How can we avoid fear after taking big decisions thoughtfully?
Transcribed by: Sushit Gupta
Question: Sometime we will take a big decision. We would have thought the decision out well but still after executing it we feel fear. How to deal with such fear?
Answer: Fear, is a natural human response to uncertainty and it is protective.
When a person looks down from a tall building or a big mountain, he feels fear. That fear is meant to deter a person from getting carried away by some reckless feeling. If I just bent down too much, I might fall down and kill myself. To prevent such a thing to happen, fear act as a protector.
In general, it is not that fear is bad. What comes after fear is what makes fear bad. Fear can simply be a cautioner but what is it that comes after fear? Sometimes, we let the fearful thought just go on and if we let the fearful thoughts catch or accelerate our imagination then we start fantasizing them, “That will go wrong, this will go wrong.” Such kind of fantasizing, Krishna says in BG 18.35, is determination in the mode of ignorance.
viṣādaṁ madam eva ca
“And that determination which cannot go beyond dreaming, fearfulness, lamentation, moroseness and illusion – such unintelligent determination, O son of Pṛthā, is in the mode of darkness.”
We can deal with this fear by focusing on taking one step at a time. Sometimes, we may have made a decision and rather than constantly worrying about that decision, we make a fallback plan. “This is the decision I have taken and this is what I am going to do in case the things do not work out as expected.” It is not that any decision in life must be totally irrevocable. Some decisions cannot be changed, but we can always do correction if we go in the wrong direction.
We don’t have to obstinately stick to a specific course all the time. Nor do we have to rigidly pursue a wrong course. We keep our intelligence with us and with that we try to serve Krishna by following a course of action. When we are in sattva-guna (i.e. mode of goodness), we are relatively calm and satisfied, then we can calmly evaluate the results of our decision. If the results have turned out good, let me continue. If the results have not turned out to be favorable, let me correct. In this way, using our intelligence, we will be able to evaluate, whether our decisions are right or wrong and will be able to make right choices.