The Difference Between Afraid and Recognizing Danger

Fear’s useless. Either something bad happens or it doesn’t: If it doesn’t, you’ve wasted time being afraid, and if it does, you’ve wasted time that you could have spent sharpening your weapons. – Sarah Brennan

There’s a difference between fear/being-scared and recognizing danger.


What’s more, in a meta sense, the ability to notice and accurately make distinctions, such as the difference between being scared and recognizing actual danger, is one of the skills of living – truly – well.


Being afraid or scared is creating the emotional state of things not going well, or things going badly (depending… ) in advance and not acting.

Recognizing danger is accurately assessing conditions and identifying real risks, whether in an instant or after some contemplation.

The former is a waste of resources and keeps you from doing what you want, often from doing anything.

The latter is intelligent and necessary to both survival and achieving one’s goals, and even excellence.

Knowing the difference between what you’re merely afraid of and what is actually dangerous is so very, very important.

And, as Ms. Brennan points out above, time spent on fear/being-afraid is time wasted – and time wasted is never recovered.

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