Roger Harty: Exploring The Fear Factor

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FEAR is key to our very existence so therefore to give it its due respect I will be discussing fear and the different aspects involved with it over the next few articles. So let’s begin!

What is fear? In my own words ‘fear is a reaction of my body to an apparent discomforting situation’.

The important word here is ‘apparent’ as this word arises from my perception of things and my perception of things arises from my thoughts which might in turn may be very different to someone else’s thoughts.

This would in turn explain how you can put two people in exactly the same situation. One will experience fear and the other person will experience utter calm at precisely the same moment.

In a nutshell, everything is connected with ‘thought’, so it is vital for our happiness in this world to work on our ‘thought process’.

I did use the word ‘vital’ in connection with happiness, but the reality is very few people take the time to pay attention to their ‘thought processes’.

Like everything else that is truly important in life, out of necessity I gave this attention and I believe this (paying attention to our thought process) is connected with the very survival of the human race.

As I write this there is a lot of deep sadness and upset at the recent death of Robin Williams and I believe that there is a huge connection here between his ‘thought process’ and the reason he chose to exit this world.

I write this with absolute respect and God bless his soul and his family at this most distressing time. The reasons for suicide have to be addressed and I believe the answers lie here.

To study fear we must go back to the origin of mankind because fear has been around as long as man has been around and as I said above it is essential for our survival – Why is this so? That is the question.

We need to go to the origin of man. As he lived in the dense forests of his time he needed food for the survival of himself and his family.

To do this he needed to forage in the forest for sustenance. The forests at that time were populated by vast amounts of ferocious wild animals who were also ravenous (a nice juicy succulent human being will do nicely just now!), so as a consequence the survival of man was in imminent danger.

He had to pay real attention to what he saw (e.g. a leaf falling), heard (a twig breaking) taste (is the leaf poisonous?), touch (are the animals faeces cold or warm) and smell (is the animal downwind or upwind?) – see previous article ‘coming to your senses’.

Paying absolute attention to his senses gave man a huge advantage over his foe (ferocious wild animal) and keep in mind that this was a battle to the death, wild animal or man.

Every advantage had to be used to determine the outcome. Obviously as mankind has survived, man got the upper hand over the animals.

He was in fear of being of being decimated which was fear serving him well but used his senses to overcome the obvious danger, survived the onslaught and had a big juicy wild animal to serve up to his family.

He also had access to the rich pickings (berries, leaves and water) in the immediate (neighbouring) area without the fear (thought) of being annihilated.

The real essence of this is control – real or perceived. When man is in control, fear and all its connotations disintegrate and man lives happily in his environment.

The opposite is also true – when control is not present fear and its connotations arise.

So initially in ancient times man controlled his immediate environment but the downside was that he only had access to the available pickings (food etc.) in that area.

But what happened when he went further afield?

This brings me nicely to next week’s article – ‘Fear and the Comfort Zone’.

• Roger Harty is a life coach and can be contacted on 087-6128336, on twitter at @Innerjoyz1 or by email 



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