Friday, August 28, 2009

Aliens Part 1: Do You Fear Aliens?

"Aliens do not exist. Yes, I do!"

I'm a regular at the Fuel coffee shop. I love their coffee... I love meeting my friends and fellow citizens there... I love their gluten free sandwiches, crepes and current scones. It's a little paradise where I blissfully write many of my articles for this blog.

For today's article, I even took the quote above from Fuel's bathroom wall. I have read the graffiti above many times and I am always curious about who wrote the first sentence, why the the person wrote it, and why the second person answered "Yes, I do". But this is not why I mention it in this article. It s because over the last days I have been thinking about fear. Why do we fear, in what ways do we fear, and how do we stop fearing.

Fear and Aliens
This morning, when I read the quote, I began combining my thoughts about fear with the subject of aliens; in my mind I pictured movie advertisements for movies like Independence Day, Aliens, Predator and War of the Worlds, which all consist of fighting the "unknown alien".

I believe that fights are always born of fear. The question is: why do we choose to fear the unknown at sometimes and not at other times not? It doesn't seem to have to do with the unknown itself. For example, when we discovered a previously Unknown Tribe in Brazil that had never made contact with other humans, we didn't decide that we were in danger and take out our military to defend us from them.

When we discovered the flying frog, we didn't decide that they were creating a way to become the new rulers of earth.

I also have not heard any rumors that the Nepenthes Attenboroughii, a plant that can eat pray as big as a rat, will become the biggest enemy of humanity in the near future and will eat us away if we don't do something about it right now!

So, if it is not the unknown itself, what is it that causes us to respond with fear in one situation and without fear in another? Let's look at some different factors:

1. We Do Fear. Fear is not created by an external factor; it's not about what the alien, the frog or the people are doing to us. Instead, we create fear as a way to take care of ourselves in the face of the unknown.

2. We don't actually fear the unknown. We might say that we fear the unknown, but we actually fear what we've made up about the unknown. It's our beliefs about the unknown that drive our fear, not the unknown itself.

3. We only fear when we believe what the unknown is bad for us. If you believe the alien movies above, we seem to generally believe that aliens are going to harm us when they arrive on earth.

4. Our beliefs are influenced by what we have been taught by our parents, our friends, our educational system, our communities, the media, the government etc. If we look at what we've been taught and how we've developed, we can identify the beliefs that drive our fears.

5. We can eliminate fear by changing the beliefs that drive our fear. I promise you that, as soon you can decide that a given unknown will be good for you rather than bad for you, the fear will evaporate.

A Little Exercise
I believe we all have moments of fear. If you'd like to work through one of your fears, take a moment to answer the steps below:
  1. Take ownership for the fact you are doing fear. It's not happening to you.

  2. Identify the bad outcome that you are anticipating in your unknown. What is it? How will it affect you? Be specific and make it big!

  3. Think about when and where you started to believe that this bad outcome was going to happen. What contributed to you beliefs? Why do you believe it's going to be bad?

  4. Imagine potential "good" outcomes that could happen? What would they be? How would they come about? Make them clear and big.

  5. Seeing all this, which belief set do you want to adopt? Do you want to stay fearful or do you want to let go of your fear by changing it into something more comfortable?

Have a fantastic
fearless Friday!

1 comment:

  1. Fear is a great tool for motivation. Just look at the tyranny being wipped up around 'swine-flu.' If one is interested in their health, PLEASE take heed and educate oneself rather than be manipulated by attempts to reduce the global population, and consolidate power. think about it. bw


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