Over the past few weeks, I have heard so much about fear the very word is making my stomach turn. I suspect most of you who are reading this are also worn weary hearing about all the things one must be fearful. Be afraid of—bullies, inept drivers, drunk drivers, ISIS, Democrats, Republicans, shadows, the dark, cholesterol, high blood pressure, no blood pressure (now that is one to be fearful of), dental visits, black men, white men, the neighbor’s dog and the list goes on.
There is a way to defeat fear. Conquer fear through knowledge and action. It is a two-step process. I will walk you through the steps, and comment on beating fear.
Step one is gaining knowledge about the thing that frightens you. Ask yourself—what are you afraid of? Now, get the facts! Is it drunk or inept drivers? How can you detect that on the highway? Is it ISIS? What are the facts about the religious garbage they spread? Is it Democrats or Republicans? Each has politicians that tell us on a daily basis why we should be afraid? How do you determine fact from fiction?
The answer to the above question can be as simple as two words—Google It! In today’s environment, the Internet is rich with information. Beware, everything you read may not be accurate. Go to reputable sources such as colleges, universities and learn what recognized authorities on a subject are teaching. Once again, Beware, anyone can write anything. I recommend you read up on the subject that is frightening you, from a number of sources. I guarantee you that in relatively short time, you will learn more than ever imaginable. Of course, you can also go to the library and find information on practically any subject to fill a truck.
Once you have gotten the facts, actually learned something new about what frightens you take action.
Learning to drive defensively will go a long way to prevent you from becoming the next victim of a drunk or inept driver. Learn what ISIS’ brand of Islam is and learning about the Islamic faith will prevent you from being fearful of a religion and people who practice that faith. That is the sort of action that smothers a group like ISIS. In the long run, ideas have beaten bullets every time.
Democrat and Republican politicians are experts at twisting the facts; so getting the straight facts is going to be tough. It is an exercise that will keep your sanity and friendships intact. The action here is twofold—vote and hold elected representatives accountable for their actions or inaction. Simple, sadly, most citizens of this great nation won’t do it. Voting is required at the very least. Keeping elected officials on point takes an effort. That means letting them hear from you when you feel they are not doing the job they were elected to do.
Some schools of thought would offer that some fear is good. I agree. When fear drives a person to learn and take action that is particularly felicitous. Sitting in fear, wrapped-up in all the potential harm that can come is a recipe for disaster.
We are born with fear. We are born with two; some argue three fears—the fear of falling, the fear great heights, and the fear of sudden loud noises. We have to learn to be fearful of everything else.
Amazingly, we get over the born fear of falling. Most of us can ride a bike, roller skate and the like. We get over the fear of great heights, most of us, as evidenced by the growing lines at airports during the holidays. I have not witnessed an adult sit with thumb in mouth, crying after being startled by a sudden loud noise.
We learn to be afraid. Fear sells. Fear freezes the senses. Fear keeps organizations from realizing exponential successes, and people from becoming everything they can become. Fear of criticism, failure, speaking, and death handcuffs many of us to mediocrity.
It is too easy to say, “Stop being afraid.” We are all at some time in our lives afraid of something. I have given you the two steps to get over that fear. Every great inventor in history faced criticism. The great Hall of Fame Basketball Star, Michael Jordan missed more than 9,000 shots. He has one of the great quotes concerning failure “…I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Speaking in front of an audience won’t kill you; take the time to learn how to give a speech. As for death, it will eventually come to us all. Why worry about the one thing you cannot stop. Better to learn how to live a healthy life and take action.
We learned to overcome our born fears. Learn not to fall prey to those who want you to be afraid. Knowledge and action are the keys to fighting fear.
© 2016 by John Boggs all rights reserved.