The Box of Fear

Fear is a nasty adversary that must be battled constantly. Obviously it serves a useful purpose: principally to keep us safe. Unfortunately in so doing it also bombards us with self doubt, which closes doors and shuts down opportunities.

The world — our educational system, government, parents, and most “friends” encourage compliance. Get in your nice, safe little box where you can carve out a reasonably tolerable life and don’t do too much to rock that boat, because otherwise bad things might happen. You can lose what (little) you have. Our society is effectively set up so that most people get just enough to not want to risk losing it.

And so we go about our lives without exploring what we can really be. We’re reducing risks and avoiding engagement and opportunities because they don’t fit conveniently into our box we’ve made for ourselves. We don’t want to be uncomfortable, so we make a choice to do nothing…  And to be clear, this isn’t what the choice looks like to us. No, we conspire to subtly manipulate circumstances in complex ways so that it looks to us as if the risk of stepping outside of our box is too great. The smart move is to stay put. Or, on the rare occasions that we do step out we cleverly manage to undermine ourselves and screw it up, furthering the notion that the smarter move is the conservative one. Keep things the way they are and continue on as we have because, after all, it’s not so bad.

Worse is letting your fears consume you so much that you hold others back. Beware, some of your friends and family members are likely working on you with their fears right now (as if you don’t have enough of your own already). If they can make their fears your fears there is a better chance of keeping you in your box, which is attached to their box, where they feel safe. The comfortable place.

True contentment is a beautiful and exceedingly rare state. Working at an appearance of contentment is a hiding place — the enemy of a richer life. Fear is the tool at work behind the scenes.

Please, oh PLEASE, dare to push outside of your comfort zone. Trust until it hurts. Take risks. Put yourself out. Do SOMETHING, even if it’s wrong. You will have tried, and there’s actually a good chance it will lead you to something worthwhile. In the end you will not regret it. And when pain happens, bask in it knowing that in the end you will be better for having seen it through. At the very least you will have made your box a little bigger.

Happy New Year

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30 Responses to “The Box of Fear”



  1. 1 Lose Control « Just a job to do Trackback on January 9, 2012 at 9:36 pm
  2. 2 Unqualified « Just a job to do Trackback on May 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm
  3. 3 Unqualified « Just a job to do Trackback on May 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm
  4. 4 Thinking — A Paradox « Just a job to do Trackback on July 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm
  5. 5 Love Will Find a Way « Just a job to do Trackback on December 4, 2012 at 6:28 pm
  6. 6 The Focus on the Surface | Just a job to do Trackback on March 6, 2014 at 1:13 pm
  7. 7 Personal Note — Why Publish it? | Just a job to do Trackback on March 25, 2014 at 10:21 am
  8. 8 Armor becomes Sword | Just a job to do Trackback on August 28, 2014 at 1:43 pm
  9. 9 Move Past Go | Just a job to do Trackback on September 25, 2014 at 8:56 pm
  10. 10 A Beautiful Story | Just a job to do Trackback on December 31, 2014 at 1:03 pm
  11. 11 Caged | Just a job to do Trackback on February 20, 2015 at 2:58 pm
  12. 12 Treadmill | Just a job to do Trackback on February 21, 2015 at 12:53 pm
  13. 13 Cycles | Just a job to do Trackback on February 22, 2015 at 3:50 pm
  14. 14 Art’s Effects | Just a job to do Trackback on February 23, 2015 at 12:58 pm
  15. 15 Risk of Patience | Just a job to do Trackback on April 29, 2015 at 12:41 pm
  16. 16 Crumbs | Just a job to do Trackback on May 27, 2015 at 12:56 pm
  17. 17 Duality of Labels | Just a job to do Trackback on January 1, 2016 at 9:43 pm
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  20. 20 Fit or Adapt | Just a job to do Trackback on October 3, 2016 at 4:56 am
  21. 21 Pride and Face | Just a job to do Trackback on October 15, 2016 at 2:12 pm
  22. 22 Layers of Lost | Just a job to do Trackback on October 18, 2016 at 8:21 am
  23. 23 Stuck | Just a job to do Trackback on October 19, 2016 at 8:32 pm
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  25. 25 Abundance and Safety | Just a job to do Trackback on November 19, 2016 at 11:01 pm
  26. 26 Why We Need Show Business | Just a job to do Trackback on December 1, 2016 at 1:49 pm
  27. 27 The Opposite of Success | Just a job to do Trackback on December 10, 2016 at 9:20 am
  28. 28 Bravery | Just a job to do Trackback on December 17, 2016 at 10:26 am
  29. 29 Fear of Fear | Just a job to do Trackback on April 1, 2017 at 12:04 pm
  30. 30 Out of Time | Just a job to do Trackback on April 2, 2017 at 1:05 pm

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