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The Problem With Fear

December 16, 2013

…is that it tends to be self-confirming.

When we perceive a risk, we tend to avoid it.  But this tends to prevent us from determining whether or not our perception is accurate.

There is a Bert and Ernie skit where Bert asks Ernie why he is holding a banana in his ear.  Ernie says it’s “to keep the alligators away”.  Bert points out that there are no alligators on Sesame Street, and Ernie concludes that it must be working.

When we are protective of our kids, when we avoid trying something new, when we take the path that we consider “safe”, we usually have no way of knowing whether the fear that caused us to do so was justified in the first place.  Thus fear and the limiting beliefs that stem from it tend to linger in our psyche long past the point where they are legitimate and useful.

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