When the farmer wants to protect his crops from the threat of invading crows, he tries to use fear to dissuade them. He does this with the scarecrow—a crude-looking, makeshift image of a man planted in the middle of the field.

To you and I, the scarecrow isn’t so scary, but that’s because we know what it is. As for the crow, the farmer hopes for one thing: that the bird will give life to the image because of the weakness of its interpretation.

The Scarecrow Effect is when the bird believes the appearance and gives reality to the illusion. The crow breathes life into something lifeless and makes it come alive.

The Creative Power of Fear

This is how fear works in us as well. We believe the appearance of what we fear and that fear makes what we’re afraid of that much more real. We are engaged in an act of creation—we are breathing life into something that has no life.

Whether the threat is real or not, we make it real by the power of our fear. We grant life to a lifeless monster and then the illusion neutralizes us from taking action on the thing we say we desire most.

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How Interpretations Deceive Us

All of this happens in our minds, and like the crow, it’s the “weakness of our interpretation” that grants fear its power over us.

The difference between you and I and the crow is in the mind. The crow’s mind is small and weak, so the farmer’s simple illusion is enough to frighten the bird. For us, the illusions are more complex, but the mental process is the same. Our interpretations deceive us and something simple overpowers us.

The Meaning You Give to Your Fear

Contending with your fear will come down to what you tell yourself, and what you tell yourself is determined by your existing interpretations. What’s an interpretation? It’s the meaning you give to something.

To one person, flying in an airplane is routine. To another, flying in an airplane is a nightmare. Both persons will take the same flight, but they will have opposite experiences. It’s the person who’s terrified that is thinking like the crow, and the Scarecrow Effect created an illusion of terror that never entered the other person’s mind.

The only difference is in the interpretation, or meaning, that each person gives. Therefore, dispelling fear comes by dispelling the illusion and that happens when you change your interpretation of what you fear.

It’s time for you to face and overcome your fear.

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C. J. Ortiz
C. J. Ortiz

My mission is to help equip people to maximize their resources for a purpose greater than themselves. That's what my own mentors and teachers have done for me, and I'm paying it forward. Life can be merciless, and the world can be a messed up place, so what's needed is a stronger people that can both endure and overcome in life. My motto is, "In whatever you do, don't suck! Metal up!"

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