Fear: It's arguably both the most beneficial and most debilitating of human emotions. Nobody likes fear. It’s no surprise, as, by nature, it’s an unpleasant emotion.
Our minds and hearts race. We sweat and feel anxious. Fear is meant to feel unpleasant. However, there’s a reason we experience fear the way we do.
When interpreted properly, fear can be your best companion; it can be your best guide and most useful tool in creating the life you wish for.
Fear necessarily makes you uncomfortable, but not for the sake of making you uncomfortable. Human beings are creatures of comfort; we’re always looking to find a resting state.
Fear is a signal that tells us the place we’re in, the situation we’ve either stumbled upon or created, is one in which we cannot allow ourselves to rest. Fear is what moves us to create change -- or at least, that’s what it ought to do.
Unfortunately, most peoples’ fear is pure sh*t -- here's why:
1. It’s more than likely irrational.
Not all fear is irrational, but most of the fear we experience is.
Originally, humans experienced fear -- as all animals continue to do -- when we found ourselves in danger. But, because we’ve developed complex psyches, we no longer fear physical danger alone. We now fear things that can hurt us on an emotional level.
The problem with this is most of the emotions we experience are the result of irrational thought -- making that fear equally irrational.
We interpret that which we experience, and the truth is we often don’t interpret correctly. Or, we simply don’t understand the impact of the potential outcome, of whatever we’re fearing.
Either way, we rarely have good reasons to fear things that won’t cause physical harm. Yet, we do so anyway.
2. You use it as an excuse to avoid living your life the way you know you want to live it.
Fear is the perfect crutch, isn’t it?
The experience convinces us that "something" is telling us we ought to avoid whatever it is we’re considering to attempt.
Yet, as I’ve mentioned before, this feeling of fear isn’t directed at the outcome itself, but rather, at the interpretation of what we believe the outcome will be.
Fear makes it easy for us to rationalize why we shouldn’t do the things in life we know we want to do.
We understand we’re afraid for a reason and believe it to be a good enough reason without giving it much further thought.
Only those who understand that they want something more than they fear failing are those who end up having sufficient control of their lives to make something of themselves.
3. You expend too much energy on it.
Fear uses up energy. Your heart rate goes up, and your body’s cooling system, which also requires energy, drips out of your pores to cool down your body -- aka, sweating.
Worst yet, fear uses up your mental energy. Fear is more psychologically debilitating than it is physically.
Physically, our bodies are being signaled to act, to move, to change our circumstances. Our minds, on the other hand, usually leave us frozen in place.
The real problem is when we are afraid, we don’t act. Instead, we allow ourselves to remain in the exact same place that’s causing us to feel afraid. We’re scared, so we put off making necessary decisions.
We want something, but we're also afraid of going after it. So, we just sulk and wallow in our fearful misery.
4. You fail to create opportunities for yourself.
Opportunities aren’t found; they’re created. However, what is found is the opportunity to create opportunities for yourself.
Fear comes in many different shades -- one individual's fear and the extent of it, another may not share. Sadly, once we allow fear to become a habit, it seeps into the other nooks and crannies of our lives.
Fear becomes our go-to mindset. We begin to allow ourselves to remain stagnant due to the fear of rejection. We don’t try new experiences; we don’t go out and interact with people we don’t know.
We lock ourselves up, sometimes both emotionally and physically, and are forced to deal with the inevitable aftermath. In other words, we set ourselves up for the failure we fear oh-so-very much.
5. You create a negative, hopeless reality for yourself.
Failure is always a possibility. Well, sort of. If we remove the possibility of us failing, by never attempting to succeed, then failure can be avoided -- or, at least, that’s what people seem to think.
At the very least, that’s what most peoples’ actions, or lack thereof, tell me.
The problem with never attempting to change your life is you begin to believe your life can’t be changed. You create a reality for yourself that seems entirely futile. You lose hope. You lose faith in the world and in yourself. You begin to live in a reality that isn’t worth living in.
6. You refuse yourself the chance to meet great people.
If you think about it, fear always involves interactions with people, in one way or another. Meeting new people can be scary -- I understand that well. I was never the social butterfly, and that’s okay.
You don’t need to be the life of the party. You don’t need to have tons and tons of friends, mainly because it’s not possible to have tons and tons of friends -- not real friends, anyway.
One of the most important aspects of our lives is the people with whom we surround ourselves.
Avoiding putting yourself out there for fear of judgment or disapproval may save you face at the moment, but it will come back two-fold down the road.
It’s hard enough to meet good people as it is -- and that’s when you’re trying to find them. Don’t even bother looking and you’re setting yourself up for a everlasting loneliness.
7. The chance of you finding the ideal partner becomes impossible.
If you want to leave finding the love of your life to fate, go ahead and do so. But, expect to fail.
I understand how hard it is to put yourself out there, how hard it can be to find the courage to go up to a stranger and start a conversation.
Likewise, I understand the fear of commitment, of falling too hard too fast, of possibly missing out on other opportunities.
I’ve dealt with all of this, just as I’m sure many of you are right at this moment. What you have to understand is that you never know the outcome of any situation with 100 percent certainty.
Sometimes, you just have to say, "F*ck it," and see where things lead you.
8. You never develop the skills you need in order to create the life you want.
You need to fail in order to learn, to develop the skills needed in order to one day succeed -- this is the universal rule, no matter what the subject matter.
And, the only way for you to fail is for you to get over that fear of failure. There’s no point in fearing failure, as it’s a guarantee.
It’s like fearing death: Sure, you don’t want to die today, but you are going to die one day, whether you want to or not.
Yes, you should avoid death at all costs, as there’s no going back, but that’s not the same for anything else. Death, you cannot bounce back from; from failure, you can.
If you’re fearing failure, you’re both fearing learning the necessary information, as well as fearing something that only exists for a moment.
After that moment, you move on with your life and either have another go, or attempt something else.
9. You inevitably hate yourself, hate the world and hate your "bad luck."
But, it isn’t "bad luck." It’s backwards thinking, poor rationalization and bad decision-making.
The last thing you want to have to deal with is the realization, sometime down the road, that you failed in life. You failed to make something of yourself, to create a life worth living.
You’re going to hate yourself for it. It’s going to hurt like nothing you’ve ever felt before because you’ll ultimately realize you don’t get a do-over.
You don’t get a second chance. You spent your time worrying and fearing instead of hoping, fighting and living.
Most likely, you’ll blame the rest of the world instead of yourself, which will make you cold, spiteful and overall miserable. All of this because you didn’t have the guts to take a few risks.
Take your life into your own hands and force upon yourself, and those around you the beautiful reality you’re capable of creating.
If you think about it -- and, I mean, really think about it -- you have absolutely nothing to lose.