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"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear.

- Mark Twain

Life does not exist without fear. Fear is a component of life.

A less intense version of fear, known as apprehension, prevents us from taking

risks which could cost us our lives, our security or our food supply.

Fear could be described as avoidance of that which could cost us our lives, our
future. However, much of what people fear does not deserve that amount of
attention or emotional energy. The risk is more perceivd than real in many cases.

Some people fear terrorist attacks, which in most countries kill fewer people than
lightning (which the same people often don't fear). Some people will not travel in
an airplane because they fear a crash, but they will travel by car which, mile for
mile, carries a much greater risk of death from a crash than air travel.

Many people are afraid of spiders, though they couldn't name one spider that could
kill them, couldn't recognize a dangerous spider from a benign one (which most
are) and don't even know if any spiders whose venom could kill live in their

Fear of poverty is one of the most common fears. So-called workaholics and other
work-obsessed people reach that stage because they have a deep-seated fear of
being poor. These people may have no idea what life is like for poor people in
their country. They only know that they want no part of it. To them, fear equals
failure and failure (or the perception of it) must be avoided at all costs.

An excess of fear is obsession or compulsion, which are recognized as

psychological disorders. However, most fear itself is irrational because it is
unnecessary, thus could be considered a psychological problem of its own.

Fear is only a problem when it is out of our control. Yet fear is within our
control in most cases. Only our brain convinces us that we should fear or that we
should not fear something. The brain can convince itself that something it
previously feared should no longer be feared. This requires effort, concentration
and determination on the part of the person who wants to get rid of the fear. But
it is do-able and has been done by many people.

We understand what Mark Twain meant when he said that courage is the resistance or
mastery of fear. What many of us don't understand is how within our reach such
mastery is.

Resisting fear is a matter of making a decision to not fear something, then

sticking with that decision no matter what the circumstances we find ourselves in.
Use the natural apprehension we were born with and that we have learned. But don't
fear that which doesn't deserve the sacrifice of that much life energy.

Give up your fears. Go ahead and try it. Don't be afraid. Your brain won't hurt

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,'
striving to put fear in its place.
Learn more at