FearAnother departure from Personal Finance but as this site is very much my life on show, I might as well share my thoughts too. It's a rather serious post so you should skip it if you're not in the mood.
What good is fear? How does it affect our lives?
Well that probably depends on what it is that you fear. Fearing that you might be robbed in a dangerous neighbourhood? Okay seems reasonable, maybe it will make you avoid that neighbourhood on your way home just to be safe. But a fear of the spiders that crawl across your bathroom floor? Not so much. The question really is what does your fear do to you? Does it control you or do you use it to your advantage.
Before I continue I should admit to you now that I have only one fear. Whereas most fears vanish when you interrogate them long enough, the fear I hold will in fact be very real one day.
The fear I am talking about is Death. An unpleasant thought for many.
First, let me clarify. It is not a fear of the process of dieing, whether it be peaceful or painful, but of the state of being dead.
Seeing, hearing, and feeling nothing. Rationally someone might ask how I can fear something that I won't be around to experience? Well the answer would be that this is the very thing that I fear.
Nothingness. I fear the nothingness.
The video below sums up the fear, and I would suggest those who would rather not confront death right now not to watch the video. Even though I have read the words many times I still find myself caught off-guard by them in times of weakness.
If you are still reading this, know that my aim was not to depress you, but to show you how a fear can affect you, or in this case how it affects me. My fear hits me when I am at my most vulnerable and when I am least prepared to deal with the thoughts. It sends panic signals racing through my brain along with an urge to run and escape. I know this and can guard against it by trying not to put myself in a situation where the fear takes shape. What I am able to gain from the fear when it does occur is an appreciation of not only my time but also the time of others. An appreciation that every minute counts and not to waste them or to put off something until tomorrow.
I tell myself often that I am alive now and only maybe alive tomorrow.
This principle has guided me through a lot in life and I use it to battle the persistent bouts of procrastination that I encounter.
So what good is fear? My fear pushes me to accomplish things and to value the time that I do have. Would I rather not have this fear? Absolutely. But if I didn't have the fear, would I have gotten this far? Where would I be without it pushing me along to strive for greater things and to not accept that this is as good as it gets.
Whatever your fear is, whether it be death, spiders, or your massive debt, confronting it is vital to understanding it. By understanding it you can then maybe defeat it outright or at least lessen its effects by learning to guard against it. Or maybe you will never get rid of your fear, just as I will never be rid of mine, but that doesn't mean you can't gain something valuable from it. Even if it is just a new insight into why you feel the way you do or what is triggering the fear.