Sunday, May 27, 2012

Staring Fear in the Face and Conquering It

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
~Eleanor Roosevelt
Most of life, though we don’t suspect this, is a veneer. Most of life appears scarier than what it actually is. That is because most of life is affected so much by our over-active thinking.
As we talk to ourselves, talking ourselves into fear, we begin to unconsciously design our exit from the fearful situation. We develop such elegant skirting strategies, and many of these strategies are birthed and deployed below the level of conscious thought. We can do better.
Estimating Life According To Reality
Life seems harder than what it actually is, though it is often hard enough as it is.
Rather than taking our moments entirely by merit we tend to inflate our estimations of them. We build our moments up well before they arrive, and when they do arrive we tend to get psyched out. Anxiety, whether it’s conscious or unconscious or both, is every person’s nemesis, especially within sight of fear.
When we estimate life according to reality, holding out for thought until thinking must necessarily arrive, we dispel the need for anxiety. Anxious thoughts do us no good, unless they prompt us to remain alert.
Why, then, don’t we actively seek to understand our anxiety and do something productive with it?
Courage And What It Can Do For Us
Courage is a thing that takes the available truth, whatever it is, and works with it—with no complaints ventured.
Courage isn’t bothered by the sight of fear. It sees fear and proceeds in the face of it; chest to chest it looks fear in the eye and barks, “HAA!” It’s as if anything contestable sparks Courage into action.
And then there is another edge to Courage. It does take fear seriously. It doesn’t flout it in a prideful, arrogant way. It respects fear. And because of this, it mounts a worthy challenge every time.
As we enrol ourselves to Courage we find that we can do many of the things we previously thought were impossible. There is one thing for sure: fear stands in our way only if we let it.
Fear provides us with a choice. We submit to it and are willingly beaten, or we bat up. Fear is an opportunity to acquaint ourselves with Courage. If there were no fear there would be no need of courage. Doing the fearful thing provides meaning for life.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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