The Zone
The Zone : The Fear Zone

The Zone

The Fear Zone

By Tom Evans | Posted 4/25/15

« The Addiction Zone

Fears are generally a good thing. They keep us safe and sometimes even keep us alive.

They emanate typically from the lower mind centres like our gut. As mentioned when we explored the Time and Decision Zones, this means such fears also operate slightly ahead of our conscious mind, acting like an early warning system.

We become fearful when something can potentially harm us. So we are right to be afraid of a venomous snake, or even a wasp. When in the Danger Zones though, some fears can have a detrimental effect. They can be imagined, self limiting and even irrational. If you suffer from triskaidekaphobia for example, no amount of common sense can convince you that the number 13 isn’t evil incarnate and out to get you.

As for all the Danger Zones, there is a balance. Some daredevils that are fear-less can be seen as foolhardy. The adrenalin rush from their exploits drags them into the Addiction Zone where they need a bigger and bigger ‘hit’ - sometime literally!

As for all the zones, fears are infectious. Many are picked up in childhood from our elders. Simply blaming others for our fears though could allow us to slide into the Anger Zone. If a parent or teacher either intentionally or unwittingly installed a fear in us, they may have done it with their best intent in mind. They may only have wanted to protect us. Sometimes though, what happens is they were infected by the fear themselves. So rather than expressing anger towards them, we should feel compassion for their affliction.

At the same time, if you are a parent or teacher, you should be mindful of the two types of fear that children can pick up quickly - namely the fear of ridicule and the fear of the unknown. Many a poor essay or average performance in a school play can dampen the creative spirit for life. The fear of all things unknown, and trying things because they are different, can similarly crush a child’s natural curiosity and their desire to learn.

Fortunately, when we overcome a fear, quite often we can feel slightly silly that we ever let it affect us in quite the way it did.

There are some fears though that don’t express themselves clearly. When I began to help authors break through their writer’s block, it became clear to me very quickly that there was always an underlying cause to their procrastination. I know this all too well as I was similarly afflicted. In pretty much all cases, the writer’s block was a symptom not a cause.

If you think about it, it is illogical for us to procrastinate from doing something that is not only potentially enjoyable but that can also improve our lot in the world, like writing and publishing a book. This book for example, and all the doors it is opening, came about solely from the publishing of earlier works. My life now is dramatically different from how it was before I first had my name on the cover of a book. Yet I remember taking ages to get around to publishing my second book. Instead, I ended up helping loads of other people get their books published ahead of me.

The reason was simply this. The two times in my life when I had been most financially successful in my earlier career coincided with the times I had been most stressed. So unconsciously I had associated stress with success and my procrastination was actually masking a fear of success.

When I did finally get around to publishing my second book, the floodgates opened and at least one book a year started popping out almost effortlessly. Success at last you might think but sadly book sales were a trickle not a flood as another fear was lurking in the shadows, the fear of failure.

Whether an author gets a publishing deal or independently publishes their book, for the most part these days book promotion is down to them. Rather than promoting my earlier works, and potentially failing, I would simply avoid the very notion of a failed book promotional campaign by throwing myself full tilt into the next book. After all, if you don’t try, you can never fail.

I make no apologies for some of this chapter being about my personal journey. By sharing where I am, and where I have come from, my aim is to resonate and empathise, not to preach or brag.

Tackling such fears is often more like a continual process rather than an arrival at a specific destination. This is because fears are multi-layered. We get over one hang up only to find another we have to tackle.

The best way to counter fears is to embrace them and to even thank them for coming to your attention so that you can evolve and move on.

The next best technique to quell fears is to take small steps to put your head above the parapet. When you find you don’t get shot down, you can show the world more and more of your talent. Quickly you will discover a world that is not out to get you, but one that actually welcomes what you have to share.

If your fear level is more severe though, get help as soon as possible.

In general, Danger Zones are not so much to be avoided. They are places we can learn and grow. By travelling through them, and coming out the other side, we find ourselves able to slide gracefully into the Being Zones. Here’s where the Danger Zones can fade into becoming a distant memory. •

© 2014 Tom Evans. All rights reserved.

Tom Evans Renaissance Man and Imagineer Tom Evans is the author of four books and counting about creativity. More »
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