It is unfortunate that our most popular worldviews—the major religions, national identities, and political ideologies—cause us to divide ourselves into tribes and see others as a threat.
This worldview has led to much suffering throughout history, and it continues to do so today. The primary driver of this division is fear—fear of the other, fear of change, fear of the unknown. It presumes that one group’s benefits come at the expense of another.
As a way of coping with fear, humans created cultural worldviews that instill our lives with meaning and purpose, and give us a sense of permanence. Allegiance to a group’s beliefs, standards, and rituals is a comfort to those in fear because it provides a sense of certainty.
Controlling the “other” is also a way of dealing with fear. When we feel threatened, we often seek to demonize and dehumanize those who are different from us. We see them as a source of our problems, and we want to get rid of them. This is the mindset that leads to war, genocide, and other forms of violence. It also translates into policies and practices that benefit one group over another.
Overcoming fear involves understanding its root causes, challenging negative and irrational beliefs, finding common ground to build wealth together, working together to create a more just and equitable society, and developing a growth mindset.
If we want to achieve our full potential, we need to find ways to overcome the fear of “others.” Here are several ways to do just that.
1) Acknowledge the fear: The first step to overcoming any fear is acknowledging that it exists. If you’re afraid of those you see as a threat, take a moment to sit with that feeling and understand where it’s coming from. Once you know what the fear is, you can begin to address it.
2) Understand that everyone is different: One of the reasons we may be afraid of someone we see as a threat is because they’re different from us. Maybe they dress differently, talk differently, or come from different backgrounds. It’s important to remember that everyone is different and that those differences should be celebrated, not feared.
3) See the person for who they really are: It can be easy to let our fears get the best of us and build up an image of someone in our head that bears no resemblance to reality. If you’re afraid of someone you see as a threat, take a step back and try to see them for who they really are. Chances are, they’re not nearly as scary as you think they are.
4) Talk to the person: Another way to overcome the fear of those we see as a threat is by talking to them. Get to know them as a person and you’ll quickly realize that there’s nothing to be afraid of.
5) Seek out help if needed: If you find that you’re struggling to overcome your fear on your own, don’t hesitate to seek out professional help who can guide you through the process.
6) Practice compassion: One of the best ways to overcome the fear of others is by practicing compassion. Instead of seeing them as a threat, try to see them as fellow human beings who are going through their own struggles. By doing this, you’ll quickly realize that we’re all in this together.
7) Find common ground: Another way to overcome the fear of others is by finding common ground. Instead of seeing the person as a threat, try to find things that you have in common. This can be anything from shared interests to shared values. Once you find that common ground, the fear will start to dissipate.
8) Work together: One of the best ways to overcome the fear of others is by working together. When we work together towards a common goal, it quickly becomes apparent that we’re not so different after all. This is a great way to build trust and respect.
9) Develop a growth mindset: One of the best ways to overcome the fear of others is by developing a growth mindset. This means that instead of seeing the person as a threat, you see them as an opportunity to learn and grow. This change in mindset can make a world of difference.
10) Be the change you want to see: One of the best ways to overcome the fear of others is by being the change you want to see. If you want to see a world where people are more accepting of others, start by being more accepting yourself. You can also lead by example and show others that it’s possible to overcome the fear of those we see as a threat.
The only way to achieve our full potential is to level the playing field and get organized. We need to find ways to overcome that fear so that we can all reach our full potential. By following the tips above, you’ll be on your way to doing just that.