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Do We Have a Drive to Face Our Fears?

Posted by on Jul 9, 2013 | 2 Comments

Fear- it’s an emotion we normally go to great lengths to avoid. We do our best to rearrange our environment to avoid fear. We’re creatures of comfort. Even when we journey outside our comfort zone, we do everything in our power to maintain some semblance of safety and predictability.

When I started the BRUcrew Facebook group, the idea was simple- set up a series of “challenges” that would push us outside our comfort zones. The goal was to systematically create situations where fear is invoked.


Facing fear is necessary to move forward. Facing fear is  necessary for growth. Avoiding fearful situations leads to stagnation.

And boredom.

I’ve had a long-standing theory that we continually push ourselves to do things like running our fist ultra, moving to a new area, or starting a new job because we have an innate drive to overcome difficulty. If we get too comfortable, we manufacture adversity.

Well, some of us anyway.

There does seem to be a segment of the population that avoids uncomfortable situations. They go to great lengths to make their lives as comfortable and predictable as possible. Sure, we all like to be comfortable most of the time, but most of us will do something to shake things up on occasion.

I’ve tossed this issue out to my Facebook friends before, but almost all seem to fit this “seek adversity” personality. The discussions aren’t really discussions so much as a huge echo chamber of affirmation. That’s a piss-poor formula for productive discussion.

Let’s see if we can get a better discussion here, and we’ll start with two questions:

1. Talk about your own drive to do things that you fear. Explain why you do these things.

2. Talk about your own drive to seek comfort; to make your life as easy as possible.





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  1. Stasi
    July 9, 2013

    I like doing new things and challenging to boot! Boredom is a nightmare! But I am married to a man that prefers safety and comfort! It is frustrating at times but he has learned how to step out for me and I have learned how to stay home for him. He even enjoys it when we do something that he used to consider out of the box for him! But I still can’t get him to agree to move to Alaska for a couple of years!

  2. dharmadan
    July 9, 2013

    Just came across this:
    Joseph Campbell calls the Inner Journey of the Hero
    1. Limited awareness of the problem
    2. Increased awareness of the need for change
    3. Fear, resistance to change
    4. Overcoming fear
    5. Committing to change
    6. Experimenting with new conditions
    7. Preparing for major change
    8. Accepting consequences of new life
    9. Big change with feeling of life and death
    10. New challenge and rededication
    11. Final attempt(s) last minute danger
    12. Mastery

    RE comfort seeking, Maslow’s Hierarchy #5: air, water, food, sex, security, love, self-actualization Just $0.02.