“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”
– H.P. Lovecraft
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So often in our lives, including in our work lives, fears creep into our souls. It could be a fear of loss, pain, rejection, failure, illness, perhaps even generalized fear of impending doom. It’s not surprising, because fear is, indeed, the first instinct of almost all living things, and we often have so little control over the future events of our daily lives. Over decades of dealing with the fears of others, and with my own fears, as well, I’ve found the most effective antidote to disabling – even sometimes overwhelming – fear is neither assurance, nor courage, nor is it hope.
They all help lower fears, but I’ve found the best defense to fear to be the humble acceptance that “The best you can do is the best you can do; no one can do any better than that.” So long as you know – plain and simple, look-in-the-mirror honestly, with not a drop of B.S. – that you’ve done all you can do to dispel the basis for your particular fear, there is nothing else to fear. No, after facing fear in the eye that way, it’s time to either just sit back with your feet on the couch, or put your head on your pillow and turn off the lights. If you know you’ve done the best you can to keep “the gorilla in its cage,” you’ve faced down your fears and you have won, at least for now, at least for today. And, then, tomorrow will offer a new opportunity to do so again.
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