Fear is Deadly

You may be the source of your own disaster

Daily fears

What if I’m not good enough. I’m letting people down around me. Nobody likes me. I’m useless. Floating around my head over and over again.

This sense of worry and anxiety that we all seem to feel is worsened by the fact that everything we see around us is the opposite. We see perfect bits of life on social media. The friend who is constantly on vacation. The countless influencers preaching the latest get rich quick scheme.

Do you make decisions based on these fears? Where does your motivation to work hard come from? From inside yourself, or from fear of not being good enough and letting everyone down?

I’ve struggled myself with many of these feelings. Some examples of the fears I hold:

  • Not being good enough
  • Letting my family down
  • Being too lustful and worldly in my desires
  • Being a bad person

I’m sure these aren’t unique to just me, millions and millions of people feel the exact same feelings. I’ve come to see though that by worry8ing about them and fearing them, I’m only making them come true. Fearing not being good enough will lead me to make decisions that might get me ahead of the competition, but betray my core values and lead me to being a bad person. By fearing letting my family down, I overwork myself and burnout.

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Photo by Toimetaja tõlkebüroo on Unsplash

“Only the paranoid survive”

- Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel

In a sense, yes this may be true. But we also know that by being paranoid and constantly fearing things around you, you’re only leading ytourself to your own destruction. Nero, the emperor of Rome, was paranoid of those around him. He ended up killing his mother and wife out of fear for himself.

Fear is natural yes. Who won’t feel fear when you learn your company is weeks away from bankruptcy, or one of your family members is in the hospital. These are human reactions, and it would be unhealthy to try to repress them.

But you choose what you do next once this initial surge of adrenaline passes. Will you continue amplifying and focusing on this fear, making it worse in your head and creating an emotional storm that can impact your decision making? Or will you realize that you worrying and stressing about it won’t change anything.

The next time you are afraid of some supposedly disastrous outcome, remember that if you don’t control your impulses, what you do after that fear, if you lose your self-control and willpower that makes us human, you’re only leading yourself to your own wanton destruction.

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Written by

Passionate about building cool shit. First-year undergrad student studying EECS and Business @ UC Berkeley MET Program and software developer at Carline

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