August 2004
The Adequacy of Fear Level

Recently I started to play more with the concept of fear.

I assumed work as a coach for two clients from the business sphere - one entrepreneur and one financial consultant who I knew socially for some time and as I made the initial personality analyses for them I realized their level of fear on a long term average was considerably higher than it would be appropriate or adequate to their life situations.

Let us imagine that adequate level of fear of a person - considering objective life situation - would be 100%.

Then my clients would be on a long term average of 300% and 400%. It reminded me of other of my high performance clients entrepreneurs, managers, consultants, diplomats and I started to dowse their fear level. Then I addded politicians I know from media and I got to an outcome that indicated there is significantly higher level of fear in these professions indeed... even much higher than I would presume. The top level reaching to 100 thousand % of what I intuitively estimated as adequate fear.

I remembered - for example (with details changed to avoid indiscretion) - a high positioned, extremely efficient and successful manager (who came to me kind of unwillingly for other reason than problems with fear - let's say his wife started to work with a colleague of mine on some marital issues and he was asked to start working on the same issues parallelly)

He worked as a head of a branch of an international corporation in one of the East European countries with salary of about 1 million USD. And this man actually had in the back of his mind vaguely but constantly present a nightmarish picture of himself being poor and ending up in gutters as unemployed... picture coming perhaps from his nuclear (original) family that was doing financially far worse than himself or even previous generations of immigrants. He suffered from high blood pressure, took medication for it and our psychological work with fear lead to dramatic reduction of this condition. This man's average fear level estimated by my dowsing was 10 000% before our cooperation, dropping to 100% at the end of our 3 month's cooperation and raisin to 1000% that I dowse for him now - two years since we terminated our working together.

I could go on with examples like this but let's take just this one as a typical one.

Of course these thoughts bring questions (some of which overlap more or less, inevitably):

To what degree is an increased fear level beneficial to a person's performance, efficiency, good being - if at all?

Is lower then "adequate" fear level good or bad for personal performance, effectiveness, good being?

How much does the nuclear family contribute to / set norm of a habitual fear level of an individual? or Does one have unconscious tendency to keep fear level that was normal in one's family even for false reasons?

(By the way, the levels of fear children have to go through due to their lack of power in the society, to their lack of experience and knowledge of how the society and the world generally functions seem very high indeedů

What level of fear starts to be dangerous to one's health?

Is fear a good motivator? To what degree?

What effect do various fear levels have:

- on flexibility, originality, creativity ... or their opposite: rigidity, pedantry?

- on the width of angle of viewing the world = narrow/wide mindedness and so on sensitivity / blindness to inner (psychological) and outer (in the world around) changes?

- on exaggeration of existential needs (need of safety and security) and negligence to frustration of need of self realization, self expression (such frustration might create secondary anxiety itself)?

- on respect for needs, human rights including ecological conditions, working conditions, access to justice of others?

- on ethical behavior generally or willingness to cut corners and bend the laws or to real criminal behavior?

Do US and EU cultures differ systematically in an average fear level? What economical, ecological, human-resources, quality-of-life effects does this fact have on the average XY class citizen?

Do fear level and respect to authorities or problems with respect to authorities coincide?

Is there connection between high fear level and:

- short term perspective of viewing the world?

- relating oneself to world rather by tradition than by archives of humankind and cosmic order (for explanation of these concepts see Tradition - Archives of Humankind - Cosmic Order...Help to Explain and Overcome Human Differences.)

- low "giving" and high "taking" or generally disproportion in giving-taking pattern (for explanation of these concepts see the text Giving And Taking: More Than A Personal Scale)?

- workaholism, drug abuse, sex addiction, exaggerated lust for power and other types of compensation?

Is perhaps the world run by people with heightened fear level? And if so, what are the consequences ? Do those nations tend to be rich or poor, democratic or totalitarianů? To what degree power and high fear level overlap in this world? Is there a norm, expectation or repetition of examples that success is connected with high fear level that influences our world view... and is it an inevitable (and healthy) connection?

Are mass media instrumental in influencing fear levelů, with what conscious objectives?

I would be able to create intuitive tables of professions, class, gender, age groups, level of power and culture that reflects certain logic of how fear works... but isn't it sometimes better to just ask the questions?

Prague, Czech Republic, August 2004

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Text by Jan Jilek,
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