FEAR – Should we fear it ?

Fear is defined as a emotional reaction to a specific, identifiable and immediate threat (has a protective function associated with the fight or flight response).

We’re all familiar with our 5 senses and what they do even if we don’t know exactly how they do it. In some way, they all together help us navigate through our world. They help us survey the environment and quickly determine our course of action. Our sense organs are always guiding us bringing forth the emotions. These emotions are actually beacons/guiding light for us in our day to day life, its an insight into ourselves. But do we all pay attention to them? Probably not all the time.

FearFear is one such emotion that heightens our sensory awareness of everything that’s around us so we can be poised to protect ourselves from anything threatening or harmful. Fear is a natural emotion in the life process. As we move forward in our life journey from where we are to where we want to be, we will confront fears. Fear of the unknown, uncertainty, failure. We need to remember all emotions have a positive purpose that serves us. But do we sense it always ?

Our reaction to this fear can be either paralyzing, negative fear which immobilizes us or positive fear which makes us strong and get us acting, safely, consciously aware of why it is there – and eventually WIN. We all know the effect the former reaction will have on us, it only hinders our growth.

‘A coward dies a thousand deaths, a brave person, only one.’

Do we become coward? Do we need fear, anxiety, worry etc. to freeze us into inaction in everyday life ?. They only achieve a very negative result. I am sure that’s not what we really want.

Personally I look upon fear as a positive emotion. I know that uncontrolled this emotion can breed many negative results. But when controlled, this emotion can spur us into action like no other I know of. And I think that this is truly the reason for fear. Think of it as our best friend, preparing us for progress and make friends with the unknown. We might make small/big mistakes while responding to this emotion called fear but the mistakes only make us grow, develop, learn new ways of doing things and accelerates our growth.

We should acknowledge the fear we are experiencing. Allow that it is a positive thing within us that warns us of some future danger or harm. And then, analyze it not dwell to see if it is real or imagined, justified or not. When we recognize it’s positive intent, it no longer immobilises us, but quite the reverse, we can jump into action to remedy ‘why’ we are fearful.

When there’s an unresolved problem or a gap between where we are and where we want to be, a tension develops. Successful individuals embrace this tension, knowing that tension is an important part of the learning process. This tension motivates our unconscious/conscious mind to continue searching for a solution.

Many a times they are only perceived / fantasized. Very often it is the inaction bred by over-analyzing, by hyper focusing on the fear, actually dwelling on it, imagining the ‘what ifs’, that keeps us from taking the actions necessary to navigate though it. We need to process it, not dwell in it.

On one hand, people say that fear is uncomfortable and threatening. We structure our lives to avoid it. On the other hand, people ride roller coasters and watch horror movies – paying good money to get scared out of their wits!

How do we understand this contradiction?

It’s a mistake to think that fear is painful. Yes, fear is uncomfortable, but it delivers great pleasure. When they shove us out of the airplane before the parachute opens, we forget all the nonsense of this world. The brush with death makes us appreciate how good it is to be alive. We are plugged into reality. Suddenly life is a Joy ride!

Counteract the discomfort of fear by focusing on the positive side – every moment is lived with awareness and excitement. Let us gather our powers, use our potential, be motivated by fear. It is indeed thrilling to be afraid!

By Shyamala Krishnan
Associate Director – IndiHire

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