We’ve all read Dune by Frank Herbert. And if you haven’t, you should. Go do it now, I’ll wait.
In his amazing book (and the somewhat okay movie) we encounter the Bene Gesserit and their Litany Against Fear. It is recited during times of tribulation and trials, in order to clear the mind and maintain focus in situation where fear might grip the heart of our would-be hero. It goes like this …
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
But to me, fear is not the greatest mindkiller. Fear is just another face of uncertainty, and is quite often overcome be mere confrontation.
To me the greatest mindkiller is stress. I know this because I have encountered this beast quite a few times by now. And every single incident has, and is, worse than any fear I’ve ever felt (including the one time I was mugged at knifepoint). Stress creeps in, often under the radar and absolutely destroys every single productive thought in my brain. It shuts me down. It drains my energy, creativity and productivety. It effectively reduces me to a drooling mess. It’s not pretty. Trust me.
Currently this beast is riding me hard. And I’m doing my best to curtail it’s efforts to destroy me.