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Stop Following Others and Wasting Your Life in Fear

written by Loretta Graziano Breuning, PhD July 22, 2020
Stop Following Others and Wasting Your Life in Fear

Fear is natural. Most people end up fearful, so if you follow others, fear will fill your life. You can free yourself from fear by trusting your own judgment instead of following others.

Following the Herd

This is hard for so many reasons.

1. We mirror others.

We reproduce the emotions of those around us. Animals run when their herd mates run, and they get eaten if they don’t. Natural selection built a brain good at panicking when others panic. It’s hard to see that you’re doing it, and you are powerless over this impulse if you can’t see it. If you make a habit of noticing it, you find your power to redirect it.

2. We bond when we feel threatened.

Animals stick with the herd when a predator lurks and spread out when things look safe. Humans also stick together when there’s a common enemy. Leaders often keep their groups together by alarming them with talk of common enemies. It’s hard to feel safe when your herd is always in a state of alarm. In fact, if you don’t share their sense of alarm, they may consider you a traitor. It’s tempting to share their sense of threat because solidarity feels good.

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