The Only Thing We Have to Fear

If you stop and think about it, what is scarier – the fear of the truly unknown or the fear of knowing precisely what could happen?

Heck even haunted houses are pretty predictable but perhaps that’s why they’re scary – you know something will jump out, you’re just not sure when.  

What we know about life that is so terrifying is that it’s fragile and fleeting, that anything (or at least a great number of things) can happen.

Maybe the fear we experience is because who know too much.  It’s not the unknown that is scary – it’s the what-ifs.  We are forced to live out our daily lives concerned about all of the things that may or may not actually happen; instead of living in the here and the now.

My grandpa would always say, “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” meaning let’s focus on the road in front of us and deal with what comes when it arrives.  Otherwise you miss the scenery around you while worrying about something you can’t even do much about.

This same philosophy applies to thoughts about your patients and whether they are going to accept treatment or bring up insurance or be happy with their new smile or still be in pain.  None of that stops you from doing the dentistry. 

On a personal level, you can think about all of the negative things that could go wrong in your own life and then you’d locked yourself inside all day doing nothing.

Halloween is such a fun holiday because it is filled with fake fright for entertainment.  As I said last week, loosen up, have fun, and enjoy it.

But life is filled with real fright and fear that’s not so entertaining.  If you let those terrors and dreads overwhelm your thoughts, you’ll cause even more stress and angst resulting in far greater danger and risk than anything else.

Today, I say don’t be afraid of the what-ifs.  Instead, while being aware and remaining prepared, stay engaged in the positives of life.  The more you go thinking about being afraid the more afraid you will be.  It’s not a surprise that the most paranoid people I know tend to have the most reason to be paranoid. 

Just some food for thought.  Halloween is fun because there’s nothing to actually fear but that doesn’t mean life has to be any scarier.  Choose fun not fears and treats not tricks of the mind.

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