Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fear: Breaking the block part 2

Fear is a dichotomous emotion which can be good and bad in different circumstances. Fear can save a person from danger or stop someone from achieving greatness. Where one is afraid to take a risk, someone else dives in and reaps great benefits and profits. This brings in the question of intuition, which while interlinked with fear, is also two pronged itself, as it can stop one from doing something as it does not "feel" right or good. I believe that in life, everyone has opportunity, but the willingness and ability, as well as speed at which we grab these opportunities determines our outcomes. Where does hesitation come from? One theory will say it comes from doubt, and where does doubt come from? Another theory could say there is fear at the bottom of the chain. A lot of emotions are built on fear which stop people from achieving what they could achieve without fear. The cliché "fear of the unknown" is bigger than many imply when they say it. Many a time someone will say "I had an idea, concept or solution, but fear of the unknown stopped me from pursuing it. Fear at its best can save someone from losing a life, however, at its worst fear can have a grip on one's life that it can blind vision, kill dreams, destroy hope and put someone in a dungeon where they will not venture to anything at all. This is where fear becomes a liability more than an asset. Momentary fear is a good reminder for one to always assess a situation before making a decision, but permanent fear may become a hindrance to life itself.

My experience with fear
When I went for my drivers license road test 20 years ago, a part of the test involved reverse parking between obstacles (oil type drums were used). I would like to suggest that there is something called "fear transference", a phenomenon where before one experiences something personally, they are already scared and fearful due to fear transferred onto them by those who have gone before and have had a "bad experience" with a similar situation. This is something popular in human interactions as most people do not want to re-invent the wheel and will "consult" those who have been there or done that. These obstacles were notoriously known to be a difficult part of the road test, and so if you asked anyone about the road test, they would likely warn you about thart part, thereby instilling fear to the test taker which would come out during the test. Fear transference therefore occurred to me passively and I did not deal with that fear the test beforehand and sure enough, I hit the obstacles and failed. This further worsened and heightened my fear for the test, and I failed to recognize that root cause and deal with it. The next time I had to take the test, I had not dealt with my fear of drums and I hit them again. My behavior (driving test) was arrested by fear and I became paralyzed and fixed to a single outcome because I had not addressed something that was affecting my outcome. What another person could do with ease became a nightmare for me and I would feel a chill down my spine and a turn in my stomach just at the thought of  those drums. Needless to say I would be guilty of fear transference if someone was to consult me on this matter. Fear, though very intangible, produces very tangible and physical results in a person. One myth which I cannot say it truth says a dog can sense fear in someone and the dog will maximise on that fear by barking and growling even though it will not bite the person. So anyway, only on the third attempt, when I had overcome my fear of the drums through more practice and being very comfortable, did I go through successfully and get my license, and what a celebration ensued. I cannot count the endeavors I have only managed to overcome after dealing with fear first. As long as there is fear blocking the way, anything ventured is a mammoth task. I could not choose decidedly but I settled that my best antonym for fear, is faith and while fear goes with panic, concern, suspicion, anxiety and fright, faith goes with ease, calm, trust and assurance. Fear is the shadow of faith and as much as it is always present, do not make it president to rule you. Below are some of my favorite quotes on fear which I hope will help you as well.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. - Nelson Mandela

I was never afraid of failure; for I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest.” - John Keats

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you - Eric Hoffer

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

Do one thing everyday that scares you - Eleanor Roosevelt

When you do what you fear most then you can do anything - Stephen Richards

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others - Marianne Williamson

Action point

How do you deal with your fears and how has fear shaped or constrained your life?

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