Fear rules the world

I once read an article somewhere that said fear is the determining factor in the average person’s career path. More than intelligence, charisma, grit, work ethic, whatever. Fear is the thing that determines how far you go. And I think that applies to a lot more than just career paths.

If humans were incapable of feeling fear (ignoring the fact that we’d all quickly die), how much would be different? Would you have the same job? Would you be in the same relationship? Would you live in the same place? Would you spend your time doing the same stuff?

I think most of us would be completely different people with completely different lives. But the habit of letting fear guide our thinking makes it hard to wrap our brains around it.

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life—and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”

Georgia O’Keeffe

Nice quote, but it misses the point. It only addresses the things we know we want. What about the things we don’t realize we want, because we can’t see past the fear? Fear is a fog: sometimes it blurs things and sometimes it blocks them out altogether.

You have the life you’re willing to put up with, and step one for not putting up with something is to realize that there’s even a choice. Maybe the fear is right, maybe it’s a bad choice, but we should at least know it’s there.

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