The world is a dangerous place!
«Tu es intelligente, et tu n’écoutes pas les media !» («You’re smart, and you don’t listen to the media»). I received this compliment after I had spent 10 days in the Sinai despite all embassies’ warnings.
Fear is a theme that comes back often with the people whom i meet on my travels.
«So, do you travel to all these places alone?», everyone asks, sometimes anxious, sometimes impressed, always shocked.
«Aren’t you scared? The world is so dangerous!»
I tell them that the world is as dangerous as they make it. That you attract what you are inside.
If you’re negative and scared of everything, you will attract negative and scary situations. If you’re positive and loving, you will attract great and loving experiences, good and generous people… I have verified this this year!
Fear is a useful *reaction* to rare obvious threats.
It is healthy in some situations.
As a baby, we are born without fear. We see every unknown as a potential discovery. When we don’t know something, we’re curious about it, and we touch it.
We start to develop fears as we grow up, when our parents use it to set limits to keep us ‘safe’. «Be scared of the fire or it will burn you».
Their fears are transferred to us as a *shortcut* to knowledge, so that we don’t get hurt before we can make full use of our brain. It ensures our survival by avoiding us *obvious* threats.
But growing up, we shouldn’t need these fears as much.
Fear can also take control our lives if we don’t pay attention.
As we grow older, we perpetuate this phenomenon and give fear far more importance than we should. Fear becomes the norm, the driving force. It slowly creeps into our psyche and invades every part of our lives.
Everything becomes a limit to us living our life. We end up not doing anything by fear that everything could hurt us in some ways. We don’t pursue that creative path because we’re scared we will be without a penny. We don’t engage in a new project by fear of failing.
We satisfy with the least.
How many times have i heard people telling me how they’d love to do what i do, but that they’re scared they would either lack money, or any other excuses made up by fear of something?
Before we know it, fear has become the boss and is dictating how we live our life.
You need caution, not fear.
Caution is a choice. You are responding to an identified risk by using your brain.
Fear is an emotional tyran. You are reacting to the worse case scenario which, in your mind, is playing again and again and, actually, has already occurred.
Caution makes you feel empowered and in control because it involves your emotions *and* your brain equally. You want to continue to be safe, so you proactively create a favorable environment for it by using your intelligence and creativity.
Fear makes you feel small and terrible. It paralyses you. Your emotions have hijacked your brain and give you no other choice than to run. It is actually the strongest animal instinct we have kept from our cave days.
For instance, it is different to let your kid approach a dog while being cautious of the dog’s behavior, and to not let him/her approach ANY dogs because you’re scared dogs will eat your kid alive.
And, it is different to find ways to save money before or during your travels, and never go on these travels at all. Never know what it is like to do what most could fulfill you!
I have seen the most beautiful places this year, met the most loving and inspiring people, and shared the most beautiful experiences with them because i have conquered my fears of exploring the world alone!
I’ve also been to the Sinai alone. Had I listened to the media about how dangerous the area is, with clashes between the military and rebellious groups (which are actually happening much farther up north), I would have missed the most intense moments of beauty of my life!
I could have listened to people’s fears (people who didn’t know more than you and me), but instead, i asked around and took the viewpoints of locals who were going there every year, and assessed objectively for myself what the risks really were. Had I not been a bit critical about this, I would have missed the highlight of my travels. An experience that deeply touched and transformed me forever.
I met a man, in Greece, who worked for the Ministry of Finance. A rather stressful job that leaves not much room for positive projections. We had been speaking about my relationship to people’s fears for the past hour before i asked him if there were neighborhoods in Athens that were known to be ‘unsafe’. At this point, the conversation went like:
«- I thought you weren’t scared of anything?»
-I’m not scared, but i’m also not stupid.»
He laughed. A lot. I think he got my point.
I’m not telling you to go out of your house and suddenly jump under a bus thinking you’d get away with it. That’s not fearlessness. That’s crazyness.
But on the other hand, don’t let fear cloud your judgment and dictate the way you (don’t) live your life. You’re in control. Not your fears.
Unsure how to start? You just need some practice.
- List down your fears and ask yourself how big are you making them compared to the *realistic* *factual* situation? Are you gonna die? Are these fears objective, or the fruit of your own internal insecurities?
- Rank them and start by choosing the smallest fear. E.g. Scared to go up to that handsome stranger? 😉
- Deal with it by having a plan B on how you could deal with the worst that could happen. (Note: You have no way to deal with the Apocalypse ; if it meant to happen, it will. Focus on *realistic* risks.)
- Put it on a side of your brain ; forget all about it.
- Now go and LIVE YOUR LIFE trusting that you will not need your plan B. In other words, watch that fear dissolve completely as you courageously conquer it!
Repeat this process often and you will soon realize how ‘stupid’ it was to be so scared of life.
ENJOY THE FREEDOM FROM YOUR FEARS!
With love! 💫