When We Are Staring at our Greatest Fear

My Greatest Fear!

This year we’ve all experienced more collective FEAR than any prior “non-war-time” year. 2020 started off with a bang, but very quickly COVID and the FEAR it brought with it, has changed our lives. Even if you’re not worried about contracting the virus, COVID‘s impact has created an imprint on the wiring system of our brains.

This year alone, we’ve had health FEAR, cultural FEAR, ethical FEAR, emotional FEAR, economic FEAR, educational FEAR, and now with the election less than a month away…. we’re experiencing a massive FEAR of The Unknown.

But, the bigger FEAR question is… How does it impact your brain? And… What can we do about it? Modern neuroscience tells us that other than our primordial fears of pain, death, snakes, falling, etc., that we ALL have the same fear! When I first read this headline, I thought there’s no way every person has the same fear. Then I read the data and sat with my mouth open.

Now remember, when I say the word FEAR, I’m not talking about the kind where you run from bears, or protect your children from strangers. I’m talking about the types of FEAR that we walk around with daily. 

Are you ready for it? 

Our UNIVERSAL FEAR is: That the actions we take will not give us the results we want. This results in the plethora of things we try our hardest to avoid. Like, rejection, failure, abandonment and so on. Read that UNIVERSAL FEAR again and take a minute to let it soak in.

As a test, I wrote down some of my own FEARS and put them up against the research. Guess what…. The data is right! Think about your own FEARS. Maybe it’s asking for a raise at work, publishing an article in your local paper, telling your spouse that something they’re doing hurts your feelings, having your children go off to college, or something as small as what toppings to add to your pizza. LOOK at that! If we’re honest, and break down our daily, “walking around FEARS”, the research is correct. 

This is why most people would rather live with indecision, regret, or inaction…. rather than face their FEAR. Because, the thought of it not working out like we wanted, leaves us paralyzed.

Think about the last time you didn’t say what you wanted to say. Then ask yourself WHY? Initially you might think it’s FEAR of rejection, or FEAR of someone thinking your idea was stupid, or maybe even the FEAR of being labeled as “one of those people”. But, if you keep digging, you’ll see that each of those FEARS boils down to: 

THE ACTION TAKEN WILL NOT GIVE THE RESULTS DESIRED! 

Simply stated, FEAR is creating a mental image of a reality more frightening than it actually is. It’s like having a negative imagination.

So, this week, when you begin to feel your FEAR creeping up on you. Pause and put it to the test. Ask yourself WHY you’re feeling that way? Chances are, when you reach the bottom, you’ll see that you’re living with one Universal Fear! Then, remember that ACTION is best way to weaken fear…. and go do the darn thing anyway!