Your Fear is Telling You What You Love

It feels bad but it’s good

Mountain climber going down a rock face.
Photo by Maja Kochanowska on Unsplash

This fear thing is annoying. It gets in the way of living. So many things to fear so little time to do it.

You see fear as the enemy and want to fight it as hard as you can. So many of us have it hanging over us. Lurking not far away. For some a constant companion, an irritating troublesome enemy.

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”― Plato

What if there is a positive out of all this fear?

What are our biggest fears?

According to Medicinenet.com, our biggest fear as humans is Claustrophobia the fear of being in constricted, confined spaces. The list of 10 includes Zoophobia, basically, the fear of certain animals put into a broad category Brontophobia the fear of thunder and thunderstorms and also Acrophobia the fear of heights.

On the other hand, it is believed that we are born with only two innate fears. The fear of falling and the fear of loud sounds. Almost all the other fears are “learned” fears.

Good and Bad fear

Fear can be judged as rational and appropriate or as irrational and inappropriate. Good fear is a rational fear. It could be the fear that you must not cross the street without looking, or don’t touch any spider. This fear helps you in life and helps you survive. It’s good to have that bad feeling.

The irrational fear is looking at a spider on the other side of the room and almost fainting of fear. It’s not helpful. You are not actively working on the situation. It would be better to identify where the spider is and calmly walk away or get someone to take care of it. It’s bad to have that bad feeling.

The trouble is that we don’t always experience it this way we just get afraid. It’s only after the fear has gone that we sometimes can see that our fear was irrational.

“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”
― 
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Social fears

This modern-day fear is shaping our society. It gets better when your older but teenagers and young adults struggle with this “thing” big time! It may look irrational but it has its roots in nature.

When a herd of Zebra’s, or most antelope for that matter, kicks out a member of the group the survival of that outcast is in danger. If you are on your own in the wild you are in trouble. You are easy prey for predators. You don’t have that support structure to know where water is. You don’t have the herd to protect you from lions. Death is imminent!

Is that not the same fear that we have socially? If you are young and a social outcast you may think that your life is in danger. You want to be accepted into a group. You feel safe when you are part of a group. You get guidance there. Sometimes good other times bad.

The fear of public speaking is something that many people have. Why? you want to be accepted. Why? Because on your own outside of the group social death could happen. And you think social death can lead to physical death.

It’s an irrational fear. some of the most influential and successful people do not fit into a group. Thank goodness they did not succumb to those social fears of exclusion. Willing to risk social death in order to be yourself shows that you love yourself. Not the bad egocentric type of love. That type of love that believes you are created good enough and important enough to make your own social statements.

“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
— Nelson Mandela

Why is it important?

It’s about survival. Rational and appropriate fear helps you stay clear of danger. It keeps you away from poisonous snakes, spiders, and food but unfortunately not always away from poisonous people.

Rational fear will also try and get you away from the problem Irrational fear may make you freeze up and not be able to move. Don’t do that it’s not good.

Irrational social acceptance fear is bad. It keeps you from exploring yourself and your possibilities. Conforming is not always the best thing to do. Be yourself in spite of that fear of non-acceptance.

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”― Joseph Campbell

What you love

Fear helps you survive but also helps you cope in the social jungle. It shows that you love life. You may think that you don’t love your life. Go stand on a cliff. If you have that bad stomach-turning feeling and afraid you might fall you’re OK.

It shows that you still value your life and hoping for good to come out of it. Even if everything is not rosy now the hope of a better future is there. Be the person you were created to be.

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