Arguably the loudest Noisemaker is Fear. Understanding, gaining control over Fear is critical to Being Our Best. Fear distracts, clutters, fogs our naturally clear mind which keeps us from Being Our Best. This is Noise of the first order.
Fear is different from being scared. Being scared is natural, acute and an expected response given the right circumstance. Being scared sharpens the senses. A natural defense mechanism that makes us more aware, more focused and more in this moment.
Fear is unnatural, chronic and a learned response. We are by nature fearless. Witness the infant, witness your pet. Both can be scared, but they quickly move forward to what is next. As we age, we learn boundaries, we learn what might happen. This can be helpful or unhelpful depending on experience and the teacher. Helpful when we learn the inherent danger of a hot stove and build self-trust. Unhelpful when our lesson dwells on how stupid we were to touch it and creates self-distrust — the foundation of Fear.
Fear is often seen as normal for we spend so much time there. This is unnecessary Noise. Fear is not about what is happening — that is what being scared is all about. Fear is not about this moment. One of our greatest strengths as a species is our ability to plan, to anticipate, to think about the future. We are also able to look back and take lessons from what has happened and apply them to what might come next.
As with most strengths, this is also a weakness, if not managed well. Fear, worry and anxiety are a function of what might happen. If one distrusts oneself and lives in fear of failing, of making a mistake, of losing, of being embarrassed, then we worry and are anxious about what is next. This puts us in the position of trying, in vain, to control and know what cannot be — to know we will win, be right, succeed and so achieve the desired result.
We can only know and control what is happening now — not how our actions ultimately play out. In truth, once we have given our best to this moment, there is nothing more to do, there is nothing to Fear. What happens later is yet to be known. Once it is known, what matters, once again, is our response to it at that time. Responding by Being Our Best is all that we can ask of ourselves. Being full of trust and free of Fear is the path to Being our Best.
Accepting and embracing what can and cannot be known and controlled, that this is life as it really is, leaves us content in simply Being Our Best in this moment and asking nothing more of it. Knowing we have, with a clear, uncluttered mind responded with our best, in this moment, is enough. There is nothing more to do for we cannot make life something it is not. We cannot make ourselves something we are not. So why try? Why waste the effort this requires? Why live with the fear, the worry, the anxiety this creates? Instead, be content that we have given our all, fearlessly, with a clear, uncluttered mind, to this moment. As we learn the results, it will be up to us, in that later moment, to address our new reality, fearlessly, with all that we are, with our best, most appropriate response.
Learning what makes up our personal Noise requires us to take a hard look at our Fears. They are man-made — by us and by others. They have been taught and learned over many years. As deeply embedded as they may be, know that they are not natural. And remember that what can be learned can be unlearned.
Clear your mind by returning to your natural state of Fearlessness. It is worth the effort and commitment.
Stop the Noise. Be Your Best.
More to come.