chapter  Chapter 1
16 Pages

Erasing Past Fears

ByAlan Weiss

The primary requirement to eradicate past fears that haunt us today is to get rid of the old baggage. But that’s not as simple as it sounds, because we do need baggage and can’t get along without it. To begin overcoming past fears we have to accept empirical evidence to assess whether our fears are well-founded or simply ridiculous, and they’re usually the latter. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld pointed out once that surveys showed that the fear of public speaking exceeded the fear of death for most people. Pessimism thrives on its reciprocity with fear, while optimism is an antidote to fear. Whether one is resilient or ruminant is determined by those opposing mindsets. True fear, the need to flee legitimate danger, is quite common in virtually all organisms. But dread about what may be coming and the operation of our schema are uniquely human.