Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected for an unprecedented four terms. He led America through the Great Depression and nearly all of World War II before he died. Standing before a congressional committee he uttered a famous declaration. We never hear the full statement he made:
So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
A wise man recently told me that fear is like the alarm system for ignorance. Fear is just a neutral feeling that ought to raise a bunch of questions in our minds: What do I fear? Why do I freeze or fight, or just want to run away? What can I do about it? What do I need to know for the next step?
It’s this last question that is most important, What do I need to know? This is the beginning of dispelling ignorance which will ultimately rid us of all kinds of fear.
Fear feeds on ignorance, on not having the objective information necessary to live life to the full. Yet the majority of people to choose to remain ignorant and fuel their fear. They have many excuses: I didn’t learn about this in school. My parents never told me. It’s too much trouble for me to look up the facts. I’d rather believe my social media anecdotes than to educate myself.
Are you one of these people? If so, you have plenty of company!
Unlike previous generations those excuses for ignorance don’t hold water anymore. Now almost all of us can easily educate ourselves in short order through the internet and reliable, proven, objective sites (many are not). Then we can integrate that new information into our thoughts and decisions.
We no longer need to rely on television news programming, social media, twitters, or local gossip. We can do our own fact checking and flood our minds with whatever we need to dispel our ignorance and therefore, our fear.
Roosevelt knew that fear was a waste of time. I believe ignorance is a waste of life. We can have all the formal education in the world and still remain ignorant in many areas. Yet if we don’t integrate knowledge with who I am (Why do I exist?), what I do (What’s my life-purpose?), and how I am to treat myself and others (How do I live out my ethics and values?), we are merely taking up space and not adding value to our existence.
So, what triggers your fear? I have my list, and it’s rather long! Speak your fears out loud so you can hear yourself. Write them down, without shame or judgment. Look at each fear and ask yourself, What do I need to learn in order to conquer this fear and move forward with joy? Do I have the courage to face my ignorance, learn something new, and equip myself for a more confident future?
Contact me for a complimentary coaching session on your fears. PariseCoaching@ gmail.com; 813-444-9641 (V); 813-449-3904 (T) Subscribe to my blogs and offer comments.