MISC: Give your Fear a Purpose

Fear is not something we can conveniently bury or wash away, Change Consultant Kashmir Birk blogged. It is inside us and all around and it will always be. Even a Zen monk strikes fear into the heart of his student, puts them through physical hardship and punishment to literally break them - out of their old habits of thinking.

Fear is energy without a purpose. Without fear we are an empty vessel, too much and it just burns us out. We have been told from birth to "not be afraid" or to just "be brave" we are taught to deny and suppress our fears. Denial and suppression never work. The coward and the hero both feel the fear, the only difference is one is succumbs to it, the other uses it to take action.

Fear can consume us with the ferocity of a forest fire. We can stand by as it tears mercilessly through our hearts, our homes, our communities until all hope is extinguished and our sad little lives are laid out bare...

Fear is not a thing, it is a many headed monster, it takes on so many shapes and forms. What is fear and where does it come from? What is the root cause of fear?

What if - all I had to do is stop blaming?...

It comes in different guises and names - prayer, meditation, reflection, confession, dance or detachment, it all amounts to the same thing. Every spiritual master who has graced this good earth has given us the same basic advice.

All we need to do is forgive. To forgive is not forgetting, forgiveness is getting past the hurt. If we forget we will repeat the same mistakes over. We cannot allow our frailty to hurt others or be hurt by the frailty of others. To yield to others or being merciful to ourselves does not mean giving in or rolling over. It means dealing with truth without fear. Being brutally honest.

Fear of fear is the fuel that feeds upon itself. The solution is not to ignore, bury or project our fears onto others, or soak in the fears others carry, but acknowledge fear. Fear is not our ally not our enemy. It is an early warning signal, a safety valve or trigger to focus our mind and body for action.

We need to own fear without being being possessed by it. Some people own cars, others are owned by their car. That is the basic difference here. I need to acknowledge the presence of fear in my life, but I don't need to define myself based on my fears.

Both Frank Sinatra and Sir Laurence Olivier, true masters of their craft, talked openly about their stage fright, during the peaks of their respective careers. Both of them relate the same story at different times. The day they lost their fear of going on stage, they realized it was time to retire. That is because this was the first indication that they didn't care enough about what they were doing.

We need to replace the slogan "no fear" with "know fear". Let go of our impulse to control our fears. Tap into our intuition and have faith in the sanctity of our own heart.

Category: C++ Quant > Random Walk


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  2. You're absolutely right.