The Gift of Fear

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the-gift-of-fearI’m not a reader. Well, at least I never was before. The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker was recommended for me to read by my therapist. My anxiety has only gotten worse in the last decade and with the specific things that I’m anxious about, she figured this book would help me. That’s an understatement. You see, when I was a child, I had nightmares almost every night. These nightmares consisted of home invasions, robberies, kidnapping, and violence. I’ve always had those fears in the back of my mind, but they were intensified by an extremely abusive relationship, as well as my obsession with criminology and TV shows focused around crime.

Violence and intuition are the main themes surrounding The Gift of Fear. DeBecker points out the small nuances that people normally miss in daily life and how listening to your intuition can save your life in a dangerous situation. He uses real life examples and “comforting” statistics that state a person is more likely to be killed by someone they know rather than by a stranger. Now, if you’re like me and your fear is mainly with strangers, this statistic is actually quite comforting because my chances of being harmed by a stranger are low, but nevertheless they still exist.

When discussing intuition, DeBecker states

“Nature’s greatest accomplishment, the human brain, is never more efficient or invested than when its host is at risk. Then, intuition is catapulted to another level entirely, a height at which it can accurately be called graceful, even miraculous. Intuition is the journey from A to Z without stopping at any other letter along the way. It is knowing without knowing why.”

This made me think about my car accident, which could’ve killed me. When approaching the intersection with my green light, my peripheral vision must’ve registered with my subconscious and registered a fast and incoming threat because I suddenly felt the need to look to my right, which was the direction the truck was approaching from. Because of this, I was able to slam my foot on the break. Although he ran a red light, my car was the one that T-boned his truck right near the gas tank. My car slammed into his at about 35 miles per hour while he never slammed on the breaks and was traveling around 50 miles per hour. Without my intuition telling me to look right, I wouldn’t have slammed my foot on the break when I did and he would’ve T-boned my car without using his breaks resulting in a potentially fatal accident, considering my car was a small, old PT Cruiser.

Reflecting on my accident gave me confidence in trusting my intuition more rather that paying attention to the fear of what might/could happen.

“If we are looking for some specific, expected danger, we are less likely to see the unexpected danger. I urge that [you] pay relaxed attention to [your] environment rather than paying rapt attention to [your] imagination.”

The same goes for the extremely abusive relationship that I was involved in. If I had listened to the many red flags and warning signs, I would’ve left the relationship before anything abusive were to happen.

I urge you to read this book, even if you don’t struggle with anxiety! This book is eye-opening and gives you confidence in listening to your intuition. Everyone can learn something from DeBecker.





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