Hot Pot: Is Fear Your Best Friend?

Nemo shark fear Dorry
Nemo's dad also shares this fear.

This week’s Hot Pot rant is all about FEAR, and how there is so much of it in the world today. It has manifested between nations, and between groups within a nation. We see it on the street, and it lives in our communities. It can infiltrate a team, or a friendship, and fear can make us doubt, or thoughtlessly cling to, the things we hold most sacred.

Fear can create a feeling of emotional evisceration, and we always need to remember what a little green man once said, “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. And hate leads to suffering.”

Is SUFFERING our friend?

Is HATE our friend?

NO?!?! Then FEAR should not be our friend either.

Now, I’m not talking about rational fear here. This isn’t about the butterflies in one’s stomach before a game, or the nerves people feel during try outs, or before a big test. It’s not about being “scared” during a horror movie, and it’s not about worrying whether or not a boss/teacher/coach is going to give out that promotion/passing grade/starting spot. Those are all normal feelings of fear, and trepidation, and everyone experiences them.

What I am talking about is irrational, and ignorant, fear, and I firmly believe it is the most dangerous thing out there. This is that all-consuming fear that dictates thought and action. It’s the fear that makes a person blind to any truth other than their own, and it’s the kind of fear that can hold not only one, but many, back from greatness.

If one refuses to question, or even discuss, their dearest beliefs, they are likely struck by this fear. If life is led dogmatically, and by others’ rules, the same applies. If new experiences are shunned, or if tough conversations, and hard choices, are avoided, then this fear may be very real.

There is no truly easy fix to this fear. It took years to build up, and few go to sleep fearful one day, and wake up the next, to find themselves freed. The transition takes times, and it takes effort. It requires deep self-reflection, and the path will be difficult, with plenty of ups and downs.

The key is to look for small things to change, as often as you can. Once the ball of positivity starts rolling, it will pick up speed, and future, bigger acts of fearlessness will be that much easier. Start small, and build up to larger changes. Try a new food. Try drawing a picture or writing a poem. Try learning part of a new language. Visit a new town or part of a City. Say hi to a stranger… the point is, give life a shot.

Then, maybe the big changes won’t seem so big. Applying for a new job, or starting a company won’t seem like a dream, it will be a possibility. Meeting new people and changing the world for the better won’t just be something “other people do”. Being a positive force in the world won’t be idealism, it will be realism.

Be a better person. Kick fear to the curb. It’s all within our grasp, all we have to do is go out there and live it little by little. Start small, work up to bigger things, and be active. Fear doesn’t just leave on its own.