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Facing Fear with Fun

Greg Tavares' Neglecting Fear Talk Suggests We Feed Our Fun

— May 16, 2014 — Keynote Trends
In his neglecting fear talk, improv comic Greg Tavares poses a theory that fear can be squashed by having a little fun.

Tavares shares three lessons he's learned from his improv career on how to handle the fear that limits us. Firstly, it's okay to be afraid! Fear is an emotional response to risk, and is therefore perfectly normal. Unfortunately, publicly expressing our fear tends to be met with negative reinforcement from society; specifically, a knee-jerk reaction from others, who insist there's "nothing to be afraid of." Instead of trying to pretend this statement is true, Tavares suggests that we accept and forgive ourselves for our fear. However, it is important to note that fear is not a free pass to get out of doing things that scare you. Once you've forgiven yourself, the next step is to summon your courage to face -- not conquer or overcome -- your fear. Tavares draws his courage from the support and encouragement of his improv team, and he advises that everyone find a community that will provide those things for them.

Once you start facing your fear, Tavares is confident that you'll begin having fun and connecting with others, ultimately shattering the isolation of fear. Logically, if you feed your fun, it will thrive; and if you starve your fear, it will fade. Tavares firmly believes that the most effective method of killing your fear is not to confront it, but to neglect it.