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What is Fear?


What is fear? I asked Google and it gave me about 32 million answers. But we all know that the first page results are the most relevant to the question. Well, actually it just means that the articles have been given some great SEO and Google loves that. Anyway, the first result was from Psychology Today journal. The author of the article writes about the fear he felt after getting a cancer diagnosis and he talks about a fear that is “real and natural,” a thing that he could acknowledge as existing, and a thing he could confront and overcome. The key message I took from his view of fear and agree with is that fear is something we can conquer.


Then I went to another result written by Sadhguru, an Indian mystic. He says “Fear is simply because you are not living with life, you are living in your mind. Your fear is always about what’s going to happen next. That means your fear is always about that which does not exist. If your fear is about the non-existent, your fear is hundred percent imaginary.”


So, now we have two contrasting views of fear: one which says fear is something real that you can conquer and another that says fear arises in the mind over things that haven’t happened, therefore it is not real.


Although I don’t disagree with either of these views, I have a simpler definition:

Fear is any thought that prevents us from being happy and at peace. And being happy and feeling at peace with life and the world around us is our most important goal. It is an ultimate life purpose. It is above the acquisition of wealth, or the many varied ideas of a successful life.


Step out today and every day knowing that whether you are in a situation where fear arises as a ‘real and natural’, response to a physical threat, or one where your fearful thoughts anticipate a bad outcome for you, because your mind strongly suggests it, that you can conquer it by knowing fear can be conquered, and it can be dismissed by living in the present moment.


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