Saturday, September 19, 2009


Let me preface this by saying that I know fear as well as anyone ever has. I used to be best friends with this piece of (bleep)... but no more. No more do I listen, although I must say it still whispers in my ear, sticks it's hand out in friendship, and reminds me that it'll always be there if I want to come back. 

Sorry... no deal! I'm never going back!

   fear.   Fear.   f-E-a-R.   feaR. 


reaf. earf. aref. frea.

F..... E..... A....... R

It doesn't matter what shape it takes or how it's spelled... fear means what it means, and does what it always does.

It's strong and powerful, yet weak and fragile~ all at the same time. To some... fear looks, feels and tastes like a force that will always win... can't lose... is impossible to conquer!

To others... fear is an illusion, created by the mind, performed by the imagination, but squashed by conscious decisions~ decisions that say, 

"No! I won't listen. I won't give in to it's temptations and it's attempts to paralyze me."

Fear surrounds us, tries to engulf us, all while telling us that we must listen. And if we don't listen, fear makes us believe we'll fail miserably, and look foolish in the eyes of those watching. Fear can be as giant as a skyscraper, but can also be as fragile as wet paper. 

The good news... we get to choose which shape it takes! We're in control of whether or not that word (that's all it really is) affects our decisions, moods, speech ~both to ourselves and to others. We can live without fear... so why do so many of us choose to befriend it?

Answer: Fear!

So, if that's the answer... let me ask a few more questions: What will we do when it knocks again? What will we say when we answer the door? What language will we use when it asks us those important questions? What actions will we take... or choose not to take? Does fear even have a voice when it looks us in the face? 

I don't know you, so I'll never pretend to answer for you, but for me... fear will always be there lurking, waiting and hoping, but I'll never give it the satisfaction. You see, I can't afford to talk to fear ever again. My daughter's counting on me to stand up and teach her how to fight quietly against this villain. She needs my example of strength in order to reinforce her power against (that word) when it comes knockin... and you better believe it'll come knockin.

F-e-a-r?  FEAR? FeaR? 

What shape will it take for you? 


Anonymous said...

Fear is the strongest enemy to mankind

To defeat the enemy, One must not run,
but stand strong.
Many hide, many surrender.

One Must stand resistant to fear or it has won.
I can stand as One against my fear. and I will win.

Fear will forever be there,
I will forever be here,
standing to face my fear.

There is no place fear can hide,
I will forever face fear as One, alone.
Seeking freedom, forcing fear to hide.

lifechick said...

For me what's so tricky about fear is too often, I don't even realize it's what's motivating me to act (or especially, not to act). In hindsight, I always figure it out. The trick is to recognize when I'm making fear-based decisions in the moment.

Speaking of fear, I will admit it's a staunch companion in this particular moment, because I'm fairly sure there's a mouse in my living room. Eek!

Charlene said...

This is another place where my mantra "increased confidence creates increased capacity" comes in. Particularly with my 10 year old, we make a big deal out of conquering fears so that the next time I can say, "Remember when you were afraid of XYZ but then you got through it and it turned out so great?" It's important to give more energy to getting past the fear (and that strength) than the fear itself.

Bruce Coltin said...

You've made me wonder how many people live their entire lives without acknowledging their fears. It takes one to speak a candidly on the topic to get others to face their own demons. Good post, my friend.

Lucia Phillips said...

I think fear is a good thing. Fear is a survival instinct. Animals in the wild fear concern sounds and animals, but it is these fears that keep them alive.

Fear is reaction that can be overcome but you first have to be fearful to overcome it.

Fear often turns into, knowledge, hatred, love, greed and any deadly sin or heavenly gesture you can imagine.

Fear in itself is a strong teaching tool and gives you a chance to show who your really are.Fear can be found at the base of just about any emotion.

There are many words we call people who are fearful.

Racist –Fear of another race base on stories, events or teaching; your fear turns to hate which =Racism

Hero-Fear of losing your life or someone else losing their life- you overcome your fear ; which leads to bravery and a brave self-less act= Hero

sherry ♥ lee said...

I've never been one to hold much to fear...I can hear it and see it and there have been times when it held me in a vice like death grip. But no more. I've faced fear, stood up to it and beaten it back. It has little place in my life any longer. I drew the line in the sand and fear knows it. I see it from time to time, trying to blend in and camouflage itself...and the next time we tango? When it senses a gap in the door that it just might try to push it's foot through? I'm ready to get my broom and shove it back out.

Dayne Gingrich said...

Thanks for the comments. This is such a passionate subject for me~ the one subject, actually, that sparked the creation of Coach Your Mind (outside the blogging world).

As an athlete, I've seen every possible reaction to this fear thing... but more importantly, I've been through and seen so many allow it to dictate lifestyles.

Lucia~ Fear CAN be a good thing, as you mentioned -- we need to be afraid of putting our hands on the stove, etc. Those survival instincts come in handy often. I'm very concerned with (especially for my students) NOT letting the "irrational fears" dominate us. They're everywhere, affecting everyone. I could write on this subject forever ;-) Thank you for taking time to visit and comment~ very much appreciated!!!

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Dayne: Great post. Rational fear has its place - to keep us safe. Irrational fears or too frequent fears are usually untrue. We need to challenge some of our most frequent fears. Usually they crumble under close scrutiny. Fear is a terrible place from which to live a life.

Erica Cano said...

"Fear is an illusion created by the mind, performed by the imagination, and squashed by conscious decision."

that quote is now hanging on my bulletin board square above my desk.

Midnight Whisperer said...

In the words of the great Shel Silverstein...

"All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin' in the sun,
Talkin' 'bout the things
They Woulda Coulda Shoulda done...
But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All ran away and hid
From one little Did."

... Fear is responsible for so many Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda's, but Fear has nothing on Did. And how you handle/face fear separates the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas from the Dids.

(In my opinion)

As Always, Great Post Dayne

Irene said...

Excellent post and sooo very true!! Loved how you flipped it and got the different words out of it, and no matter it is what it is...caught up on some reading of your blogs, sorry i have been gone a little while...
Thank you for your kind words on mine...your baby is adorable!!

spldbch said...

I think it's important to acknowledge your fears -- they lose some of their power when you become aware of them. I always say that you can be afraid and still do whatever it is you are afraid of doing. Great post!

Anton said...

If a tiger is in my tail and I'm running as fast as I can, you bet fear is my motivation.
If I have never spoken before a large group of people before and I'm afraid, I must face the fear before it can have the opportunity to disapear. I must bone up on what I will talk about and really have confidence in my knowledge of the subject..then do it.
In other words, prepare oneself then face the fear and the fear will disappear. Do it to get through it!

Dayne Gingrich said...

Fear will be there... even if we prepare to our fullest. I've heard many people say that fear is their motivator~ they're choosing to react to that (bleeping word) with power and positivity.

It's all about how we react to fear. The greatest news: WE GET TO CHOOSE!

plainolebob said...

fear is just a frayed knot,

oooops bob must be back

plainolebob said...

Coach Dayne, come by and see what you got.