Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Fear, Bears & Me

                                              Photo credit - @ratushny Dmitry Ratushny
Fear has so many variations, levels and degrees to it that it seems to enlarge inside our very minds, this mental enlargement makes fear appear to be infinitely vast. Fear can appear to take form as an entity which can become so powerful it itself is a weapon of self destruction. If You let it. Fear thrives on these emotions but the funny thing is that we are normally the ones providing it with it's power in the first place. When we break down some of our fears we begin to understand the true matter of what it is that we are afraid of, take bears for example.
"I am Shit scared of bears"
But when I tried to figure out why I became somewhat baffled at first and then enlightened with the final result. I was baffled because when I compared my fear of being confronted with a bear over say a shark the feeling of fear was still greater with a bear than that of a shark.
Now I know that being faced with either a bear or a shark could inevitably lead to serious injury to myself or even death to my mortal body, but I did not believe one to be more dangerous than the other.
My thought process of the scenarios;
*I'm swimming far out in the beautiful Mediterranean...
  • "Oh shit there's a shark & it's coming right at me", quick punch it in the nose.. gouge its eye out.
*I'm trekking through the wilderness with my backpack...
  • "Oh shit there's a bear and it's heading straight for me", quick climb a tree or do I run.. better hold my ground and stand big or do I play dead... Aaarggh!!
At first I thought I'd cracked my fear of bears conundrum, I believed it was because there are many types of bear and that quick reactions play a massive part in ones survival and That was why I have a greater fear of bears than any other animal.. I was Wrong! I kept revisiting my thoughts of both scenarios and decided to play out the worst case scenario for both;

Question: I face a bear it kills me, how do I feel about that?

Answer: Fear still present

Question: I face a shark it kills me, how do I feel about that?

Answer: No fear

Then it hit me I wasn't actually afraid of bears & what I am actually afraid of is not knowing what to do in a situation, that's my real underlining fear. This is likely the reason for many things in my life and is the reason why I am the way that I am, like why I learn as much as I can about everything, why I like to figure things out on my own and the reason why I continually think I'm not ready.
I like to be ready for every situation to a point where I am over ready but even then still think there's more to practice or research, but really I must learn to over come my fear of not knowing what to do in every situation and instead jump right in.. because that is where a great deal of the learning comes from!
"Fear can appear to take form as an entity which can become so powerful it itself is a weapon of self destruction. If You let it"
So if you have a fear it may be worth analyzing for a while to see if you can get to the bottom of what it actually means to you. Uncovering your fear and its true meaning can set you free from it's grasp and give you real knowledge and insights about yourself that you did not know before. There are many ways to take the power away from your fear and give it back to yourself, one is to imagine you are having the conversation with a younger version of yourself.
Watch Tim Ferris give an amazing Ted Talk - How to feel like the Incredible Hulk where he talks about how he overcame his fear of swimming at the age of 31.