Read the article  “The Value of Fear”below. Reflect on and react to the piece in this discussion,sharing your thoughts, opinions, and experiences.

The Value of Fear

When entering a new situation, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a burst of extra energy?  Wouldn’t it be nice if our senses sharpened, our mind became more alert, and we felt a sense of increased readiness?  Wouldn’t it be great if we breathed a little deeper, getting that oxygen around our body; and our eyes widened a little, allowing us to see more clearly?

Wouldn’t that be a nice gift to have?  Well, we have that gift already – its called fear.  Fear?  Sure.  If you think about it, the only difference between fear and excitement is what we label it.  The two are pretty much the same physical and emotional reaction.  With fear, we put a negative spin on it: “Oh, no!”  With excitement, we give it some positive power:  “Oh, Boy!”

To use fear as the friend it is, we must retrain and reprogram ourselves.  We must persistently and convincingly tell ourselves that the fear is here – with its gift of energy and heightened awareness – so we can do our best and learn the most in the new situation.  Before we can do that however, we need to realize that fear is not the enemy.  We must know that, if we do the thing we fear, we will not die.

To prove to ourselves that we won’t die – that, in fact, nothing physically bad is likely to happen to us – it’s necessary to walk through the fear.  Most people treat fear as a wall.  It is the edge of their comfort zone.  As they approach the wall and the fear increases, they turn around and walk away.  They do not do the thing they fear.  Hence, the belief that fear is a limitation and not a prelude to illumination, is kept alive.

If you want to learn about fear, whatever it is you fear doing, that is the very next thing you need to do.  Fear is not a wall; it’s just an emotion.  Walk through the fear.  Keep taking step after step toward the thing you want.  It may become quite uncomfortable; then suddenly it will be less.

Once you start doing the thing you fear, the fear is used for its true purpose, extra energy.  We use energy doing the thing we want to do, and the “wall” sensation of fear disappears.  Over time, you’ll learn to use the energy even before you start moving – you’ll create a gate for yourself in the wall.

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