F is for Fear

| March 4, 2014
People often say that fear is the enemy, or fear must be abandoned. But we can never truly abandon fear, at least not if we want to survive. Fear must be sifted. We must keep the fear that sustains us and let go of the fear that paralyzes us. Over New Years, I was in the Galapagos and had to decide whether I would join a group and go snorkeling with sharks. Half of my travel group went and the other didn’t. I was on the fence about it because I was so scared. It occurred to me that there are three types of fear, 1) rational fear, 2) irrational fear, 3) and rational fear that one deems worth overcoming via courage. My fear was the latter, and I ended up mustering the courage to go. It is true that your life shrinks or expands in proportion to your courage. A lack of it can lead to a life of regret. Perhaps life is a series of choices between Fear #3 and regret. As I get older, I’m learning to observe my own fear and try to approach it with the hands of a surgeon. We all need a Fearectomy sometimes.