F*CK FEAR: FIGHT OR FLIGHT. Which one drives YOU?
Motivation is the drive that enables an individual towards a certain goal or destination. Influenced by external forces such as the high that one gets from accomplishing a task or victorious feat, motivation enables all motion. Yet, the driving force in a lot of decisions tends to be FEAR as motivation. Sure, people will say that fear did not make them do something while failing to acknowledge all of the decisions they did not make because they were AFRAID. Either afraid to be wrong, judged, or rejected, fear causes a majority of the population to live in the prison they build themselves.
How many times do we consider the negative outcomes of any situation before considering the possibilities that the negative may not happen? Whether or not most of us will admit it or not, we all have fears that hold us back from making massive and minute decisions. Fear can be a learned behavior from surroundings and cultural setbacks. What do I mean? I interviewed my 68 year old mother after watching ’12 Years a Slave’ a couple months ago. She was raised on a Plantation farm in the 1940’s in Louisiana by her great grandmother and grandmother; descendants of former slaves. The history of fear was embedded in her home according to her stories.
“There were a few times that my grandfather came from California to get us to move into a better life,” my mother said, “but my family wasn’t used to any other kind of living. We stayed in poverty because we were scared of the unknown. I was a child but I saw the hesitation in my grandmother’s face. I knew that was fear. The last time he begged us was the last time I saw him before he passed away.”
Hearing her story at my current adult age made me reflect on what other things that I had possibly learned because of my environment and fear to step out into the unknown. Like most, I take a decent amount of risks. But do I take enough risks at the sake of soaring, or am I like the majority who is so afraid of falling, that I don’t attempt to FLY as much as I should?
FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
FEAR causes people to stay in situations that are counterproductive to living a full and healthy life. Relationships that are kept simply because “It’s cheaper to keep her,” while ignoring the fact that the stress of being with someone you cannot stand is shortening the years on your life. Complacency is a slow death. Whether that be in your job, personal life, or fear of leaving your hometown for the possibility that a new location could open doors for you never imagined.
FEAR OF SELF
Occasionally doubting ourselves and allowing our brain to talk ourselves into believing our strengths are our weaknesses, one must guard the negative thoughts and as cliche’ as it sounds, “Don’t believe everything you think.” The inner monologue built inside of each and every one of us can be contradicting at times. You’re afraid to speak up. Afraid to stand up for yourself. Afraid to confess your feelings to someone. Afraid to put in for the promotion that you know you deserve. Afraid to do what your passion is begging you to do. The stronger you feel about something, the more FEAR will attempt to swindle you.
FEAR OF DEATH
Existentialism is the conscious awareness that humans gain freedom through responsibility for one’s choices and actions. To exist is to recognize growth, be aware of growth, and also capable of change. Existentialists want to know what they are living for, who they are, and how to find the purpose in what they do. Existentialists exist in the now. With existentialists there is no blaming God, other people, or even our circumstances for who we become. Existentialists believe that people have the power to become whomever they choose to.
As you become aware of your existence through consciousness, you are also more aware of your mortality. By being aware of your mortality makes fear an option. You can choose to be afraid of dying by the how and what will happen after death. Or be fearful that you haven’t done enough and are not ready to succumb to the mortal destiny of all mankind.
The key is to recognize what drives you into ACTION (not lack of action) and be emerged into that thing until you bleed success and results that bring about POSITIVE CHANGES. Some argue that fear is an immature motivator, although it pushes some people to go beyond what they thought they could achieve. Fear of failure causes the student to stay up an extra hour to study for their exam. Fear of accident causes the driver to drive more cautiously on a busy street instead of with reckless abandon. Fear of pregnancy and disease cause the promiscuous adult to use caution with new partners. Not all fear is a bad thing. There is an instinct to protect ourselves from harm and negative outcomes.
But when FEAR makes a decision for you that tells you not to do something that could benefit you or someone else… well dear, that’s when- FEAR HAS MADE YOU HIS BITCH.