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An excellent read that kept me thinking. Our emotions and fear are interconnected, which causes us to behave and react to situations in daily life differently.

Ulf Brandes

"As long as we deny our fears, we won't make the necessary changes" — I love how you explain many contemporary phenomena with this clear, essential message: exposing our denial as a comfort zone that keeps our responsibility away.

So where's hope? I agree: The notion of "overcoming fear" still implies more of a zero-sum game: "either I win, or my fear wins", again like a win/lose battle.

How can we learn to accept fear as a natural source of energy that's there to unite us towards positive change?

Today's populists, uniting masses by intimidating them, seem further advanced at this 'unifying' skill than our more moderate political and economic leaders who're often so 'entrenched' in our perceptions of daily 'battles'. So how can we learn to more courageously open up to our fears — and to fellow others out there?

As you say, I believe it all start with ourselves: How we, everyone, open up to ourselves, and cultivate empathy with ourselves and others — that is an indispensable starting point to positive change. For we see others as we see ourselves: Am I my opponent that I must overcome — or am I my ally? This question of world view, I believe, shapes our lives, and our relations to it.

I can see how this mindset shift positively impacts my own life and the lives of likeminded people around us.

Where I struggle is how such an empathy-led world view can more easily 'infect' others, beyond our immediate circles of patient influence.

I dream of some way for many more people to find courage to make the necessary changes in their lives, and leave denial behind. I think, here it *is* the time to think in scalable approaches to collective learning. But I would not know how.

Alan Arnett

Very useful John. Only thing I would challenge slightly is the language 'finding ways to overcome' fear. I agree there is more fear and anxiety that isn't expressed well enough, but as you also say, it comes because of opportunity and a recognition our current institutions don't work. To take advantage of the opportunities, and build new relationships with our institutions, we'll need to try lots of things we don't yet do. That will be scary. Rather than overcoming fear, I think we need a new relationship with it. Its trying to overcome and control it that gets us stuck in those other emotions you describe so well.

You referenced Susan Jeffers book in your title (Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway). Maybe we need a new version. Feel the fear, make contact, and introduce it to what you really care about... :)

Charles Donkor

Very interesting thoughts. We have lost or are rapidly losing our ability to show vulnerability and ask for help. This is due to a shift in how we live and nurture relationships. They were once the key enabler for humans to trust. Trust can only blossom through interaction and dialogue. We rely more on social media but need to realize that there is no social in media - only in humans. And in our age, we are putting less emphasis on that. I think we need to reassess how we live our relationships in business and private...to eventually become less fearful.

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