Despite the fact that I seem to thrive on extreme trail races and become exhilarated at times by deciding to move forward when there seems to be a great risk, I don’t like the feeling of “being afraid”.
Maybe my actions are caused by a deeply hidden belief that constant risk may the only way to dumb down the emotions that result from being afraid. It’s probably just conditioned response. I’m learning that what usually causes fear doesn’t generally hurt me and makes me feel so much more alive that I’m talking about it for days.
And what if it does hurt me? It’s unlikely I’ll die and I know I’ll find a way to recover. I’ll overcome it. Like pulling off a band aid, I know it will hurt, but I can only know how much after pulling it off.
Fear is necessary. Fear is part of our being. It’s considered to be needed for our survival as a species and I have no doubt that to be true: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-preservation
What bothers me is that fear is so often used to manipulate us. And fear can be transformed in to dislike or even hatred. It’s natural to hate what we fear or don’t understand.
The problem is, it’s not always possible to know when our fear is being used against us.
As an example, ask yourself these questions:
Would you be afraid to go travel to a foreign country where no one speaks your language.
Should you be?
If I had the money, time and resources, I’d be there in a heartbeat. Why? Because, it’s very possible that it would be no more dangerous than visiting Los Angeles, Chicago or Miami, (and I Love Chicago), but then again- if we never make the trip, how will we ever know?