Fear rips us from freedom. It is the destroyer of greatness. We know this, and we know we should tame our mind in order to defeat fear. Yet look at all the adults who act like powerless children and avoid the life they want because of fear. The socially oppressed say, “Well, you don’t understand. People are always holding me back, and I am afraid to chase my dreams because others will judge and reject me.” And the self-oppressed say, “You don’t understand. I can’t chase my dreams because I might fail-I might not be good enough.” These are the debilitating thoughts of the fearful. Should we wish to live a vibrant life, we must transcend such childishness and look fear in the eye, recognizing it as a mental construct that we alone fuel with small thoughts that betray our magnitude. It is the first realization of the mindful human: Unless we are being chased by a deadly animal or deranged human or face imminent physical harm like falling to our death, fear is just bad management of our mind. Today we are faced with a multitude of placaters and licensed professionals, many of whom have never actually transformed lives, who try to fool us into believing fear is a positive emotion in life. They say, “Fear is natural,” or “A little fear will motivate you to try harder,” or “Fear builds character.” But in most cases, this is wrong. Fear is the thief of humanity’s light. It may be a necessary instinct that causes us to make smart choices to flee from pain, danger, or struggle, but we must be wary of it. More people find harm in life because of fear than benefit by it. Those who seek to make fear a positive thing are justifiers, not sages. They aren’t champions of consciousness. Attempting to conceal fear as a friend is like forcing a wolf to be a pet. Soon the pet will eat us alive.

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