Fear, the Great Demotivator

ktadmin Post in A Zen Thing, Training notes

Meditation Point #123

Everyone always asks about your goals and motivations. What do you want? Where do you want to be? Very few people will ask what are you afraid of… Mostly because this is an intimate and person question that requires us to expose our weaknesses. But I am asking it now, what are you afraid of?

The reason I am asking this question is simple, fear is usually what motivates us to do things. But the title said demotivator? I don’t understand? Most people operate with underlying fears, spiders, heights, etc. These are not the types of fears that I am talking about. The types of fears I am talking about deal with risk and in some cases danger. Fear can handicap us from taking chances, which is a survival thing so not all bad. But what happens when fear of risks become an obstical to our goals? Some people simply pick new goals. Often they don’t realize that is why they changed their goals, who wants to admit they took the safety? No, people rationalize they are good rational reasons for “changing” our goals! But is that living? I am not sure. Being a Father I find that my decision process has changed greatly, there are so many new variable to consider. It’s not just me anymore. But that doesn’t mean fear needs to rule. The hard part is telling good judgment from fear.

FearFear becomes a demotivator when we stop taking chances or always look to take the safest path. It makes us predictable and limits our growth. The real problem occurs when we fall into a pattern where we would rather choose inaction (failure) then to risk anything. We enter into a falling pattern of failing. This is the danger that isn’t written or talked about often enough. Why do we do these things? More times then not we allow our fears surrounding personal security to rule us. This isn’t always a bad thing as it often keeps us from being homeless! But reasonableness dictates that we need to take risks occasionally. Otherwise we would never change jobs, homes, make an investment or make a large purchase.

The two greatest facilitators of our fears are the word’s Can’t and Don’t Know. When we say we can’t do something what we are really saying is, I quit. The truth is 90% of the time we just aren’t trying hard enough. Children seem to fall prey to this one very often, unfortunately adults do not properly correct this when they can. Adults are more adept at avoiding things they feel they can’t do. Adults like to say they don’t understand or even better to transfer their fear onto other with blame.

Just because things aren’t clear to us doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned were in situations where I didn’t understand what I was learning. In the Martial Arts I see this very often in students; they get frustrated in their training or with their instructor and all to often they quit. They do not want to continue without understanding the lesson, so they choose failure and quit.

Other then talking about this problem and attempting to educate people I am not sure how we correct it. I do know that in our fast reward society where everything should come quickly and easily it is easy to camouflage our fears so we do not have to deal with them. Anything worth attaining takes hard work and time; anything worth knowing isn’t simple to comprehend. The most important thing to realize is if we do not face our fears then we will never grow towards perfection. Are you ready to face your fears?

I will ask again, what are you afraid of? And if you dare how do you avoid your fears?

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