Monday, December 5, 2011

Fear is a Four-letter Word

I once heard Tony Robbins talk about fear. He said, and I'm paraphrasing greatly, that fear is a primary motivator. It can make us do more or avoid more than any other emotion we have. We let it take control. We let it prevent us from achieving our goals. We let it keep us from our potential.

Notice the words: We LET it.

Fear has to have permission to manipulate us. In other words, we have to let it in and take control. We have to lower our guard, and we have to stand by quietly as it changes the natural order of our lives. We have to continue to sit by passively as fear runs the show. Fear tells us what to say, what to do, how to live, who to talk to.

Bravery, Tony Robbins said, is not continuing on with your life with the absence of fear. Fear is a pretty important part of life. It tells us when we need to keep our hands off the hot stove. Bravery, instead, is actually operating in spite of the presence of fear. It's allowing us to put our hands out over the hot stove to detect its heat and to figure out how we can handle it without getting burned. In other words, bravery is walking around fear and then giving it a big FUCK YOU.

Well...Tony never actually said "Fuck you" but you get my drift.

Having the ability to defy fear's iron grip of control is what bravery is about. And for the last several weeks, I've had to remind myself to be brave.

It's my mantra. Be brave. Don't let fear take over. I'm in a situation where there is no way to win. There are only degrees of loss. How I lose will be more important than the loss itself, and so I will have to go down swinging. I will have to do everything in my power to demonstrate my abilities to fight...and then there will be a time to concede the loss.

And so I tell myself: Lose with grace. Lose with your head held high and with the understanding that there are times when you cannot win, but the way you lose speaks volumes about who you are and what you're made of....and sister, you're better than this.

Be brave. Wrench the control from fear and those around who want to see me cowed, beaten down and enslaved. Call their bluff and let them know that they might have all of the strings, but what they don't know is that I've cut the ties.

They have nothing over me....and once again, my loss will be my gain if I can just be brave.


Anonymous said...

Hmm... not knowing what your situation is, the way that reads to me could mean you're playing by the rules of something equally as powerful as fear: Pride.

I have an extremely simple way to deal with any problem, because essentially there are only two kinds:

Ones you can do something to change (in which case DO something!), or

Ones that you can't do anything about (in which case why are you wasting your energy worrying about it?)

People try to tell me there are grey areas to problems, but they're lying to themselves.

Oh, and for learning about fear the best I've found is an English Martial artist called Geoff Thompson. He went from a lowly factory worker scared of every aspect of life, to working on the doors of some of the toughest nightclubs to face his fears. If you can get hold of his book 'Watch My Back' over there it's well worth a read...

Magic Marker said...

Mr. Ninja:
You bring up a great point: pride. How does one know if one has too much? Conversely, how does one know if one has too little?

Determining which side of the fence a person may reside requires an accurate mirror. Evaluating my own reflection will forever be skewed mostly because of perspective.

This particular problem is one that I cannot change. I'm in complete agreement with you that I'm wasting my energy worrying about it...and the basis of that worry is, in fact, fear.