I’ve studied Jordan Peterson’s work heavily over the past 6 months, and this genius and elevated intellectual being advises us to think about fear differently, which I’ve found to be extremely effective in my life.
For starters, Peterson acknowledges that fear is always going to be there. Life is going to entail suffering in one way or another no matter what path you go down. I think everyone can agree with this.
Now the important change of perspective when you look at fear comes down it this – is fear preventing you from doing what you want to do or is fear pushing you toward what you want to do.
So is fear in front of you, impeding your way, or is fear behind, you pushing you along?
Imagine this giant, dense force of energy in your life. That force of energy we’ll call fear. Now, are you putting fear in front of your person, causing your consciousness to suffer greatly as you combat your way THROUGH the fear. That will always be a more sufferable way of living.
Fear should be placed behind you, propelling you along your unique journey.
The distinction is critically important to nail down. As I see it, the only proper way of putting the fear behind you – thereby using fear to your advantage – is to think through all the things in which you fear.
Fearful examples that come to mind include an unfulfilling career or work. No friends to share experiences with. No family of your own to share a life with. A consistent and constant need to work for money because your liabilities essentially own you (the rat race).
This last point, being a slave to your liabilities, has been an intense focus of mine in my 20’s. I’ve spent countless hours reading about money, how to make money, what financial freedom looks like. I’ve basically obsessed over the idea of financial freedom and what it would mean to my life.
I’ve concluded financial freedom is one of the greatest things to achieve in life because you now have more time and more control of your day.
Time is an unrenewable resource, so once it’s gone, it’s never coming back. You only turn 21 once. You only turn 50 once. Your parents or siblings will only die once. Can you honestly tell yourself I used my time up until that fearful point as effectively and as intelligently as possible? If that answer is yes, fear is behind you. If the answer is no, I believe you should start thinking through those fears very carefully and come up with a game plan to minimize the suffering, which will come, when the imagined fearful event manifest.
When you start pondering the consequences of not putting your life together, only then can you start to address fear properly, turning the energy into an asset rather then a liability.