We love fear don’t we? No? Well, then, explain this to me. Action and Adventure movies gross the most money. Next is Romantic Comedies followed closely by Horror Movies. When I say followed closely, I mean it’s a statistical dead heat according to Statistic Brain. We love Haunted Houses at Halloween. We love the suspense of a good horror movie. We’ve been that way throughout our existence. The fight or flight syndrome is very very real. Fear gets the blood pumping and adrenaline flowing. When the initial shock of fear hits, a lot of things happen in the body. All kinds of endorphins and chemicals flood the body. It’s a natural response. But a lot of people have unnatural fears. They fear things that are engrained from a time that they either couldn’t control or things that really don’t matter. Some people fear success, some people fear failure and frankly, some people fear both.
There are a couple of great movie quotes about fear. One of course is Yoda who said this: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” I know it’s a little green character in a Sci-Fi movie, but how true that is. If you can conquer your fear, you can prevent much of the suffering you bring on yourself in life. The other quote is for a movie that hasn’t yet been released but I can’t wait to see. It’s from the movie After Earth where the character says “Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But Fear is a choice.” The thing with fear is, if you don’t conquer it and you live with it year after year, it will age you and cause serious medical problems.
What do you Fear?
There are a lot of good reasons to fear things. Fear, when used in a proper sense, keeps us safe. For instance, one day my brother and I were walking toward a river near our house to go fishing. He came running by me screaming a foreign language I couldn’t understand. I took 2 more steps toward the river to see what had scared him and in front of me about 10 feet away was a big cottonmouth snake. This thing was big and was poised to strike and I could see his white mouth and fangs. I froze. I knew I was out of reach of a strike where I was, but, I knew if it uncoiled and started toward me I had to run, but I was ok as long as I could see it. My brother on the other hand, was in the truck with the doors locked ready to go home. I watched the snake for a couple of minutes and it calmed down, lowered it’s head and crawled off in the opposite direction. I tried to get my brother out of the truck but our fishing day was over. Fear had gripped him so hard, he was going nowhere but home. That is a REAL danger, but his fear made him have a completely different reaction than me, just like the quote above said. To be fair, he was probably 15 at the time and I was 25, so, that was likely the reason for our different reactions. We still laugh about that.
So, danger is real but fear is your emotional response to it. We become afraid walking through a haunted house even though we know we are perfectly safe. Some people are deathly afraid of roller coasters or have an unnatural fear of spiders and snakes. I have a tenant who comes by to pay rent and he won’t get out of his car to pay his rent if my little Chihuahua/Jack Russell mix is in the yard. He is afraid of dogs big time. Being afraid of things that can do you harm is a healthy fear. Children learning to crawl will not crawl off a ledge. They know instinctively about gravity and that falling will harm them. That is why amusement park rides are so much fun. They evoke that fear of falling in a controlled way. Adrenaline junkies take it to the extreme with rock climbing, rappelling and sky diving.
Fear – Is it controlling your life?
I don’t like getting stung by bees. But, I have decided to get some bee hives and we currently have 5 in our back yard and are looking to get more. I’ve been stung 3 times in the last week and a half and I hate it, but that’s a fear that I had to conquer if I want the reward, which is the honey. If you are going to have new life, you are going to have to experience some labor pains. Growing through a fear and conquering it takes effort and a willingness to get the reward on the other side. For instance, some people who have been overweight their whole lives are afraid of working out and eating right because they’ve failed so many times at diets and losing weight and getting in shape. So, they let that fear of failure hold them back. Sometimes, people are afraid to step out and get involved in a business that can change their lives because they are afraid of failure or success. Sometimes people are afraid to get involved in something that is new or uncomfortable because they are afraid of the time it will take to become the best they can be at it so they settle for a life of mediocrity where there is never any sunshine or rain. You should not have a fear of failure because that is how you gain experience, as long as you get back up. And likewise, a fear of success has to be conquered if you want the reward at the other end and to be able to help others achieve the same type of success. Or, you can be normal and stay in your rut. You have a choice. Choose wisely.