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What Are You So Afraid Of?

Topics: Lifestyle & Culture | 5 CommentsBy admin | February 23, 2010

Or…How Learned To Stop Worrying & Enjoy My Abject Poverty. Whoever said there’s nothing to fear but fear itself probably had a job. And has never spent time in Detroit at night.

Recently, I found myself experiencing something I hadn’t felt in a while: FEAR. At first I was calling it anxiety, saying things like “I’m just a little anxious” about this or that thing. But it persisted, and as I explored the feeling, I realized it really was – plain and simple – fear. Do you ever feel anxious or fearful? Maybe you need to take the Anxiety Potential Quiz if you’re not sure. I generally don’t experience a lot of fear, so it was an extremely uncomfortable feeling for me. I could have probably gone to a doctor and said “wow, I’m really anxious all the time” and ended up getting a prescription for it, but that presented two problems for me. First of all, it seems like a fear-based reaction to fear; an attempt to just make it “go away” instead of confronting it. And secondly, I don’t have insurance, which is a nice segue into a broader angle on fear. Insurance itself is part of the Culture of Fear that many say we live in. It’s an elaborate scheme of high-risk investments using the money you give someone to protect you in case something you don’t know is going to happen to you does in fact happen to you. That view on insurance actually makes me fear it more than any unexpected tragedies that await me. So what to do when you’re feeling fear? In my case most of my fears lately revolve around my phones getting shut off or having to live on ramen because my business ventures have all hit a wall. So all I really have to do is get a job, right? Well, then I’m likely to start experiencing Job Search Anxiety. So let’s get more to the bottom of this fear thing. What is it really? Well, you can take the How Stuff Works approach and break it down into its biological

components, but that’s not likely to alleviate much fear for you. I’ve mentioned before that Krishnamurti’s thoughts on fear had a profound impact on how I experience it. He tends to be rather verbose, but what you could distill it down to is simple: fear is only a product of your mind, and it generally is only experienced in the transition state between the known and the unknown. So if you can get a perspective on that first fact, you have a pretty good chance of taming it a bit. A book that I’ve found useful in that regard is Taming Your Gremlin: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way by Rick Carson. Don’t be fooled by the New Agey title, the book is full of a lot of practical tips and exercises. The second part of that fear and change equation is a little more challenging, and is the part that many of us struggle with. It requires a simultaneous ability to let go of the familiar while accepting a lack of knowledge of what’s next. In my opinion, the only way to truly achieve this sort of thing is through a lot of personal development work, spitirtual exploration, or faith. Alchohol or drugs are another possible solution, and I speak from a lot of personal experience when I say they can even be a lot of fun. But I’m also speaking from experience when I say they’re not a very good long term solution. You could also have a panic attack pondering the overwhelming options in a book like 115 Ways To Reduce Anxiety. But aside from the more obvious tips that are helpful (breathe, avoid coffee, meditate, etc.) I’ve always found humor to be a great anxiety reducer. So given that we do live in a culture of fear, why not wallow in it and sort of laugh it off? Check out the online magazine Anxiety Culture, which digs deeply but insightfully into topics like worrying, fear, and the fallacies of productivity and work with articles like How to Avoid Responsibilities, Coercion With a Smile, Your Duty to Phone In Sick, or Is Work Bad for You? which points out that “employment, by itself, is no cure for the ills associated with unemployment“. See you in the food line down at the homeless shelter. I’ll be the one with the big relaxed smile.

Read Comments

  1. Posted by Radar Roos on 02.24.10 11:18 am

    I’m fascinated with opportunities in the can and bottle collecting sector. I think there is very little competition out there with much room for innovation.

  2. Posted by admin on 02.24.10 2:10 pm

    Maybe you could start by canning it, buddy ;)

    But I agree. I’ve seen the methods being used. Lots of independent operators with no over-arching strategy. And most revenue seems to go directly back into the party store where the containers are returned.

    I think the strong position here would be owning a party store.

  3. Posted by » I’d Like To Get To Know Me But I Kind Of Make Me Nervous - Dissociated Press on 07.11.10 1:00 pm

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  4. Posted by Getting Unstuck | dissociatedpress.com on 03.21.11 9:24 pm

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  5. Posted by Getting Unstuck « thewellnessaddict.com on 04.03.11 8:05 am

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