The Thin Veil Between Fear and Excitement

by: Edmar G. Palo, RPm

Most of us human beings have experienced these two powerful emotions in our lives — Fear and Excitement. It is because of these two primitive emotions that we successfully paved our way from past generations to the next. These two emotions are essential for survival, reproduction, revolution, and evolution of our species. And most of the time, these two emotions greatly influence our decision-making process!

Let us first dissect what “Fear” is.

Fear, when triggered by an external or psychological threat, makes our heart rate and adrenaline levels high. Since our brain with neurochemicals are hardwired and embedded in our DNA is the natural instinct to survive, the part of our psyche which is the Ego, passively/automatically responds according to the level of threat to protect us from further physical or psychological trauma.

We can either Fight the threat or run away from it which is famously known as the “Fight or Flight Response”. Very “Primitive” isn’t it? This mechanism was used by our ancestors for thousands of years ago for hunting their prey or defending their territory.

But did you know that we can “Stay and Conquer” the threat aside from resisting or fleeing? It depends on what kind of threat is present. Also, psychological and mental preparation is necessary to be in control amidst the impending external threat or danger. I will discuss this further in this article later. For now, let’s just focus on the definition of Fear and Excitement.

Excitement, on the other hand, is the twin of Fear. Have you ever felt the feeling wherein you know that you will soon possess an object of your desire? Or perhaps you are on your way towards a positive experience that will change your life on a certain level? It is indeed, “exciting”!

What do you feel during those moments? Yes! Your heart rate increases, your adrenaline levels will soar high. But in this emotion, you have this sense of assurance and confidence that you will stay on top of your “game” no matter what happens.

Have you already seen the difference between the two?

Here it is:

In Fear, you MOVE AWAY from the stimuli as compared to Excitement, wherein you MOVE TOWARDS the stimuli. They are identical but not the same. Very simple, right?

Maybe you are thinking right now, “What is the importance of knowing such Information? How can we use this in our everyday lives? How can we harness and take control of these emotions?”

Thank you for asking!

For me, it is a Scientific Art which requires a certain level of “Mastery” in one’s mental processing and body. One needs to exercise the mind to maintain the balance between these two emotions especially if you are in the middle of “Life-Changing Situations” wherein you will utilize your higher/deeper level of thinking that involves decision-making.

Whether you are seeking for a job, a business opportunity, a life partner, an investment, etc. You will always find yourself on the side of either Fear or Excitement.

There might be these inner voices telling you that the job or the partner you are attracting might not go well or that voice might be leading you more in manifesting your desires.

What if I told you that you can use these two emotions to better weigh the pros and cons during the decision-making process? Yes, you definitely can.

Before you conduct this activity, I would just like to let you know that this method is leaning on the “Preventive side” and should not be done during a life-threatening scenario.

What You Need:

-A pen and notebook
-A quiet, personal space
-Fresh air
-allot 30 mins or more of your personal time

In this activity, we will help you strengthen your inner voice/intuition that will guide you through every decision-making process. You will witness the voice of Fear and Excitement and the Metacognitive voice that transcends these two emotions, so that you’ll be able to find the center of logically strategic solutions that works best for you.

Step 1: In your notebook, draw a vertical line in the middle of the page.
Step 2: Write “Fear – Cons” on the left side and “Excitement – Pros” on the right.
Step 3: Using the power of the mind, visualize yourself experiencing the fearful outcome of a scenario that is aligned to your goal or desire. Take your time in visualizing. Feel as if it is already happening at the present moment.
Step 4: Write every detail on the Fear – Cons side. How do you feel, is there any guilt, shame, anger, frustration? Now think of logical and possible solutions to prevent it from happening.
Step 5: Then, visualize yourself experiencing the Exciting outcome. Are you feeling joyful, confident, assured, powerful? Now think of possible ways to make it happen. List it all down.
Step 6: Take your time to breathe until you feel calm and relaxed. Read everything you have written. Remember to bring your awareness back to your breathing as your mind reaches clarity.

You will notice that in this activity, you are practicing on how to be detached if ever you get caught in an either Fearful or Exciting situation. A very simple yet powerful exercise that includes, meditation, mindfulness, and visualization.

This activity strengthens the filtering power of your Reticular Activating System as well due to the fact that you are practicing the skill of discernment and better judgement. Your mind will be a powerful tool that will absorb only the essential information that you need in able for you to better understand the connection of your self, your plans, and the situations that coherently align with your innermost desires.

Fear is not a bad thing. Our egoic mind judges Fear as something unpleasant but in Reality, we need Fear for survival. If we learn how to control our emotions, we can use it to our advantage. Sometimes, excitement can be a bad thing especially if we do not consider the downside or the negatives of a specific activity. For example, cliff diving or bunjee jumping. Yes, it is exciting but very dangerous. If we get too excited and did not take extra precautions before engaging, there will be a high probability of injury or even death.

Every craft or skill requires practice so do not get discouraged if there is a little to no effect after your first session. You may do this activity everyday and you will see your progress along the way.

“The Mind and Body moves in Harmony with Nature. Listen with your Heart… and Flow.”


About the Writer: Edmar Palo is a Registered Psychometrician and aspiring Nutritional Psychologist, a dreamer, a visionary, obsessed on holistic healing and conscious way of living.

A BS Psychology alumnus of Trinity University of Asia, Q.C., a student of world class University professors, and an epitome of Universal core values and excellence, his mission and goal in Life is to educate Filipino families about the significance of Holistic Well-being and how it can radically transform us together with our beloved country.