Aristotle said, “Courageous is not being without fear, but being afraid of the right thing, at the right time, in the right way.”
Suddenly, almost overnight, there’s a lot more to fear. Much of it is out of our control, but, our “personal fear level” is something we CAN control. We should treat fear like a grease fire in the kitchen. It can get out of control quickly.
Here are a few concepts I have collected from greater minds concerning fear:
- Our brain is a 2-million-year-old organ. It’s not designed to make us happy; it’s designed for survival …always looking for what can hurt us. This was effective for cavemen who had to be on guard for a saber tooth tiger that could appear from behind any tree. But, for modern man, it’s outdated software …. the survival mode is constantly identifying and magnifying threats (both real and imagined). And in the mind, real & imagined are treated the same…both are seen as a 100% certainty.
- Worry. Worry paralyzes us. It’s like having a traitor in your camp that dampens your powder and weakens your aim. It weakens you when you need your faculties the most. At critical times, you need to be in the moment, at your best. Worry is the opposite of that. You can’t sleep, can’t think straight, there’s a vague feeling of fear and dread. That’s no way to handle critical moments in life.
- Fear is an accumulation of anxiety. Anxiety is an accumulation of doubt or uncertainty. The end goal is not to eliminate uncertainty, it’s to correct the underlying flaws in our logic that forces us to NEED certainty. Life does not operate on certainties, only judgments and probabilities.
- We attract what we hold inside. Worry brings us more worry (which emanates to those around us). Anxiety brings more anxiety. The negative mind feels scattered, restless, exhausted. Too much anxiety and we don’t just THINK things will go wrong, we KNOW things will go wrong. This is known as catastrophizing and it is destructive.
What to do about it:
- The law of attraction (worry attracts more worry) can work against you. But it can also work FOR YOU. What’s wrong is always available … but, SO IS WHAT’S RIGHT!
- What matters most is to shift your focus to appreciation … this will slow down your survival mechanism. This shift in your focus creates a space for your spirit to get into the game, so you don’t get stuck in your own head. You stop becoming the chess piece, and you become the chess player. If you keep doing this with real consistency, you actually “rewire” your nervous system, retraining your mind.
- Decide to have a breakthrough, not a breakdown. Your deeper purpose in life is to grow as a person, not just go to work and collect a paycheck. You have your family’s attention right now. What lessons are they going to learn by observing you?
- A cluttered mind is like a cluttered desk … tough to find anything. Write down what you’re worried about … then write down your answers to those concerns. This will clear the clutter.
- A famous poker player was knocked out of a tournament. After playing for 6 straight days, had he lasted another 30 minutes he would have collected a million-dollar prize …but, it just so happened he won exactly nothing. Minutes after his knockout, he was talking with the TV announcer in a very upbeat and positive way. He was asked how he could be so joyful after such a crushing defeat. “It all stems from gratitude. I love my wife, have great kids, we’re all healthy …. we live in America. It’s the best place and the best time to be alive. Winning or losing this tournament today doesn’t change any of that. I feel lucky and blessed regardless of today’s outcome.” Gratitude is the anchor. There’s power in happiness.
In 2009, America went through the Swine flu epidemic.
60 million Americans caught it.
Over 12,000 died.
I have to confess… I barely remember it.
As terrible as it was, each of us had a 99.99996 % chance of survival. Remember, life does not operate on certainties, only judgments and probabilities. The odds are so dramatically in our favor. Take every possible measure to be safe, prepared and cautious… but don’t forget to LIVE!
CWP technical group inc.
Ed Piergies is the Founder and President of CWP technical group, inc. A character-based recruiting firm specializing in Civil Engineering and Construction in OH, IN, TX and FL since 1993. CWP selects firms which appreciate, develop and reward their people the best; then partners with those firms to help attract like-minded talent. Old school. Relationship driven.