Fear is usually regarded as a setback or something to hide. Being fearless was praised by several philosophers through time. Therefore, many wear the bravery mask in public to prove their worth. But is it realistic? Is this the solution that will set us free? Are there no positive outcomes out of fear? I don’t believe that human beings are capable of being fearless, fear is part of our nature and has protected our existence throughout history.
Fear as a Protector
Fear was always the first signal of potential danger. It helped humanity in its survival and development. Throughout history, humanity fought to secure resources, lands and food. People gathered in communities to protect each other and reinforce their strength. Then, they created laws and constitutions to ensure peace and stability. In our current days, Airport security and screening were built out of fear of terrorism or illegal activity. Fear can be based on factual risks. In case, those risks were not mitigated an undeniable danger will occur.
Fear as a Motivator
Fear might work as a motivator to help people breakthrough and build a better future. If you are familiar with the TV show “Shark Tank”, you might already know Robert Herjavec, a CEO, millionaire and investor. In his interviews, Robert speaks about his family’s escape from Croatia threatened by the communist regime for being anti-communist. The family settled in Canada with only 20 dollars and without knowing English. Being the poorest kid in his class gave him an insatiable desire to become better. He mentioned that “the chip on my shoulder never went away”. His fear of living in poverty and insecurity drove him to work so hard to earn stability. Robert’s story proves that fear might be a source of strength that drives us to take initiative.
The Trap outcome of Fear
On the other hand, Fear might work as a trap that leaves us hesitant and incapable of moving forwards. This fear is usually driven by our insecurities and past traumas. For instance, many people are afraid of marriage because they experienced bad relationships/divorce in life. Another example might be the fear of failure resulting from a lack of confidence that stops us from starting a new business. Everyone is suffering from something but we can’t let our insecurities control our lives. First, it is important to acknowledge them and work on our healing so we can maintain a sense of internal peace. Then, we need to understand the reasons behind our fear to know if it should be ignored or considered.
Fear comes from human nature. It might be based on factual risks and work as a protector or motivator driving us towards a better future. Or It might be based on insecurities/traumas and trap us in a cycle of hesitance and worries. It is important to understand the drivers behind our fears to assess their validity. In the following post, I will discuss a technique that might be helpful in understanding the reason behind our fear.