Tuesday, July 23, 2013
What would you do if someone chased you down the road trying to kill you? You’d probably run for your life, right? If fear did not exist within you, you wouldn’t run away, you would just stand there and be killed. Fear is one of the factors that keep you alive; it allows you to act on your natural instincts and it saves you from doing harm to yourself. Fear keeps you away from many of the dangers that are in the wild, which can harm you emotionally and physically. You are a curious being and at one point of your life you might have wanted to do something irrational but your fear of harming your self may have stopped you. Fear is a great natural instinct that you have inherited that can save your life.
What if I tell you that fear is your motivator? Let me give you an example, I fear failure, I fear not doing well at school, which then leads me to fear that I am not going to go far in life. This fear motivates me to try my best, reminds me how important my education is, and keeps me on track. If I did not fear this fear then I would not care about school and I would probably not even be writing this post right now. Jocelyn J. Bélanger of University of Maryland did a study on how fear affected individuals. Bélanger found that during the experiments, those who feared failure aimed at avoiding failure and responded with positive motivation to their failures while increasing their performance whereas those who did not fear failure had no changes in their performance whether they were successful or not. Even in this study it can be seen that fear can motivate you to perform well.
Mary Ferguson quoted, “Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom.” Fear is the guide that leads you to the path of freedom. Fear is that grey cloud that follows you everywhere you go, but as soon as you face it, the cloud disappears and leaves you alone. For example, my friend had a job she hated; she wanted to pursue a different career. She feared going to work everyday and she feared the consequences of quitting her job. She always had panic attacks before going to work and her fear went so far that she got sick a lot. One day she couldn’t take it anymore, so she faced her fear and quit her job. Not only did she gain freedom from her fear she also gained freedom from her job that she hated. Facing such fears can help you understand who you really are and give yourself the freedom of not being someone who you aren’t. Therefore understanding and facing your fears can lead you to gain freedom.
In sum, fear is a lifesaver, a motivator, and a guide to freedom. From now on, don’t view fear as your enemy, view it as your best friend. Take advantage of your fear and make the best out of it. Always remember Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote, “We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…we must do that which we cannot.”
Written By: Vyshnave Jeya