“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

The other day, I wrote at length about courage. I spoke of how courage is overcoming fear and striving above your perceived limitations. I also mentioned that fear is a very necessary part of existence and is ultimately unavoidable.

While fear is necessary, it can also be very tragic when we allow it to hold us back. So, what is fear and where does it come from? If we must exist beside it, then how do we go about enduring its grasp when it strikes us unawares?

Firstly, let me say that I continue to thoroughly enjoy seeking out a new and worthwhile quote everyday for this forum. While it is a worthwhile privilege everyday, today it was especially so. So many great and worthwhile thoughts have been expressed regarding fear. Poignant quotes can easily be found from some of the greatest minds and most notable figures throughout all of recorded history. It seems as if nearly everyone has made an attempt to say something memorable about fear, and this led me to an important realization:

Fear is universal.

Every leader that has ever led has faced fear. Every executive of every great company has known fear closely. Even every great figure of peace and wisdom that has ever sought to enlighten the rest of us has wrestled continuously with fear. The value of this is to know that you’re not alone. You are not the first person to suffer and you will not be the last. Indeed, everyone who has ever dared to live knows just what you’re feeling no matter how  unique your circumstances may seem.

If there is one other pattern I can discern in what I have read today in my researching, it’s this: fear is a liar. Fear is the veil that covers everything you hope for in life.

To answer my own questions: what is fear? Fear is a creation of the mind. Fear does not exist in reality but only in our heads. A tree or a blade of grass can never experience fear. If all life on Earth were burned down to a single man, that man would know fear, but the rocks beneath his feet would be oblivious to it.

Knowing this, it is simple enough to decide how we must handle fear. When we encounter fear, we must simply acknowledge it for the specter it is and allow it to pass. It is of utmost importance that you come to see all of your fears for the empty vacuum they really are. Nothing great nor wonderful was ever won without passing through fear. The greater the accomplishment, undoubtedly the greater the fear that had to be overcome.

There are so many wise words to be shared, but I strive to limit my posts to no more than one quote. Regardless, there were two other quotes that I found affecting and wish to share in hopes they might cause you to reflect and ponder as they caused me.

“It does not bother the wolf how many the sheep may be.”
– Virgil

“A man that flees from his fear may find that he has only taken a shortcut to meet it.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien

Thank you for your time.


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