What good is fear?

What good is fear?

There is a protective capacity. I don’t walk in certain places at night, because I am fearful of being attacked. Is this a rational fear? Maybe and maybe not. But I would rather not be there in the place and time just in case. It is an easy behavior not to engage in for the benefit of avoiding a potentially horrible situation. But this is not a fear that affects my day to day. I don’t spend time worrying. I just simply don’t do it.

Then there are ingrained, involuntary fears that I’m sure served me biologically way back in the day but now are not particularly helpful. After I was bit by a black dog, for many months if not longer I was terrified of black dogs. My head knew it was a different dog but my body seemed to take time to catch on.

And then there is the psychological fear of the unknown. If I put myself out there in a certain way, what will people say, think, or do? We can easily come up with a list of horribles, without focusing on the long list of benefits. Or even better, asking ourselves what life is like in the status quo if we don’t do this thing?

I also gravitate to fear if I think that someone is mad at me. In my life this used to be biologically helpful but now it is time to let it go.

What are your ingrained patterns around fear that you are ready to let go of?

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