As we count the days down to November 3rd, anxiety grows. We feed that anxiety with Doomsday scenarios. We comfort ourselves with the dark camaraderie of misery and outrage, the delicious, toxic elixir of assumed superiority. These things fuel our electoral passions, no matter what party we are affiliated with.
But those passions can only foster more division. More mistrust. More rage.
It’s an unending cycle.
We can break this cycle.
But to do it, we have to give up one of our favorite security blankets: fear.
Drop your fear, in three steps.
If you don’t think that fear is a security blanket, I challenge you: drop your fear right now. In your mind, put the guy you’re NOT voting for in office for the coming four years. Now identify all the things you’re afraid will happen.
Do you have your list? Okay. Drop your fear of all those things.
No? Why not?
Do you think this fear keeps you safe?
That if you can predict the terrible things that will happen, you will be able to prevent them? That’s magical thinking. Because if you see danger coming and you’re filled with fear, you’re already half as effective as if you remained calm and open in the same circumstance.
So drop it. You can still have your list. I mean, the world isn’t going to stop being the world just because you’ve stopped being afraid of it. But you will have doubled your effectiveness and opened up your options for what to do next.
Step One: Understand how fear is used to manipulate you.
We might be more motivated to drop our fear if we understood how fear is weaponized against us. One way this happens is someone yells “Fire!” inside our consciousness.
During this election year, that someone is anyone anywhere on the political spectrum who wants to manipulate our viewpoint.