Stress … the Big Myth!

Stop Complaining!
May 21, 2020
Suddenly everyone’s a motivational speaker
May 25, 2020



Some clever person nailed it when they said, “There is no such thing as stress, there is only fear!”




I recently came across an article by a psychologist that (as a natural born stressor) seemed to make so much sense to me. There is a ton of literature on the concept that there are only two basic human emotions that all other emotions flow from, and they are love and fear.

Most, if not all of the actions that people take are based from the root cause of wanting to achieve love, unconditional love, or move away from fear. It follows then that the fear of not being loved is one of our most powerful drivers. When we stress it is merely worrying about something that we fear. The breadwinner of the family fears that his / her family will become destitute, starve and become homeless. This fear drives him / her to work harder and the worry (especially in a situation like lockdown / Covid-19), and the tension, headaches and blood pressure, are all just physical manifestations of their fear. Fear also creates emotional issues like aggression, irritability, depression and hopelessness. Stress, according to this psychologist, is a blanket name given to the underlying condition of fear.

Knowing this, is surely a game changer when it comes to dealing with situations in which you feel stressed. By seeking the root cause of your stress i.e. delving deeper, past the trite surface level enquiry, into the mind, you may just discover the bedrock fears that fuel most, if not all, of your physical and mental issues, that cause you to not perform at your optimum ability.


  • So, what do you fear? What are you scared of now? Identify it and give it an actual name.
  • Next, what is the worst case scenario for your business, life or current situation and what would be the absolute worst thing that could happen to you and your family?
  • Now, look logically at the probability of the worst-case scenario actually coming to fruition. At this point you may realise that the real-life possibility of the worst-case scenario happening is actually quite slim. The old sayings are indeed true, fear for the most part is False Expectation Appearing Real. Most fear is actually ego based. We worry more about social acceptance and judgement, and what other people will think, than having actual fears.
  • Another thing to realise is that just by finding, acknowledging, accepting and owning your fear, you are no longer controlled by it. Instead of being an unconscious fear victim, you become a conscious fearer.  This alone will help tremendously.
  • Your next step will be to look at your fears rationally. Unpick them, and if possible, try and find out why that fear is controlling you, and where it comes from. In my case – I had a father who was obsessed with the lack of money and that his family, would also end up in a tin shack in the backyard of someone’s property like he once had. These fears were handed down to me by the strongest man I ever knew as a child, my dad.
  • If for some reason your worst fears are possible, what practical steps can you put into place today and every day from now on, to make sure that that eventuality doesn’t occur? Where can you get help? From whom can you get this help?
  • You need to own the fear, face the fear, walk into the fear, with caution and guidance. Understand it, prepare for it, and here is the key; to continuously be on the lookout for it, because even if, and especially if, the fear is irrational and illogical, just by virtue of the fact that it has been a habit for so long, it will try to influence you again and again. It will sneak up on you. Stay alert.
  • Please stop telling yourself that you are stressed. Tell yourself the truth that you are scared. Now face that fear.

To everyone reading this, but especially to the men, it is perfectly normal to have fears and to experience the feeling of being scared. Fear if used correctly, can ignite you into action. Fear becomes a bad thing when it cripples you, or silently attacks you because it lies unacknowledged. It lies undetected because of the modern day softication of the actual word fear into stress. Being scared is not a weakness, it is an opportunity to grow and to perform. If used correctly fear should make you Feel Energised And Ready. So, Face Everything And Rise.

You know exactly why you have received this today. You’re welcome!

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  1. Kenny says:

    Thanks Gav – needed this today !

  2. Helen Potgieter says:

    Fear is born of fear alone

    Old saying learnt years ago and has seen me through many tough situations

    Thank you for your article today
    Very useful as always

  3. Gill says:

    Thanks Gavin I think we all needed to hear this message considering the current COVID-19 Pandemic and all the uncertainty surrounding my industry (Business and Leisure Tourism)

  4. Judy says:

    Fearing the fear is always worse then confronting and dealing with it.

  5. loraine king says:

    a great reminder, thanks so much.

  6. Alvin says:

    Thanx Gavin I really needed to ‘hear’ this today.

    Have a greatest day!

  7. Vongai says:

    Thanx Gavin

  8. Rirhandzu says:

    Thanks Gavin, I am one of those who thought I am stressed. But it shows how fear can lead to that…

  9. Githa Govindasamy says:

    Thanks Gavin, very useful, love the saying “so Face Everything and Rise”

  10. John Mc Hugh says:

    Hi Gavin

    I loved this article, for many years I did not even believe stress existed and was at loss at explain the cholesterol link doctors always went about wrt Stress (but the fear aspect – and especially if one feels that that one can’t take action is the real issue).

    Hope you are having a great day.


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