Fear – a four letter word almost as offensive as the other four letter word (Yes, you know which one I’m referring to).
Everyone has some sort of fear and yet we hide from this tiny word instead of accepting it or fighting it. I do not care if you think you are the toughest or scariest person alive, you are afraid of something. As common as it is there is a fear to being labelled when admitting to a fear. Illogical, don’t you think?
In most instances I unwittingly use my fears to drive me. It seems to be my personal challenge – if I am afraid of something the only way I overcome it is to run straight into it while trying to run away from it.
An example of this is my fear of heights. The idea of climbing a ladder taller than myself (those who know how short I am can stop laughing now) makes me shake but every time I am faced with climbing a ladder, wall or tree I rise to the occasion. Pun intended. I am driven by not being controlled by anything or anyone else other than myself so when I was faced with doing a canopy tour which involved crossing a 50 metre bridge I leapt (literally) at the opportunity. Legs shaking, a bit of a nudge (yes nudge, not push) by the guide and I was in the air holding on for dear life. Me – 1; Fear – 0.
Then there are some fears I face simply because I am forced to – as a self-confessed introvert one of these fears is being in groups with people I do not know at all or do not know well. I find myself often in these situations. The underlying fear and nervousness before-hand does not get smaller or disappear. It is constantly there and I feel like this is a challenge that will always be there. Me – 1; Fear – 1.
But before my father accuses me of not putting enough “oomph” into my blogs and being too factual let me be more human. There are these tangible fears that we face and we can pin point and talk of and laugh about. Then there are those fears that are hidden in each of us which are more difficult to describe; the ones we rarely mention and we deny to everyone and to ourselves. These may be the fear of dying alone, the fear of losing our jobs, a loved one, ourselves or the fear of rejection, being disliked, being disappointed or being hurt.
These fears are not ones we run towards and necessarily want to overcome. They stay within and with us until we are in situations that we are not able to control. When we are forced to face them they either make us stronger or we are destroyed by them – not recognising our own souls anymore. We start to feel like we no longer exist and we are too changed to know how to be who we once were.
The important distinction is how we react when placed in this situation – do we let fear beat us senseless or do we choose to battle with it and pray we win? Do we accept the fear as it is so that it will always be a part of us or do we tackle it head on and choose to accept the new person we may become?
Dr Robert Anthony once said, “We fear the thing we want the most.” In a battle with fear, the question to answer should be “What do we want the most?” and this is a little more positive, don’t you think?