Have you ever been sitting in the comfort of your own home watching a murder thriller or scary movie and every cell of your being is tense with fright? You deliberately put yourself in that position because you wanted to be frightened, right? We are fascinated by fearful things, fearful topics. The adrenaline runs through our body and it feels great to be scared at that moment because we know we are safe. So, when is fear a good or bad thing in our lives?
I watched “Modern Family” the other night. The first new episode of the season where the gay couple, Cameron and Mitchell discuss adopting a baby boy this time round. But Mitchell doesn’t feel like he is masculine enough to carry off being a great dad to a boy, until he is trying to impress his nephew by joining him to blow something up. Something all boys like to do. So they go ahead and blow up a bird house with a fire cracker. Mitchell is so elated, he got a real kick out of this act, he finally convinces himself that he is masculine enough to raise a son. What Mitchell experienced was something frightening and yet exciting all at the same time. He experienced fear and did it anyway!
Our heroes are not free of fears either. Golfers, may have millions of people watching them putt that ball but they work through those anxieties by focussing on the big picture. They focus on the positive, the end result. Many of our sports heroes use visualization – imagining themselves reach a worthy goal.
We also enjoy fear based situations because with them brings fascination. Earthquakes, Tornadoes, natural disasters are fear based but also fascinate us. Hearing about a murder on the news is more fascinating than the increase of diabetics in our nation. Mitchell was fascinated by what makes a boy want to blow up things just for the sake of it but it frightened him at the same time.
In our personal lives, we tend to shy away or completely avoid new adventures because of fear. Maybe one wants to travel abroad but is terrified of flying. Sometimes, these fears can change our direction in life completely. A promotion at work, involves travel overseas on occasion so we decide not to pursue this new position, holding ourselves back. Releasing these fears can change our whole life! We have a choice.
So fear can be good and bad. Feeling fear when making changes in our lives can be a sign that we are challenging ourselves, trying out new experiences. We may not always make the right choices but we are choosing to try new ways to feel, new ways to be….isn’t that what life is all about anyway? Our perception of fear can change.
Just like our sport heroes, we can focus on the path to our goals and not the obstacles. When shooting a basketball into the hoop, focus on the square box on the back board, not the hoop itself. When a soccer player is shooting a goal into the net, he focuses only on the space around the goalie not the goalie himself. Where our focus goes, our lives go so don’t focus on the fear, the obstacle, but the path to our goals!!