TED Conversations

Trey Thompson

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

What do you think of fear? Do we need? Can you take it out of your life?

i believe fear is useless. I believe it slows down your responses to situations lowers confidence, and fogs up the logic of situations.
When you're faced with a threat and you call Mr. Fear do you think he'll help you better than Mr. Willpower.
And just because you don't have fear doesn't you're Mr. Big Stuff,
or Mr. Hotshot. It means you can live more peacefully, not thinking about all the bad things that can happen to you and get ready for them. I don't feed into fear, I repel it.

+2
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 17 2013: I'm torn. Part of me thinks there is legitimate and illegitimate fear. Then part thinks that if someone feels fear, it's always rational to some degree. I suppose one often has to do things in spite of fear to have an interesting life.
    • thumb
      Mar 17 2013: Oh yes. If I knew in my I were going to die soon and I would never see my mother again, I would risk my life to see her one last even through fear.
    • thumb
      Mar 17 2013: Greg and Trey,
      Could it be that what you call "legitimate" fear is instinctive warning signals, which guide us toward taking care of ourselves? And perhaps what you call "illegitimate" fear, is fear that we create by focusing and giving energy to fear based thoughts?

      There is a good book called..."Feel the Fear and do it anyway", by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D
      "Dynamic techniques for turning fear, indecision and anger into power, action, and love"
      • Mar 17 2013: Ignorance and/or lack of experience must account for significant amounts of fear, in general. Whether it's fear of flying, or fear of Muslims; fear that arises from having a gun shoved in your face, or fear from hiking a narrow path along the edge of a precipice; this discussion triggers two thoughts:
        1. If we can somehow separate out the above sources of fear, and categorize them as a function of lack of experience or knowledge, what's left? (We probably all know or can think of people who would like remain mostly unafraid in any of the above situations - including in some cases ourselves).
        2. Maybe what's left is this idea of legitimate fear - the kind that is often imposed on us by nature, or by other people - that has a very real possibilty of causing actual harm, intentional or otherwise, regardless of our previous life experience. Even then, hard to know what those are - just when you think you've identified one, someone pops up and says, "oh, yes, I've seen that/dealt with that a dozen times - no big deal."

        Huh. So is the source of all fear really ever and only just us, and purely a function of our lack of knowledge and/or experience??? Hmmmm....
        • thumb
          Mar 22 2013: I agree Tom, that lack of experience and knowledge can often account for fear, and I believe we CAN identify the sources of fear when we are aware of our "self". I believe that the fear which is our alert system/instinct/intuition is beneficial. When we are not clear about our fear, and the reality of our fear, it can lead to a situation where it builds on itself.....the feeling of fear often causes more fear....the only thing to fear, is fear itself!

          If we have the knowledge, experience, and know ourselves, we can determine how to use the feeling of fear in a beneficial way....either to take steps to change a situation which may in reality be dangerous for us, or it may be simply an opportunity to learn about our "self" (in the case where we may be feeling fear which is not consistant with reality).
    • thumb
      Mar 17 2013: There is no reason to be "torn" on this question. I believe, all emotions in general and fear in particular are irrational (subconscious). It takes time to become aware of something and make a conscious decision. So, we have reactions built into our nervous system that work way faster than consciousness. We feel first and think later. I don't have data to prove it, but, for some reason, I have no doubt that neuroscience can confirm this.

      What you call a "rational" or "legitimate" fear is an irrational fear that we later justify with reason. "Illegitimate fear" is fear that we cannot justify with reason. There is a trick, however. Hume said, "Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them." So, we tend to rationalize whatever emotions we have anyway.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.