Fear Is Real and it’s Not your Enemy

February 15, 2016

Understand fear.

You are not alone. We all have fears that we don’t care to reveal. Fear is an emotion and hence irrational. Emotions are irrational, illogical and intangible but they are still real.

We humans experience many different emotions. That includes love, hate, anger, greed, guilt, pride, compassion, lust, hope…

All are intangible and impossible to measure on any scale. Yet, our life is directed more by emotion than by any other thing. Our motivation and direction is most often guided by our emotions.

Of all the emotions we feel, the strongest is fear. You might not like to hear that but fear is the most important emotion to our survival. Fear resides in the Amygdala of our brain. That is often referred to as the Lizard brain. Why? Because it is at the top of the spinal cord and even lizards have that minuscule brain. Higher evolved species have that plus more developed brains.

The thoughtful question might be, “Why are most species equipped with the emotion of fear?” Because fear is the prime motivator for survival.

Perhaps you’ve heard a motivational speaker command you to ignore your fears. Why is the speaker telling you to ignore the strongest emotion you have? That’s funny because motivation is about emotion. Is the speaker suggesting that you ignore certain emotions while embracing others? Why? Clearly a motivational speaker doesn’t speak logically.

The speaker might even be so bold as to proclaim that fear isn’t real. They might even spout the acronym that FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. That might sound cute. The motivational speaker might feel clever. But it’s nonsense.

Perhaps you’ve heard a motivational speaker or therapist command you to ignore your fears. They might have proclaimed that Fear isn’t real or specifically that your fear isn’t real.

That first statement would be a lie and the second would additionally be insulting and insensitive.

Fear is as real as any other emotion. It’s also the most powerful emotion. It’s the most important emotion to our survival.

We don’t need to live our lives in fear. We simply need to accept our fears for the illogical and powerful forces they are. When our fears seem to disrupt our progress then we need to take the time and consider the rational to manage our fears.

Acknowledge, respect and manage your fears.