions were rising in what would lead to WWII, this quote has the ability to stand on its own even today. In the context of using it for our Thriving selves it might, of these three quotes, be the most valuable. In talking about how fear can often be more of a visceral reaction and sometimes out of context with reality it also reminds us that the paralytic reaction slows us down from moving ourselves forward in needed and necessary directions.
As a Thriver you have a choice about how to use the fear you’re experiencing and make a decision based on what works for you – not for anyone else. Fear has the ability to inform our present but also has the real power to mislead us. One final quote from Nisban Panwar, “If you live in fear of the future because of what happened in your past, you end up losing what you have in the present.”
How will you move past your fear and move your practice or your health and wellness to the next place you want to go with it? I know and trust you will harness your fear to take you to where you wish to go! I’d love to hear about your success! Drop me a line so together we can celebrate it!