What happens when you get scared? Your heart beats rapidly. Your palms sweat. Your breathing quickens.
What happens when you get excited? Your heart beats rapidly. Your palms sweat. Your breathing quickens.
Hmmm. Sounds similar, doesn't it? So your body doesn't know the difference between fear and excitement. So how can you tell if you're scared or excited? Perception.
You sit through a horror movie and when the lights come on, you tell your movie partner, "gee, that was a good scare, wasn't it?" It happens all the time. Now, I'm not advocating fear as a means for achieving joy. I'm talking about using perception as a means of coping with fear. And it's a way to cope with fear before it turns into dread or terror. Dread/terror will paralyze you. Like a deer in headlights, you'll be unable to use the 'fight or flight' reactions and you'll be immobilized and helpless. Cope with it before you get to that point and you can use the body's natural defenses to help you overcome or escape the situation.
I remember reading (a very loooooong time ago) in one of the Don Juan books about telling yourself lies. He said that to tell yourself you are a total shit is a lie. To tell yourself that you are absolutely wonderful is also a lie. So if you're going to lie to yourself, you may as well tell yourself the good lie. Same thing with fear and excitement. If the only difference between the two is your perception, alter your perception by telling yourself the good lie that you're not afraid, you're just excited. Then do what you have to do and LATER (when you're in a safe space), you can boo hoo and be as scared as you want.
It doesn't always work, but it works more often than doing nothing.
Take what you need and leave the rest...
Posted by BlueWolf on September 26, 2002 09:03 PM