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by David N Johnson

January 31, 2019

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Fear falls into two categories; rational and irrational. Rational fear is the fear you feel when your life is in danger, irrational fear is the fear you feel right before making a decision that could have a significant impact on your life. Knowing the difference between the two and applying logic to the irrational fears of your life can have a tremendous effect on your future.

Our minds react the same way to both rational and irrational fears. It makes snap judgments due to our fight-or-flight response. For instance, you see a growling dog during your morning jog, that’s rational, so you stay away. Or, you have an opportunity to make your life better but are afraid to fail, so you convince yourself that where you’re at is good enough, that’s irrational. In both instances, your fight-or-flight response kicked in, and both times your mind made the snap judgment for flight.

After the fact, when putting logic to both instances, you conclude that you made the right choice because the dog looked rabid and the opportunity too risky because life is good enough. In the first instance, you made the right decision; the choice potentially saved your life. However, the second decision may have been the wrong one if you used logic to excuse your fear, instead of using it to examine the opportunity.

Irrational fear in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. That kind of fear can be healthy, as long as it doesn’t inhibit your growth. Fear lets you know that you’re on the right path. That quickening of your heart just before a big decision will motivate you towards success if you allow it. However, be careful that you don’t rationalize your irrational fear just because you lack the courage to push past it. On the other side of fear is a better you. Even if you fail, you will be better off because of it. After all, the path to success is littered with failures. Just make sure that you get up one more time than you fall. Success isn’t for the squeamish.

What irrational fears are holding you back?

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David N Johnson

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David N Johnson

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