Feeling Anxious and Fearful

From: Tuesday Night Talk on Reporting

If a man was going to invent something, he could never work on it unless he was free to have a bunch of experiments that wouldn’t work.

So if we wanted to invent something, paint a picture, write a story, learn an instrument, run a business of some sort or other, the first necessity is that we’re free to fail.  Then we are free to go ahead and do it.

In running an experiment or in any endeavor one wants to do, one has to be absolutely free to fizzle – FAIL.  Now the first rule that comes along if you’re interested in being successful at anything whether it is being happy, peaceful, or makin’ millions of dollars is to be free to fail because when you’re not free to fail, you can’t function.  You are trying to find all the ways to be safe; and there isn’t anything you might want to do where there isn’t some risk involved.    So if we’re free to fail at anything, then you discover you can function.

If you’re not free to fail, you have to take so many precautions you’ll never get started.  I heard of a man who wasn’t free to have any discomfort occur to him, so he begin to build a tower.  He kept building it up and building it up; but he could still see that danger could come from above, so he finally completely enclosed it over on top as a dome.  He had lots of bricks and mortar inside and he completely closed it over.  Now he couldn’t have any doors and windows in this thing because danger can come through those too, you know.  So of course, when he got it all sealed up — you can imagine that very shortly he used up all the air in there and he smothered!

Now if you are not free to take a risk, there is very little chance of doing anything of profit because profit is what you get paid for by taking a risk.  So the source of anxiety is basically the attempt to be non-disturbed.  When you start thinking about how you are going to avoid any possibility of disapproval, rejection or feeling insignificant what happens to you?

(I get anxious and sometimes that leads to sickness.)

But anytime you’re in the pit it’s because you’re afraid of taking a risk.  Now a man called me a little while ago and said that he was in a state of fear over something he needed to do.  So he was going to quit because he didn’t wanna be fearful.  That’s a bad thing to have, isn’t it?  Well now, did any of you just deliberately feel free to be fearful this week? So you can really do your thing – be as fearful as you can.  Really do the thing.   Betty said she really was free to be fearful and it just went away.

When you really set your mind to deliberately be anxious, the anxiety says “Well to hell with you   — you won’t run.”   It’s very freeing.    So you see it really hasn’t or isn’t any great power if one feels free to have a little fear; but somehow or other we have become very fearful of feeling fearful; and we get very angry about feelin’ angry; and we get very resentful about feeling a little resentment.  Now if you’re free to feel those things, what happens?

It’s really all right to feel fear; but you see the first thing when we feel a little touch of fear, we  begin – “How am I gonna rid of it right now!” — like it was the plague or something.  It really won’t hurt you.   You know it really doesn’t do a thing to you.  Have you ever been disappointed?  It didn’t kill you all these years. You’re still functioning, is that right?  So if you’re free to be disappointed, why it’s all right.  You ever been free to have any feeling you had?  I mean the ones that kind of let you know you really have an emotion, not the ones that you purr with when you’ve been well fed or something.

So perhaps that could be an experiment to run today and maybe even two or three days or a week.   We are all grown up adults now; and it’s very liberating when we discover that we can be perfectly free to feel any emotion.  They haven’t killed you or destroyed you or put wrinkles on your face or anything of the sort.

So all of a sudden instead of being fearful, you can be very serene.  But you know we fight fear.  Some of us eat and some of us drink and some of us smoke and some of us do some other things to keep from feeling fearful.

So are you perfectly free to feel fearful?  Well let’s start right now.  You’ve felt it; so if you’re gonna feel it, you might as well do it gracefully and politely.

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