Conscious Living 16: Fear
25. November 2018
Conscious Living 18: Wishing
8. January 2019

Conscious Living 17: Our biggest fear

What are you afraid of the most?

In my last post on “Living consciously”, I wrote about fear in general. However, in this post I would like to go one step further and familiarize you with your biggest fear. At first the question comes up: What fear do you mean? Many people think, that this is the fear of death. That actually makes sense, after all, death ends our lives and nobody knows what comes next. But, if you take a closer look at this situation, are we afraid of being dead, or are we afraid of something else? In my opinion, the fear of death makes us more concerned about leaving our fellow human beings behind. Why I think this way – you will learn in the next lines.

Why does advertising work?

What does this headline has to do with fear? Everything! Everyone knows about advertising being everywhere and (in my opinion) its root being based on fear. The adverts suggest, that we need the advertised product. But what kind of emotions do they push to awake this feeling? In my mind, this works only because of the fear of the opinion of others. After all, if I do not have white teeth, other people do not find me attractive. If I walk around with an old cell phone, the others might think I have little money. If I do not watch the TV program, I won´t have anything to talk with the others, and so on.

In my opinion, advertising plays with a subconscious fear, that we have little idea it exists. As we are increasingly bombarded with advertising, this effect is now increasing so strongly, that some people almost “burn out”. Here, the thought of making a mistake is always present and is reinforced by the fear of the negative opinion of others, be it colleagues or acquaintances.

Where does this thinking come from?

When and how did we develop this thinking? If we were to deal with life 20-30-50 years ago, what was different? Depression was a rare disease, burnout was not invented, and today known mental illnesses were far less common. One thing stands out: we were less connected at that time. There was no Internet, and we were less bombarded with advertising. Our lives were less digital, and we did not have to compete with the beautiful models of magazines and websites. Access to pornography was far more difficult and nobody told us, that we have to feign a perfect life only to be liked. Meaning: We craze ourselves to please people who don not care about us.

What is there to do?

To free oneself from this thinking, the individual has only one possibility: to become aware of the subconscious tricks of his fellow human beings and advertisers and to stop reacting to them. Finally, a beverage company can try to fool me as often as they please – telling me, that I feel much better with the orange drink, have more fun and friends  and am more liked when I drink the sweet yellow broth – but only I choose to let those thoughts impress me and my brain – and I decide this wholeheartedly on my own.

In addition, the information, that the fear of the opinion of others exists, can help greatly in overcoming it. Of course this does not work overnight, but a little better every day – personal development at its best!

 

C-L Ludwig

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