What Everybody Ought to Know About Fear

What Everybody Ought to Know About Fear
“Fear is the surest definition of yourself.” One of the quotes that struck me in one book that I read. We usually think of fear as something that we can’t face. But to really think of it. Fear, like the ads say, is really nothing.

Let me tell you some of the concepts that I gathered through books, materials, experiences, and self-taught concepts that I acquired through the years. Here are some of them.

Fear is natural and you formed most of it when you were a kid

Don’t blame yourself if you have a lot of fears or insecurities. Most often than not, you got those when you were a kid. My point is, you don’t have a great deal of control on what fears to have or not since you formed it back when you had a traumatic experience from years ago.

So what can you do about it? Well fear is natural and all living creatures in this world all have fears. However, not all fears are real or necessary. I mean fearing ghosts every time you go to a creepy-looking house is not necessary especially if you haven’t seen a real ghost in your life (which I think most people haven’t, really) and if it hinders your daily life or work. Some fears are not worth having.

Fear keeps us from getting what we want

Ever had that time when you wanted to approach that lovely girl across the table but you just can’t do it? You’re afraid of rejection, you’re afraid of her turning you down. The fact is, you either do it or not, the answer will always be either a “yes or a no.” But if you don’t get off that chair of yours you’ll never get to that point. To put it clearly, not doing anything is actually failing already. Getting overwhelmed by fear and deciding to not decide is already a horrible decision. Do yourself a favor and at least get to a “yes or no.”

This is of course also evident in any endeavor in life. You might have dreamed of singing in a band but you are just too afraid of what people think of you. You might want to approach your boss for a raise but you won’t do it because you’re afraid of him/her. Once again, just need to get to a yes or no.

Overcome fear with practice

To stand at the edge of fear is to overcome fear. We all have our fears. But once we view the whole thing as some sort of challenge we can face each day, then we develop skills that enables us to approach it with lesser hesitations.

You could try it out. Make a list of you fears. The list could include public speaking, telling a girl you like her, raising your hand in class, suggesting ideas on office meetings, or crossing the road with eyes closed (no don’t add that last one). What you have to do is to try to cross out one fear in the list each day. You don’t have to make it perfect, you just have to try. The experiment is quite liberating. The interesting part is, the more you do it, the more you see your fears as minor obstacles, which you ask yourself why you even bothered worrying about them in the first place.

We fear that we don't understand

You probably heard this a lot. It's mentioned in many movies, even in the recent Man Of Steel. Basically, if you are feeling afraid of something you don't know, then don't stay ignorant forever. Try to discover more of it. Read a blog about it, ask about it (there's nothing wrong with asking), or experience it. You'd be surprised that it is not that hard to understand things. So, if you are afraid of investing in stocks because you don't know anything about it, then why not read this

Fear makes us settle for less

I always mention this to people who talk about stability: Stability is a lie. We may think that we are living a life that is relatively secure and comfortable, but it’s just an illusion. I might sound too confident or even a know-it-all with this, but I strongly hold the belief that life is meant to be challenging and growth is necessary in all walks of life. It doesn’t mean when you reach your sixties you stop learning things. I repudiate the thought that we have to reach stability at some point in life. Genuine stability is never within our reach, it’s either we continue to grow, or else, we decay.

It’s quite astonishing that the biggest reasons why we settle for less or for things that are seemingly stable are our fears and insecurities.

We are more likely to stay in a job we don’t like only because we can’t appear to find other opportunities to work for us. If you look behind the curtain, it’s actually fear that is obstructing the window of opportunities. This might be a slap in the face for most, but there are actually thousands of opportunities out there! Historians say that the opportunities we had in the 60s or 80s are pretty much of the same ratio as what we have now. Crises and struggles have always been there. It’s just our perception and fear that make us consider that years ago life was better when in fact it’s the same.

I may have mentioned some pretty disputable concepts here, but I have outgrown the fear of how people think of me. As for me, I try to live at the edge of fear, it's far from perfect, but I'm wiling to try. As for you, see what you want to see. Fear what you want to fear. It’s always our choice after all. It’s always up to you.
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