Article in brief: Fear; an emotion so strong it could either push us forward or paralyze us in our places forever. What is fear? And how can we transform our fears into strengths?
Fear is one of the important survival mechanisms; it is our brain’s response to danger. Its importance lays in warning us from genuine risks and helping us protect ourselves from different kinds of threats.
However, some people fear situations that are far from protecting themselves from danger and threats. Fears like fear of public speaking and fear of failure are not life threatening but can get out control and affect our daily lives. So, what causes fear? And how can we use fear to our advantage?
One usually learns fear from his/her surroundings. When someone grows up in a house where everyone is constantly scaring him/her of something, even if it was for educational purposes, he/she will naturally develop a feeling of reservation and fear from that certain thing. Also, fear can be gained from some personal experiences. If someone falls off a cliff or watches another person fall off it, especially if at a very young age, he/she are more likely to develop a fear from heights.
As for me, I have always feared death. I always wondered what it would be like not feeling a soul within me; not being able to move parts of my body I used to move so easily, not having the capability of speaking even though once, my words were always heard.
The thought of being buried and having the world continue without me, not knowing whether people would miss me or not, was horrifying. This fear took over my life to the point where I would be scared to even go out. At that point, I decided to take control of my fear.
I transformed my fear from something keeping me behind four walls to something that made me want to live the moment. I became extremely grateful for the life I’m blessed with, started to cherish every second of it, and be nice to everyone around. For if, at anytime, death knocked my door and I passed away, I would leave a nice memory and be forever unforgettable.
In order to get over anything, you will have to get to know it better. The same thing applies to fear, in order to overcome it, you will have to know it, recognize it, and define it.
Always ask yourself what’s the worst thing that could happen? And prepare yourself to welcome the worst. If a person starts to accept fears that occur all the time, it would make it much easier for him to handle those fears when they come back again, until a time comes were those fears aren’t a problem at all.
Here are some more lessons I learned from my research and experience:
Be realistic: Fears tend to be much worse than reality. For example, putting in mind that you will faint each time you are given an examination paper is not useful. Also, the possibility of that happening is very low.
Talk to others: Sharing your concerns with others would be very useful in helping you overcome your fears. Have a good talk with a friend or a very close family member; it would help you look at the situation from another person’s perspective.
Reward yourself: When someone who is afraid of heights goes bungee jumping, or someone who is afraid of public speaking recites a poem in front of his class, he/she should reward themselves. Rewarding can encourage them to do better.
Lastly, try your best to turn your fears into hope because they are nothing but obstacles that stands in the way of your progress. If you conquer it, you would be able to move forward with very strong and steady steps.
- Native Remedies: Fear. Retrieved May 9, 2014 from http://www.nativeremedies.com/ailment/overcoming-fears-info.html
- Psychology Today (2014): How to turn your fear into passion, not paralysis. Retrieved May 10, 2014 from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-slow/201405/how-turn-your-fear-passion-not-paralysis-0