virgin islands scene

To change one's life, start immediately, do it flamboyantly, no exceptions.
-- William James


Wednesday, June 5, 1996


The interesting thing about fear is that it should not be feared. Fear can be a very useful and powerful tool. It gives us extra energy in new and unfamiliar situations. It sharpens our senses. It helps us to focus. It helps us to avoid legitimately dangerous situations.

The problem with fear comes when we begin to fear being afraid. Fear of fear. For example, imagine that your have “stage fright” -- the fear of speaking in front of a large audience. This is probably one of the most common fears. Now suppose you find yourself in front of a large audience, and suddenly a fear overcomes you. What is that fear? Are you afraid of the audience? No, you’re afraid of your fear. Carry it a step further. Imagine that you turn down a good job offer because it might involve some public speaking. Do you fear the job? No. Do you fear the public speaking. No. You fear the fear of the fear. Wow -- fear can get very deep when we’re afraid of it.

The best way to overcome fear is to do the thing you fear. And the best way to do that is to accept your fear as something positive and useful. Use the heightened energy and awareness your fear gives you to help you through the feared situation. That’s what the fear is there for -- to help you cope with the thing you fear. Don’t fear your fear. Use it for growth and accomplishment.

— Ralph Marston

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Copyright ©1996 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All Rights Reserved. The Daily Motivator is provided for your personal, non-commercial use only. Other than personal sharing, please do not re-distribute without permission.