That is the question. We’ve heard all sorts of bad things about fear; it’s crippling, it hinders, it halts progress etc. And all these things are true. Very true, at that. My question, though, is; if we know that fear cripples, hinders, halts progress etc, then why do we fear?
Here’s what I think about fear.
#1 Fear Gives Us Security
In itself, fear is insecurity. But in our insecurity, we often find security. Don’t be confused. What I’m saying is, take someone who is afraid of heights for example. Such person would most likely be afraid to stand at the balcony of the third floor of a building, or fly in an airplane. The solution? Remain on the ground. As long as the person stays away from high platforms, they are safe. Now take my fear of elevators for example. Because of this fear, I am compelled to find security (and fatigue) on the staircase.
#2 Fear Breeds Caution
In essence, there will be no “thinking twice” if it wasn’t for fear. Most times, I find that to think twice is to have a fear of failure. Without a healthy dose of fear, there would be no caution. We would take on challenges head on, without even foresight or anticipation. Chaos will ensue, and failure will abound. In order to prevent this, we fear.
But there’s a flipside.
#1 Fear Gives Us Insecurity
As mentioned above, fear is insecurity, and insecurity often affects anything from boldness to self esteem. Fear makes our endeavours arduous and laborious tasks. Instead of standing on a spot and ascending the floors of a multi storey building, we take the stairs and get a good muscle-hardening job on our legs—trust me, I know. A journey that should take 40 minutes by air, takes almost a day by road. It slows us down, if ever allowing us reach our goal or destination.
#2 Fear Breeds Paranoia
It’s more than caution, really. It’s an acute distrust. One so bad, that it doesn’t just make us “think twice” as I pointed out above, but think thrice, and keep on thinking, without ever acting. We keep on mulling, wishing, hoping we could achieve this impossible goal of ours, which frankly speaking, are only impossible because of fear.
Fear is a battle. Fear is a dilemma. One the one hand, it could feel like we are keeping safe, and being cautious by giving in to fear. But on the other hand, it could be that we are insecure and paranoid because we gave in to fear. So, which is it?
To fear, or not to fear? That is the question.