Fear is the mind killer

June 24, 2013 § 3 Comments

Quote from Dune by Frank Herbert

Wednesday nears and I am in a constant battle with myself. My state of mind is at the mercy of two very different consciences and finds comfort in neither. The weaker one scrutinizes each second that passes, criticizing all progress and demeaning all efforts. It tells me that I am going to fail, that I have wasted the past 16 days of my life for nothing and that I am only going to embarrass myself. The stronger one gives me a slap, tells me that nothing is wasted, that I am not defined by this and that everything is going to be just fine.

As I grow older and go through more and more of these experiences, I find it easier to knock away negative thoughts – but they never go away completely. It’s amazing how much we can torture ourselves with our imaginings of the future. We allow ourselves to deeply fear something that we can do nothing about in that moment and that may never even happen. Here are a few things that I’ve repeated to myself throughout this exam period (things that I really need to remind myself of now):

  1. A reminder: I have survived everything in my life up until this point. I have survived every hurtle, every challenge, every difficult situation thrown my way. And, surprise surprise, I will survive this the same way that I have survived everything else. Bring it!
  2. A thought: there is no point in fearing the future as I see it. I don’t know what is going to happen, so I should stop entertaining my fears. I will deal with the outcome when I know the outcome.
  3. A quote: from Rocky Balboa, 2006. It is in my favorite motivational video, which I watch at least 4 times before every exam. I’ve memorized it by now and it’s one of my go-to self-motivating mantras:

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and, I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you’re hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!

Cause if you’re willing to go through all the battling you gotta go through to get to where you want to get, who’s got the right to stop you? I mean, maybe you guys got something you never finished, something you really wanted to do, something you never said to someone – something! And you’re told no, even after you pay your dues – who’s got the right to tell you that? Who? Nobody! It’s your right to listen to your gut and it ain’t nobody’s right to say no, until you’ve earned the right to be where you want to be and do what you want to do!

Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth – but you gotta be willing to take the hits and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you want to be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!”

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§ 3 Responses to Fear is the mind killer

  • Charkie says:

    That’s so true what you say about how we create these elaborate narrative frameworks for how we will be doomed, when there are so many positive, or at least more realistic, versions of the story.
    I know you can do it!!

    • Buda B says:

      Thank you! And yes, the mind is so interesting in that way. Sometimes I think it is a sort of defense mechanism, that by imagining a worse scenario, we are prepared for the worst and aren’t as affected by it if that is the outcome. Skjalg said he saw you yesterday and that you avoided me! 😉 I wish I could have seen you, it’s been too long.

      • Charkie says:

        Yes, we ran into each other in Corvin! I promise I wasn’t avoiding :O — just didn’t want to intrude on the physics study!! let’s talk after your exam tomorrow?! for which i wish you LotsOfLuck!

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