During FDR’s Inaugural address he pinned the famous quote "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself", and I am here today to drive that point home for you.
As a child did you fear the dark, think monsters were in the closet or under the bed. Or even now as an adult, do you work with someone you know who is a monster at work but a real charmer at social functions, church and other places outside of the workplace? Or maybe you live with some other types of fears that actually control your life.
Of course you are going to respond that you have fears, but they don’t control your life. Let me tell you this… if you have any fears at all, then they in fact do control your life in some way. Since fear is simply an emotion, then we already have the first key in unlocking its mystery. And to be exact, lets look at websters definition of fear.
An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
The likelihood of something unwelcome happening
This can be or not always is an emotion or feeling that is taken lightly, but that in itself is the best way to combat this mystery. As the basis of fear resides in our minds, when it is something that can physically harm us then it is danger. We can face danger with fear or without fear, the choice is yours. Yes… thats right, the entire feeling of fear is all up to you. Unlike danger, that is actually present and a threat to your personal safety, fear in itself is no threat to your pesonal safety.
Lets take the situation of a child afraid of things in the night. If you were to face those fears on the same level as the fear itself, and to not show the fear that you are afraid of it, then there is no danger at all from the fear. Fear is totally a product of your mind at work, and often at times satan has his hand in things. He seems to have that extra push it takes for fear to sometimes really consume a person so much that they loose sight of whats real.
Much like a dog that approaches you, his instinct lets him know if you are afriad of him. And lets not get fear mixed up with the fear that comes from actual danger. Such as if a theif appraoched you with a gun and demanded your wallet. Of course you would be afraid, but that is a fear created from an actual physical threat. This blog is primarily relating to fear that is not caused by this type of instance.
In short, we must realize that the level and degree of fear is all a creation of our own minds. That is where we can see the separation in people that strive in fear and those that cower and give in to the emotion. Why is a person "brave" in a fearful circumstance, and what makes one run and hide. It all begins and ends, with that persons image they have created in their own minds as to what extent of danger this fear has. For those that face fear with a smile and the energy to face it, that simply means the person has decided to not let the "fear" emotion control them.
I once read a study that claimed an emotion lasted for only 2 seconds, and that we choose to continue to rebirth those emotions for as long as we stay in that state of mind. Now I am not saying I actually believe this or dis-believe it. I know that if you watch a toddler who fell while walking but didn’t hurt themselves. You can see how they can go from crying loudly to laughing, depending on the reactions of those around the child and how they react as well. So if a infant can control his emotions to that extreme degree, then why can’t we as adults do the same? just like the monsters in the closet, we can choose to be thier friend or be scared to death of them all in the same moment.
Using a great movie example, if we look at the movie "Monsters Inc", we see that none of the so called monsters are afraid of each other because they don’t see each other as monsters. And I can’t reiterate enough that this entire blog is only related to emotional and mental threats. And is by no means an answer for an actual physical threat where you could be hurt or killed. But for the mental monsters in our life, it is all on you.
If someone you work with or you are caused to interact with that absolutly aggravates the pee out of you or just is mean and rude to you, then how you handle it is all on you. Not on them at all, but your reaction is what causes the person to be seen as a monster. In a simple analogy to describe it, would be much like the person in a car behind you getting all upset that you didn’t acclerate from a green light fast enough or some other driving tatic they did not agree with. So they get up beside you and flip you off and mouth vulgar sayings at you. At that point you have the choice to either let it get under your skin or smile and wave like they are your best friend.
Just like the monster in the closet, their efforts were to make you upset and get mad that they flipped you off and to make you feel less of a driver than they are. Just like that monster you work with wants you to feel less than what they are. And that is the whole point to my blog, that if you don’t allow the monsters to make you feel, then they are no longer a monster.
Sure inside you are thinking of all kinds of reactions you would like to make in either a "I am gonna get you back" or "I am just gonna hide from you" response. But a response of "your comments did not affect me" will do wonders for both you and the monster. For the most part, if he can’t scare you anymore, then why would he continue to try to. If he feels that you are his equal, then he will determine it is not going to benifit him to try and scare you.
If we look at yet another hollywood analogy, lets look at the movie "ET". In this movie, the child could have been scared of this monster, but in fact the monster was scared of the child at first. As in the case of a lot of monsters, they can use thier scare tatics as a self defense mechanisim. If the child in this movie would have been scared of the monster, then the movie would have turned out much different. Just like when the girl "Drew Barrymore" saw the monster she was scared to death. She could have just as easily saw him and reacted out of curiosity or something other than fear.
So once again I will tell you… the degree of fear is on you, not the person or monster you face. If you want to stop letting monsters and the fear they cause to affect your life and emotional stability, then you need to first stop seeing them as monsters. "Fear", the emotion, doesn’t mean we have to run and hide or cower in the corner. We can see the danger or the percieved danger and simply process that as simply the "noun" that it is and not make it into the "verb" it can become.
Face your fears and tell them you are not going to let them control your life, they are certainly not going to affect the one causing the fear. You can admit to yourself that you have a fear, but its how you react to the thought that proves to be vital in your getting through it without pains. Face fear with a smile and the strength of the Lord, for just as FDR said… "the only thing you have to fear is fear itself". Keep it a noun and it wont become the evil verb that causes you distress.