[The following is a draft from my upcoming book, The End of Fear Itself]
Fear and Courage: a Positive Relationship?
If Fear can trigger positive reactions and emotions in response, then it still has some use.
I mean, if it keeps you from French kissing cobras, it’s useful. If it keeps you from jumping off a building without a parachute, it’s helpful. If, however, it keeps your mind in a place of scarcity, of hoarding, of distrust of friends, family, neighbors, whole groups of people, or from doing those things that you want to do most, then it is wholly destructive and should be rooted out.
Can Fear trigger positive responses?
Yes, I think it can, but we have to think about Fear in a very different way, as something that occurs naturally, but as a verb, not a noun, a thing.
We need to realize that we can be fearing without having Fear. There’s a big difference between doing, and being or having. Fear, as a noun, is a very bad thing. Fearing, the verb, is momentary, an event, something we do, but we don’t have to keep doing it.
If we own the Fear, it’s always with us, and to a certain extent, becomes an essential part of us.
But fearing can trigger one of the most powerful responses: Courage.
We’ll talk more about Courage later in the book, but I want to say, here, that if something fearful happens, and your reaction is to be courageous and face it, then the act of fearing served a very good purpose.
Fear and Courage have a very interesting relationship, in that, one can have Fear, but no Courage. The inverse, however, is NOT true; you cannot have Courage, without Fear. Courage, one of the most positive emotions and mindsets, is wholly dependent upon the existence of Fear, or at least Fearing.
A little fearing can be a good thing, if our response is Courage. More on that later.