#57: Fear Comes From Thought
What the Eyes Fear, the Hands Do
When I am about to take a cold shower every morning, I am paralyzed with the fear of the icy water. Yet, when I step into the water, the fear dissipates. I’m not worried that it’s too cold. I am simply noticing my body adapt to the new temperature.
The fear of cold water isn’t some abstract thing, it’s something I feel with my whole body. Forced to face my fear in such a raw way, I can learn a lot about the nature of fear. The fear of X comes from the thought of X rather than the actual X. The fear battle happens right before the encounter with what I think my fear is. When cold water is pouring onto me, I no longer have the choice, and I’m just standing there. So it is the doubts, the questions, and self-conflict that are my fear, rather than the actual cold water.
Micro-experiments with fear throughout daily life can help me build confidence in the fact that it’s the anticipation of X that scares me, but the doing of X is fine. I must understand how fear acts upon me so that I can navigate it. As we say in Russian: