Risk, Fear and the line between the two

Posted by Karen Degen on 22nd July 2013

Tags: Australia, Earthquakes, Northern Territory, crocodiles, expect the best, fear, live in the now, living in fear, risk, taking risks

I wanted to share my thoughts about risk and fear, formed from a recent holiday and subsequent conversation with my mother.  I just got back from two weeks in the Northern Territory of Australia, hiking in the ‘outback’ where crocodiles were something you had to be constantly aware of and their presence severely limited your use of rivers, billabongs and rock pools for swimming etc.  They had areas though that they considered safe-ish for swimming because they were ‘crocodile managed’ i.e. they removed any crocodiles they found there after the wet season and had techniques to let them know of any that arrived after the clearing had taken place.  Crocodiles do move overland however so the fact there were none present yesterday did not necessarily mean there were none today.  Given that risk, we swum many times in ‘crocodile managed’ rock pools and small rivers.  I’m not a person who takes risks, but then again I refuse to live in fear so there has to be a line somewhere between the two that each of us finds for themselves.  I was talking with my mother today who seems to live at the fearful end of that spectrum.  The earthquakes yesterday in Wellington have made her very afraid that we will experience more here (Christchurch) ourselves.  She was nearly crying as she told me how afraid she was.  I think the experience of our earthquakes has made me less fearful in general as I live despite the risks and the ‘might’s.

I’ve moved further away from the fear end of the spectrum than I ever was previously, yet Mum has moved closer than she was and is more fearful than ever. My mother aside (I don’t have my therapist hat on when with family and don’t attempt to treat them) one of the things I do is help people to live in the ‘now’, to expect the best, to let go of fear and to be happy despite the circumstances.  If you are closer to the fear end of the spectrum and aren’t living life to the fullest contact me for a chat about how I can help.