The Danger of Fear

I was reading an article by Hugh Prather the other day which started as

follows: “The world is gripped by fear. Few (including myself) have

remained unaffected. Recession and job loss, wars and terrorist attacks,

the destruction of the planet, new diseases, high divorce rates … the list

is endless.”


And then, the headline in USA Today last Friday was that 45% of the

American population is experiencing some degree of anxiety, which is just

a somewhat nicer version of the real emotion: fear.


So for all of you who can relate to that emotion, I’d like to offer the

following thoughts: First, I’d like to quote a short section from my

latest book, Unshackled Leadership:


“If you examine carefully the voice in your head, you will discover that

there are two very different conversations going on within you. I find it

useful to think about it this way: we all have a split mind, many call one

our upper mind and the other our lower mind.


The upper mind is the home of our ‘higher consciousness.’ Every

philosopher, every religion and every great thinker, from Buddha to Jesus

and many others has acknowledged the presence of our higher consciousness.

This is the voice of peace, love, oneness, togetherness, possibility and

harmony. Theologians call this the voice of God. Call it whatever you



The lower mind is the home of the ego. It is the voice of fear,

limitation, separation, scarcity, greed, and much more.


For now, realize that the ego is not your friend and does not have your

best interests at heart. You’ll see why as we proceed. The biggest

challenge you’ll face as you go on this journey is: the ego always speaks

loudest and always speaks first. For the majority of people, the voice of

the ego is so loud they never hear the voice of their higher

consciousness. Even when we are called into action by that voice, the ego

fights it with all the power it has.”


So who’s the generator of that fear conversation is your ego. And as I

said, your ego is not your friend. It will do anything to prevent you from

just living in the present moment. It has you spend your time feeling

guilty or resentful about something that has or hasn’t happened in the

past or worrying or just being concerned about something, anything, that

may or may not happen in the future. If you do either, you’re screwed

(that’s a technical term).


So is there an antidote? Actually yes. Part one: stay in the present

moment. Part two: stop resisting what is.


Part one: the only place where life can show up and where you can be

effective is in the present moment. The past is over and the future hasn’t

yet arrived. To spend your time worrying, being fearful about the future

is to give in to your ego and just guarantee that you will be unhappy.


Plus, how can you even begin to be effective in dealing with any of your

circumstances, no matter how extreme, if you can’t just stay in the

present, focus on them, and make the best choices you can.


Furthermore, regardless of whatever is happening, you can either never

expect the best or expect the best some of the time or all of the time.

Why not expect the best all of the time, again no matter what’s going on

at the moment? Staying in the present moment and expecting the best will

not only take you out of the grips of your ego, but there is actual

scientific evidence for the fact that you will greatly increase the

likelihood of the best outcome actually occurring.


Part two: All suffering comes from resisting what is. That is a fact. And

by suffering I mean sadness, depression, anger, fear, frustration,

impatience, and the rest of the list. And what do I mean by “resisting

what is?” I mean wanting things to be different from the way they are.


Your ego is terrific at telling you that things should be different from

the way they are, that you deserve better, that you “should” have things

the way you want, etc.


NONE OF THAT IS THE TRUTH. Things are the way they are. If they could be

or should be different they would be. There is no way things should be.

They just are the way they are. So stop “shoulding” on you, stop resisting

what is, and again you will free yourself of the grip of the ego and put

yourself into the best position to be able to take effective action.


Finally, if you take these steps to free yourself from the voice of your

ego, you might just begin to hear the voice of your higher consciousness.

Remember, that is the voice of peace, love, oneness, togetherness,

possibility and harmony. When you listen to that voice, the benevolent

universe will gently and lovingly guide you in the direction of your

highest and best outcome.


Try what I’m suggesting. I promise it works.


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