“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
On Saturday, March 4, 1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated as the 32nd President of the United States. After taking the oath of office, Roosevelt proceeded to deliver his 20 minute-long inaugural address, best known for his famously pointed reference to "fear itself" in one of its first lines:
So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is, fear itself. The nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
There is a constant and growing global battle going on between fear and hope, love and hate, and between progress and regression. Fear is a contagion that causes bad things to happen. We are living through seismic changes that will alter the course of history.
Bullies create and feed off of fear. They exist in the boardroom just as much as they did in the schoolyard. Their actions are controlled by the fear that results from an unwillingness to practice their own emotional labor. As a result they often try to control and manipulate others. They use their position based power to create the toxic environments of drama, chaos and conflict.
But bullies are not the problem, we are. They cannot exist unless we give into our fear. If we are unwilling to do the emotional labor needed to reconnect with our authenticity and develop our emotional intelligence the bullies will continue to thrive.
The masks we use to protect ourselves have caused us to lose the connection with our authentic selves. Learning to become less resistive, judgmental and attached to outcome will enable us to reestablish that connection while vanquishing the bullies among us. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
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