Understanding Personal Fear

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Fear is relative. Fear is dependant on the context which surrounds it, the immediacy of danger, and any interactions you have had in the past with what you are now fearful of happening. Yet please remember, the feelings and emotions that fear induces are genuine to the person affected by them.

When my wife and I were youngsters, There where scary movies about monsters and werewolves and mummies. The films were designed to bring fear to the forefront of those who watch them. And they did scare us.  Last year I watched a show with Svengoolie.  Every week he shows one of those old scary shows, and he tells jokes throughout it.

My wife did not want to watch at first, and then she tried one night just to make me happy. She loved it, and now every Saturday night, we have a date night to watch the movie and get the laughs from Svengoolie. And some of the best times we have.

Fear can sometimes also be severe. When I was young, I was scared to death of snakes. And in the fourth grade when they sent around the jar with the petrified snake in it, I could not pick it up, I was too scared.

I did nothing about it as a kid.  As an adult, I finally started to ask myself why.  I did not live in areas that were densely populated by snakes.  I was never bitten by one, and I thought the fear was ridiculous.  Then I started exploring my past.  When I was 6, there was a party one day in my back yard.  My dad was in Korea, so it was me, my brother, and my mom and the next-door neighbors. The kid next door and I were sitting just across the street, he was showing me his snakes. 

After a while, I wanted to go back to the party.  The kid threatened me with the snakes and told me that if I tried to leave, he would throw the snakes at me, and they would bite me.  I was held there against my will for about an hour.  I did not want to get bitten and die.  I also did not know anything about snakes.  I finally got away.  I found out a week or so later that one of the snakes was poisonous and that the kid and his father had taken it out to the woods and let it go back to nature.  Understanding this about my past was important.

I still am not a fan of snakes, yet understanding my history helps me not to be so unreasonable about the fear of them.  It is something good to know and understand.

Thank you for being with me today.  I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Author: Mike Balof

A retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Mike used to lay in bed at night and worry about what would happen if his plant closed or found himself without a job. One day his plant closed. Rather than panic and hysteria (OK, maybe a little) Mike found himself carried away on the adventure of his life. Mike started with the best job he ever had working at Home Depot. He spent 8 years working with job seekers at a local workforce center, helping them to find employment. He then started his own company developing courses, writing books and urging others to follow their own paths into the future. Mike holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Business Management, earned through the University of Phoenix and an AAS degree in Electronics Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Mike is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society.

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