With no story, no drive, no push and no inspiration... I bumped into this message on a friend’s status that says, "Fear is a choice".
Fear is a choice? What nonsense I thought to myself... Fear is very real joor, these people, where do they even get these status from? To confirm the originality of the status (I know it is a bad habit but I always want to verify everything I read)... I decided to ask Google and to my surprise, it was a quote from a movie called "After Earth", released in 2013, starring Will Smith and his son.(see nice thriller here)
The full quote from the movie is “If we
are going to
Survive this you must
fear is not real.
It is a product of the thoughts you create.
Now do not misunderstand me,
danger is very real, but fear is a
Feeling inspired and motivated by these words, the part of my mind that asks questions, tapped me and in its usual demanding manner, questioned, is fear really a choice? is fear not an indication that something is horribly wrong? Is it not a sign that you are in danger? Or about to fail with the world watching, laughing at you like humpty dumpty when he had that great fall? Or is fear not a reaction from the intelligent part of your brain warning you that you lack PEACE, nose diving into chaos and failure?
As if to answer my questions, I came across this.
"What is fear, really? Have you ever wondered where it goes when it is not there anymore? Or wondered where it comes from in the first place?
One of the most interesting things about fear is that it always seem to either come from something outside of us (an environmental stimulus) or from something inside our heads but separated from us – what my mentor George Pransky calls “psychological bogeymen”.
Yet when you look closely, you will find out that every fear you experience is actually made up of a sum total of your thoughts. It is not “false evidence appearing real”, as the acronym suggests – it is thoughts appearing real.
Is fear really a choice?
Well, in those moments when I recognize my thoughts as the source of my fear, we could say I can choose whether or not to indulge them – but that is like saying you have a choice to choose between hitting yourself in the head with a hammer or not hitting yourself in the head with it. In those moments when you are aware that the source of that constant headache is your thinking you are unlikely to choose to keep doing it.
Since I do not even know where my thoughts would be headed in the next minute, it is apparent to me that majority of the time, I do not choose my thoughts. And since fear is made up of thoughts, it seems to me that the majority of the time, I do not really choose whether or not to feel afraid. (I hope I have not confused you here)
But here is the good news:
Since I can at least intellectually recognize that the source of all my fears are my thoughts, I do not make a big deal out of being afraid anymore. I do not even see the need to hide from things that seem scary. I just simply move forward in the face of all my ever changing thoughts, including the scary ones. And because I am not scared of fear, I am left with something even more powerful than choice – true and absolute freedom.
(Taken from Michael Neill’s Weekly Coaching Tip #870 – Is Fear a Choice?)
This is not exactly what you want to read when you are convinced and can imagine that the things you fear are real. But it aptly answers the question.
Like Will Smith said in the movie, danger is real. The uncertainty of life is real. The danger of losing your job, failing an exam etc., the danger of not getting what you want, of the economic situation or government policy negatively affecting your business and investment, oh, those are very real!
But the courage to act in spite of these dangers, the strength to dust yourself up and try again when you fail, that singular ability to act inspite of the dangers, to fight and protect yourself from it or just hide and be afraid, now that is a choice you have to make.
So I agree with Will Smith, fear is in indeed a choice.
You can choose to be afraid in the midst of the danger or you can choose to act and still stay positive inspite of it or you can also take notes of those things that cause you fear and run away from them if they do not serve to your growth, to save yourself from the danger they cause………….
The choice is entirely yours.