The Secret to Defeating Fear

Once there was a young warrior. Her teacher told her that she had to do battle with fear. She didn’t want to do that. It seemed too aggressive; it was scary; it seemed unfriendly. But the teacher said she had to do it and gave instructions for the battle.

The day arrived. The student warrior stood on one side, and fear stood on the other. The warrior was feeling very small, and fear was looking big and wrathful. The young warrior roused herself and went toward fear, prostrated three times, and asked, “May I have permission to go into battle with you?”

Fear said, “Thank you for showing me so much respect that you ask permission.”

Then the young warrior said, “How can I defeat you?”

Fear replied, “My weapons are that I talk fast, and I get very close to your face. Then you get completely unnerved, and you do whatever I say. If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me, and you can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you don’t do what I say, I have no power.”

In that way, the student warrior learned how to defeat fear. -Pema Chödrön from Heart Advice

3 replies
  1. cary newman
    cary newman says:

    Thank you Doctor!  I needed that (how to defeat fear!)  Happy New Year Colleen.  I love your posts, and you!  Unlimited possibilities, passion and vision!



Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] News headlines such as these seem to shout out to us every day. But there is something important you need to know about your brain: the way it’s wired makes it natural for us to focus on the negative. […]

  2. […] If we lived a few thousand years ago and knew we could survive, get food, sustain ourselves, right where we were currently living, and I said to you, “Hey, let’s move. Let’s go about 200 miles north. There might be more food there. It might be beautiful and even better than this life,” the natural reaction would be cynical resistance. You know you can survive here, but there in a new place, you might actually die. You might not find food. There could be predators. The thing is, we don’t live in that kind of world today. Most of us do not face life or death in our daily lives. We don’t need to live in survival mode (although for some of us, survival mode continues to be a tired, useless pattern), our environments have changed, but the brains we carry around are still the same. We have brains wired for caution. […]

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