FEAR… the mind killer

You likely know what fear is, but what’s the opposite?

Fear is commonly defined as an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger, impending evil or pain; any encounter with a surprising, unusual, or threatening entity.  It’s opposite?

Last month two sixty year old adults came to use hypnosis for quitting smoking; one man, one woman.  Both people seemed to have done very well during their session but both had difficulty stopping smoking and both came back to speak with me a second time.  Their life experiences were different but both had come to a time in their lives where they were amazingly experiencing the same emotion: fear.

The fellow grew up in poverty, in an extraordinary difficult, dangerous environment but eventually broke through years of self abusing drugs and alcohol, created his own business and retired financially successful, but alone.  The woman grew up in a middle class family, not terribly supportive parents but she achieved a masters degree in her field and spent thirty five years with her only employer.  When asked what that was like she thought for a moment and summed up her experience with, “Whenever I tried to do something creative I was slapped down”.  Like the fellow, she did not have a significant other and felt alone.

Both people wanted to move into the next chapter of their lives, what I like to call, the third trimester, but both were stuck.  “Fear is the mind killer, the little death that brings total obliteration.”[1]  But they only came to stop smoking.

The fellow came to realize that smoking was keeping him from going out with the non-smokers, smelled bad, kept him from dating, kept him from flying to visit relatives, could not image being trapped on the airplane without smoking; smoking was protecting him.  The woman was experiencing the same thoughts, protected in her job for all those years she now had no idea what to do with the remainder of her life; terrified of the unknown she stayed isolated, smoking at home; protected.

Both of these people came to the same inner truth; both were survivors, each had moved through difficult childhoods, had taken control of life difficulties which may have overwhelmed others, created personal successes that they had not realized.  Ultimately knowing what smoking was giving them, how they were using it, how it was keeping them trapped, seemingly protected, neither of them needed it any longer.

Maybe the opposite of fear is self confidence, the belief in oneself, one’s powers or abilities; assurance of the future.

Rob Collier

Wellspring Hypnosis, LLC

[1] UrbanDictionary.com