I have a few fears in life and some of them have been helpful, like the my fear of heights. It causes me to be safe and cautious. However, I also have a few more which are not quite as useful, such as my fear of success. I must keep a constant watch due to an unnatural desire to sabotage my pursuits. This piece reflects the thoughts of Helen Mirren an Academy Award and Emmy-Winning Actress. She writes so accurately when she says, “The control and understanding of our personal fears is one of the most important undertakings of our lives.”
My secondary school was a parochial school run by Bernadine nuns in forbidding black robes. On my first visit to the school, I had an interview with the headmistress. She was a very old lady called Dame Mother Mary Mildred. (“Dame” because she had been honored for past achievements, I never knew what.) She had one eye that drooped and was somewhat frightening to the ten-year-old that I was. However, she was also very wise, and kind without being sentimental.
She took one look at me and said, in such a way that I have never forgotten it, “Beware of fear.”
It took me many years to understand the power and importance of that observation.
Fear can be one of the most destructive of human emotions. It is, of course, also very important, in that fear sometimes stops you from doing stupid things. But it can also stop you from…
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