Controlling Fear

Having a reliable method to control your fear and achieve focus quickly is indispensable. During one sleepless night reading Frank Herbert, I discovered my solution.

A bit of backstory: During undergrad, it was common before and during tests for me to be unnecessarily nervous. This degenerated my ability to focus and fully apply myself to the important task at hand: acing the test creatively in a reasonable time frame.

While meditating, one of my many calming methods is the recitation of poems, such as the Jabberwocky, Litany Against Fear, and If. I find that of all poems, the Litany calms me the most quickly.

To immediately calm myself in risky situations, I use the same techniques. My favoured methods are solving simple integrations or reciting the Litany Against Fear.

This Litany, from the Original Dune, an “incantation spoken by many highly educated people who faced danger or fear during their everyday lives. The incantation helped focus their minds in times of peril.”

The content of the Litany: 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.

If you aren’t sure how to begin searching for a reliable and personalized method: think of things that make you happy and calm and read while simultaneously reading the Litany aloud to yourself.

Written on January 27, 2014