“Fear has its use, but cowardice has none.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
Fear is a purely natural emotion and it is absolutely normal to experience it. If a person has never been afraid of anything, then that person is not brave, but crazy.
Fear is a feeling that is meant to protect us. It is the signal that draws our attention to a danger to our life, health or status. The right kind of fear mobilizes.
On the energy scale of vibrations from 0 to 1000, fear is relatively at the level of 100 – above sadness at 75, but below anger at 150. We need to learn to work with all these low levels to rise higher.
Low does not mean negative, negativity arises only when fear becomes our master instead of being our servant. When an essential part of our consciousness is at the energy level of fear, we begin to perceive all of life and our surroundings from a state of fear, and consequently we also make decisions from this state. Fear prevents us from seeing possibilities and taking advantage of them. It prevents us from living our life.
Such fear is destructive – it does not mobilize, but it paralyzes.
So what should we do when faced with fear?
The first step necessary is to recognize the existence of fear. As the German psychologist Karl Jung wrote:
“What you resist not only persists but grows in size. What you accept – disappears.”
And to allow yourself to be afraid (i.e., without feeling guilt or shame about it).
“A warrior never worries about his fear.” (Carlos Castaneda)
After which, it is necessary to take action.
“Action cures fear, inaction creates terror.” (Douglas Horton)
But how do we take action when we are afraid? There are only 2 ways to do this.
- To change our consciousness, i.e. in any way which allows raising one’s level of vibrations to a level on the energy scale at which fear is impossible. And then to act out of this state. This way is to: first be, then act.
- To act in spite of fear, focusing on the action itself. With success, fear disappears (or greatly decreases), and thus the overall level of vibration rises. This way is to: first act, then be (changing the level of consciousness through action).
Of course, the best way to change one’s level of consciousness is to change one’s thoughts. But this is not always easy. Therefore, the first method may involve the use of external means of influence. Alcohol and drugs are very common methods. At war, soldiers were given 100 grams of vodka for courage. With the same purpose, in the old days the Vikings drank the tincture of the fly agaric mushroom before battle.
It is not necessary to take drugs. Many modern sports stimulants (such as Phenotropil and Meldonium, which are forbidden at the Olympics), as well as the amino acid SAM-e, of which I wrote earlier, are capable of raising the level of vibrations (not as much as drugs, of course, but that’s good ).
The use of external stimulants can be useful, but there may be consequences for one’s health and psyche. Besides this, the complete absence of fear is not as advantageous as it may seem
It is 2am at a bar, everything is closed. A mouse looks out of its hole, there is no cat, so it runs to the bar, pours itself 100 grams of vodka, drinks, looks around, there is still no cat to be seen, pours a second glass, drinks – no cat, pours a third… sits down, looks around, still no cat! This time the mouse stretches its muscles and murmurs maliciously: “Never mind, I’ll wait”.
External influence can come in the form of help from other people – for example, a friend or a psychologist (or coach)
It’s a guy’s first jump with a parachute in the army. When he lands, a passer-by approaches him: “Well, sonny, how was your first jump?”
“How do you know that was my first time?”
“You have a footprint on your ass!”
The second way (to act in spite of) works well when the fear is not very strong. Because if the fear is very strong, then it can transform into a panic (and we start to run around), or the opposite – a stupor (and we freeze up), which causes us to lose the ability to act and think consciously. This can be very dangerous.
Therefore, if one has the strength, then one needs to act in spite of fear, i.e. be fearful and act (as Castaneda wrote: “Be afraid without being terrified“).
Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
In any case, it is necessary to withdraw attention from fear. What we focus on grows, and excessive attention to fear increases it. To withdraw attention is not to suppress or to avoid recognition, but to recognize, yet focus on something else; for example, on the technique of performing some necessary action. This would allow one to “forget” about the fear and act.
If the fear is very strong (which may be due to previous traumatic experiences), it is better either to temporarily abandon acting altogether, or to combine the 1st and 2nd methods. To combine them, one may use external influence – not to the point of the total elimination of fear, – but only to reduce it to a more or less acceptable level. A part of the fear must remain, so that it can be overcome.
A strong (abnormal) level of fear is often associated with weak adrenals and the corresponding hormonal imbalance. If this is the case, it would be necessary to strengthen the adrenal glands. Sometimes, the reason for the fear lies within previous traumatic experience – and then we need to work through it.
As we overcome fear, we expand the boundaries of our comfort zone. And, more importantly, we acquire the skill of overcoming fear. Thus with every time it becomes easier and easier for us to do it.