Win The War On Terror: Don’t Fuel Fear
Terrorist attacks. Police shootings. Brexit. Political coups. Refugee crisis. Zika virus. President Trump.
Let’s face it, we live in fearful times. There’s no shortage of headlines alerting us potential threats to our safety and future. Which is why, when headlines scream loudest, we must be extra vigilant not to let fear set up residence in our lives.
While fear exists to keep us safe it can also keep us living too safe. Contagious by nature, left unchecked, fear can spread like a virus. Without realizing it, we can find ourselves living under it’s shadow where it clouds our judgement and drives us to make choices that, while providing the illusion of safety only make us less secure in the long term.
Countering the impact of fear requires staying alert to its reach into our every day decisions. Wired for safety, fear drives us to overestimate the risks, to ‘catastrophise’ the consequences, to focus on what we could lose over what we could gain, on what might go wrong over what could be made right, and on protecting the status quo rather than improving it.
It’s why now more than ever we need to be conscious to stand guard against the anxiety of those around us, not to buy into the the rhetoric of fear and to step up to the leadership plate in our lives, homes, workplace, community and society.
Of course it’s easy to find reasons for cynicism, protectionism, and battening down the hatches. Yet, now more than ever, the world today is hungry for people to do just the opposite. People with the courage to:
- Own their personal power to affect positive change and lead with the courage we want to inspire
- Reach out to those who are different than us and try to see through their eyes
- Spend less time blaming others for their troubles and more time working to solve them
- Refuse to buy into the rhetoric of fear, intolerance and division
- Show the compassion needed to heal the deep wounds that breed hatred and perpetuate violence
As I share in the video above, our brains aren’t wired for happiness, they’re wired for safety. It sets up an internal tug of war between what scares us and what inspires us; between sticking with the familiar and embracing uncertainty. It’s why every single day we must choose to put our weight behind the best part of ourselves; the bigger part that is urging us toward growth, connection and contribution.
We must not rely on our leaders and armies to keep us safe. We have to look into our own hearts and ask ourselves, honestly, if we are doing our part to create the kind of world we want to live in.
Imagine what our world could be like if we each refused to surrender to complaining, complacency or comfort and decided that our actions, however insignificant they may seem to us, truly matter. Just imagine if we all chose courage over comfort and daring over indifference?
Ahhhh… wishful thinking? It needn’t be. Not if we each refuse to sit safely in the sidelines with those who’ve bought into the lie that they have no power to help fix problems of our world.
Never underestimate the ripple effect you set in motion when you decide that you will actively participate in improving the world you live in. I don’t.