“Fear is an emotion induced by perceived danger or threat… Fear in human beings may occur in response to a certain stimulus occurring in the present, or in anticipation or expectation of a future threat perceived as a risk.” – Wikipedia

The key distinction here is that fear can arise from perceptions and expectations, realistic or otherwise, of harm. In contrast, danger is when harm is actually present. Of course, the purpose of fear is to keep us out of situations where danger is present and real. Unfortunately, fears can be overblown and when danger management and fear management get confused, much effort is wasted and human potential stunted.

While evolution has made fear instinctual, the current generation is one of the most physically safe in human history; most of our fears are symbolic threats, to our image, our ego, our self-esteem i.e. paper tigers not real tigers: Fear of being turn turned down for a raise or a date, of being embarrassed, of not being successful or disrespected or in some way not keeping up with the Joneses.

While danger is a reality, fear is just an emotion, how be it an emotion that can short circuit our rational mind if we let our imagination run wild. To get on with your best life, learn to breathe deep and use your thinking logical mind (channel Spock!) to distinguish fear from danger.

Closing Quotes:

“Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.” – Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code

“Fear is not real, it is a product of the thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real but fear is a choice.” – Will Smith, actor

“Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death…I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past … Only I will remain.” – Frank Herbert, Dune

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier