Sunday, April 30, 2006

Fear is a learned response

You're not born with it. You're born with the capacity to feel it.

If I were dropped in a vat of poisonous snakes when I was a toddler, and none of them harmed me, I wouldn't be scared of snakes.
But having gone to a lake at a very young age and having a snake swim toward me with my grandmother yelling and my mother freaking out and leaving me...THAT would cause the fear trigger. I'm not phobic by any means. I can look at them. I can pet them at the zoo. But I LOATHE them outside a cage.

Fear is a good thing.
Fear can keep us from experiencing something potentially harmful. I don't plan on jumping off a twenty story building. I don't plan on swimming with the sharks. And if you ever see me in the Amazon, just shoot me. Because I've obviously lost my mental faculties.

But fear is also debilitating.
It can be harmful to the point of permanently making us handicapped. If I'm afraid to check my mail, because God forbid, it's full of rejection letters, then I have issues. And fear can choke out hope with a snarl and a bite.

Fear, like any emotion, deserves its only special place in our lives. If you can use it to grow as a person, then do. But if it consistently sucks the life out of you or weakens your motivation, then get rid of it!

But I'm serious about the Amazon thing.


B said...

Amen sistah! I had to learn that lesson the hard way, but damn if it wasn't completely worth it.

See you in the Amazon? Heh, not on your life, unless we've both lost our mental faculties! ;D


Tori Lennox said...

But I'm serious about the Amazon thing.

Where's your sense of adventure??? *g*

Not that you could pay ME enough to go to the Amazon... but it doesn't mean I won't send my characters there. ;)

chryscat said...

Beverly: No kidding. Took me awhile to embrace this.
Tori: I got adventure, woman. *laughing* But I have a serious sense of self-preservation, too.

Michelle said...

You can control how you react to many situations. With my kidlets, I have to remind myself that they look to me for the appropriate response. My son slipped underwater when he was in his life jacket and came up sputtering. He stared at me with a look of shock and I cheered, "Look at you! You went underwater! Wow, what a great job!" and he grinned. Then, of course, he wanted to do it again. If I had panicked and freaked out, so would he.

Nancy J. Bond said...

Good post. :-) One of my favorite quotes addresses fear: You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith. - Mary M. Morrissey Ain't it the truth.