Fear Dismantling 101 – Day 6

Starting today, you are no longer afraid of anything, you simply have strong preferences. For instance:

I’m not afraid of heights, I just don’t enjoy the sensation of being up high.
I’m not afraid of crowds, I simply prefer smaller less-crowded venues.
I’m not afraid of going out, I just prefer a lot of alone time.
I’m not afraid of driving, I just prefer slower forms of transportation.
I’m not afraid to go up and talk to people, I just prefer to be approached and engaged by others.
I’m not afraid of strangers, I just prefer to interact with people I know.
I’m not afraid of blood, I simply prefer bodily fluids to be properly enclosed.
I’m not afraid of unusual noises, I simply prefer to know the source of sounds.
I’m not afraid of spiders, I just prefer them to maintain a greater distance.

These are mere preferences like any other — take cheesecake for example, I simply don’t prefer the taste or texture of it — it’s not that I’m afraid of it. You just prefer some things over others — no big deal. And you know what, preferences shift and change over time. For instance, I used to dislike oatmeal-raisin cookies, but nowadays I actually like them.

You may think this is mere semantics, a superficial bandage over a festering wound — but no, the way in which we define ourselves makes a difference. When you walk into a room with all eyes upon you, that’s not fear you’re feeling, but excitement — you’re energized for the upcoming presentation — accept and savor that energy.

The world isn’t a scary place filled with frights, it’s a grand buffet filled with delights of all shapes and sizes. You get to pick and choose whatever you want from the selection before you. This world is all things to all people, everything you can imagine is right there for the plucking. Your role as guest is to focus on the items of interest and pass-by all the rest.

How rude it would be to criticize the options provided for the enjoyment of others instead of simply grabbing whatever it is you like. For example:

You: What is all this mustard doing here!! I hate mustard!
Waiter: But sir, that’s for the guests that enjoy mustard, here’s some foods more suited to your palate.
You: Gah! Disgusting mustard! It’s all I can think about!
Waiter: Sir, why don’t you have a seat over there away from the condiment section.
You: This place is grotesque! How dare you have something I don’t like!
Waiter: Sir, this buffet has everything, in fact here’s some chocolate-lava cake!
You: I’m too upset to eat!!

So you see how unreasonable it would be to complain about life and all the things you don’t like about it. Therefore, your goal for today is to re-label the things you “fear” as things you simply don’t prefer. When we encounter things we fear, our reaction is severe whereas when we encounter things we don’t prefer, we ignore them and move on.

Additionally, seek out and focus on items and circumstances you truly enjoy. Ideally, you should be so busy engaging with ideas and activities you enjoy, that you have no time or attention to spend on the things you don’t enjoy. Who goes to a buffet only to grab the stuff they find distasteful? No one!! You grab the tasty stuff and go back for more of the same!