Tip/Thought of the Day

Fear: The Great Motivator or The Great Detractor?


A normal human trait, often necessary and appropriate to prevent us from getting into situations and circumstances that could threaten our lives or well-being. Like in my adrenalin junky days when I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane! Or my daughter’s choice to overcome fear when she trusted a few rubber bands tied to her ankles and bungee jumped into an abyss in New Zealand.

But often times, fear in and of its self is an immobilizer, keeping us stuck in one place and mind set. We fear the unknown and how we’ll be on the other side. That’s when it’s important to look at the fear, acknowledge it, then think it through. If it doesn’t threaten life or safety, maybe it’s something we need to overcome, push through, and grow beyond.

So many times fear is the reason we don’t even try.

Fear of change, commitment, acceptance, loss, responsibility, and ridicule. . . the list is endless. But the greatest fear of all is seeing anyone chose to do nothing rather then face their fears. Stagnating and ignoring all their wonderful talents and capacities because they are immobilized by the very thing that they could have used to propel them forward to conquer their dreams.

Or at least get close.

Sometimes fear stands for: False Evidence Appears Real. It’s not the situation that causes the fear, but the expectation or anticipation it generates. Like my daughter afraid she’d be laughed at or shamed for her cornrows. It appeared possible based on the looks she received in the airport, but was that really the truth?  Or just a fear that allowed for an easy resolution-  ignoring the situation all together. The only thing in harms way was her pride.

In other circumstances, courage isn’t the lack of fear but rather the realization that something else is more important and needs to be accomplished in spite of the fear.

Fear can be a great motivator or detractor, the choice is ours.

-Dr. Courtney

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