What is fear?
The other day I wanted to enter into a competition. I looked at the prize and imagined how much it would change my life. I then looked at the other entrants who were ahead of me since it was a timed thing and chickened out. This competition is open until the end of August, I have time. My initial reaction was that I’m not good enough. I was giving up before I’d even started! WTF!
This is what fear does. It puts you into a negative space, one where you have already lost before you even start, without participating. If you have already lost in your mind, what is the point of getting involved?
It’s all about mindset. There is a reason why people love the rogue winner, the underdog as it were, because it’s unexpected and gives hope. If they can beat the odds, there’s hope for others. Granted, part of it is to do with wish fulfilment which is why so many of us waste our money on gambling, such as the lottery. I’m always going to play it at least once a year because of that little spark of hope that lives inside me and can’t be diminished. Do I deserve to win- yes! Does deserving something make it happen- hell no! Which brings me back to fear. If you’re reading this post, you have lived long enough to realise life is chaotic and you may suspect that we are all wondering around blind pretending to know what we are doing. We cling to what we can predict, but again, life is chaotic which is why, I believe so many of us are scared.
It’s a strange thing to be told you’re inspirational. Well, it’s strange for me to be told that. I’ve never understood what to do with it. “Erm…thanks” has been my go-to response since I don’t fully understand why anyone would say such a thing. I lived a lot of my life flitting between fear of success and fear of failure. The two have played such an integral part of me becoming me, that I am confused when people say that they find my actions inspiring. “Nah Mate- my actions are based purely on the desire that I can’t fuck up more, I’m trying to find a middle ground and keep hoping for better days!”
I’m not alone here. I think that everyone lives in fear of certain consequences. I think that this is part of what it means to be human. However, beyond the bravado people put up, is their genuine self which guides their actions. How do you deal with the world when everyone is to some degree scared? For me it’s about being authentic. I’m scared, but I shall embrace this. The only way to get over a fear, to not let it take over your life is to address it. Only by acknowledging that which I’m scared of, dealing with it, can I move beyond it. This isn’t a fix all situation. The only real difference I’ve seen that separates people is based on how they approach their fear. You either cower and accept, or get stronger to defy it.
My list of fears are long and tied to my insecurities. Some I can address in the now, others I’ll have to wait until I’m stronger. Fears can be based in reality and experience, some can be based internally whilst others externally. There are those that are ingrained in us for survival such as flight/fight whilst others are superficial such as wearing the wrong tie to an event. What is concerning about fear is that if we address one problem, do we need to look at all of our other issues, because that’s time consuming?! Do we unleash a domino effect where we spend eternity trying to challenge what we are scared of?
For me personally, the only way to get rid of fear is to realise that that is what it is, look to understand it, and then address it. It’s ok to turn the light on if you’re scared of the dark no matter how old you are. You are making yourself safe, addressing your initial fear and only in safety can you come to a positive solution because you’ve put yourself in a better situation.
As with my hope post, I believe that to live is to experience fear. I am scared of so much, but each challenge makes me stronger so I can face the next hurdles.