Archive for 'Fear'

Jun 30

When ever you’re angry, ask yourself, what am I afraid of?

Emotions of fear and anger are primitive and based in the ancient limbic region, particularly the amygdala.  This is currently the focus of great interest for youth, in terms of brain development.

Master Yoda said, “Fear is the path to the dark side.  Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”

Anger is an emotion, but is also a choice.  We excuse our use of anger by such things as stress, over work, others behavior.  Fact is we get angry because we choose to.

Unless we are in a “fight or flight situation, where we are emotionally hijacked by the amygdala, we have made a conscious decision to become angry in reaction to something we fear, which is based in subjective thinking.

When we fear the future (projecting) or the past (regressing), it is fear of a non-existent circumstance.

For youth (and adults) one of the lessons of “emotional intelligence” is that what usually makes us angry is lack of control of people and circumstances and that we want what we want.

For very self-centered youth, obstacles to getting what they want cause frustration and ultimately anger.  Lack of empathy and patience common in adolescence exacerbates the problem.  “If you are patient in one moment of anger you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.” 

                                                                                                Chinese Proverb

Apr 07


“I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

Frank Herbert “Dune”


“Courage doesn’t always roar. Some times it’s the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’.”


Fear can stop us from making the changes we want to make in our lives. It can cause us to not take the first steps because the thought of changing our lives completely can be frightening. Why? Consider some of the following issues:

Our fear of trying to change and then failing:

Most people don’t make significant changes without mistakes. These setbacks are a part of life. Some people view these mistakes as failure and revert to past unhealthy behaviors.

Our fear of being vulnerable:

We believe that we can always get what we need, regardless of how we have to get it. If we stop using these tactics, are others going to take advantage of us? Will we become like people we’ve taken advantage of or manipulated?

Our fear of the unknown:

If we make major changes in our lives, what kind of person will we become? Will we be able to handle painful situations that arise? Will we be able to live up to other’s expectations? Will we be able to earn back the trust of others? Will we like and feel comfortable with the person we have become?

Recent Academy Award winner, Jeff Bridges, was asked about ‘fear’ and about doing the role he was about to do. He said, “Fear is your friend, it’s like fire. It can warm your home or burn it down, you have to respect your fear but not let it control you.”

Our fear of giving up:

After trying hard to change, will we be discouraged and quit? Will we fall back into our old attitudes of self-pity? “Why try?… Who cares?… Who am I kidding?… I can’t do this…” Will our old habits return and take control of our lives again? Will we be like the people we despise?

Fear is a powerful force that can hold us back in some situations – but it helps us in others. My fear of failure can motivate me to weigh decisions more carefully. If we listen to those fears they can stop us from doing wrong. But our personal fears can also be a wall – a wall we feel unable to climb. It’s tempting to use our fears as an excuse for not changing. Yet, if we deny these fears, we give them even more control over our lives.

Change is possible if we face our fears… if we recognize, accept and deal with our fears. We can do this through hard work, refusing to give up and accepting the help of others. For some, it will not be one day at a time; it will be one moment at a time.