OVERVIEW DIAGRAM OF ALL CORE FEARS
AND RELIEVING AT LEAST 90% OF THEM
THE PRIMAL NECESSITY (Duh!)
Biggest problem is erroneous beliefs/perceptions/lackofreality... (see below)
THE SECONDARY "PERCEIVED" "NEED"
Good survival, getting "enough" happiness.
THE PATH TO ASSURING ASSURANCE
Both needs are easy enough to achieve, with proper clarity and a few necessary, achievable tools. One need is absolute. The other is "relative" and the solution lies in defining "enough".
THERE IS NOTHING TO FEAR ABOUT LIFE
Therefore, there is nothing to anticipatorily fear about life. You will survive and you will survive well because of something you are able to do if you simply learn the core basics of what to do.
Read on, and for heaven's sake, learn this, as it governs the very quality of all of life, as living without fear is the greatest gift you can give yourself, for that leaves only to your being free to create all you want - and you're plenty capable of doing that! (We all have the basic equipment to do that. Read the first line in The Pieces And The Process Of Life - The Overview Of Succeeding In life.)
Fear is a wired in reaction to a threat. Fear is always legitimate and real, as it is just a wired in reaction.
Based on that, I assert that we can eliminate at least 99% of all of our fears.
But many of the believed threats we live our lives in fear about are not legitimate. Consequently to cure our tensions due to fears, we need to "cure" our mis-seeing of and misbeliefs about threats. (And, of course, if we don't do that, we can also learn how to offset the effects - but that is further down the chain of causes. It is best however to cure the original cause! it is vital that you understand this principle and reality, so read about it in Cause And Effect - Where There Is An Effect, There Must Be A Cause.) Read Threats And "Fear" - Differentiating As To What Is A Legitimate (Real) Threat - read the whole sequence of links until you have mastered this and are at the point of being fearless, in terms of having no "faux" fears at all. This also means you would drastically reduce any "worries".
Be sure to read the section that follows the notes about fears in this section.
THE "FEAR-DECISIONS" SEQUENCE
Two different paths:
Something occurs --> Belief filter --> Decide: Could lead to actual threats --> Actual threats
Physical harm (incl. death; death can mostly be unfeared...)
Not adequate shelter
Pain (physical) - Physical pain is "real". Emotional pain, however, comes from mostly fear-causing "uncomfortable" chemicals. However, curing the misbelief that has one thinking there is a substantial threat will cut this off at the point of origin.
SOLELY "DERIVED" FEARS, ALL CURABLE
These are earlier on the chain and could possibly cause an actual threat. In virtually all cases, we can cure these and/or see through the lack of truth/reality in them. (Note that all fear is about the future.)
Loss of social status - In primitive times, it could mean you would be expelled from the tribe to die in the jungle. We will never have that be true in the modern world. Our fear of this, and much of our behaviors, are merely an artifice, with no legitimacy.
There is a valid concept in this overall category about being seen in a way admired by others, such as being the alpha male, as that gains one more procreative opportunities with higher social order people who have the physical characteristics that indicate they could produce children who will be more likely to survive. But our expectation that we should have someone above our attractiveness level is unrealistic - and we can do just fine without having a movie star or model for our paramor - as those are not truly matters of life and death and our children will survive just fine. (That matching was necessary in the past for successful evolution, but it is irrelevant and outdated for these days.)
"I might not be good enough" belongs mostly in the social status category, but that could include a belief one is not able to handle life. The latter can be cured, by realistic observation and/or competence development. The rest of the fear is cured by seeing that one is not actually dependent on others and/or that that an "adequate" amount of social approval is easily attainable. Notice that the "threat" of a loss of approval by someone we are dependent on as a child is behind the systems we have set up to punish ourselves to get ourselves back into line with what others approve of. The system for guilt and shame, beyond their simple mechanical functions, have been set up based on loss of approval (or love or security with another person. And we even set up systems to try to control others using tools based on loss of approval, such as blame, making people wrong, criticism of self and/or of others. Beyond the minimal physical mechanism all the rest is a bunch of nonsense - and unhealthy. And often we stick ourselves in the super-killer of having to be a "good child", even though we are grown up.
We get locked into seeking approval and getting reinforced from the outside, but that is entirely without foundation - yet we let our actions and our thinking be consumed with seeking it, looking good, conformity, etc.
Inability to fend for ourselves - And/or to handle the future, to cause and control outcomes, to recover from whatever happens - We have the basic abilities to assure no actual threat is caused. Of course, we need to be able to "see" that we do, so this is addressed on the site (see discussion below). We can also see that we can "cope" and "recover" and achieve the state of, with regard to faux fears, Fearlessness. And, if we still think we do not have the ability, we have the ability to learn and develop abilities to better handle life!!! (Read Self-Efficacy.) Something "could" happen. In "scanning" for danger, we could add to the process by using our imagination to see how awful some happening in the future could be. If one has done reasonable preparation, then there is no more control over the outcome that can be gained and adding the "could happen" scenario has no benefit, but probably will incur emotional harm, which could then be manifested in physical harm. However, with insight, we can debug this false coping mechanism so that it is a "so what, sh-- happens, and I'll cope ok, but there is no benefit in imagining it". This is what the philosophical disciplines over the ages have dealt with and taught - they see that there is no substance in the thought and simply let it pass. I could die or... (Interestingly enough I have no fear of dying, but you might ask how could that be? See You Will Die! Basically, all that is possible is that I will live until I die - and I choose to do the living until then, with no attempts at avoiding the reality, though, of course, I will do all I can to stay alive until I have no other choice. I will just enjoy the ride!)
Our objective is to get to a 90+% curing, as that is practical for most human beings. If we did the rest, we would be so enlightened that we might have to go directly to heaven to live in eternal bliss and nirvana. But imagine how much greater life would be is you only had 10% or less of your fear reactions!
If you look at the list of all the categories of fear, it would be best that you understood that there are very, very few things to fear.
If you understood why we evolved to have fear (i.e. for what function and benefit), you would see that fear is only a mechanism to give us the energy and means to fight or flee. Indeed, the animals run from the lion and as soon as the lion is gone they go back to calmly eating grass - they do not worry about the lion. But we do.
In A Grand Perspective On Life, this is noted: "With a correct, realistic view of life, we can be more like the Zebra. The zebra senses the lion, is "activated" by his alarm systems, runs like the blazes until he is safe - then he peacefully eats some grass, with the fear process completely over and all the toxic chemicals dissipated. In contrast, we create an irreality (unreality) of all sorts of fear stuff, including anticipation and worry and anxiety - all to our great detriment and hardly ever to our benefit. Those processes are not at all necessary. But we engage in them such that we create a constant stress from it, often with no real rest and rejuvenation." And the irony is that we even make ourselves anxious about being anxious... (Video, 2:57, Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, also speaks of the "advanced" monkeys and how they create fear.)
Note again that fear is strictly a mechanical function AND the problems we have are based on what we make up about fear. Fear itself is not a problem, but a function. It is misused and abused by us and it occurs only because we have made up some untruth that does not match reality. We need not perpetuate that untruth!!!!
DOES SOCIAL STATUS DETERMINE IF WE WILL LIVE OR NOT?
When you look at that question, you could say "but, Keith, you are missing the point, I am afraid of not really being liked and then I'll feel bad about myself...".
The point that I am trying to make here is that we are totally fabricating a "mental construct" that has us mistaking a "means" with an actual objective.
This is similar to people who want to feel happy, but think that their goal and what they need is money. But money is only a means. What we are actually interested in is the actual product or end point itself: happiness.
In the same way, social status is not the end goal. The only reason we need social status is to respected and needed enough in the tribe to not be kicked out to die in the jungle without their support and protection.
But in the modern world, if we are not liked at all, if we are totally rejected and spat upon, we will still be able to use all the support that was necessary to get all the food onto the shelves of the grocery store and be able to go to our home and to generally be safe. We can live without social status.
See Solving The Social Status Problem - Another "Enough" Problem, where it proves that we are virtually 100% safe in this area if we but use simple, attainable means to be acceptable "enough". We make up all the rest and are totally out of touch with reality on this. Do we, out of some delusion or sense of greed, actually "need" more than that? I think not!!!
We have made up a game that has no real substance to it, and we are playing it seriously, as if it were as important as life and death - it isn't! (The game is total BS! That means it was totally fabricated from a Belief System (aka BS) with no reality in actual life.)
Anyway, the answer to the question of whether social status determines our survival is "absolutely not!" There is no legitimate effect (no physical harm that will result from it!)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Of course, I realize that you probably don't accept that and that you could believe that it is me who is full of BS. But if you study this and look at the facts and the reasoning, I will bet you that you'll see that what is said here is strictly, absolutely true - and, once you see that, that will give you a new choice: to be fearless around social status and not to be controlled by having to seek approval - you will still be in the overall tribe and you will still be ok. (And it'll help you let go of related issues of guilt and shame, which you should also understand as not legitimate.)
But the reaction you are probably having right now to that is probably still incredulity - so that means you just have to do more of the necessary reading. When you finish that reading, you will have solved a huge problem and gotten rid of a huge amount of fear. Isn't the potential of achieving that, even to just a large degree, worth your time???
And note that living life from the viewpoint that "I am not good enough" is simply an extention of the social status problem. It is pure BS, but you need to read more about it to believe me, as the culture has so reinforced this that we believe that it is a "given" - true without question and just the "way it is". Well, BS! [BS stands for "Belief System", and not existing in reality.]
AM I NOT CAPABLE ENOUGH TO FEND FOR MYSELF? CAN I NOT LEARN TO COPE WELL WITH UNDESIRED OUTCOMES?
The key question to answer here is whether we can fend well enough to be able to eat and have some shelter. There are very few people in the modern world who are not fed - and most of those are because they haven't learned the ropes of where to go and how to play the game - but, other than if they are mentally defective in the thinking area, they do have the ability to learn still how to do it.
But the truth of it, if you are reading this, you have the ability to learn enough to get by in life with no danger of not eating or having adequate shelter. You might not be able to meet the artificial standards and not experience the possibility of horrors that you have strictly fabricated in your mind, but there is no reality at all that you have something to fear.
YOU WILL ACHIEVE MORE THAN "ENOUGH"...AND...
You have nothing in the realistic probabilities to fear. You have nothing to fear here. You will absolutely, if you gain a realistic perspective, be able to be above the level of "enough" (which is discussed below). You will have more than "enough" to survive and have nothing to fear in that realm, but you will also have enough to more than meet what is needed to be at the level of actually having enough - IF you put in realistic terms and make clear "what is enough?". It is, in my opinion, absolutely necessary that you do the exercises (in the link immediately above) and writing to make this absolutely clear for you, as you then will have a positive "happiness gap" and no longer be living in The Unhappiness Gap.
[Incidentally, did I mention that you will not all of a sudden find a miraculous epiphany that will fall upon you and free you from all your BS? You might come close, but in all cases you will need to do the studying and learning necessary to fully understand this. Follow the programs and links in the cited pieces.]
YES, SOMETHING COULD HAPPEN...
Anything could happen and some things unfavorable will absolutely happen, but if those things are all survivable, we'll be ok, as they will soon pass.
Even if we were to become paraplegic, we'd find that we return to our normal levels of happiness in about a year (just as the lottery winners do!). Our bodies and our minds have built in mechanisms to adjust for that, unless we interfere with a bunch of nonsense and made up stories. The worst is the story where we are living in the misery right now, in our imagination, in the moment, but nothing has actually happened!
From the paradigm of what the only actual threats are (physical harm and physical pain), the established philosophical disciplines have us noticing (though we imagined something awful and are experiencing fear) that Nothing Actually Happened (except in a Mental Construct existing only in our brain) - our body is intact even though we were rejected and even though we lost our entire fortune or any other non-physical phenomena that happened.
Remember, this is a physical world and reality is only that which physically occurs or exists - the rest is our opinion or what we have made up about some reality.
"LOSS" IS OFTEN NOT EVEN REAL
Loss is the central concept for unhappiness, for we worry about it constantly, in financial and material terms, in relationships, in reduced happiness, in having less than we want...
Yes, in the latter item above, notice that we even experience having less than we expect to have as a "loss" - which makes no sense, since you can't actually lose something you never had. We, however, "clearly see" a loss by noticing that our expectation is "up there" and that we are "down here" relative to that expectation - we have set the expectation up as if it were a place we already are.
Preposterous! But we do it. And this is the biggest source of The Unhappiness Gap. I recommend that you stop creating that gap!
Reread what I've written about this area, above, in the smaller print section.
DUMPING ALL OUR IRRATIONAL THREATS AND RELATED FEARS
We may find ourselves, even with diligent effort and understanding, not able to get rid of our final 10% of faux fears. In that case, we will have to "plug the hole" and actually do something that lowers or overcomes those fears.
But our first task is super-impactful, that of seeing the illusion and falsity of our beliefs that somehow we have construed to believe that they threaten our physical survival! It will solve most of the problem!
Part of that could involve a "re-education" process for the primitive brain. We may have to repeat what is true and declare clearly what isn't true, until there is enough repetition to build up the neuronal pathways with that data (remember we are "mechanical" creatures!).
When we succeed in building the pathways up, they become easier for the brain to follow them so that they become automatic and become the "default" position - at which point life is effortless in regard to that - we won't even have to spend any effort thinking about it - and the nonsense beliefs about made up threats will disappear into the sunset, never (mostly) to be seen again.
If they are "seen again", that means we just didn't the job yet, and will have to do more of the process.
It is essential that you learn and buy into what the process is to rewire the brain, so is vital that you read and understand Rewiring The Brain - and remember that all that occurs in the physical world is strictly mechanical . See What Is Reality?
USING "STRAIGHT THINKING", ELIMINATING AND REPLACING BAD BELIEFS
Straight thinking or "right thinking" or "critical thinking" is all part of using the higher brain to find
1) What the facts are (and aren't) and
2) What is logical and makes sense.
We use this to question and reexamine beliefs AND to formulate new beliefs that are actually true. (We never replace harmful beliefs with other beliefs that are based on false premises or facts, since the latter would also be false.)
You can use systematic approaches, such as "ABCDEF Rational Analysis", to see what is untrue and to devise replacement. Using these a few times will actually alter your way of thinking, so that many false threats and faux fears will be blown out right away and not allowed to settle in.
THERE ARE MANY "DERIVATIVE" THREATS THAT WE MAKE UP
Having "doubt" is a form of fear. Being "uncertain" (and "confusion") could be 'conscrewed' as a threat, since it could mean that you might not be able to decide on and implement something that will work in life - it could mean, in the irrational brain, that you are not competent and therefore will not do well in the world.
If we do not remove all of these fears, do not fear, for we can come up with "antidotes" that help offset or mostly eradicate what is remaining of the fears.
Fear of being incompetent is offset by clearly identifying one's strengths and positives. So we suggest that you develop a thorough Positives Portfolio.
However, I want to remind you to be aware that these are intervening later in the causal chain - compared to curing the cause. We are essentially offsetting the "symptoms" from false beliefs. But it is better to go back down the causal chain to eliminate the false beliefs that caused the problem in the first place. If you were fearless, then you really would not have doubt and uncertainty as fear creators in the first place.
But, alas, humans are not perfect (even though in a sense we are perfect relative to all other species in the world), so we may have some fears left over to offset.
But it can be a great life even if we only eliminate 80% of all fears - imagine how good that would feel compared to right now!
COMPETENCY AND EFFECTIVENESS PLAY AN IMPORTANT PART
Many of our fears are based on the belief that we need other people to provide things to us and/or for us since we believe we are incapable of being able to do it for ourselves. So we end up with having to have their approval, etc., and having to please them to such an extent that they control our agendas in life.
And it will be true that we will feel dependent on other people if we don't think we can do what is necessary.
In that case, our happiness is outside of our control and in their hands - and that is one very, very bad idea. We must learn how to be in control of our own lives if we are to achieve happiness - it is almost impossible that the grace of all other people will do it for you. (See Self-Efficacy - The Essential Sense Of Life Competency.)
Actual factual competency and facts are necessary to create a good foundation rather than just affirmations telling us lies about how we are strong, capable people, with unlimited possibilities - and so on, accumulating in deeper and deeper piles of nice manure...
It is good to have actual competence and effectiveness in life, for that will serve us in getting more of what we want in life, plus it will offset our fears related to not being successful or not succeeding without dependence on someone else and such.
Couple that with reasonable expectations and a clear sense of what is "enough", and your life will be vastly greater!
PRODUCING "LIFE VALUE"
So that we could is why I wrote the book on Life Value Productivity so that a person could produce that which he/she truly values in life. And the reason why that is the first of the books is because it helps one one free up massive amounts of time so that there is more than enough time to "learn life" and to implement it effectively! In that book, we learn what is necessary to free up those massive amoutn of time spent in low payoff activities and insert activities with high payoffs in terms of delivering value in life, including developing competencies that will help get us more of what we value. The highest payoff of all is learning in the areas of skills that will most affect one's ability to produce value in life. It is THE WAY to create true happiness (as long as one of the skills is the skill of happiness, so that one is not deluded into putting all of one's efforts into making money). The path starts off with The One Decision That Determines All Of Life, or at least a start toward it.
THE POINT OF ALL OF THIS
The point is two fold. The latter point is that you must embark on "the path" of learning. (See The Paths To Where You Want To Go, especially the path for gaining and maintaining momentum in improving life.)
The key point of this piece is for you to see that almost all fears can be eliminated, reduced, and/or effectively handled such that you could be 99+% free of all fears (those fears that are faux). Look again at the introductory "diagram" to see that we have addressed each of them in the discussion (with links to deal with them in depth) so that all is left is a short term mechanical mechanism that is rarely needed, but highly useful (!) - but with no need to fear as we do now!
WHAT IS NEXT
Consider rereading this piece and following the links, to get more grounded in this and to create further understanding. Do the exercises.