Never fear - but respect
I was quite young when my dad dropped me off at school on a day which had a big exam in front of me. “How do you feel?” he asked me. I had studied well, but also knew this was for sure not my easiest class. “I am scared” was my immediate response. My Dad smiled at me and said: “It never helps to be scared, but it’s good to feel respect for a situation, it keeps our mind open.”
It’s years later only that I understand the depth of that conversation we had that day.
We often fear the unknown and the things that are out of our control. We are scared of all the possible things that could go wrong, the bad things that might happen (or not happen) to us. We sit passively staring at the world, waiting for the situation to pass, not able to act or avoiding being confronted with the situation. We become victims of the circumstances. In fact, when caught up in the emotion of fear our mind will switch to survival mode which limits our ability to be present, solve a problem creatively, and enjoy live. We see danger and we focus to survive, no energy left to live. This is equal to permanent stress. And both stress and fear significantly change your brain structure. In the end fear drains our energy and can leave us in a dark place.
Switching from fear to respect shifts us from being a passive victim to becoming a conscious driver of a situation. We analyze and evaluate. We are cautious with an alert mind. We stay in control of our own steps. We are empowered to actively adapt to avoid injury, pain or loss. It makes our mind flexible and we start thinking outside the box. We dip into an energy so much more powerful and healthy for both body and mind. We are asking what’s possible right now in the given circumstances. We can act and discover new perspectives. This leaves us energised and leaves space for other emotions including joy.
So yes, caution is healthy and useful but fear doesn’t help you.
We can’t control the immediate happenings around us, but we can control how we respond to them. You are in control of your health, physically as well as mentally. And just as you protect your body from outside harm it’s important to protect your brain from unhealthy thoughts.
Share with me in which situations you like to replace fear with healthy respect.