Our inner fear and what it can teach us?
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En espérant que cela vous plaise !!
“Fear is not knowing” (U. F.).
“It is something paralyzing; it blocks your mind in a suspended time, waiting for a reaction, usually an instinctive one” (R. V.).
“Fear is rushing towards the hospital, not knowing if the person you are going to see is still alive, not being ready to be without them” (R.P.).
We all know what fear is and what it feels like to be afraid but, curiously enough, if you ask a group of people to share their ideas about fear you will come up with some very diverse answers. The reason is, our emotions are deeply linked to our personal experience: they affect our actions and even determine the quality of our memories.
While this is true for all basic emotions of the human being, fear seems to enjoy a special consideration in our society: How many literary and artistic works celebrate courage as the greatest human quality? How many books are written about how to win our fears and thus become better people? Even the fairy tales we are told as children feature all the things we are most afraid of, so we can learn how to deal with them. We must be prepared, because each stage of our life will bring along new fears. In our interviewees’ words:
“Fear is the queen of emotions. It’s the only one we can feel together with other emotions.” (F.P.).
“Fear is a thread in our life, following us since we first open our eyes and until we close them forever, and it affects everything in between” (B. V.).
So, what makes us so conscious of the constant presence of fear throughout our life? The answer might lay in the fact that we are constantly at war with our fears. Facing them seems to be the price for our success in anything we do: work, studies, relationships; everyday life and long-term projects.
“I think fear is not having the time to do what you want to do. It is not quite the fear of death; it is more like the certainty that our life will not be enough” (M. A.).
“Sometimes you manage to overcome it with great strength of character and you win… Some other time, however, you are not strong enough and it defeats you” (S.R.).
The outcome of this continuous confrontation is the yardstick to evaluate our qualities and success. To overcome one’s fears is an achievement which results in a more confident, optimistic attitude towards the upcoming challenges.
Does that mean we can simply define fear as the Big Obstacle on our way to self-fulfilment? Well, yes and no. Some of our interviewees highlighted the useful and even positive aspects of fear:
“Sometimes fear is just self-preservation. We would have gone extinct without it (…). Fear is an engine and it is democratic” (M.A.).
“It can encourage us to give more or do better” (C. S.).
After all, fear is a product of our mind and a basic instinct, one we share with most animal species, too. It must well be of some utility, even in this day and age. Society, however, usually conveys a different message: fear is not only an obstacle, it is a shame. We are often pushed to hide our emotions and displays of fear are especially grudged upon, since they reveal our weakness. Unfortunately, such an attitude can undermine the benefits of overcoming one’s fears. Rather than a mere task to be achieved, the process of facing our fears should be a means of self-awareness. In other words, we cannot win over our fears if we don’t know them and, most importantly, accept them.
“Thanks to fear, we find out how invincible or fragile we are. It makes us know our true self” (F. P.).
“You must realise, fear and strength are both part of the same range of emotions, and a fact of life” (S. T.)
So, before we fight our fears we should give ourselves permission to be afraid in the first place; recognise that fear is a part of us, and there is nothing wrong with that. Only thus will the final success be truly significant. I couldn’t express my conclusion any better than with S.T.’s words:
“The most paralysing fear is the kind that gives you no choice but to embrace it and make it a part of your being. (…) Don’t rush it, but don’t hesitate too long, either. Take your time, let things happen and, when the time comes, you will know how to face what scares you… But just do it”.
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Générateur infatigable d'idées. Passionné de Finance/Technologie/Entrepreneuriat. Il m'arrive aussi de bloguer sur Liberté Financière Solutions.