I was once told that fear is the most powerful emotion. It would cause people to freeze. Make them unable to think rationally.
When trying to confirm that over the past few days, I also found it listed as the most powerful motivator. It has served us well throughout evolution, but too much of a good thing can be detrimental.
As adults, we typically try to hide our fear. The opposite is more characteristic of young children (at least in our house).
It’s typically easy to spot fear in young children. Crying, screaming, clinging to someone they trust. They make their feelings known loudly. In some ways, this is better than how adults handle their fear. Children seek comfort and reassurance.
This topic (fear) is at the forefront of my mind, as we’ve been dealing with it a lot at our house recently. Fear of the dark, fear of monsters, fear of sounds. Just a lot of fear.
Our attempts to rationalize the scenario has not worked (oddly enough). We have tried providing comfort, reading favorite books, googling (then reading) scriptures to read when fearful, and are eventually granted some rest, if only briefly. A new tactic was tried today. And we’ll continue trying until we find a solution. We are trying to work through the fear with our child, on the foundation of his ability to trust in us and in God.
Conversely, adults are not as vocal about their fears. They may hide their fear behind anger, feigned indifference, and/or by withdrawing from that situation. Rather than ask questions from those whom may be able to help, we hide our feelings. Sometimes this works. Sometimes it would be much easier just to face that fear head on.
These are obviously generalizations. Traumatic events would likely elicit different responses, but I’m speaking about fear from a non-violent source. Emotional fear.
How does this apply to you and me? I think we all have some fears that inhibit us. Some of these fears may have been planted by a negative comment someone made years ago, or through a situation that we interpreted to cast ourselves in a negative light. These fears can become part of the stories we tell ourselves (somewhat similar to the ‘core memories’ for those people out there familiar with Inside Out).
Today, I encourage you to evaluate what scares you. Are you afraid to try something new? Have you tried to evaluate the reason for this fear? Is the foundation for that fear well justified?
I’m reading a book called The Universe Has Your Back and we’re just working on replacing some of the stories that are holding me back (it’s a little out there, but I’m trying it). Many of my fears stem from a lack of self-confidence, which I have struggled with for years. Striving for perfection and never measuring up, in addition to other fears I’m too scared to share in this forum, make it clear that I need to continue to grow and improve. Like Brandon always says, the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.
Thanks for reading,
This blog post had me investigate fear more than I ever have before and I came across this Ted Talk. Check it out if you feel inclined!
Other resources consulted: