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What is it to be Fearless ?

The Idea of living life at the whim of other people seems to me to be a very scary proposition. Therefore through my understanding of both this video and my personal experience ,the idea of being fearless to ask for help seems to be a necessary part of life.

  • Mar 6 2013: Fearlessness comes from TRUST
  • Mar 4 2013: In one of Life's many Paradoxes, I believe that Fearlessness is closely tied to Vulnerability. When I self-shame about my vulnerabilities, when I hide them, I am full of fear. Once I release, and embrace and share my vulnerabilities I find I am actually more Fearless. When I release, I gain. Scary as HELL, yet totally worth it.
  • Mar 6 2013: I'm sorry but this word has been bandied about so much lately it has begun to lose meaning...

    True fearlessness, a complete absence of fear, would be a crippling, if extremely short lived, aberration. The first traffic intersection or junkyard dog would sort things out pretty quickly. Fear is an ingrained response we have KEPT in our make-up because it has been invaluable time and again, thus becoming integral through our own evolution. Despite the fact that that fight-or-flight response can now manifest itself as stress, we have not lost it as it STILL serves us in good stead on a daily basis. Take the short-cut home? Throught THAT neighborhood? It is so naturally ingrained that the myriad catastrophes that would have otherwise befallen you remain countless because they never happened, yet you all seem so ready to devolve away from this tool of instinctual survival...

    Much as I loved Amanda Effin' Palmer's talk (which was truly about embarrasment rather than fear, and no, I don't think they ARE the same), Karen's talk was much more in line with my thinking. Know it, own it, understand it, work through it, but lose it?

    No way.

    True fearlessness is a form of stupidity. The human brain does not finish forming until 25 in women, 28 in men (that's right ladies, we ARE more immature and a bit dumber). The last part to gel up? Risk/reward analysis. Most humans are not good at it to begin with, but when a bunch of twenty-somethings (or younger) are telling you "go ahead, it's fine, what could happen?" it is good to have possession of this fact, and be afraid... be very afraid...

    I do some public speaking and like Vickie have gone through periods of doubt and increased fear, but I can own that now, work it, turn it and make my talks better through that channeled energy. Like Tim, I now like my previous fear so much I have become a radio host; a LOOOONG way from cowering off-stage before talking to a handful of folks. Own it, use it, but don't lose it...
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      Mar 16 2013: I believe you're wrong.. I have come to achieve true fearlessness.
      Having it inhibits action. Fear delays response. Without fear you can make decisions based on logic and personal well being. Without fear I have no embarrassment and have confidence and better attention.
      You say don't lose fear? Fear is the enemy to willpower. Think, if you started public speaking without fear in the first place, you wouldn't have to overcome it, would you?
      If you have a mouse in your house, fear could stop you from getting it out. If you have a snake in your house and you don't have fear, you think logically and call an exterminator without all of the extra.
      What is the reason for fear. Why do we need? If I know I could possibly die today, and soon will die, and that there are way worse going on in the world than the things that are happening to me, then what is the reason for fear?
      • Mar 19 2013: If I might ask Trey, how old are you? I'm betting 28 or younger... ;)

        You are correct that I started my speaking career with a good deal of trepidation, often literally sick to my stomach with fear. I didn't let it paralyze me, i rationalized what was the worst that could happen? and I did it. The next time was a little easier, etc. etc...

        I STILL have the vestiges of that fear EVERY time I speak or do the radio show. Like that tail we don't use anymore, or that thumb left over in bblue whales. But not really. Those two examples are now useless, but I make my fear serve me now. What was nervous energy that was once channeled toward projectile vomitting and stammering, is still nervous energy, now channeled toward energetic presentation and the focus that fight-or-flight can give you...

        I lived with a snake in my house once for years; more importantly for the point, so did my wife. Not a little thing; an Eastern Black Racer all of six feet. It was an old farmhouse with a cobbled foundation that had seen better decades, and anything and everything could get in. Becky fears snakes in a BIG way, but I convinced her he was doing more good than bad. She got to a point where she would sit on our back porch with the morning coffee with our "pet", shivering with fear, but getting to know our neighbor so chance encounters would not stop her heart. For years this went on.

        Then the handy man (we were renting the house) came out of the basement one day crowing, "look what I killed!" I knew before I rounded the corner who it was, and the handyman was stunned that I showered him with a lecture rather than praise. Sure enough, within a month, that old famhouse was literally overrun with rodents, from an army of field mice to some actual rats. We moved the next month...

        Courage is not a lack of fear; courage is fearing and still doing. My wife is a brave soul, who happens to be scared of snakes, but that does not define her. She is more than her fears, but less without them..
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          Mar 30 2013: I've been busy, buy I understand you.
  • Mar 5 2013: Fear is instinct from prehistoric times it is not a bad thing except for certain situations it releases hormones am gets your body ready and even make you see better to conquer this you must simply use your cognitive mind to over power your primitive or in some cases it's the other way around
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    Mar 4 2013: It's about smashing societal norms and realising that just because everyone thinks something doesn't make it right. I loved Amanda's talk since I am a true believer in asking for things as well. Since I was 11 years old and I was delivering newspapers I had to go collecting for money, and sometimes you were abused and treated badly, and ever since then I have not had a fear in asking for business, for referrals, for dates, etc.
  • Mar 3 2013: Fearless is admitting you are afraid but knowing you must and will move beyond the feeling to get where you ultimately want to go.
    • Mar 5 2013: No.
      That's being brave or courageous.
      Why don't people go by what the word means?
      It means to be without fear.
      Without fear, means there is nothing or not a reason to be afraid.
      Fearless, does not mean being brave or as you put it, "admitting you are afraid but knowing......."
      You cannot be fearless, if you are already afraid.

      You can "act fearlessly" but that is not the same. That again, is being brave.
  • Mar 2 2013: Like many conversations about fear, your opening statement does not distinguish between rational fear and irrational fear. Rational fear saves lives and deters us from foolishness. Irrational fear is worthless.

    In the last few years I have hit four deer on the local highways, causing many thousands of dollars of damage. Every time I drive down a highway I am afraid that a deer will jump in front of me again. This fear is rational and keeps me alert. There is nothing wrong with this rational fear, so I do not want to live fearless.

    Being fearless to ask for help seems normal to me. I do not understand this fear, and to me it seems irrational and worthless. Professionals understand their own limitations and know when to ask for help.
  • Mar 5 2013: Fear is so emotionally and physically difficult to handle, we try to overcome it, hide it, deny it, beat it with a stick, shame ourselves out of it and avoid it. But as a DNA-coded mechanism for survival, fear acts not only as a warning system but, I have discovered, as a friend and guidance system as well.

    When I was a performer, stage fright gripped me. Initially I loved being on stage, but eventually I became fearful, with attendant diarrhea, shakes and memory lapse. But I learned through a 2-year acting course to become comfortable on stage again. By constant repetition I was able to adapt to the horrible feeling of walking a tightrope without a net. I was able to channel the adrenaline to enhance performance. I went from wanting to be the last one to go on stage to do a scene, to wanting to go first to get it over with, to wanting to go first so that I could do my thing without having to wait around.

    Most importantly, I realized that the choices I most feared were the very ones I HAD to make in order to develop my skills. In this improvisational class, whatever scene or character I could imagine that made me feel uncomfortable was the very scene/character I HAD to do. By allowing my fear to inspire my choices, I grew in confidence. Fear became my friend and guide.

    Now, I never sat in a boat waiting to invade a country, watching my fellows blown apart as they tried to go ashore (D-day). I can't imagine being 17 and facing THAT fear. But even soldiers say that over time their fear subsides. Age also seems to mitigate fear... we all know people in their 80s who say any damn thing they want with impunity. Their body chemistry has changed for sure, which may be one explanation, and they are on their way out, so what have they got to lose?

    Fear is amazing. Fearlessness is awesome. And both seem to be necessary for life.
    • Mar 5 2013: "The past has no power over me" I love saying repeatedly this affirmation so i can live in the now. For me i am in fear or love and I choose love. Love of self, love for me is the miracle cure. LOVING OURSELVES WORKS MIRACLES IN OUR LIVES AND FOR THE PEOPLE WE ATTRACT INTO OUR LIVES.
      Love is about APPRECIATION to such a degree that it fills my heart to overflowing and whatever direction i go in life i can feel love for the process of the mind, our bodies, animals, vegetation, the universe, knowledge another person, our sexuality, and just the miracle of being alive and not fearing death as i see i am on a continuous journey. Thank you
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      Mar 10 2013: I know what you mean about stage fright, & using your fear. It's something I've thought about a lot, and something I encounter almost daily. And will encounter more in the years to come. I will work as a professional Tandem Skydiving Instructor, and have spent the last 3 years watch people take their first leap, trusting nylon and string, and some guy they met 20 minutes ago to save their life.

      If there is one thing I know of fear, it's that everyone reacts to it differently. Some people face it with determination, some with the thrill of exhilaration, some completely shut down. Some people react hysterically, and like a drowning person, can bring both people into extremely dangerous situations. Even so, it's the ones that show no fear that we as skydivers fear the most. For they lack any sense of vulnerability.

      Having watched the tens of thousands of first skydives that I have, I really have to conclude that can not be a a true state of fearlessness. Courage, yes, and bravery, but not fearlessness. Fear works like interference... It stops us from getting where you need to go, but it is necessary, and should be welcomed, as a positive indicator of danger, and that you are still alive.

      You don't have to have jumped out of a plane to see this. Most people's biggest fear is public speaking. You can see it when you watch people get ready to go on stage. Some people face the crowd with determination, some with exhilaration, and some completely shut down. But the ones that shut down never get to experience the vulnerability, the audience's appreciation, the confidence in knowing that you will never let your fear control your destiny. Your life is not in the hands of the great unknown, but in your own.

      The art of asking is something we should all appreciate. Asking for tips as a waiter (or skydiving instructor), asking your boss for a raise, asking your crush out for coffee or tea or dinner. Asking is about being vulnerable, & being vulnerable is about being alive.
  • Mar 3 2013: Well,

    To be fearless, is to be without fear.
    To be brave, is to have fear and face whatever one is afraid of anyway.
    Some think fear is good. Some do not.

    Some say fear is an acronym: F alse E vidence A ppearing R eal

    Fear is always something to face and walk through.
    Many times we are afraid because we fear the unknown.
    In other words, we don't know what the outcome will be.
    But, look at the word "outcome".
    Break it in half and put "come" before "out".
    If we face and walk through what we are afraid of, we will usually "come" - "out" the other side.

    I think most people don't really trust what it is they say they believe in.

    For instance, if one believes in a God, do they ever become afraid?
    If so, what does being afraid mean?
    Two ways of living life, both doomed for failure.
    One: live life according to how other people tell you you should live.
    Two, try to get other people to behave the way you want them to so that your life works out.

    I don't agree that being totally fearless is being dead.
    It may lead to death, but death is not necessarily something to fear at all.
    Again, for those who believe in a God, trusting that should come before fearing or avoiding death.
    Avoiding death could be avoiding God. Who knows?
    • Mar 3 2013: Very well put!
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      Mar 10 2013: I don't think it's possible to be totally fearless. To not show fear, perhaps, which is to deny that they are vulnerable. Which from my limited experience, usually results in getting injured, if not killed. To embrace your vulnerability; recognize the fear is there and move through it, is something else entirely. That is bravery. It is not brave to be fearless, only foolish.
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    Mar 2 2013: Great topic to discuss! Here is what I think of being fearless.

    To be fearless is to be vulnerable, to be open, willing to share without expectation, willing to ask without expectation, and willing to receive without expectation and dwell in the JOY of being.
    • Mar 29 2013: Hope you are thinking of Brené Brown's talk about vulnerability.
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    Mar 25 2013: Someone suggested fear is 'ingrained.'

    You don't remember being one year old, do you?

    All fear is taught. Our culture does a great job doing this.

    I have found some of the people in the world with 'less' fear, are the ones who are, by society's standards, broken.

    They can't read very well. They can't sit still. They avoid crowds, loud noises, spend a lot of time by themselves, interpreting the world on their own, with no real inputs. They have hearing or seeing difficulties. And they make it through BETTER than most...

    Because they were never 'taught' to fear.

    Thank you.

    Amanda, you rock.

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    Mar 6 2013: ......To have the COURAGE to be one's own whole SELF despite dogma.....
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    Mar 5 2013: Indeed. Growing up in England in the 50s and 60s as a working class grammar school boy asking for help was considered "bad form" . In class admitting ignorance was a sign of weakness so you shut up and muddled through. Often if you did you were ridiculed both by teacher and pupils. i was scared to ask for help. This carries through to adult life. It appears to me that this "not asking" is endemic in western society, at least. How can we change? By watching the videos and then DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT! I now have a "Donate" buttons on my activist site. thank you
  • Mar 5 2013: To be fearless is to have confidence. Confidence comes from knowledge. Knowledge is practiced, as is anything else. Practice takes time. Time must be managed.

    We only have so much of it.
  • Mar 4 2013: Isn;t being frealess simply being prepared to make whatever sacrifice is necessary to achieve the outcome? Tackling the unknown, standing down adversity, overcoming the odds, leading the charge, these all demonstrate courage, determination, perseverance, and risk taking. Those who are fearless, acknowledge the risks, the probabilities, but recorgnize the prize is worth taking.
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    Mar 3 2013: I think to be feraless it's to know that awful things aren't powerful than oneself and that human being has a lot of energy and resources to fight against adversity.
  • Mar 3 2013: When we understand who the "We" are, we experience Fearlessness....along with a few other things :-)
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    Mar 3 2013: Some people see it, face it and step around it. Fear is an emotion that can be managed. Those who do it well or at least appear to do it well, why, others call them "Fearless". They are courageous but "fearless"? No one can honestly claim to be so. I will concede to fearless actions. Something so often practiced, it becomes fear free.
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    Mar 31 2013: Yes, I have watched Brené's talks and of course it has influenced me greatly. Thank you for pointing it out.

    I am always confronted by the label "FEAR" that my mind creates. To me fear emanates from sense of potential invalidation/loss of certainty (our existence, our identity, our wellbeing, our social context, our hidden limitations - and many other existential matters). When I am willing to cross the boundary of certainty into uncertainty of my existential matters and identities, and live with the joy of just being , I have transcended the fear. I have yet to do that :-). I do not know if and when I will be able to - but admission of living in fear MAY be the first step towards the boundary.

    When I watched Amanda Palmer's talk, and many others, I could feel them transcend the boundary of desire for certainty and uncertainty, or, just being. This fascinates me, and reminds me of when I observed with marvel how someone dives in the pool. I wanted to have the same experience of exhilaration but I was unwilling to do out of the "fear" of crossing the boundary of life and no-life. I continue to wish that I can gather the courage to transcend this boundary in many different faculties of my life, and experience the JOY of being.
  • Mar 30 2013: If you fear less you are less scared.
  • Mar 30 2013: Adrenaline junkies consider themselves fearless.
  • Mar 30 2013: It is to be Jet-Li................. In the movie fearless.
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    Mar 30 2013: Insecure
  • Mar 29 2013: There are actually two ways of being fearless: the first consists in having never known fear, the second is to overtake your fear.

    The first option seems barely possible to me. Fear is a visceral emotion that comes from very deep and occurs whenever you feel unsafe or threatened. Not knowing it would imply that you are not receptive to signs that are external to you, or that your whole life has been sugar-coated to a barely plausible level — given that most of kids experience fear the first times when their mother or father or whomever is in charge of them disappear.
    Fearing is part of being a human capable of feelings.

    So, second option : overtaking your fears. I tend to think that to overtake a fear you must start by knowing it. The fear of failing is not the same as the fear of getting hurt or the fear of height or of being abandoned, etc. Once you identify what makes you fear something, then you can try seriously to overtake it. Yet if overcoming some of your fears might be very useful, eg the fear of failing, I feel that fear is a very useful emotion when it comes to survival, for instance.

    So, not all fears are bad. Maybe we should chose wisely which one we want to overtake.
  • Mar 24 2013: Being fearless is being ignorant. However this doesn't mean to let yourself be controlled by your fears. Everyone has fears, everyone gets scared, the idea is to be able to think and act without being influenced by those fears.
  • Mar 22 2013: The only way to be fearless is to die. Fears co-exist with us: fear of disappointment, fear of rejection, fear of dying, fear of crying, fear of strangers, fear of humiliation, fear of embarrassment, fear of loss, fear of being different and the list never ends. What is important is how to overcome our fears, or simply accept them.
  • Mar 19 2013: To be fearless is to be in complete control of the past, the future, and the present.
    • Mar 22 2013: That is not possible dear. You can never be in control of your past, your present and your future. The only way to be fearless is to die.
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    Mar 7 2013: Numb
  • Mar 7 2013: Fear is a truth, even it were to be a single truth it can manifest in many forms!
  • Mar 6 2013: To let loose.
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    Mar 2 2013: It is natural to fear; It is courage that makes us move forward despite our fear. To be totally fearless is to be dead.