Hand making OK sign at sunset

COVID-19: Fear Is All Around Us

Unprecedented change is all around us, and as humans, we are prone to become fearful in those scenarios. It's our natural instinct. In fact, fear of changes would have served us well back in hunter-and-gatherer days, because changes often meant danger was coming. Weather changes: be prepared for winter or be prepared for a storm. Animal behavior changes: be wary of dangerous preditors.

Even now our fears still can provide us with valuable warning signs, like taking extra precautions of vectors for illness transfer, such as thoroughly washing your hands.

At ModernEyes, we are doing our best to stay positive through all of the fears our community, nation, and world are facing in light of Coronavirus COVID-19. At the same time, we want to do our part to help others as well, and in fact Embody Good is one of our values. So, to do that, we are writing this series of blog posts, entitled our Encouragement Series, to do anything we can to help our community through this time, even though it is not really eyecare-related.

So today, we are trying to tackle our fears-head-on.

What is Fear?

Fear is the projection that the worst possible outcome will become reality. It is a conviction, a form of "faith" (not in the religious sense), but it's the negative form of faith. We don't normally think of it this way, regardless of if you consider yourself a person of faith. We put our "faith" in all kinds of things on a day-to-day basis, whether it's our faith in our societal systems, faith (or trust) in our doctors as they prescribe us medications, faith in our family's love for us, faith in a chair as we are about to sit down, and many other areas that we don't even realize.

"Fear is the projection that the worst possible outcome will become reality."

So conversely, then, we can define faith as the projection that the best, most beautiful possible outcome will become reality. Now this might go into the category of "wishful thinking" (as hope sometimes manifests itself), so we're going to explore how it can go beyond that in the coming paragraphs!

"Faith [is] the projection that the best, most beautiful possible outcome will become reality."

Fear Can Create Our Future, If We Let It

We've all probably had moments where our worst fears have become true. In fact, as humans, this often reinforces our fears. We think "well I was scared of it because it really was going to happen." We feel justified, and then begin to fear even more! Though, have you ever thought about how your fears may have had an impact on your situation?

We sometimes create our worst nightmare, and then blame it on external forces.

Have you ever noticed that people who are scared of loneliness often retreat to themselves, and in fact cause themselves to be even more lonely? Have you encountered someone who always wanted to do something, but was scared of failure, so they never even try? Their end-result is not too different from the failure they were so fearful of, they still are not fulfilling their dreams. We sometimes create our worst nightmare, but we are not self-aware enough to realize we had a part in it, so we blame it on external forces outside of our control.

Ultimately, our fears can be lies we are telling ourselves that cause us to fall into a self-fulfilling prophesy. The focus that you place on that fear is what makes it actually become a reality. But positivity can be self-fulfilling prophesy too!

We Can Create A Positive Future

Now I'm not naive enough to believe that we can control everything in our lives. There are always external forces that we have no control over. For instance, most of you reading this probably have very minimal control over the spread of COVID-19. However, we can have a conviction, a faith, that there is still a better future ahead for us as humanity. If we allow for this to be our focus, allow this vision of the future to be our driving force, we might notice situations where we can do good in this world, in spite of all the bad we may see.

As a result of doing good, we step our world into a better place, slowly but steadily. Day by day.

"The Power of Positive Thinking" concept has been explored time and again, including in the Jim Carey movie, Yes Man—which I'll admit, I watched partially because there's a scene in which he goes to a Husker football game! However, balance is important, and positive thinking and having faith most certainly is not going to solve all your problems. But it could give you the courage to to solve one problem no matter how small!

The "Do Something Good" Challenge

So this leads us to the challenge for today, let's do something good in the world! We don't need to solve all the world's problems, but we can do some good in our own neighborhoods, our families, or our workplaces. Maybe for you it looks like sharing some toilet paper to a coworker who hasn't successfully fought the crowds at Hy Vee! Maybe it looks likes speaking kind words to a friend who is stressed about their workplace closing up shop, letting them know you'll be there to help if that situation comes to pass. And just a reminder: you don't have to be physically in the same place with someone to do something kind!

"But I'm still scared!" you may be thinking. Yeah, you might be. But, I'm willing to bet, doing something good for someone will not make you any more scared. Additionally, you might even start to notice you do have some control in a situation that is mostly out of your control. Influence those areas for good, and you might notice other areas where good is happening all around you!

So go out, change the world, one act of kindness or generosity at a time! Let's make Omaha a better place, and bring some good to a bad situation!

P.S. If you need extra help in intentionally not giving in to your fears, maybe add this song to your playlist.

Fear Is A Liar by Zach Williams - It personifies fear and reminds us that a lot of aspects of fear don't serve us well, however love can help us combat the fear.