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Gary Foreman

Transformational Life Coach 

  • Writer's pictureGary Foreman

WHAT IS FEAR …

Updated: Jun 10

WHAT IS FEAR? Fear is actually a simple emotion. Things that humans are afraid of are endless! I certainly do not mean to minimize the emotion, it can be very powerful, very limiting and potentially devastating. Fear can be a great motivator and solutions are always possible. 

Fear is mental state which then triggers and emotional state and then possibly a physical state of being. It activates the sympathetic nervous system, raises our heart rate to a fight or flight status and generally can put the human in a state of high anxiety or panic. It is stressful and few if any valuable decisions can come from this state of being.

 

Fear is unique to humans. No beast in nature has this mental and subsequently physical challenge. You might say; “what about those beasts who are hunted as prey? Aren’t they afraid?” The answer is, NO! The beasts use their innate tools and skills such as running, jumping, climbing, flying and swimming, to name only a few, to avoid potential predators as a survival instinct. There is NO THOUGHT INVOLVED! If they have to think about it, it may quickly be too late and they may miss the opportunity to run! These beasts use the same instinct to hunt or graze when they are hungry, go to high ground when there is a threat of flooding, gravitate to water for hydration, care for their young, head for shade on days when direct sunlight is too much, and rest when they are tired. 

The same reactive or instinctive state can be present within humans, when faced with an emergency or life-threatening situation. When a sudden threat or crisis arises, the human doesn’t think. He/she reacts with adrenaline and reflex, which by passes thought. When thought is involved, that thought process becomes fear and humans are the only species who thinks in this way. 

Let’s go on. When babies are born, they have no fear. In the infant stage, when they cry, it might be because they cannot see very far and their vibrational receptors are such that they might not feel anything if their primary care givers are too far away to be detected. Their survival instinct kicks in and they cry, out of an instinctive panic that they might not survive without those primary care givers.

 

Generally speaking, IF babies had fear at the toddler stage of development they would never walk. They might have fearful thought preceding the attempt such as: “what if I were to fall and injure myself.”  If they had this fear of falling and subsequent bodily injury, fear of failure and ridicule, or fear of success and taunting, babies would never attempt to walk. These all could lead to a fear of trying and therefore 

Generally speaking, IF babies had fear at the toddler stage of development they would never walk. They might have fearful thought preceding the attempt such as: “what if I were to fall and injure myself.”  If they had this fear of falling and subsequent bodily injury, fear of failure and ridicule, or fear of success and taunting, babies would never attempt to walk. These all could lead to a fear of trying and therefore.



NOT attempting. They just know what they want to do instinctively and they keep attempting until it happens. This happens as a gradual evolution over days, weeks and months. They want or desire motor skills. They want to perambulate, and they won’t stop until it’s done. 

SOOO, what does this all mean? Babies, eventually, grow up and have fear of other things. That means that fear is TAUGHT to growing humans by primary care givers and then the expanded network. This teaching goes way beyond walking but we can save that one for another time … back to fear!

 

Most of the time, with adult humans, fear is associated with the future. This thinking includes thoughts like; “what will happen to me if ______, and more what if … and what if! This what if thinking can be either creative or destructive. In the case of future and negative outcome, it is destructive.

1) The future doesn’t exist. This what if thinking, is projecting assumed results into a place, that doesn’t exist. We are always in a state of present moment. There are never any problems or fears in the present moment, only situations which can be navigated with clear objective thinking. Then on to the next present moment. This might be a matter of semantics but problems, like fear are made up in the human mind. Situations are like objective puzzles to solve. 

2) Fear is taught, “made up”, or created by the human mind. We are making things up, which are stories and illusion, about the future, which again does not exist!

Here is another way to see fear. Fear is NOT always about the future, it is also about the past, again, in the human mind. Humans are afraid to repeat things that they have had poor experiences with or past pain! We have become burned by …  

1) DISAPPOINTMENT. The lack of achieving the desired results in the early stages of learning. We obviously do not have enough skill in our first few attempts. Skills come through repetition and eventually experience. Further attempts give us an idea of what is working and what is not, where the adjustments need to be made and then repetition for accuracy and consistency. Which leads to #2

2) FAILURE AND SUBSEQUENT RIDICULE.

Failure, which also does not exist, can be falling short of someone else’s standard of excellence. The performing/attempting human wants to live up to this standard or please that someone else. The ridicule comes in the form of taunting, correcting harshly, blaming, berating, scolding and so on. This causes the attempter to regret trying again :)


Conclusion:

Stay in the present moment so the next present moment is an open-ended playground of unlimited possibilities. Drop or suspend our past experiences for at least a short time while attempting something new. We are more likely to keep trying with questions like; “what’s going to happen this time?” OR “I wonder if my adjustment is going to do what I would like it to do?” If better, on to repetition and consistency, if worse, another adjustment is necessary. We are not doing our creativity any good by; fearing the future, being disappointed with attempts, living up to someone else’s standards and so on. Have fun and keep going! 


We are more likely to keep trying with questions like; “what’s going to happen this time?” OR “I wonder if my adjustment is going to do what I would like it to do?” If better, on to repetition and consistency, if worse, another adjustment is necessary. We are not doing our creativity any good by; fearing the future, being disappointed with attempts, living up to someone else’s standards and so on. Have fun and keep going! 

FEAR can be a very complex subject OR it can be very simple. When you realize there may be anxiety within that may be attributed to fear ask yourself;

“What am I afraid of”?

“Why am I afraid of this”?

“What do I do now”? Doing can be sitting still until the feeling and emotion of fear subsides.

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Gary Foreman

Transformational

Life Coach

CONTACT

(972) 639-7292
info@garyforeman.me

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Gary Foreman

Life Coach

Gary Foreman

Transformational

Life Coach

(972) 639-7292
info@garyforeman.me

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
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