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Scared? 5 Tips for Using Fear as Fuel

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Scared? 5 Tips for Using Fear as Fuel

Recently I have been thinking about fear and how it relates to behavior. We typically avoid things that scare us, which, of course, makes perfect sense. We have evolved an instinctive fear of threats and this avoidance behavior is ingrained in us as a way to protect us from harm. However, as is often the case, in the modern world our natural biological defenses can unnecessarily hold us back from deep fulfillment. Many times, that which we instinctively fear can actually be harmless, or even a blessing.

But in order to assess a fear I have found that you have to unpackage it first, to really consider its components and sources, and to figure out whether itís worth ignoring. By way of example, I recently experienced some fear in dating a man who is unable to walk. When I really thought about my reaction I realized that it was simply a fear of the unknown. Until then, I hadnít known anyone who was confined to a wheelchair, or even anyone who had dated someone who was in a wheelchair, so I had no direct understanding of what either role would entail. It occurred to me during this un-packaging of my instinctive reaction just how many fears are a result of ignorance of the unknown.

The moment was an epiphany. It occurred to me that wars have started because of this sort of xenophobic reaction. Racism, homophobia, misogyny, anti-semitism ó †many of the worldís ugliest prejudices can result from an instinctive fear of the unknown. When we donít understand something we often create a mental scenario based on what we do know, and unfortunately it is almost invariably inaccurate. What I learned by spending time with him was that my pre-conceived notions were seriously skewed and unjustifiably negative. †Once I took the time to begin to see things from his perspective many of my preconceptions ó and fears ó melted away. The only solution to fear of the unknown is to learn to relate, to make an effort to understand life within the sphere of the unknown.

As with everything I write about, fear has huge implications for how you live your life and approach your business. Fear can be something that keeps you from moving forward, from being all that you can be. When you forgo an opportunity, remember, it just might have turned out to be something life changing, or something that you would have loved ó you just donít know. The key is determining whether your fear is borne out of a real danger, or if it is simply the result of apprehension in facing the unknown. In business growth, itís most likely the latter, not the former. Having a strategy to face fear and move through it can be a huge tool for success. Here are 5 suggestions that may help you get started:

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Laura Garnett

Laura Garnett helps service driven, small business owners get clear on what their unique brand essence is. She then helps them grow their businesses in a way that is right for them and makes them happier and more successful. She combines business with pleasure because happiness is a key to success. She also interviews inspiring people about their path to success.

61 comments

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4:49PM PDT on May 22, 2012

thanks

1:09PM PST on Mar 4, 2012

It seems the older I get, the more fears I have. I could do almost anything when I was younger, but now I hesitate because I don't know if my body can handle it. I had a heart attack a few years back, so now I have to careful of what I do. I don't like this getting 'old' thing.

3:43PM PST on Feb 12, 2012

Thanks. I'll keep those tips in mind :)

4:15AM PST on Feb 10, 2012

Sounds like a bunch of good tips for life as well as business! Thanks for the article :)

6:03AM PST on Feb 9, 2012

i really hope this works, cause i am still afraid of heights....

11:21PM PST on Feb 8, 2012

Thanks

7:21PM PST on Feb 8, 2012

"The subject matter (of religion) is extremely sensitive - guess that's why it can create deep emotion in everyone. Thus a precious friend said to me."
-------------------------------------------
I also think it is because religion (not spirituality) has been a primary force to subjugate and enslave the peoples of Earth. Introduce a mystery, scare them to death with the most awful
imagined thought pictures possible, make it a crime to do otherwise than obediently baaaa, no thinking for yourself allowed. And the 1% reign in power. Anyone disagrees...burn them!

This is true both of the Catholic and the Protest ant churches. The history of both factions is bloody.

I spent many years working in the mental health system. I learned, and had an opportunity to prove true, trauma is passed down through the genes to the progeny of many generations. Consequently, often, when heresy is presented, the genes in the physical body go into terror. The brain's functions go to minimum and it's fight or flight.

When atheists and ardent would be evangelists meet, terror fights with arguments and words.
Just below anger, there is fear, just below fear there is grief then comes apathy.

2:57PM PST on Feb 8, 2012

@Deborah - Hear Hear!!! Yes!

Thank you all for your comments and thanks.. loved writing this article!

2:56PM PST on Feb 8, 2012

A book for your consideration:
Send Lite to Every Fear: The Everyday Hero's Litany
http://www.sendlite.com/

11:51AM PST on Feb 8, 2012

Prejudice and fear are often caused by
people who do not wish to "think outside
the box". May we have more progressive
thinkers who do not worry about what others
say about them

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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